How Robert Pattinson Beat Nicholas Hoult to Play ‘The Batman’

     June 4, 2019

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We now have a new Batman, and it’s Robert Pattinson, which is an exciting choice. He’s young (although slightly older than Christian Bale when he became Batman), he’s taken his career in an interesting direction by working with indie auteurs, and he should bring something unique to the role. A new report in THR says that the casting process, compared to other major superhero characters, was relatively smooth since The Batman writer-director Matt Reeves had a clear idea of who he wanted for the part when writing the script. The choice came down to Pattinson and Nicholas Hoult since Reeves was going towards the younger side of the character:

He is written as around 30 years old, and the story is neither another re-hashing of his origin nor the tale of a seasoned crimefighter ruling Gotham City. He is Bruce Wayne still trying to find his footing on his way to becoming the genius detective.

If I don’t have to see Bruce Wayne’s parents gunned down in an alley again, The Batman will already be a victory.

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Image via Sundance

Although other names were rumored for the role, Pattinson and Hoult became the chief contenders for the part and during the week of May 20th, both came into Burbank to test for the role:

Pattinson and Hoult put on a suit from a previous Batman movie, as has become customary in the Bat-test process. (Christian Bale, before landing Batman Begins, performed his test in the suit used by Val Kilmer in 1995’s Batman Forever, for instance.) Did they embody the character? How did their eyes look and act? Is there a specialness to them? Those were the questions Reeves and the studio wanted answered.

 

“(Reeves) wanted very specific things,” says one insider. “He knew what he was looking for.”

 

Reeves and Warners execs took the week after Memorial Day to deliberate their choices, and by Thursday night, made the calls to the actors. The Batman who would lead the studio into the 2020s had been found.

While I prefer Pattinson to Hoult for Batman, I think they’re both terrific actors, and the good news here is that they’re both going to be fine. Hoult, who was robbed of a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination last year for The Favourite, isn’t going anywhere just because he didn’t get cast as Batman. And as for Pattinson, he has a new franchise riding on his shoulders, but I think he’s more than up to the task.

The Batman opens June 25, 2021.

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