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Robert Pattinson could’ve joined the MCU, but he wanted to be Batman

Last spring, Robert Pattinson broke the internet when news leaked that the Twilight star-turned-indie darling would replace Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader in Matthew Reeves’ The Batman, a DC Comics film. However, if things had played out differently, Pattinson could have been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe instead.

In a new interview with Variety, Pattinson revealed that he took an “informational meeting” with Marvel Studios “around the time of Guardians of the Galaxy.” The meeting didn’t lead to anything. Pattinson wasn’t surprised. “I don’t know what I would really be chasing,” the actor admitted, and said that as a result of his incredibly public Twilight stardom, he was yearning for quirkier, meatier roles in lower-profile productions.

With The Batman, things were different. “It’s actually an interesting part,” Pattinson told Variety. “I think it’s because he doesn’t have any superpowers.” A Batman fanboy since he was a child, Pattinson reached out to The Batman director Matthew Reeves himself when he learned that there was an opening to play Warner Bros.’ next Dark Knight.

Once Reeves finished a draft of The Batman’s screenplay, he agreed to meet with Pattinson, who arrived with a notepad full of ideas even though he had yet to read the script. Soon, word that Warner Bros. was considering casting Pattinson as Bruce Wayne leaked on the internet, and the rumor mill went wild.

Pattinson feared that the publicity would ruin his chances at landing the part, given how much big studios value secrecy on their high-profile superhero projects. He shouldn’t have worried. Pattinson auditioned for The Batman while promoting the Cannes premiere of his latest film, The Lighthouse, and was officially cast a few days later. Filming on The Batman is expected to begin this winter, in anticipation of a summer 2021 release.

Pattinson couldn’t tell Variety how many movies his Batman contract includes, nor anything about the film itself. However, Pattinson — who’s used to intense scrutiny, thanks to his Twilight tenure — said that fandom’s divisive reaction to his casting doesn’t bother him. In fact, it might help. “It’s much more fun when you’re an underdog,” Pattinson said. “There’s no expectation of you.”

For our part, we think that Pattinson is a fine choice for Batman. Here’s why.

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Chris Gates
Christopher Gates lives in Los Angeles, CA and writes about movies, TV, video games, and other pop culture curiosities. In…
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