Robert Pattinson: 6 Things You Need To Know About The Next Batman Actor

Robert Pattinson in Life

In May 2019, Warner Bros. confirmed that Robert Pattinson would be the latest actor to portray Bruce Wayne in director Matt Reeves’ upcoming DC movie reboot, The Batman. However, as it tends to happen with the announcement of new comic book movie, some Batman fans have had their reservations about the casting, primarily because one name on the actor's resume: Edward Cullen.

Now, as a lifelong fan of the Dark Knight, of course I have my opinions about who may or may not deserve to don the cape and cowl, but I have no personal issue with Robert Pattinson being next in line. Why? For one, based on the premature hate spewed at the likes of Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck when they were cast as Batman, I feel it is smart to reserve judgment until I see the finished product, and, secondly, in the years since he played a teenage vampire, the 33-year-old London native has taken on a wide variety of roles and turned in surprisingly layered performances that have me curious what he will bring the character of Bruce Wayne.

For those who may not know the actor very well, I have I have taken the liberty to construct a quick crash course in his life onscreen and off. The following list of facts will prove why Robert Pattinson is so much more than Twilight, starting with…

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in Twilight

Robert Pattison Is So Much More Than Twilight

If you have been following coverage of The Batman on social media, you have probably noticed more than enough fan responses expressing their disdain toward Matt Reeves for making the Caped Crusader a sparkly vampire. I should not even have to show you the recently released Batsuit test footage to prove why that joke referencing Robert Pattinson’s role as Edward Cullen in the films based on Stephenie Meyer’s book series is, not just drawn out, but flimsy. All I have to show you is the actor’s versatile filmography.

It was his role as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that got Robert Pattinson noticed as an emerging young talent in 2005, before the Twilight Saga made him a heartthrob in his 20s and led him to land such roles as Reese Witherspoon’s lover in Water for Elephants, a troubled billionaire in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Guy Pearce’s hostage in dystopian thriller The Rover, and others that continued to successfully challenge his range. 

If his recent turn in Robert Eggers’ disturbing period fantasy The Lighthouse was not enough to convince you Pattinson can hold his own in a thriller, his role in the Safdie Brother’s 2017 high-stakes adrenaline rush Good Time has to be the one to do it, unless it turns out to be his performance in Christopher Nolan’s mysterious upcoming thriller Tenet or as a preacher in The Devil All the Time, or something else mainstream audiences have yet to discover. The guy turned out to lead a pretty unpredictable track record, if only more people would notice.

Robert Pattinson in Good Time

Why Robert Pattinson’s Early Modeling Career Ended Abruptly

Growing as the youngest of three, Robert Pattinson expressed interest in performing from an early age, but before taking up acting, he got his start as model, with help from his modeling agent mother, Clare. Pattinson has cited his androgynous appearance at age 12 to be what earned him the gig, and loss of that feature that sealed its end. As he told the British magazine Closer,

When I first started I was quite tall and looked like a girl, so I got lots of jobs, because it was during that period where the androgynous look was cool. Then, I guess, I became too much of a guy, so I never got any more jobs. I had the most unsuccessful modeling career.

So, essentially, becoming too manly cost him an ongoing modeling career. However, he is probably not too angry about it looking back, considering his acting career had already began taking off after joining the Barnes Theater Company, which cast him in stage shows like Guys and Dolls, before making his screen debut in the German 2004 TV movie Curse of the Ring. Concurrently, he would gain interest in another art form.

Robert Pattinson in

Robert Pattinson Moonlights As A Musician

It is a little known fact among non-Robert Pattinson obsessives that the actor also dabbles in music, having learned to play guitar and piano around the same time his modeling career took off. He even contributed his musical talents to the 2008 comedy How to Be, playing an amateur musician, and the soundtrack of the first Twilight movie, for which he wrote and performed two tracks.

Apparently music runs in the family, too. While Robert Pattinson has denied rumors that he would pursue a career in music on the side, his older sister, Lizzy Pattinson, is a chart-topping artist who appeared as a participant on The X Factor and, like her brother, sang a song for Twilight, as well as its 2011 sequel, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1. There is no confirmation, however, if The Batman will feature any musical numbers for Pattinson or his sister to perform in.

Robert Pattinson seen in The Batman suit test footage

Why Robert Pattinson’s Choice To Play Batman Is Surprising

Speaking of The Batman, the news of him taking over as Gotham City’s protector after Ben Affleck’s exit was met with much surprise, including to Robert Pattinson himself, who told Esquire that he never thought “it was a realistic prospect.” The casting choice is especially unexpected when considering how candid he has been about his thoughts on big budget franchises. When speaking to ScreenDaily while promoting the adventure comedy Damsel at the Berlin Film Festival in 2018, he said:

The only reason why I’m cautious about big franchise things is you can’t make them ‘R rated’. It’s [also] the budget restrictions. If you have a really big budget, there’s more people on you saying: ‘you have to do it this way or you’re fired.’ Whereas if you keep a budget contained within a certain level, and people think they are okay getting their money back, then you can experiment more with your performance.

He makes a good point, but perhaps it was Warner Bros’ bold move to release more R-rated comic book films, such as the successful Joker and Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, that convinced Robert Pattinson to take plunge into the world of DC. It also suggests the possibility that audiences are in for the darkest take on Batman to hit the big screen yet.

Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse

Robert Pattinson Is Not One For Nicknames

I bet whoever came up with the nickname “Battinson” after Robert Pattinson was still just in talks to lead The Batman felt pretty proud of themselves, until the actor expressed his feelings over the punny moniker. When asked about it ET’s Ash Crossan, Pattinson replied that he preferred to avoid nicknames altogether. Thus, the reign of “Battinson,” “Patman,” or anything else the Twitterverse could come up with reached an abrupt end.

Robert Pattinson’s infamous aversion to nicknames actually dates back to the early days of his celebrity status. In 2012, while promoting The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, he told Today’s Savannah Guthrie that the commonly used “R-Patz,” which would eventually spawn “R-Batz” following the Batman casting, “sounds like an antacid tablet” and that he would be amazed to “figure out how to get rid of” it.

Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis

In Addition To Acting, Robert Pattinson Is Passionate About Helping Those In Need

Robert Pattinson’s turn as Batman marks his debut performance in a superhero movie. However, in real life, the actor is no stranger to committing heroic acts.

Outside of his movie career, Robert Pattinson is famous for his many philanthropic duties, having supported several known charities, including the American Foundation for AIDS Research and Stand Up To Cancer, to name a few. In 2015, he was named an ambassador for the GO Campaign, which is a nonprofit organization that benefits orphans and children suffering from poverty and other vulnerabilities from around the globe.

Whether or not his casting has you excited for Matt Reeves’ reimagining of Gotham City, you have to admit that when Robert Pattinson is passionate about something, be it acting, playing music, or philanthropy, it shows in his work. His passion for portraying Bruce Wayne will be proven upon the release of The Batman in 2021 and, until then, you can check back for updates on the film and its star here on CinemaBlend.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.