Award-winning horror writer Stephen King has had a lifelong love affair with comic books, and the Caped Crusader has been one of his favorite comic book characters since he was a child. Now that he’s back in a big way with the publication of his latest novel, ‘The Bazaar of Badalshire’, King is taking the opportunity to finally step into the shoes of one of his childhood heroes. While we’re still waiting for a full schedule of releases that will let us know what other characters he will be stepping into, we can at least look forward to one more installment in the Batman series. But who will be taking on the Dark Knight in 2021?

Well, according to a new report from Variety, one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation will once again don the cape and cowl at the end of this year: Robert Pattinson. The ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ and ‘Twilight’ star is in negotiations to headline Batman 2021, with filming set to begin in early 2021.

Although he has played Batman in two critically acclaimed films that have both become pop culture sensations, the opportunity to take on the role in live-action is said to have initially eluded Pattinson. The actor was considered too famous to play Batman and was initially offered the part in 2003’s ‘Batman Begins’ instead. When he turned it down, negotiations began for the next installment, which would turn out to be the most successful of the trilogy.

But it wasn’t just his starring in critically acclaimed films that made him an attractive candidate to play Batman. The 32-year-old British actor was also considered for the role of King Cole, the famous child artist who becomes the host of his own comic strip in ‘Dick Tracy’. He initially turned down the part, but after talks with the producers, he agreed to take it on in exchange for better billing and more screen time. In an interesting turn of events, Pattinson’s wife, Livia, will also have a supporting role in the movie as a lawyer who represents Cole in court. Although they have not officially confirmed the casting, the news was met with excitement from fans and media alike. Stephen King himself even mentioned Pattinson in a tweet, congratulating the actor on his new role and wishing him good luck.

In the decade since his portrayal of Batman in the ‘Twilight’ series, Pattinson has mostly remained a popular character actor, playing roles in blockbusters like ‘Finding Dory’ and animated films like ‘The Book of Life’. With the release of his novel ‘The Bazaar of Badalshire’ this year, fans might wonder if he’s finally found the right project to put him back on the map. In the book, King imagines a future where Batman and the Joker have formed an uneasy alliance to fight a common enemy: the government. While the book was not intended as a direct sequel to the Batman films, one can’t help but wonder if these are the kinds of stories that will encourage filmmakers to give the actor his old role back. Not to mention that his casting would provide some much-needed diversity in terms of race and gender, which have been woefully underrepresented in recent superhero films.

For his part, Pattinson has kept a relatively quiet career since his last turn as Batman. Over the years, he has mostly remained in the public eye, with a few notable exceptions. In 2016, he made headlines when he admitted to having a drink problem, which he later attributed to the rigorous filming schedule on the ‘Twilight’ series. He later took a step back from public life and dedicated himself to his family and his acting career. In a bizarre turn of events, Pattinson opened up to the press about his struggle with addiction, resulting in a wave of articles detailing his journey to sobriety.

But whatever the reason for his comeback, it’s clear that the 32-year-old actor is more than capable of tackling the most famous superhero on the big screen. With his starring role in the upcoming Batman series and the critical and commercial success of ‘The Bazaar of Badalshire’, the future looks very promising for the Caped Crusader.