Fans of the Batman franchise have been dreaming of a modern day Robin in the Bat family ever since the passing of actor Michael Keaton in June 2013. Since then, rumors have swirled that Warner Bros. is hoping to find a new actor to take the place of Burt Ward’s son, Michael, and his performance as the legendary caped crusader.

While there has been no official confirmation, several credible sources have hinted that the studio is currently in talks with Twilight star Robert Pattinson to play the Dark Knight.

Pattinson was famously photographed in character as Robin while on holiday in Italy in the summer of 2014 and again in November of that year in France. He has also been spotted wearing the red-white-and-black Robin costume in Mexico City and Punta Mita, Texas.

The decision by Warner Bros. to consider someone already well-established in popular culture for the role of the Dark Knight is a clear indication that they are confident that Pattinson is the man for the job. If confirmed, this would mark the second time that Ward’s son has donned the cowl of the Caped Crusader. His portrayal of Robin in the 1960s film series is still considered one of the greatest characterizations of the character.

Why Robert Pattinson?

For years, Warner Bros. has been searching for a new actor to play the Dark Knight and have finally found their man in Robert Pattinson.

The English actor is one of the most successful pop stars of the 21st century. He rose to fame with the Twilight movie series and has remained a household name ever since. He is also known for his music video appearances and is generally considered to be one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. He even turned down a role in the new James Bond film to focus on his education and to prepare for the role of the Dark Knight.

Pattinson’s gritty look and intense on-screen presence make him the perfect fit for the role of the Dark Knight. He would be the first English actor to play the pivotal role and it would mark a significant shift in tone for the Dark Knight franchise. While it is too early to tell, the early buzz surrounding Pattinson’s casting suggests that he will be embraced by fans of the Batman franchise as Chris Nolan’s replacement.

When Is The Possible Release Date For The Batman Reboot?

With Batman being one of the most popular and iconic superheroes of all time, it is no wonder that Warner Bros. would like to bring him back for another go-around. However, this may not be possible without first finding a new actor to play the titular role. While fans have been waiting patiently for a new Batman ever since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, it appears that this may not happen for at least a couple of years.

According to reports from Variety and other reputable news outlets, Warner Bros. is currently in talks with Twilight star Robert Pattinson to play the Dark Knight.

The two parties are said to be close to completing the deal and the deal itself is expected to be announced as soon as this week. If this rumor turns out to be true, it will be several more years before fans can see Batman on the big screen again.

What About Casting For Other Characters?

While the casting of Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight is a huge coup for Warner Bros., it appears that they are not stopping there. The studio is now reportedly in talks with Twilight co-star and producer Peter Rice to play the lead in their upcoming film The Batman. While this would mark the second time that Rice has played a role in the Batman franchise (he previously starred as Harvey Dent), it would be his first role as The Batman.

Rice’s name was among those mentioned as a possible successor to Michael Keaton in 2013 and now, with the actor’s confirmation that he will be playing the Caped Crusader, it appears that his name has been added to the ever-growing list of potential replacements.

This isn’t the first time that Warner Bros. has considered Rice for a role in their cinematic universe. Back in 2011, the studio offered him the part of Bruce Wayne, the billionaire patriarch of the Batman family, but he declined the offer to focus on producing. While his involvement with the upcoming The Batman is still unknown, this would mark the first time that he has been courted for a leading role after such a long hiatus.

What Would Make For A More Authentic Batman?

With Robert Pattinson now confirmed to play the role of the Dark Knight, it seems that Warner Bros. is looking for a younger, hipper version of the character. While Michael Keaton’s Batman was the definition of cool, his aged appearance in later films did not exactly match his screen persona. In 2016, Christian Bale will turn 59 years old which will make him the second oldest actor to ever play the role (behind Jimmy Dean who was 60 when he portrayed the character).

Bale’s age and his grumpy-looking alter-ego will help create some interesting storytelling opportunities as the Joker awaits his final confrontation with the Dark Knight.

To create a more authentic incarnation of Batman, Warner Bros. may decide to entirely recast the role. While they could look into the possibility of using CGI to help create an actor’s mask of Bale’s face, the most authentic solution would be to find a younger actor to play the part.

One name that has been bandied about as a possible successor to Bale is Brooklyn actor Will Smith. Smith would be an ideal fit as he is already established in Hollywood and readily available for any type of role. While Smith has not been in any Batman films, he did play mentor to a young Kal-El in 2015’s Man of Steel. Smith has also been mentioned as a possible Flash actor and is said to be in the mix for a role in the upcoming Ocean’s 8.

Another name that has been mentioned as a possible contender for the role is 22-year-old British actor Henry Cavill. Cavill has been acting for a decade but has only recently started gaining traction in Hollywood. He is known for his work in The Witcher and Batman Begins, among other films. While Cavill is an incredible talent, his biggest claim to fame may be that he is the younger brother of actor William Cavill who plays the part of Superman.

Like Smith, Henry Cavill is another English actor who often portrays bad guys in movies. While Smith usually plays a colorful and interesting character, even Cavill’s characters are considered to be unique and interesting. He is certainly one to keep an eye on and may be the answer to Warner Bros.’ search for the Next Batman.

Who Do You Think Will Play The Joker?

While there are no confirmed names yet for the other members of the Batman rogues’ gallery, several famous faces have been mentioned as possible replacements for the Joker. These include Tom Hardy, Jared Leto, and Joaquin Phoenix.

Hardy is one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood today with roles in the upcoming Venom, the highly-anticipated Batman sequel, and the quirky comedy Keaton. He has also been mentioned as a possible Joker for the upcoming Suicide Squad and is in demand for any type of role. Leto recently closed out 2013 with a major role in the upcoming film Dallas Buyers Club as well as in two other films, Life and Nightcrawler. He is currently filming the anticipated adaptation of The Wolfman for director Michael Fassbender. Lastly, Joaquin Phoenix recently wrapped production on the upcoming Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime.

With so much attention paid to the casting of the next Batman, it is important to remember that there are still roles available in the greater cinematic universe. The fate of many famous fictional characters hangs in the balance as we await word on who will play the next Dark Knight.