While the world was busy focused on the release of the most recent installment of the popular Batman series, Dont Be Tardy, it was an exciting time for fans of the caped crusader. Not only had we just witnessed the release of one of the most anticipated films of the year, but it was also rumored that one of the stars, Robert Pattinson, had turned down a role in The Godfather in order to play Batman.

Well, it’s time to put that rumor to rest. Did Pattinson bulk up to play Batman? Let’s examine the evidence.

The Evidence

First off, the fact that the rumor even made it to the surface is evidence enough that it’s not true. Hollywood is a town full of opportunists who seize on any opportunity to make a quick buck. The fact that so many people, even those in the industry, believed this particular story reflects the level of absurdity that surrounds celebrity in our society.

Now, let’s examine the facts. The first thing we need to address is the actor’s physical appearance. Pattinson has indeed gotten heavier since his appearance in Twilight, but we’re not just talking about a few pounds. According to fansite Perez Hilton, Pattinson has put on some serious weight in order to play Batman. Here’s what he had to say about it:

I did a lot of press for [Dont Be Tardy] and, um, I kind of gained some weight for that movie. And I know [The Joker actor] Joaquin [Pacheco] and [The Batman director] Matt [Damon] were like, ‘Dude, you gotta get rid of that weight.’ I was like, ‘I’ll try. I’ll lose the weight. I don’t need to be doing this.’ But, you know, for some reason when I showed up at the set – because we were shooting on a soundstage, so there was no way even for me to be mistaken for Bruce Wayne – I just felt really fat. And I think that if you’re going to play a superhero you need to have a little more of that superhero look about you. So, I think I just needed to put on some weight. I don’t know. Maybe it was to play Batman!

Also worth mentioning is the fact that several other stars turned down the opportunity to play Batman before Pattinson. The most notable being Michael Keaton, who played the Dark Knight in Batman and The Dark Knight Rises. Keaton turned down the role three times before agreeing to do it in the third and final installment, The Dark Knight Rises. It’s also been mentioned that the same went for Adam West, who played Batman on The 1960s TV show before becoming a bit player in Batman Returns and Dark Knight Rises. So, it seems that, in fact, three actors were turned down by Warner Bros. to play Batman before Pattinson.

The next thing we need to address is Pattinson’s acting skills. Let’s examine the evidence. First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that the rumor surfaced after the premiere of Dont Be Tardy. It’s also important to remember that prior to Dont Be Tardy, the actor had never really done much more than starring roles in low-budget indie films. So, it’s not like he was experienced or well-trained as an actor when he got the call to play Batman. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that he is an actor and therefore he is aware of the acting process and the various techniques employed by the professionals.

So, what did he do to prepare for the role? Well, he reportedly immersed himself in studying Batman’s comics, speaking with fans about the character and even getting a tattoo of The Dark Knight’s symbol on his arm.

Now, it’s important to remember that tattoos aren’t a sure fire way to determine whether or not an actor was actually fatter than usual for a role. Tattoos can be removed or covered up with makeup in post-production. In the meantime, people will often confuse the ink with makeup or powder and not realize that the actor had gained weight for the role. Still, the fact that he got a tattoo of The Dark Knight’s symbol on his arm is significant because it shows that he was consciously trying to immerse himself in the part. He wasn’t just going through the motions or relying on luck or chemistry with his co-star to make him look like Batman.

The Rationale

There are a few reasons why this rumor persists even up to this day. First off, the fact that people are still talking about it shows that it’s still hot news despite its ten-year-old origins. It also speaks to the unique level of absurdity that exists in the world of celebrity and fandom. Still, it might be a smart move for the actor. Now that he’s gotten the role, he might have made a strategic decision to keep the rumors about his weight gain alive in order to drum up interest in The Batman. It might be a smart move to capitalize on his association with the character now that he’s played him in Dont Be Tardy and The Joker. He could also choose to keep the weight gain a secret until the movie’s premiere if he so chooses. If he gets some positive press coverage for The Batman, it could give him a leg up on the competition for the small role of The Penguin in The Dark Knight Rises, which he’s currently mulling over. Or, he could make The Batman a springboard to more interesting parts, which might mean more money and critical acclaim. We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for Pattinson.