Robert Pattinson was considered early in the casting process despite an outreach not being made until much later.
Fresh from the festivities of Cannes, Robert Pattinson found himself on a plane to Los Angeles, set to face his biggest career challenge to date – putting on a batman suit for casting director (and film director) Matt Reeves.
Luckily for Pattinson – it wasn’t a wasted journey. He was officially titled the new Batman in June by Warner Bros, and insiders have explained the decision was an intense but quick process.
Unlike most superhero casting sessions, often including far and wide searches paired with dozens of screen tests, as seen most recently with Spider-Man, the latest casting of Batman was notably smooth.
Reeves was hired to write and direct the latest Batman in February 2017, and when envisioning actors for his protagonist it helped that the actor must fall within a definitive age bracket. A man of around 30 years old who can deliver a Bruce Wayne that is still trying to find his footing. The latest Batman will not showcase a seasoned crime-fighter ruling over Gotham City, but instead take a gentler approach into Bruce over Batman.
Ben Affleck was first reported to be in with a chance of the role in July 2017 but was denied recasting due to him headlining his own stand-along movie, which was side-lined when the studio began to rethink the superhero strategy.
Pattinson, age 33, was considered early in the casting process despite an outreach not being made until much later. Since shooting to fame in teen-heartthrob franchise Twilight, the actor has been more reserved, quietly building a solid resume in smaller, well-reviewed independent films since his role as a vampire. Since his original fame Pattinson has assiduously avoided big studio and franchise films, wanting to focus on a more serious depth of acting and gaining the respect of critics.
A huge attraction for Reeves was that Pattinson had yet to appear in a Marvel Studios movie, and name-brand actors not working for the DC Comics rival proving more difficult to find. While there is no strict rule on working for both rivals, marketing strategies and audience understandings can become blurred/confused – meaning both studios try to avoid any major overlap.
The only other major contender in Reeves eyes was Skins and About A Boy actor, Nicholas Hoult, age 29, who has experience as Hank McCoy (The Beast) in the X-Men franchise, although displayed largely as a furry blue mutant rather than his recognisable self.
Both actors shot screen tests for Reeves and Pattinson matched the specifics Reeves had in mind.