Batman: Why Is Robert Pattinson Replacing Ben Affleck?

Robert Pattinson is the new Batman, and fans have mixed feelings about the young star wearing the cape.

Rumors had been flying faster than a Batarang about who’s going to play the next Batman since Ben Affleck isn’t returning. It came down to a seeming close call between Robert Pattinson and Nicholas Hoult. Of course, with both being British, it created social media debates about whether a Brit should play Batman.

Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson is the new Batman | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

With Tom Holland proving a British actor can compellingly play a popular American superhero, DC may be making the same assumption. However, the real intention is probably a big dilemma for Ben Affleck: He’s being considered too old. Exploring a younger Batman may be DC taking/stealing directly from the Marvel playbook.

Pattinson officially won the role of Batman

How did Pattinson beat out Hoult? A lot of Pattinson fans are ecstatic because he already has that mysterious streak Batman/Bruce Wayne arguably requires.

While he’ll have to work on creating an America/Gotham City accent, we’re sure he can do it well since he already did one perfectly in the Twilight movies. What this means for Batman, however, will likely create an interesting debate.

At the heart of it all is what the real reason is for Affleck leaving the role. Was it really voluntary, or were there hints from Warner Bros. about them wanting a younger and more rebellious star?

Everyone may soon speculate on whether Batman is going to go even darker than Affleck took it.

Affleck had some problems with the direction of Batman

Despite the highly successful box office performance of the films Affleck appeared in as Batman, numerous rumors were floated he wasn’t happy with the character’s direction. There was nothing confirmed until he made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live announcing he wouldn’t return as Batman.

He elaborated later he simply couldn’t develop a suitable script when planning to direct a standalone Batman film with Matt Reeves. We have to wonder if this was just a ruse for WB subtly telling Affleck they wanted someone younger for 2021’s The Batman.

Let’s consider Affleck is 46 years old, and 48 at the time the movie released. Hollywood may still have as much of a bias on the age of male actors as they do women when it comes to playing superheroes. Some studios are ironically more willing to hire an older woman in an action movie now than they maybe would a man.

Regardless, the jury’s still out on whether Gal Gadot will still be allowed to play Wonder Woman into her 40s.

Is it really smart to make Batman younger?

Skeptics can easily take umbrage with superhero movies creating deliberate Millennial versions to appease a younger fan base. Yet, Tom Holland was a rare one who brought complexity to Peter Parker, enough where he’s become one of the greatest ever representations of Spider-Man.

Using the idea of a high school age kid learning to navigate the responsibilities of being a superhero ended up being far more interesting than what it appeared to be on the surface.

Hiring Robert Pattinson now opens this up to similar territory, outside of him being 10 years removed from high school age (he’s really 33). His version will likely be more of an under-30 Batman to examine what happened during a time of his life seldom explored.

Since Pattinson is effective at being morose, will his take be as twisted as Joaquin Phoenix’s upcoming origin tale of The Joker?

Batman continues to grow darker

Pattinson has truly proven himself as a top-tier actor, so he could end up being a perfect counterpart to the near psychotic and sympathetic portrayal of The Joker by Phoenix later this year.

Having both in the same movie would really be an interesting macabre turn, outside of Phoenix being 44 years old. The only thing we hope for is Pattinson removes one of the most annoying aspects to a more brooding Batman: His raspy voice, started by Christian Bale.

Perhaps that Batman voice in need of a lozenge was a product all along of him getting up in years.