News has come out that Robert Pattinson will be the lead in the new Batman solo film. The previous actor to wear the bat on his chest, Ben Affleck, is said to no longer be attached to the character and is stepping out of the DC movie franchise. For some time the only real concrete information we have had on the upcoming film was the director: Matt Reeves. A lot of speculation and fan art has gone into who the “fans” wanted to replace Affleck and now that the decision appears to have been made, most people seem disappointed. I’m more hopeful than most. Actors have surprised us in the past. DC has been doing a great job with their films and I’m very excited for their future line up. And above all else, Matt Reeves wants to make a good movie. There is a lot of potential for Robert Pattinson to be a great Batman.
Past Casting Surprises
Every time there is an announcement for a new superhero, it is followed by a horde of online audience members criticizing the casting decision. People were vocal about their disappointment for Hugh Jackman being cast as Wolverine in 2001. Now it’s common belief that no one else would have done the role justice. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. both received a lot of hate when it was said they were to lead a Marvel franchise. I don’t think anyone was still upset after watching Endgame and getting to see the end of their character’s arcs. And of course, the big one: Heath Ledger’s Joker. This performance has turned into an ‘end-all-be-all’ rebuttal to anyone complaining about casting decisions; especially in the world of Batman.
I’m not saying I have no concerns about Robert Pattinson being cast. He isn’t the first person I would have thought of, but I also know it is foolish to judge him based on a movie franchise you happened to hate. I didn’t watch the Twilight movies, they weren’t meant for me. However, I did see The Lost City of Z, not to mention Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The kid has the ability to act. I think that we, as fans, shouldn’t start off hating a movie we are going to go see anyways. Robert Patinson has a big cowl to fill. I assume, and hope, that he knows that. I’m more interested than concerned by his casting and want to see whatever the casting directors saw as well as how he fits into the creative story they have planned.
DC Is Doing Their Own Thing
A while ago, after the announcement of Matt Reeves as director, rumors were that the new Batman movie was going to be set in the 80’s and tell a new origin. I have no idea if that is still the plan, however it would fit in line with the world DC is building. The hugely anticipated Wonder Woman sequel is titled “Wonder Woman 1984” and will take place before any of the events of the Zach Snyder movies. We also have the unique and creative take on the Joker staring Joaquin Phoenix that will also take place in the 80’s. And on top of all that, it has been hinted multiple times that the Flash solo movie will be the Flashpoint Paradox story line and involve going back in time to… you guessed it, the 1980’s. I’m not saying the new Batman movie will be interlinked with any of these movies really, but if they wanted to, it would make sense.
They could also just say fuck it and do something crazy. The DC cinematic universe is really playing by their own rules and I love it. The most interesting theories for this new film don’t even involve Pattinson playing Bruce Wayne. So far there technically has not been an official announcement on him playing the boy billionaire. He might have been cast as Dick Grayson, the former sidekick of Batman. In the comics the character does take on the cowl after Bruce is murdered. A far more unlikely, but interesting theory is that Robert is cast to play Terry McGinnis, who is The Batman in the future from the very popular cartoon Batman Beyond. Neither of these are likely in but they certainly are not impossible. And I can tell, the more you think about it, the more you like the idea!
Matt Reeve’s Batman
No matter the announcements made, or the story the points leaked I am excited for this movie. The main reason comes from the man behind the camera. Matt Reeves, best known for his remake of the Planet of the Apes franchise, has full control over this version of The Batman. He is also the mastermind behind the first Cloverfield movie. The man has an interesting mind and it definitely leans on the darker side. No matter what Robert Pattinson’s role is, I have faith that Matt Reeves wants to use him for a reason. Reeves has said how passionate he is for this project and I’m glad I live in a world where Batman movies will still be made by passionate creators.
I ask we stop with the expectations. When you go into a movie starting with hate in your heart, your perspective will never get that much better. This new Batman movie might end up being better than the Christopher Nolan movies for all we know. But I also accept the fact that it might be worse than the Joel Schumacher ones too. I’m one of the biggest Batman fans I know, and I can tell you that there have been some bad movies starring the Dark Knight. But if you really want to be a fan, than be supportive above all else. Spreading hate or disgust before seeing the final product is not how you make the industry better. Worst case scenario, the comics will always be there. The current Tom King run is legendary and I highly recommend it. Let us see the Reeves and Pattinson give us, we might be pleasantly surprised
News read and opinions given by: Troy Smith