Robert Pattinson is currently promoting The Lighthouse, which opens in theaters on October 18, and in an interview with Variety, the Twilight actor talks about landing the role of The Batman and putting on the Batsuit.
He told the trade that when he was a kid, the Batsuit was the only costume he had, but he wouldn’t reveal where he used to wear it. “If I actually said it in an interview, I would definitely have a lot of abuse afterwards. If I successfully play the character, I can say it at the end.”
He said he had been chasing the role for a while. “I’d had Batman in my mind for a while. It’s such an absurd thing to say. I sort of had an idea to do it, and I’d been prodding [director Matt Reeves]. He didn’t accept any prods. I kept asking to meet him.” Reeves finally agreed to a meeting in Los Angeles. “And then I had to kind of try to imagine what he’d written, and I hadn’t even read the script. I’d come with this pad full of notes.”
Pattinson also talked about the online backlash he received when he was cast, turning it into a positive. “To be honest, it was less vitriolic than I was expecting. It’s much more fun when you’re an underdog. There’s no expectation of you.”
In the final phase of the auditions, he tried on the Batsuit. “It’s maybe the craziest thing I’ve ever done in terms of movie stuff,” he said. “I put it on. I remember saying to Matt, ‘It does feel quite transformative!’ He was like, ‘I would hope it does! You’re literally in the Batsuit.’” He added: “You do feel very powerful immediately. And it’s pretty astonishing, something that is incredibly difficult to get into, so the ritual of getting into it is pretty humiliating. You’ve got five people trying to shove you into something. Once you’ve got it on, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I feel strong, I feel tough, even though I had to have someone squeezing my butt cheeks into the legs.’”
“You’re trying to think of the way to balance, how to bring something new to it and not want to scare people off,” Pattinson said about the role. “And work in the confines of the costume.” And why did the role appeal to him? “It’s actually an interesting part,” he says. “I think it’s because he doesn’t have any superpowers.”
When he was cast, he actually got to ask Christopher Nolan all kinds of questions, as he was shooting the filmmaker’s new film, Tenet. “It’s so bizarre. I was like, ‘What a coincidence this is happening. It’s absolutely crazy. I was talking about things to do with the Batsuit. How to get more movements in it.”
The actor wouldn’t say whether he’s committed to additional Batman movies for now. “I don’t know anything. I’ve got an idea how to do about four scenes, and then I’m working on the rest gradually.”
Warner Bros. Pictures has set a June 25, 2021 release date for the film. The comic book adaptation is expected to start filming in early 2020. Reeves will also produce The Batman with his Planet of the Apes collaborator Dylan Clark.
Matt Reeves previously talked about the film. “It’s 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 than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”
The film won’t be an adaptation of Batman: Year One. “We’re not doing any particular [comic],” Reeves also said. “Year One is one of the many comic books that I love. We are definitely not doing Year One. It’s just exciting to be focused very specifically on a tale that is defining for him and very personal to him. Obviously we’re not doing an origin tale or anything like that. We’re doing a story that is definitively Batman though and trying to tell a story that’s emotional and yet is really about him being the world’s greatest detective and all the things that for me, since I was a kid, made me love Batman.”