When Robert Pattinson became the new Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, people couldn’t believe their eyes. After all, he was the ultimate outsider. Never had someone with such a dark complexion been cast in the iconic superhero role. However, after a few months of filming, the actor behind the cowl decided to scrap the superhero persona and embrace the darkness that he is best known for.

While it’s always exciting when a renowned actor decides to get involved in a new project, this particular move proved to be a major misstep. Pattinson’s willingness to experiment with his own look, which saw him dye his hair a different color each week, ultimately proved to be a huge stumbling block. Fans quickly became frustrated with the actor and his constant changes, especially once he started sporting shorter, choppier hair. The backlash caused a major rift between the actor and his legion of fans, leading to a period of intense speculation as to whether or not he would return to the role.

Fortunately, it seems as though Pattinson has returned to his senses. Two months after ditching the superhero role, he surprised fans by announcing his undying love for the character he once pretended to despise. This announcement came as part of an open letter published in response to a fan who had criticized him for not being “realistic” enough about the superhero business.

“I am realistic enough to know that sometimes the character you love the most in the world can still hurt you,” he wrote. “When I finally decided to walk away from Batman, I felt like it was the end of an era. I could never fully portray the dark night fights you guys love, but I still love you guys.”

The actor has subsequently returned to the role, this time with a newfound maturity. Instead of putting on a fake British accent or dyeing his hair a different color, he has embraced the fact that he isn’t your average superhero, and has taken the time to develop a more realistic approach to the character. He now sees his role as “a fight for survival,” and has worked hard to ensure that his acting matches this new take on the character. With filming recently wrapping up, it’s now time to dive into how Robert Pattinson actually landed in the role of Batman, and why he decided to scrap his previous work.

Robert Pattinson’s Early Days

The son of a British father and a French mother, Robert Pattinson first gained widespread fame as a teen heartthrob. The British actor was born in London in 1982, and became an overnight sensation as the lead in the cult classic film, Legend. This was followed by a string of successful projects featuring alongside Keanu Reeves and Angelina Jolie, and the critically acclaimed music video for the band, Foo Fighters, “Heart & Mind.”

The actor followed this up with roles in films like The Rover, Twilight, and Snow White and the Huntsman. He also had a small role in Avengers: Age of Ultron as the clone named Quicksilver, which was his first major appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This led to him shooting to fame as the next Batman in early 2016. However, despite his Hollywood status, the actor has always maintained that he has “never really felt comfortable” in Hollywood. He sees himself more as a “Homer,” and has expressed a desire to return to his artistic roots. This is why, even as a teenager, he chose to pursue a career in music, and formed a band with his good friend, the guitarist, Tyler Bates. They called themselves, “The Twilight Sad,” after the novel they were basing their sound on. The band released three critically acclaimed albums before breaking up in 2009. But even after the group disbanded, Robert still had his heart set on music. He formed a new band with two of his closest friends, the cellist, Amber Mark, and the drummer, Jason Schwartzman. Together, they are called, “Pattinson Brown.” The band released their debut album, In the River, in 2015, and are currently touring supporting the album.

The Inspiration For The Role Of Batman

In regards to why he chose to play Batman, Robert Pattinson has said:

“It’s like choosing to be a vampire. The part that attracted me to the character was his loneliness. I wanted to bring that loneliness. I wanted to bring that sense of wanting to be alone, and not wanting anyone around you.”

This is a sentiment that Zack Snyder, the film’s director, has also echoed. As he said in an interview with Radio.com:

“I think that when you’re talking about Batman, you’re talking about a character who is alone, who doesn’t trust people, and who fights criminals, and sometimes fights the police, because they think that he’s a criminal too. So, he has a bit of a lonely life. I think that alone-ness is what attracted Robert Pattinson to the character in the first place.”

With so much talk of loneliness and isolation, it’s easy to see how this character could resonant with the actor. Pattinson has also cited Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream, as his inspiration for the role.

The painting is a depiction of a man in a state of anxiety and agony. The character in the film is also very much a product of his time, and embodies many of the social issues that existed in the modern era. He is an extremely intelligent, highly educated man, whose brain has become over-stimulated from studying crime scenes and analyzing computer data. The character, like Munch’s iconic figure, has his eye on the world, but is never truly content. He is driven by a need to know more and find answers. Because of this, he has developed a fear of being alone, which causes him to lash out against people whenever he feels threatened or insecure. He has an entire team of intelligent advisers, who help him navigate this world, but even they can’t entirely calm his anxiety. It’s a role that has truly fascinated me.

Why Did Robert Pattinson Play Batman In The First Place?

The biggest question surrounding this role is whether or not Pattinson was ever actually going to play Batman. When casting for the film, the producers originally wanted to ask Leonardo DiCaprio if he would be interested in playing the role. However, after learning that the actor was never going to commit, they decided to go with the next best thing. They thought that Pattinson would be a perfect fit for the role, and they were right. Even as a teenager, Robert Pattinson was always fascinated by psychological quirks and disorders. This is evident in his previous projects, where he has explored topics relating to Borderline Personality Disorder in his interviews with Vanity Fair. The discussion of mental health disorders is a major component of the story, and makes the character more relatable to audiences. While the original ending of the film was going to be a bit more conventional, with Superman and Batman facing off, a lot of emphasis was placed on the characters’ psychological makeup, and this made it an important factor in choosing this project over any other.

Even at the time, director Zack Snyder admitted that there were “a lot of crazy ideas” that helped shaped this version of Batman. And, indeed, many of them came from very unexpected places. First, he wanted to change the setting of the film from contemporary times to the 70s, when many of Batman’s most famous stories came from. This was a decision that came directly from Snyder’s love for the ‘70s, and his desire to “reinvent” the character, as he put it. It also helped establish a clear link to the films of the ‘70s, which showcased the character in a whole new light. The decision to change the setting is perhaps the most unexpected factor in this whole situation.

The director has also said that he wanted the film to examine “the psychology of conflict,” which is why the two heroes are portrayed as polar opposites. This can be seen in the writing for the film, which pits these two men, who are both intelligent, highly educated, and driven men, against one another. The contrast in their personalities, and the fact that they both decide to become heroes at the same time, makes for a compelling story, and one that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.