Are you amongst those worried that Robert Pattinson will prove a bad fit for Bruce Wayne/Batman? A brief survey of the internet reveals you are not alone. Although, thankfully, it’s not as prevalent as one might expect. Are you anxious and making jokes about Pattinson being in TWILIGHT? Really? That’s just terrible. The last TWILIGHT film hit theaters seven years ago. In that time, nine more movies starring him have been released. Maybe update the material.

We understand the anxiety though. Batman is a fan favorite. A lot, if not most, superhero fans would place him in their top ten easily. Plus, for many of us, how sideways things went with Ben Affleck in the Batman saga still stings. Regardless of if you thought he was a good Batman, to go from a massive commitment, including writing and directing a BATMAN movie himself to being the first to leave the DCEU, is not how it should have gone down. So, if there’s going to be someone new in the cowl, everyone wants it to go well.

Can I promise Pattinson will work out? No. Heck, years ago, George Clooney seemed like an incredible choice and we all know how bad that went. (It went very badly. Anyone who tries to tell you BATMAN AND ROBIN is good is not your friend.) However, I can offer you a quick primer on Pattinson’s post-TWILIGHT oeuvre with some selections to prove he has chops.

Pattinson: Good Time
Robert Pattinson contemplates the cruelty of the world in the ironically titled GOOD TIME. (Courtesy of A24)

Pattinson Primer: GOOD TIME

If you need to be convinced that Pattinson is more than a vampire who sparkles in the sun, this is the first film you need to see. A crime caper from the Safdie brothers, it is every bit as mean and dirty as that pedigree implies.

Pattinson plays Connie Nikas, a low-level street criminal who manipulates his cognitively limited brother Nick into helping him rob a bank. When things go awry though, Connie escapes and Nick ends up arrested. In an escalating series of events, Connie does whatever he can to get his brother free, including conning a lovesick older woman, trying to break his brother out of the hospital, and a money-making scheme involving LSD. Through it all, Pattinson is deeply unsettling. He seems to have genuine affection for his brother but he is also an unapologetic user of people. The destruction he leaves in his wake, physical and psychological, is wide and deep. Moreover, he seemingly does it without the slightest regret.

You don’t think, “Oh right, Batman,” while watching it but you will see just how much of a transformation Pattinson can undergo. Just how far he is willing to push himself to deliver an authentic take.

Pattinson: Cosmopolis
Keeping it cool, smooth, and disaffected, Pattinson stars in COSMOPOLIS. (Courtesy of Entertainment One)

Pattinson Primer: COSMOPOLIS

To give yourself an idea of how Pattinson might bring the “mask” of Bruce Wayne to life, this is a must-watch. Over the course of the day, Pattinson takes a limo from home to his barber shop, with a few stops along the way. As his world falls apart, financially and relationally, he continues to spin out of control with a bizarre sort of indifference.

While Bruce Wayne’s fortune is often deployed to help the less fortunate, he presents himself as feckless and disconnected. Pattinson’s Eric Packer nails that attitude in spades. Plus, as in GOOD TIME, Pattinson is very skillful in presenting the lie and letting us see underneath it. Another great skill as an actor playing Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Pattinson: Life
Pattinson seeks the secrets of celebrities as a LIFE Magazine photography in LIFE. (Courtesy of Cinedigm Entertainment Group)

Pattinson Primer: LIFE

Depending on how far writer-director Matthew Reeves wants to push the “detective” angle in THE BATMAN — and he says quite a bit — LIFE offers an intriguing look at what kind of presence Pattinson could bring to being a detective. As a photographer sent to capture James Dean in the film for LIFE Magazine, Pattinson is cagey, smart, and distant. He looks for weakness in Dean and vulnerabilities to use to get the best shots. It is not at all far-fetched to picture Batman doing the same with a thug, making him give up more than he wants to.

Pattinson Rover
Pattinson pulls a very un-Batman-like move in ROVER. (Courtesy of A24)

Pattinson Primer: THE ROVER

Australia is the sight of another post-apocalyptic hellscape. This time, it is not the war that brought it about, but the economic collapse. Reynolds (Pattinson) has somehow made it to Australia, along with his brother and their gang, despite hailing from the American South. Things get bad in a hurry and stay that way until they get worse as Rey gets left behind by the gang and allies himself, sort of with Eric (Guy Pearce). There are accidental shootings, on purpose shootings, and a whole lot of betrayals.

This is another film that does not evoke Batman as much as it demonstrates Pattinson’s range. Reynolds is unlike any other character on this list. Moreover, he is difficult to get ahold of. How honest is he being about his limitations and how much is it just for show? Again, that may not be Batman, but Batman is someone who has to constantly lie and obfuscate to do what he believes he should.

Pattinson: High Time
Pattinson searches for a kind of justice in the middle of space amongst criminals in HIGH LIFE. (Courtesy of A24)

Pattison Primer: HIGH LIFE

A science fiction film about sex, procreation, redemption, crime, recidivism, parenting, and the end of life, to name a few themes. Most importantly for our purposes, it is about a man striving to do the right thing, to create justice, in a world aggressively devoid of it. Moreover, there is a generational relationship that points to — if Reeves desires — how good Pattinson could be as his mentor Batman.

The Batsignal Awaits

Please, check out the movies above. Even if you don’t end up loving any or all of them, I think it will make my point clear. Robert Pattinson played Edward Cullen, he is not Edward Cullen. It was the sought-after role that made him a ton of banks. He has repeatedly gone for challenging roles in off-beat films. He may not end up being a great Batman, but everything in his filmography for nearly 8 years would suggest it is foolish to write him off.

2 Comments

  1. Mark Sorensen

    Mark Sorensen

    June 3, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    He is too much of a pansy to be Batman…

    Reply

  2. Chris Carney

    Chris Carney

    June 3, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Nope, it’s a no and that’s the end of it lol. Watch twilight and see if you can defend that

    Reply

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