What does it take to play Batman? Early word has Robert Pattinson cast as the younger Caped Crusader for Matt Reeves' The Batman. While that hasn't been confirmed, it also hasn't stopped movie fans from commenting on Pattinson's merits. Most of the conversation has followed his acting in various films, with detractors often (but not always) mentioning Twilight, and his supporters pointing out the many other roles he's played.
But what about his physical features? To Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson has the key attribute on that front.
Right now, Robert Pattison is co-starring with Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse, a black-and-white horror film that just opened to raves and awards at the Cannes Film Festival. While Dafoe was interviewed about the movie, he was asked to react to the idea of Pattinson as the new Batman. Here's Dafoe's take:
Listen, sure, why not? Why not? 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!
Sold! But seriously, is that the main criteria to be a good Batman -- a strong chin?
Looking back at past Batmans from Adam West and Michael Keaton to Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck -- they do seem to have good chins. A certain jawline does seem to be required, since the cowl covers everything but your mouth and chin. I would also argue that the Batman voice is essential. I'm not down for an overly growly Batman voice, if the actor does not naturally have a voice that low. Don't force it or you sound cartoonish.
Speaking of Willem Dafoe, though, the man knows from superhero movies. He's a great example for Robert Pattinson in how to balance indie films like The Lighthouse and superhero movies like Spider-Man (Norman Osborn) and Aquaman (Vulko).
During the rest of his talk with Variety, Willem Dafoe mentioned that he and "Rob" Pattinson work and rehearse very differently, which may have led to some creative tension on The Lighthouse set. No personal tension, he emphasized, but they didn't hang out or anything.
The Lighthouse sounds like it was an intense shoot in general, and Robert Pattinson said he came the closest he ever had to punching a director when filming a particularly drenching scene. Pattinson seems to approach his roles with a lot of intensity, and that should help if he does end up playing Bruce Wayne in The Batman.
So far, The Lighthouse has earned rave reviews, with a current rating of 100% from 31 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. There's no release date yet, beyond the recent Cannes premiere, but it's another intriguing project for Robert Pattinson's eclectic filmography, which may or may not also include The Batman in 2021.