Filmmaker Christopher Nolan may have moved on from Batman, but the shadow of the Dark Knight was cast over his latest production Tenet, in the shape of Robert Pattinson, one of the leads in Nolan's new movie, who is also set to play Batman in Matt Reeves' upcoming trilogy. In an interview with The Irish Times, Pattinson recalled trying and completely failing to hide his audition for the role of the Caped Crusader from Nolan.
"It's funny because Chris is so secretive about everything to do with his movies. And then I had to be really secretive about Batman stuff. So I had to lie to Chris about having to go for a screen test - I said I had a family emergency. And as soon as I said 'it's a family emergency' he said: 'You're doing the Batman addition, aren't you?'"
Of course, as one of the biggest filmmaker in Hollywood, who also happens to be responsible for reinventing the live-action version of Batman for the modern era, Nolan would be well aware of the industry's process of finding a new Dark Knight, and the actors who were being looked at for being cast in the role. It is a testament to the filmmaker's keen eye for talent that he was already working with Pattinson before Hollywood saw the potential in the actor and cast him as The Batman.
Since Tenet is also an action-adventure movie and the first of its kind that Pattinson has ever done, he was able to use the experience filming the movie as a way to test his physical limits, and understand how far he had to go to physically embody a superhero. Pattinson's co-star John David Washinton proved to be a big help in that direction.
"When I'm running on screen I'm generally paired with John David who is an ex-NFL player so it was the most unfair thing in the world. The maximum workout I do most of the time is a casual stroll. John David can run all day long. It was good that I ended up being pretty fit. But definitely, at the beginning, there were days I just could not walk afterwards."
Another way Tenet helped Pattinson prepare for the world of Batman, and particularly being able to handle the Batmobile, was the training and work that went into filming a scene for Tenet that involved a very difficult car chase sequence where the actor had to do his own stunt work.
"There was a scene where we went about five miles of a freeway in Estonia with hundreds of cars. So John David gets in the passenger seat and Chris is like just follow the camera car. Take it easy the first time. John David turns to me and said: 'Are you like a really good driver or something. So I'm shitting myself as I'm whipping between cars at 80 miles an hour and Chris is behaving like this is completely normal."
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Tenet features a lead cast of Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branaugh, Dimple Kapadia, Martin Donovan, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Himesh Patel, Clémence Poésy, Denzil Smith and Michael Caine. The film will arrive in theaters in select U.S. cities Sept. 3. This news first appeared at Irish Times.