Director Matt Reeves’ celebrated the official announcement confirming Robert Pattinson will play Bruce Wayne/Batman in his upcoming Warner Bros. tentpole with a tweet featuring a gif from Pattinson’s “Good Time.” The post seemed like a simple way to celebrate the casting for “The Batman,” but it turns out Josh and Benny Safdie’s 2017 crime film played an instrumental role in Pattinson landing the gig. Sources close to the film tell THR that Reeves kept returning to Pattinson’s work in “Good Time” during the quick casting process, which became a two-person race between Pattinson and Nicholas Hoult.
Reeves’ “Good Time” tweet indirectly referenced how Pattinson’s work as petty criminal Constantine “Connie” Nikas helped convince the writer-director that the 33-year-old actor was the right man to take on the Caped Crusader cowl. So what does that necessarily mean for “The Batman” and what Reeves has planned for this new iteration of Bruce Wayne? That’s now one of the biggest questions buzzing among Batman fans.
“Good Time” stars Pattinson as a low-level criminal who goes to great lengths to free his developmentally disabled brother from jail after the latter takes the fall during a robbery gone wrong. Pattinson becomes an internal firecracker in the role. So much of the film’s thrilling unpredictability comes from how the actor suppresses his rage underneath Connie’s skin and flirts with letting it explode at any second. That suppressed rage will surely serve Pattinson well as Bruce Wayne, a tortured character himself who hides his anger from a tragic upbringing and a crime-ridden city underneath the sheen of a charismatic playboy billionaire.
Pattinson’s “Good Time” arc finds his character ridden with guilt over letting his brother take the fall for a crime Connie planned and driven by love to do whatever it takes to fix his mistake. If “Good Time” hints at anything about “The Batman,” it’s that Reeves’ Bruce Wayne/Batman is probably going to be angrier than any version of the character we’ve seen on screen before. Expect this rage to be channeled into a singular purpose: Serving Gotham as The Batman.
Reports about Reeves’ script have claimed for some time this new Bruce Wayne will be in his thirties, which is one of the reasons Warner Bros. let Ben Affleck hang up the cape after starring as Batman in two DCEU movies. Reeves’ film is reportedly not an origin story or a film about a world-weary Bruce Wayne (see Affleck in “Batman v Superman” or Christian Bale in “The Dark Knight Rises”). Instead, “The Batman” follows Bruce Wayne in his prime as he struggles to fulfill the promise and ideals of the Dark Knight. Who better to chart the character’s interior dilemma than Pattinson? The actor earned the best reviews of his career for “Good Time” precisely because of how he channels the emotional and psychological repercussions of doing dark things for the right cause. In some way, Connie’s actions make him the version of Bruce Wayne/Batman that didn’t grow up in a billionaire family with unlimited resources at his fingertips.
With Pattinson now confirmed and pre-production already underway, “The Batman” is shaping up to be a Hollywood tentpole that even indie cinephiles won’t be able to ignore. Warner Bros. has already set a release date for June 25, 2021.
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) June 3, 2019