Variety has reported the shocking news that Robert Pattinson is the frontrunner to sink his broody vampire teeth into the role of Batman. Now, this isn't stirring up as much controversy as you might expect (angry fanboys are too busy filling out petitions at the moment), with some folks coming out saying they're now looking forward to the upcoming The Batman. And that's pretty understandable, given that casting Pattinson isn't actually some wild artistic choice. It's more like a callback to the good old days of Batman.
Pattinson, still best-known for getting your mom through her menopause by playing the vampiric equivalent of a pool boy, has been slaying it on the indie scene in the years since that franchise wrapped up. And if you look back at Batman movies, that's exactly the kind of actor that fares well as the character. Batman films have also managed to out-Tarantino Tarantino in making atypical casting choices that completely reshape people's perception of underrated actors. Remember, fans weren't too keen on the comedian from Mr. Mom playing the world's most serious superhero, or the pretty boy from A Knight's Tale playing the Joker. Yet both changed everyone's minds and gave career-defining performances -- something that must sound very appealing to the guy who's still getting his actor-pants pulled down for playing a sparkly vampire after ten years
But that's probably not what has got you irked about Pattinson playing Batman. What you're more likely thinking is "Ugh, another Batman?" And you can't be blamed for a little fatigue after 10 years of squinting at poorly lit fight scenes. But here's the thing: The Batman director/writer Matt Reeves agrees with you. That's why he has been sifting through the wreckage that was the all-singing, all-saddening Ben Affleck production of the next Batman in order to build it from the ground up into a whole different experience. The Batman will focus "more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films," with Pattinson having to rely more on his big brain than his big Batarang to get him out of trouble.
And a director known for making experimental semi-arthouse horror movies picking the most atypical actor he can find to make a noir story in order to change the public's jaded opinion of a cartoonish butt-kicker? Holy flawed perception of childhood nostalgia, Batman! That sure sounds pretty similar to the way Tim Burton's OG Batman crashed into the mainstream in 1989. So don't feel weird if Pattinson's Batman is actually you a bit excited, because there are plenty of reasons to believe it means the franchise is heading into the right direction -- which is pretty much any direction away from Affleck.
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