Being completely honest, my initial reaction to the rumored casting of
Edward Cullen Robert Pattinson as Batman was not a positive one. In my mind, Christian Bale was the perfect portrayal of Batman. Dark, brooding, and muscular. When I thought of Pattinson, I thought of a scene from Twilight where he stood in a clearing, shirtless with spray-on abs, literally sparkling. Yeah, that’s not my Batman.
But I’ve had a moment for it to digest, and I’m willing to give it a chance. And here’s why.
We Should Give Robert Pattinson’s Batman a Chance
First thing’s first, literally nobody could make a Twilight script work. Rami Malek just won the Academy Award for best actor, but he didn’t impress anyone in Twilight. Everyone loves Anna Kendrick, but she didn’t get the lead in Pitch Perfect because she played Bella’s awkward human friend in the teen vampire drama. Just because Kristen Stewart never really turned in a career re-defining performance and Taylor Lautner disappeared after a few Adam Sandler flops, that doesn’t mean everyone from the franchise is doomed.
Pattinson hasn’t had a role as publicly discussed as Edward Cullen, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been working. Long removed from staring longingly at awkward girls that are hundreds of years younger than him, Pattinson’s performances in films like Good Time, Life, The Lost City of Z, and The Rover are actually surprisingly good.
Not to mention, he’s working on a film called “Tenet” with Christopher Nolan. Yes, the very same Christopher Nolan that made the legendary Dark Knight trilogy, and seemingly hasn’t made a bad movie. If Nolan, who thought Bale was a worthy Batman, is willing to make a film starring Pattinson, we should all give him a shot.
The Matt Reeves of It All
This almost goes without saying, but Matt Reeves is not Zack Snyder. Reeves has a pretty impressive filmography so far, boasting the new Planet of the Apes movies, Let Me In, and the original Cloverfield. Gritty black and white slow motion fight scenes with cringe-inducing dialogue is what hindered the DCCU up to this point, and that’s Snyder’s MO.
Snyder is the M. Night Shyamalan of crappy action movies. He directed 300 in 2006 and followed it up with Watchmen in 2009 and we thought he might be onto something. Then we slowly realized that was his only tick, and we’ve been stuck hearing the same songs ever since.
Every movie that Reeves has directed has received a “certified fresh” grade from Rotten Tomatoes, including Dawn of/War for the Planet of the Apes. He may inherit the bad luck of the previous DCCU movies, but that doesn’t mean he’s destined to create yet another underwhelming stinker.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and there’s a decent history Batman backlash (batlash) when it comes to casting. Fans didn’t approve of Michael Keaton’s casting back in 1998 either, and he became one of the most popular versions of the character.
Fast forward to 2007, and it’s announced that Australian pretty boy, Heath Ledger, would take on the role of the Joker, the most iconic villain in comic book history. In hindsight, it’s easy to forget that most people were not happy. Considering Ledger’s Oscar-winning Joker performance is the go-to when ranking amazing portrayals of villains, critics were slightly off on that one too.
And while Batfleck was ultimately a disaster, Ben Affleck wasn’t a bad Batman. The writing was terrible, and the spirit of his relationship with Superman was lost somewhere along the way, but his actual performance as the Caped Crusader wasn’t terrible, but everyone hated it.
The Bottom Line
I’m just saying, let’s wait and see what Pattinson actually does with the role before we bury it. Zac Efron was just the kid from High School Musical at one point, and now he’s Ted Bundy. If Matthew McConaughey can make the transition from pretty boy to legitimate actor, anyone can.
Also, his full name is Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson. That’s right, he’s got two middle names. Know who else has two middle names? Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time.
Oh yeah, this is still a sports website.