All the back and forth this summer over just who would actually be replacing Ben Affleck in the Batcowl was enough Hollywood drama to put our heads in a batarang-worthy spin. But for one of the subjects of that back and forth, Robert Pattinson, they were in part frustrating, because he thought he’d lost out on a part he’s been hoping to have for a while.
Pattinson revealed his long game for getting the part of Batman as part of Variety’s newest cover story, which dives deep with the actor about his role in Robert Eggers’ haunting Witch follow up, The Lighthouse, and moving on to Gotham City.
The initial rumours that he had been cast in Matt Reeves’ Bat-film came while Pattinson was on the way to the Cannes premiere of Lighthouse, sending the actor into a spin of anger and confusion… mainly because he hadn’t actually auditioned yet:
When that thing leaked, I was fucking furious. Everyone was so upset. Everyone was panicking from my team. I sort of thought that had blown up the whole thing.
The reason Pattinson was so angry wasn’t because he was being associated with some superhero project he wanted no part of, having built a post-Twilight career on esoteric, independent films. It was because, despite that, he’d actually had thoughts about becoming Batman for quite some time.
I’d had Batman in my mind for a while. It’s such an absurd thing to say. I sort of had an idea to do it, and I’d been prodding Matt [Reeves]. He didn’t accept any prods. I kept asking to meet him.
Eventually Reeves did, and there were enough sparks that — those premature rumours of his casting aside — Pattinson did indeed audition, and did so wearing the still-mysterious Batsuit from Reeves’ film:
I put it on. I remember saying to Matt, ‘It does feel quite transformative!’ He was like, ‘I would hope it does! You’re literally in the Batsuit.’.
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.’ You’re trying to think of the way to balance, how to bring something new to it and not want to scare people off, and work in the confines of the costume.
We know how the rest of it goes at this point: Just days later, Pattinson did actually become the Dark Knight, albeit after another round of will-he-won’t-he rumours.
In the process, he apparently successfully acted on a plan he’d been hatching for far longer than any of us had realised… which, to be fair, is an extremely Batman thing to do! He’s gonna be a fine Caped Crusader.