In recent years, Robert Pattinson has really leaned in to his "prince of gritty indie dramas" persona and taken a step back from the blockbusters that made him a household name. He both surprised and delighted audiences with starring roles in the Safdie Brothers's Good Time, the Claire Denis space drama High Life (in which Pattinson also proves he's got some vocal chops by singing an original song), and the upcoming fantasy horror film The Lighthouse (for which he grew a handlebar mustache), for example.
But now, he's got one more role to add to his resume, and this time it absolutely does not fall under the arthouse umbrella. Per Variety, Pattinson is in talks to star as the next Batman in Matt Reeves’s film The Batman, due June 25, 2021.
If the deal goes through, Pattinson will be following in the footsteps of Ben Affleck, who most recently starred in the DC Comics film adaptations about Gotham's most famous superhero. When Affleck announced that he would be stepping down in January, we predicted that the new Batman would probably be an "Internet Boyfriend," but given Pattinson's hard earned arthouse credibility, it seemed unlikely to place him on the list as the next caped crusader. To his credit, Pattinson is already a certified heartthrob (if that's a prerequisite for this sort of thing) and has nailed the brooding rich kid act before (R.I.P. Cedric Diggory).
The original reports of Affleck's abdication of the role stated that Warner Bros. was looking for someone younger, and at 33 years old, Pattinson will be the second youngest actor to play Bruce Wayne on the big screen. (The youngest Batman was Christian Bale, who took on the role when he was just 31.) And say what you want about their performances as Batman, but there have been a few other established, appreciated, and popular actors who have taken on the role (Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Bale, to be exact), so despite Pattinson's development as an actor who seemingly only works with auteurs, perhaps he feels that now more than ever is an appropriate time to be Batman because a handful of very respected actors have played the character before.
According to the casting reports, Nicholas Hoult is another contender for the role, but it seems that the majority of the Internet (and not just the Twilight stans) is in full support of an RPatz Batman moment, with plenty of tweets calling him one of the most "underrated" actors in Hollywood today.