Warner Bros. recently announced that Robert Pattinson has landed the role of the caped crusader in the new Matt Reeves-directed film The Batman. But, before Pattinson got the part, he had to go through secret screen tests while wearing the Batsuit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, casting the role was an intense process that involved Reeves screen-testing both Pattinson and X-Men star, Nicholas Hoult. Compared to most superhero movies, the decision to go with Pattinson came rather quickly, but that could be because Reeves had Pattinson in mind while writing the script.
New 'The Batman' details 🦇
• Matt Reeves knew he wanted Robert Pattinson from early on, even before Pattinson was interested
• Actors tried on suits from previous Batman films
• Decision after the suit testing was 'Quicker than normal'
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) June 4, 2019
The studio hired Reeves to write and direct The Batman back in February 2017, and he has reportedly had Pattinson at the top of his list for a while, but he didn’t reach out to the actor right away. After Ben Affleck played the role in Batman v Superman and Justice League, Reeves decided to change things up and write a script that focused on Bruce Wayne when he is in his early 30s and still trying to figure things out before becoming the famous crimefighter.
This storyline essentially pushed the 46-year-old Affleck out of the role and created an opening that Reeves hoped Pattinson would fill. However, the director wasn’t sure that Pattinson would be interested in playing a superhero in a big budget film at this point in his career.
After shooting to worldwide fame with roles in the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, Pattinson has avoided the Hollywood blockbusters and, instead, filled his resume with critically-acclaimed parts in independent movies.
These career choices actually made Pattinson more attractive to executives at Warner Bros. because he had avoided the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is DC Comics’ biggest rival. Even though there are no rules against actors crossing over between Marvel and DC, executives don’t want to confuse audiences.
Pattinson’s biggest competition – Nicholas Hoult – has been playing the role of Hank McCoy in recent X-Men movies. But those films are ensemble pieces that aren’t technically part of the MCU, and Hoult is hard to recognize when he is the Beast, a blue mutant. This is what kept him in the running for the role of Batman.
— Complex (@Complex) June 5, 2019
Both Pattinson and Hoult had pre-negotiated deals ready to go when they flew into Burbank on May 20th for their screen tests that required both actors to wear a Batsuit from a previous Batman. An insider says that Reeves “knew what he was looking for,” and there were “specific things” he had in mind.
Ultimately, Robert Pattinson’s body of work – as well as his Batman screen test – landed him the role. And, just a few days after his audition, he got the call that he will be the studio’s newest billionaire, crime-fighting, caped crusader.
The cast and crew of The Batman are expected to start shooting the film in early 2020.