James Gunn Was Still Diligently Debunking Robert Pattinson Batman Rumors Right Before Superman Bombshell Broke

Although James Gunn has Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming out in a month and a half, his professional future beyond that is DC-focused. In addition to co-running DC Studios with Peter Safran, Gunn announced yesterday that he will direct Superman: Legacy, an upcoming DC movie he was already writing. However, right before that big news broke, Gunn carved out some time to debunk a rumor concerning Robert Pattinson’s Batman.

Although the Twilight star’s version of the Caped Crusader will not be part of the new DC Universe shared continuity, James Gunn is nonetheless involved with The Batman projects that Matt Reeves is spearheading. The next story up in that corner of the DC multiverse is The Penguin, the eight-episode TV series that HBO Max subscribers will be able to stream. Obviously Colin Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot is the lead of the show, but a tweet started making the rounds that although Robert Pattinson could appear as Bruce Wayne, viewers wouldn’t see him suit up as Batman due to the complicated TV rights surrounding Bruce’s masked persona. This resulted in Gunn debunking that claim on Twitter with the following:

This is not true.

James Gunn then clarified in another tweet that he was referring to the rights issues being incorrect, not that Robert Pattinson would appear in The Penguin. The original tweet Gunn responded to used a CBR article as its source, which claimed that “the TV rights for Batman are caught up in a legal limbo involving Fox, Disney and a trio of mergers.” Following Gunn’s response, the article was updated to remove the “inaccurate information about Batman's TV distribution rights.” Although TV shows like Gotham and Titans have featured actors playing Bruce Wayne as a civilian, Bruce dressed like Batman hasn’t been a leading character in a live-action TV show since the Adam West-led Batman series that ran from 1966 to 1968.

Just so we’re all on the same page, there’s no official indication that Robert Pattinson will appear in The Penguin, but if he did, James Gunn is saying that rights issues wouldn’t get in the way of the actor putting on the Batsuit again. Given that The Penguin takes place a week after the events of The Batman, Gotham City’s shadowy protector would still be a concern as Oswald Cobblepot looks to expand his criminal empire, but having Pattinson’s Batman as a major player in the story could draw too much attention away from Colin Farrell’s character. My guess is if we do see Batman in The Penguin, it’ll either be in a cameoing capacity or not until the last episode… maybe both!

Among the people who will be seeing alongside Colin Farrell in The Penguin are Crisin Milioti as Sofia Falcone, daughter of the late Carmine Falcone; Michael Zegen as Alberto Falcone, Carmine’s son; and Clancy Brown as Salvatore Maroni, a mob boss who was frequently mentioned in The Batman and is responsible for turning Harvey Dent into Two-Face in the comics. James Madio, Scott Cohen, Rhenzy Feliz, Michael Kelly, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Deidre O’Connell have been cast in undisclosed roles. All eight episodes were written by Lauren LeFranc.

The Penguin began filming at the beginning of March, and once it’s announced when the show will premiere on HBO Max, we’ll let you know. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other upcoming DC TV shows to keep an eye out for in the coming years. Also, don’t forget that The Batman: Part II is slated for October 3, 2025.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.