Robert Pattinson's Batman is a badass, says The Batman star Jeffery Wright. The upcoming DC Extended Universe film from director Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is the first to feature Pattinson's version of the iconic superhero. After suffering from pandemic-related delays that caused principal photography to take a year, The Batman will release on March 4, 2022.
The coveted role of Bruce Wayne had been solely occupied in the DCEU by Ben Affleck, who was originally set to not only star in The Batman, but write and direct as well. When Reeves took over, he expressed a desire to explore a younger version of the character, and Affleck left the project in early 2019. Pattinson's casting was somewhat of a surprise, since he had largely avoided blockbuster roles after his experience on the Twilight films, becoming known in the meantime as a highly acclaimed, versatile performer in the indie scene.
In an interview with ET, Wright, who plays Gotham PD's James Gordon in The Batman, gives the English actor's version of the Dark Knight his seal of approval. He describes Pattinson's personal performance style as meshing well with Reeves' directorial vision, which should make for a quality final product. Wright also says he thoroughly enjoyed their time on screen together:
"Robert is gonna do his thing, and we were working within a Matt Reeves vision, so you know, Robert is doing what Robert does and it's gonna be pretty badass I think. [...] I loved working with him, I love his take and his energy and the way that he kind of brought different levels to different parts of the story. And we work off of one another".
Pattinson is reportedly playing Batman in just his second year of vigilantism, and from the promotional material released so far, Reeves' film looks to be taking the character to particularly dark places. Paul Dano's serial-killer take on Riddler seems to be the movie's main villain, though several of Gotham's big-bads are on the cast list, including Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Penguin (Colin Farrell), and Carmine Falcone (John Turturro). Wright becomes the first actor of color to portray Batman's ally in the police department, while Reeves' former Planet of the Apes collaborator Andy Serkis plays Bruce's loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
As is customary whenever a new Batman is cast, fans are divided, and not just because many still associate Pattinson with sparkly vampires. The release of Zack Snyder's Justice League reignited appreciation for Affleck's interpretation of the character, and that the effects of Warner Bros. decision to abandon Snyder's vision for the DCEU are so obvious in this film might create an inherent bias against it. However, Reeves' track record and the immense talent he's assembled in front of the camera, Pattinson especially, suggest The Batman has a real chance of overcoming these reservations.