June 5, 2019 7:46:37 pm
A year ago, English actor Robert Pattinson would not have been the immediate choice of any Batman fan. The reason is Pattinson is still best known for starring in much-reviled Twilight movies. He has carefully stayed away from commercial cinema and his best work is known only among indie movie fans.
So how was it that he was cast as Batman, easily one of the most iconic roles in cinema? Turns out, his casting or at least its final leg was quick. A source inside Warner Bros, the studio behind Batman and other DC film franchises, told The Hollywood Reporter that his screen test was surprisingly quick.
“It was quick. Quicker than normal,” the source told the publication. The ‘normal’ refers to most superhero screen tests, especially for bigger roles like Superman, Spider-Man and Batman, which usually last long.
Matt Reeves, who is writing and directing The Batman, wanted a 30-ish actor (the role is of a 30-year-old Bruce Wayne). So Ben Affleck had to go. While his take on the character was acclaimed, he had the misfortune of starring in two of the worst-reviewed DC films ever: Batman v Superman and Justice League.
Robert Pattinson was 33, certainly not a deal breaker. His competitor for the role was Nicholas Hoult, the actor who essayed the role of JRR Tolkien in a biopic on the fantasy author. THR reports that both the actors were put in Bat suits as is usual for casting Batman. Reeves and the studio execs checked how they looked in the cape and the cowl, how their eyes looked, and so on.
Finally, Pattinson was chosen for the role by Matt Reeves and Warner Bros.
After his casting became public, Willem Dafoe, Pattinson’s co-star in The Lighthouse, said in Variety’s The Big Ticket podcast, “He’s got a strong chin. That’s a part of it. Can you imagine anyone with a weak chin ever playing Batman? I don’t think so.”
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