Considering the length of time Matt Reeves has spent writing The Batman, and the stakes involved for Warner Bros. in getting this movie just right, you’d think the casting process would also be a meticulous process. But nope. Apparently, it went pretty damn fast and I guess we should’ve guessed that when a decision to cast Robert Pattinson was made on the same day he went in for screen testing. Now a new report from THR reveals further details on the biggest casting move to hit Hollywood since…well, since Ben Affleck was in the Bat-suit.
Turns out, all of those rumors of Armie Hammer and Jack O’Connell being up for the role were a bunch of bullshit. The only two actors who were really in contention were Pattinson and Nicholas Hoult, who have been in the running throughout Reeves’ scripting process. We know they were both at those screen tests, where they followed the usual process of trying on a previously-used Batman costume, although we don’t know which one. I hope it was the one with Bat-nipples.
Prior to that, both actors had met with Reeves to discuss the role and signed pre-negotiated deals so the decision-making process could be solely about the performance. Reeves poured over both actors’ prior performances, and although Hoult had previous superhero experience as part of the X-Men franchise, it was Pattinson’s disconnect from the genre that won him the job. It didn’t hurt that Reeves apparently took to his work on Good Time, which is the film most reference when making the case for Pattinson.
When it came down to making the call, the whole thing went “quicker than normal” according to a source close to the situation. I’m surprised to hear that, and hope Warner Bros. has made the smart call. There’s already a vocal group out there who don’t like the decision, but until we see Pattinson in action none of us can truly know how this will turn out. I’m open to being surprised and won over.
The Batman opens June 25th 2021.