Let’s start this discussion by saying Robert Pattinson is a fine actor who’s done great work, not just Cedric Diggory or Edward Cullen shenanigans. So, let’s throw those out the window.
Next, I’ll be quite frank that I don’t like Robert Pattinson as Batman. But boy, does he deserve a big, heroic role.
Robert Pattinson started his career pigeon-holed into being a moody romantic lead. While I think moody fits his acting well, I understand how romantic lead can be stifling for an actor who wants to take on more serious, dramatic roles.
After great work in movies like Good Time, Robert Pattinson deserves a big budget movie where he can show off the dramatic, more action-packed actor he wants to be (at least if Good Time and Batman are any indication). It’s no surprise that he’s in negotiations with a big director like Matt Reeves (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, War for Planet of The Apes) to play such an iconic role.
Unfortunately, I just think Batman was the wrong choice.
Some of Pattinson’s staples completely match up with the spooky Gotham hero. He’s tortured and always feels like a mystery, even if he’s opening up. He’s good at being intense, but Pattinson’s mostly shown off a great understanding for intensity in relationship to others and himself. I don’t know if he’ll be able to bring out that same intensity when it comes to being deathly dedicated to a city and justice. That kind of warped, dangerous passion for justice is the core of Batman, and is really the only feeling he likes to express. He can have feelings, we all know he has a lot of feelings, but it’s not par for the course for him to show them off that much. Pattinson might, by nature, show more emotion than “normal Batman” and I don’t know how that will fly with fanboys. They really like their sad boy on the inside, mad boy on the outside Batman.
Of course no one can tell how he’ll do until we see the results, so until then we should probably give him the benefit of the doubt. Good actors deserve that. However, I wish he got a hero that suited him better. And, of course, I’m going to share my preferred picks with you.
This is, 100%, my top pick for Pattinson. He has a mystery and moodiness to him, a way he carries himself that always makes him seem like he’s got a lot on his mind and a lot in his past. However, he lacks that aggressive sense of justice that Batman has, even if he’s still pretty violent. He’s cooler, intelligent, and brooding, but doesn’t bother with trying to be charismatic or well-kept.
I think the whole reluctant hero angle could work well with Pattinson, and he fits the visual description. John Constantine just wants to get jobs done and isn’t too jazzed about it, but he’ll do it. After all, the cost of his powers was damn high so he might as well do something good with them.
Constantine feels regret, anger, pain, guilt, and tries to bury it under vices and a bad attitude. He laughs at things he maybe shouldn’t and doesn’t take good care of himself. He’s an emotional and interesting character, something a dramatic actor can really sink their teeth into.
Vic Sage was a man tired with the restrictions of law, who donned a faceless mask to get to the bottom of things no matter the danger. Question, as a hero, has more justice in him than Constantine, but he’s a loner to the 9’s with even more mystery. He wants to solve the world around him, but while Batman is obsessed with justice, Question is obsessed with injustice. There’s a surprising breadth of difference between the two that helps define him.
This kind of gruff detective style walks the same line as Pattinson’s broody but well-meaning demeanor.
There’s also a chance, though, that I just really like picturing Pattinson brooding in a trench coat and beating up baddies, based on this and the John Constantine entry.
And yes, I hear you, not all the roles need to be the moodiest men in existence or just DC properties. But hey, I was trying to stick to the local template we were working in. We’re going to change it up a bit in offering the role of Warren Worthington III, AKA Angel.
Angel’s complex, debilitating relationship with his father is exactly the kind of emotional core that a dramatic actor can latch onto. His struggle between wanting to be himself and being the person his family wants is always on the guy’s mind. However, he also wants to do good things and be a hero. Given the right amount of space and screen time, someone like Pattinson could do great things with Angel.
Also, eventually Angel gets even more violent and broody with the whole Archangel thing, so that’s always interesting.
Maybe the most important point in all of this is that Pattinson has excelled in the dramatic roles he’s been given. However, even though he’s broody and dramatic in a theatrical sense, Batman/Bruce Wayne isn’t dramatic in a personal sense. He is stone-faced and puts his emotions away in a deep dark cave far away from anyone. He simply won’t be able to work with his best assets as Batman, and I think he deserves better. I just want Robert Pattinson to be able to really express and feel the feelings, okay.
Compared to blunders like Bat-Nipples, Pattinson will probably do fine, maybe even great. But I might honestly just be more disappointed that he didn’t get a role that he can really work with. Batman is a sad boy, but that’s something fans have rarely seen play out much on screen. He hates being vulnerable, so showing his pain instead of shoving it all down into that emotional bat cave? Bats would never allow it.
That’s not the kind of role I’d love to see more Pattinson in.
At the very least, we can congratulate him on landing such a big role. Maybe Pattinson’s Batman will be able to feel more feelings than any Bats has ever feeled before. Wouldn’t that be something?
But more than likely, Pattinson’s talent might just get stifled by the way the Batman character stifles himself. Struck in the right balance, it could be brilliant. If it just makes Pattinson feel stiff, though? It might not work so well.