Big news has hit the movie world, with reports emerging that Robert Pattinson is in line to star in Matt Reeves take on The Batman. The film was originally slated to star Ben Affleck, before the production moved on in favour of a younger star. News of Pattinsons potential involvement has caused some concern among fans who may only know the actor from his time in the Twilight films.
While his performances as Edward Cullen caused a sensation a decade ago, you might be surprised to find that Pattinsons career has gone in a very different direction since leaving the franchise. Hes been choosing dark, complicated roles with directors who challenge him, and based on these performances, Pattinson may be the ideal choice for The Dark Knight.
This new direction began around 2012, the year Pattinson said goodbye to Twilight in Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Rather than look for the next blockbuster, he chose to collaborate with director David Cronenberg on Cosmopolis, playing a detached billionaire travelling across New York in his limousine. This unusual meditation on wealth and privilege divided critics, but most agreed it showed a different side to Pattinson; the potential to offer something different.
He would work again with Cronenberg on Hollywood dissection Maps To The Stars, and seemed to find a comfort in working with directors who pushed boundaries. He starred in Dutch director Anton Corbijns Life, playing a photographer who spends time with James Dean (Dane Dehaan), wandered through a dystopian Australia in David Michôds The Rover, and wowed festival audiences everywhere as a desperate criminal in The Safdie Brothers Good Time. That last role in particular showed his ability to play someone who is dangerous, intelligent, and manipulative, with one review comparing his work to Al Pacino.
In a short amount of time, Pattinson has established himself as an actor who can be stretched under the right direction.
French director Claire Denis was unsure of casting him in this months High Life, fearing he was too young, or too handsome to play the lead of a convict cast out into space. However, Pattinsons abilities won over the directors preconceptions to create a film that showcases the kind of talent that made Matt Reeves come calling.
Pattinson has spent a few years showing that there is more to him than one role, and a study of those roles should be enough to convince most that he is a more than suitable choice for Bruce Wayne.
Still not convinced? It might be helpful to remember that Batman has a history with casting controversies. Its apt that next month marks the 30th anniversary of Tim Burtons Batman, which itself was embroiled in a pre-internet uproar when Michael Keaton was cast in the lead. Up to that point, Keaton was best known for comedies such as Mr. Mom, Johnny Dangerously, and Beetlejuice.
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