After months of speculation as to who would succeed Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader, Robert Pattinson has been cast as the lead in Matt Reeves’ upcoming “The Batman.” Along with his role in Christopher Nolan’s untitled new project, it marks a major return to big-budget fare for the “Twilight” star after several years of collaborating with revered auteurs on movies like “Good Time” and “High Life.”
Affleck played the sullen superhero in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad,” and “Justice League”; the two-time Oscar winner was also originally set to helm “The Batman” in addition to starring. The trio of films in which he played Gotham’s best-known vigilante were widely considered disappointments among fans and proved less financially successful than Warner Bros. would have liked.
Variety, which first broke the news, reports that negotiations “are not yet fully complete” but that Pattinson “is the top choice and the deal is expected to close shortly.” The actor came to worldwide fame for starring in the massively successful “Twilight” saga as a vampire, emerging from that phase of his career to begin a pleasantly surprising second act a staple on the festival circuit; he’s become a favorite among cinephiles for his roles in everything from “Cosmopolis” and “Maps to the Stars” to “The Lost City of Z” and “Damsel.” He’ll next be seen in Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse” alongside Willem Dafoe, himself a superhero-movie veteran.
Reeves, who directed “Cloverfield” and “Let Me In” before helming both “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “War for the Planet of the Apes,” is said to have gotten to choose his own Batman after Affleck left the project.
Many actors have donned the cape and cowl before. Christian Bale is the most familiar Batman to the current generation of moviegoers for starring in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, with Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney preceding him in Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s cycle. Kevin Conroy voiced the brooding hero in “Batman: The Animated Series” and, prior to all of them, Adam West starred on the campy TV 1960s show.
Pre-production on “The Batman” is set to begin this summer.