Robert Pattinson has finally broken his silence on playing Batman/Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves’ upcoming superhero tentpole “The Batman.” In a new interview with Variety, Pattinson sounds off on the nerve-wracking casting process and what it was like to try on the Batman suit for the first time. Pattinson was confirmed by Warner Bros. for the role May 31, but his casting was leaked a couple weeks earlier on May 16. The actor told Variety the leak was excruciating because he thought it might jeopardize his chance of landing the part. When Pattinson’s casting was informally leaked May 16, the actor had yet to even audition for the role.
“When that thing leaked, I was fucking furious,” Pattinson said. “Everyone was so upset. Everyone was panicking from my team. I sort of thought that had blown up the whole thing.”
Pattinson had been eyeing the Batman role for awhile because he had heard Reeves’ script focused on a younger version of Bruce Wayne. “I’d had Batman in my mind for a while,” he said. “It’s such an absurd thing to say. I sort of had an idea to do it, and I’d been prodding Matt. He didn’t accept any prods. I kept asking to meet him.”
Reeves agreed to a meeting with Pattinson after the script was finished, but the casting leak made the actor feel like all of the hard work he’d put in to be taken seriously by Reeves might be thrown out. “It was terrifying,” Pattinson said of the leak. “I was like, ‘Oh fuck! Does that screw me because they are so intent on secrecy?’”
The leak did not take Pattinson out of the running, but the audition process only got more intense afterwards. Pattinson was heading to the Cannes Film Festival to world premiere “The Lighthouse” in Directors’ Fortnight and had to rehearse for Batman auditions in his hotel room. The actor flew back to Los Angeles immediately after “The Lighthouse” premiere to try on the Batsuit for a “high-stakes audition.”
“It’s maybe the craziest thing I’ve ever done in terms of movie stuff,” Pattinson said about trying on the Batman suit. “I put it on. I remember saying to Matt, ‘It does feel quite transformative!’ He was like, ‘I would hope it does! You’re literally in the Batsuit.’”
Pattinson continued, “You do feel very powerful immediately. And it’s pretty astonishing, something that is incredibly difficult to get into, so the ritual of getting into it is pretty humiliating. You’ve got five people trying to shove you into something. Once you’ve got it on, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I feel strong, I feel tough, even though I had to have someone squeezing my butt cheeks into the legs.’”
The actor was announced as Batman five days after his audition. The day Pattinson found out he was the new Batman just so happened to be his first day on the set of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet.” Nolan famously directed Christian Bale as Batman in his “Dark Knight” trilogy. Pattinson confirmed with Variety that he asked Nolan some questions about “things to do with the Batsuit, how to get more movements in it.”
Pattinson’s casting has resulted in a bit of backlash from fans unhappy with the idea of the actor from “Twilight” taking over Batman, but the actor isn’t phased by it. If anything, Pattinson is embracing people questioning his casting because it gives him a chance to prove them wrong.
“To be honest, it was less vitriolic than I was expecting,” Pattinson said. “It’s much more fun when you’re an underdog. There’s no expectation of you.”
Pattinson revealed he once had an informational meeting with Marvel around the time of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but only a superhero like Batman has ever really appealed to him. “It’s actually an interesting part,” the actor says of Bruce Wayne/Batman. “I think it’s because he doesn’t have any superpowers.”
Reeves’ “The Batman” is already set for release from Warner Bros. on June 25, 2021.