Rumors have flown from the distant reaches of the internet that Robert Pattinson, the 28-year-old British actor who plays the Caped Crusader in the new Batman movie, will don the cape and cowl after all. Now, it seems, there is some serious chatter about him playing Batman in a live-action television series. Is this just a wild fantasy of a fan, or could it be true?
The actor himself has denied being involved in any such project, but his presence alone in the role of Batman has fueled speculation that he could be considering such a role. If you add in the possibility of him turning down the part once it’s explained to him, then it becomes clear that this wasn’t just idle chatter.
And if it’s not going to be Batman, then who will it be?
The Top Options For Role
With the Caped Crusader movie franchise firmly planted in cinematic history, it’s only natural for fans to start wondering about a possible solo Batman movie. Never mind that it would be the first standalone Batman film since George Clooney’s Under the Red Hood in 2009, which in turn was based on Batman: Knight Without Armour from way back in 1986. (The Dark Knight Rises, the most recent part in the trilogy, came out last year.)
However, aside from just playing Batman, the actor’s schedule is already fairly packed. Not only does he have a key role in the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong movie, but he’s also due to start filming a role in M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass on October 23rd.
While it would be easy for the A-list actor to play a supporting role in another movie, it seems like he’s more than happy to take on the biggest characters. Perhaps sensing a trend, Warner Bros. has already begun setting up meetings with the actor to discuss playing a key role in the highly-anticipated Aquaman movie, due out in December of 2022.
But, even if he weren’t committed to other projects, it’s still not easy to fathom what role would suit Pattinson best. For one, he’s quite young to play Batman, and even if he wants to, he probably can’t handle the physical demands of the role. (Though he does look the part; the actor sported a pretty good approximation of the caped crusader’s outfit in the most recent Batman-themed issue of Vanity Fair.)
Meanwhile, it’s been established that Matt Lanning will play the adult version of Robin—the Boy Wonder—in the upcoming solo Batman movie. So, while it would be cool to see Lanning donning the Robin outfit, it’s not all that practical. (Though the actor did play a young Robin in the 2015 Batman movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.)
So, what would playtest best for Pattinson? Before we get to that, let’s take a look at some of the biggest potential roles he could play.
Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? After all, the actor is quite talented and has played several key roles in well-known films. A solo outing for the superhero could easily happen, considering how great he is at portraying someone with extraordinary capabilities. And, again, the part would suit his looks perfectly.
Pattinson already has experience playing the role, having portrayed Victor “Ironman” Ironsides in the 2010 animated adaptation of The Ironman. (Ironsides was created by writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Mario Albert. He first appeared in the comics in 1981 and was later voiced by Ted McGinley in the animated version.)
The movie marked a breakthrough for the actor, who had mostly played smaller roles up until that point, and it was followed by a string of critical and commercial successes. (Including, most recently, the Dark Phoenix.) Playing a Marvel superhero in an adaptation is a pretty good indicator that he can handle any role that comes his way, so it’s not like there’s any doubt that he could pull off Ironman. (Though we’re still waiting for that Dark Phoenix adaptation…)
We’re going a little off-topic now, but it’s necessary to set the stage for what’s coming next. Besides, it’s time for another all-purpose question: What do you get when you cross a riddle with a mystery box?
The Tumbler, that’s what. A mystery box that can be transformed into a small vehicle. The riddle part comes from the fact that its creator, Bob’s Burgers, hides a small toy car inside. When the box is opened, a tiny replica of the car with the distinguished grill marks on its hood springs forward.
Like with all things mechanical, there’s always the fear that the novelty won’t wear off, that it will get old and obsolete. (Though that wouldn’t stop people from wanting a new one when a new version comes out.)
It’s difficult to assign a rating to The Tumbler, since it falls into the kid’s categories. However, if we had to guess, we’d say it’s probably around the same level of excitement as a crossbow or a lightsaber. (Though not as powerful as a fully-automatic grenade launcher or a bazooka.)
We come back to earth now, with a role that is perhaps a little less obvious, but still pretty cool: zookeeper. Yes, as in, keeping animals as pets. (Though we’re not talking about the kind that wear shoes.)
It’s not that this role hasn’t been played before; in fact, it’s one of the most common jobs a young actor could have. (Though it probably doesn’t get nearly as much screen time as it should, since it’s pretty clear we are talking about animals here.)
But, again, this is something new for him. Aside from a brief appearance in the 2006 movie Surfers, a beachside drama about rival summer camps who harbor a secret desire to rule the waves, there’s little to no experience with animals. (Though he did work with a snake named Cobra during the filming of Waterworld in 1995.)
So what would make this role special? Well, there’s not a whole lot of experience keeping exotic animals as pets. Sure, you could always hire someone who’s done it before and has the necessary experience. But it’s not always possible to find a skilled animal attendant who’s also available and affordable.
Thus, it’s up to the actor to bring that experience to bear in a pinch. Sure, he’d have to get trained to handle specific animals. But given his previous work, it’s unlikely he’d have any trouble making the transition. (Though there are some exotic pets that he might not even be able to keep. Like, say, a Komodo dragon.)
Speaking of getting trained, this could be the role that requires the most preparation. After all, the actor would have to prepare a story to tell, using words. That’s not really that easy. (Though it probably shouldn’t be; getting a story narrated by the creator of The Daily Show might be a bit much.)
But, beyond just the words, there’s the matter of the delivery. You can’t just tell a story; you have to be able to pull it off, using a variety of inflections and emphases to lend it weight.
There are a number of roles that could use that particular skill set; perhaps the most obvious being Batman. (Though the role of Alfred could also work, since he has to explain some of Batman’s capabilities to the audience.)
If there’s one area that could use some improvement, it’s the actor’s voice. At least, as far as inflection is concerned. But that’s probably a good thing, too. It might not be the most comfortable experience for an audience to listen to a storyteller with an unemotional voice. (Though it might be a good test of a listener’s attention. If you can pull that off, you’ve got yourself a pretty decent narrator.)
If you thought that was a mouthful, you’re in for a real whopper. We’ll give you a moment to take a break while we prepare for the moment of truth.
Hollywood Hulk is a portmanteau of Hollywood and Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk. It’s not that the role has never been performed before—in fact, it was most recently portrayed by Andre Benjamin, in the 1997 science fiction thriller, Alien Hunter. (The monster movie was released in March of that year.)