For most actors, getting to become The Batman would be a no-brainer. But Robert Pattinson is not most actors. After playing the lead in the blockbuster franchise Twilight, Pattinson made a conscious effort to move away from big-budget movies to focus on indie cinema and character-driven stories. In a recent interview with GQ, Pattinson revealed what it was about Batman that drew him to a role that is as commercialized as it is possible to be, and has already been done so many times before.
"I think sometimes the downsides, which I've definitely thought about, the downsides kind of seem like upsides. I kind of like the fact that not only are there very, very, very well-done versions of the character which seem pretty definitive, but I was thinking that there are multiple definitive playings of the character. I was watching the making of Batman & Robin the other day."
"And even then, George Clooney was saying that he was worried about the fact that it's sort of been done, that a lot of the ground you should cover with the character has been already covered. And that's in '96, '97? And then there's Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck's one. And then I was thinking, it's fun when more and more ground has been covered. Like, where is the gap?"
"You've seen this sort of lighter version, you've seen a kind of jaded version, a kind of more animalistic version. And the puzzle of it becomes quite satisfying, to think: Where's my opening?"
So it seems Robert Pattinson relishes the opportunity to dig deep into a character that audiences are already extremely familiar with, and coming up with a new angle for the role that is unexpected and fun to watch.
Another inescapable part of being Batman is the close scrutiny by the character's global fan following that analyses every facet of the actor before a single frame of the movie has been filmed. But as unnerving as such an experience can be, Pattinson appears to be looking forward to the prospect of playing a role that has so many expectations attached to it.
"And also, do I have anything inside me which would work if I could do it? And then also, it's a legacy part, right? I like that. There's so few things in life where people passionately care about it before it's even happened. You can almost feel that pushback of anticipation, and so it kind of energizes you a little bit. It's different from when you're doing a part and there's a possibility that no one will even see it. Right? In some ways it's, I don't know... It makes you a little kind of spicy."
It's good to know that far from being cowed by the legacy of one of the most famous characters in all of fiction, Pattinson is facing the challenges offered by the role with a great deal of excitement and anticipation. This is also how fans are feeling about Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman movie in which we will finally see Pattinson in action both as The Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne. Let's hope all the expectations that everyone has culminates in a memorable film that adds another gold star to the legacy of the caped crusader. GQ.com was the first to report these findings. The topper art comes from Will Gray on Instagram.