Robert Pattinson is officially playing Batman, but his road to the role hasn't been entirely smooth. There have been rumors circulating about him being cast as the iconic caped crusader since earlier this year, but the actor had to go through a few steps before he could officially claim the part. It turns out that there was even a costumed portion of his journey to Batman, since Robert Pattinson's Batman audition included the Batsuit.
Matt Reeves is writing, directing, and casting the upcoming movie The Batman, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, the decision of who to cast as the titular superhero came down to Pattinson and one other actor. Nicholas Hoult, of X-Men: Dark Phoenix fame, was also up for the role of Batman, and so both actors were put to the ultimate Batman test: trying on the Batsuit. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it's customary for prospective Batmen to don the costume of the previous Batman as part of their audition for the movie. For example, before Christian Bale was cast in Batman Begins, he had to do a screen test while wearing Val Kilmer's Batman Forever costume. It's a move that likely exists to make sure that the actor looks the part, but it also sounds like the most fun audition ever. Who wouldn't want to dress up as the Dark Knight himself? The costumed audition clearly worked out for Pattinson since he'll officially be playing Batman and wearing the costume a whole lot more very soon.
The Hollywood Reporter also says that Reeves actually had Pattinson in mind for the role of Batman long before he tried on the Batsuit. He had caught Reeves' eye thanks to small independent movies he made over the last few years, like Good Time and Maps to the Stars. Those projects gave Reeves the confidence that Pattinson could tackle Batman.
Ben Affleck was the last actor to play Batman, beginning with 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. His last appearance as Batman was in 2017's Justice League, and it looks like that will probably be his last. At 46 years old, Affleck is a bit old to play Reeves' vision of Batman. In The Batman, Batman will be a bit younger. According to The Hollywood Reporter:
He is written as around 30 years old, and the story is neither another rehashing of his origin nor the tale of a seasoned crimefighter ruling Gotham City. He is Bruce Wayne still trying to find his footing on his way to becoming the genius detective.
The movie, which is the first in a planned trilogy, will definitely lean into the idea of Batman as a detective. Reeves previously told The Hollywood Reporter:
[The Batman is] very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode that we’ve seen in the films.
Pattinson will have plenty of time to get into that detective mode. The Batman is slated to be released June 25, 2021.