Ever since director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises was released in 2012, fans have been eagerly awaiting the next installment in the Batman franchise. With 2020 coming up, rumors have been swirling that Warner Bros. is eyeing a 2021 release date for Batman 23.

While there has been no solid confirmation that this is actually happening, it’s no secret that actor Robert Pattinson and director Nicholas Hoult are among the frontrunners to take on the role of Batman. The Hollywood trade paper Daily News has reported that both stars are frontrunners to play Batman for the 2021 movie. It’s currently unknown which of the two will ultimately end up with the role.

Robert Pattinson

The first reported sighting of Robert Pattinson as Batman was back in 2015 when he was photographed wearing a blue shirt with the iconic bat signal on the front. He has since then sported various versions of the iconic Batman costume. In a recent interview with GQ, the Twilight star said he would be open to the role of Batman but noted he would need to read the script first. He also pointed out that the actor playing Harvey Dent would be crucial to his decision.

“I love Christian Bale’s performance as Harvey Dent, but let’s be honest: He’s not a spring chicken any more,” Pattinson said. “I’d like to play Batman now. Is it possible? Who knows? But if it is, it would be an amazing opportunity.”

Nicholas Hoult

While it hasn’t been confirmed that filmmaker Nicholas Hoult will direct Batman 23, it’s clear that he has the talent for the job. The actor played Bruce Wayne’s older brother Richard in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, and he went on to play the lead role of Johnny in season two of the critically acclaimed series, The Neapolitan Ice Cream Shop. He most recently starred in and co-produced the dark comedy series Game Over, Vic. As with Pattinson, Hoult is also a strong contender to play Batman in the 2021 movie. In August of this year, he told Dazed that he had yet to read the script for Batman 23 but that he would do so soon. Hoult has previously expressed interest in playing the role of the Caped Crusader.

“I always wanted to play Batman, actually…[but] I didn’t want to ruin my voice. I was already doing a lot of press for Game Over, Vic when I was approached about playing Batman,” Hoult said. “I wasn’t sure what role I’d be given, but I had a great time making that movie. I think it’s an underrated comedy.”

It’s interesting to note that both of these A-listers are considered frontrunners given that they are not the only famous men who have expressed interest in playing Batman. Back in October 2019, Dave Bautista, who played Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said that he would be open to the role of Batman: “I would play Batman. I like the character,” Bautista said. “I haven’t read the script yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be good. I’d love the chance to play Batman. I think it would be a lot of fun. It’s a shame they didn’t give him a spinoff movie or TV series. That would have been pretty cool.”

While most famous for his acting, Dave Bautista is also a talented singer and songwriter. In fact, he released a self-titled album in 2019 that reached number three on the Billboard Top Hard Rock albums chart.

Bautista’s latest comments echo those of actor/rapper Jay Ellis. In September of this year, Ellis told TMZ that he would not mind playing Batman either.

“I would love to play Batman. That’s one of the coolest characters ever,” Ellis said. “I’ve always wanted to play him. I think it’s a lost cause, though. No one’s ever going to give me the opportunity.”

Warner Bros. has yet to make a decision about who they will cast in the role of Batman in 2021. It wouldn’t be a bit surprising if they went with either of these two talented men to highlight their comeback following the pandemic. What do you think?