Does Robert Pattinson Regret Playing Batman Already?

There seems to be a commandment in the fan community that whenever casting is announced for a Batman movie there shall be much complaining. Fans complained about Ben Affleck, Heath Ledger, and Michael Keaton. So it follows they’re complaining about Robert Pattinson too. 

Does Pattinson care? Not really. If anything, he says, it gives him an advantage — something to prove. 

Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson | FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images

How does Robert Pattinson feel about complaints? 

Playing a character as iconic as Batman can be intimidating for even the hardiest actor. When Warner Bros. announced that Pattinson was chosen for The Batman, the predictable uproar was, “The dude from Twilight is playing Batman? Vomit.”

However, too many people don’t know that Pattinson has a lot of experience beyond Edward Cullen. He has won praise for critics for not always making the easy or obvious choice, with a string of impressive performances in indie films like Good Time, The Lost City of Z and The Lighthouse, which is getting him Oscar buzz.

Nevertheless, Pattinson got nervous when word leaked out that he was up for the part. According to Variety, He did the worst thing an actor could do in such a situation: He Googled himself. It wasn’t pretty. Still, if anything, it steeled Pattinson to do the best he possibly could. 

“To be honest, it was less vitriolic than I was expecting,” he says of the fan reaction. “It’s much more fun when you’re an underdog. There’s no expectation of you.”

Fans objected to past casting

Pattinson can take comfort in the fact that he’s hardly alone. When fans heard Michael Keaton was playing Batman, they said, “He can’t be Batman! He’s Beetlejuice and Mr. Mom!”

When fans heard about Heath Ledger being the Joker in The Dark Knight, they said, “He can’t be Joker! He’s that teen idol from Ten Things I Hate About You!” When Ben Affleck got the part, they said, “He can’t be Batman! He sucked in Daredevil!” 

And yet, to one degree or another, fans later embraced all of them, especially Ledger, who became kind of a cult hero when he won an Oscar posthumously for The Dark Knight. Even Affleck was praised for being one of the better aspects of the otherwise disappointing Batman v. Superman, and few blamed him when Justice League turned out to be a mess. 

Pattinson has already tried on the Batsuit, and he described the experience this way: 

“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 Batman movie may have other issues

While there has been much back and forth over whether Pattinson will make a worthy Batman, it’s easy to forget that there are other factors at play. One of the more worrying ones is the We Got This Covered report that the movie will have at least six villains. 

It is generally agreed that having too many villains could result in a movie biting off more than it can chew. Batman Forever had both the Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and many people thought that was overkill.

The much-maligned Batman and Robin had Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman). Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises had Bane (Tom Hardy), figures associated with Ra’s Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), who played both sides of the fence. That movie is generally considered the wink leak in Nolan’s trilogy. 

We don’t know for sure yet whom Pattinson will be fighting. The Batman hasn’t even started filming yet. Right now, Pattinson is shooting the thriller Tenet, directed by none other than Nolan. That’s due out next July, while The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, is scheduled for June 2021.