Everything We Know About Robert Pattinson's Noir Detective The Batman Trilogy
Having been taken on by the likes of Christian Bale and Michael Keaton, there's few superhero characters as iconic as Batman.
After disappointing reactions to the Batman vs Superman and Justice League films helmed by Zack Snyder, Warner Bros decided a change of direction was in order. While Affleck penned a script and was due to direct and star in 2021's The Batman, he then walked away from the project entirely.
Now, after a long wait to find out who would be taking on the leading role, firmer details are beginning to come to light about what we can expect from the next chapter of Gotham's resident hero. Here's what we know so far:
Who is in the cast?
The news that Affleck was hanging up his kevlar suit prompted debate about who would replace him. Would it be Hollywood heartthrob in the making Timothée Chalamet? Or perhaps a newly freed from Game of Thrones duties Kit Harington?
Pattinson shot for UK Esquire in 2017
In May it was confirmed that Robert Pattinson would take on the role of the caped crusader, a great move we think, and one that gives Pattinson the chance to make a more mainstream film after recent arthouse hits like Claire Denis' High Life.
Describing the reaction to his casting as "less vitriolic than I was expecting," Pattinson himself seemed genuinely deeply surprised to have won the role when Esquire asked him about it. "It's kind of insane," Pattinson told us this month. "I was so far away from ever thinking it was a realistic prospect. I literally do not understand how I’ve got it, at all."
Former Batman Christian Bale gave the casting two Bat-thumbs-up. "Good choice! He's interesting," Bale told Variety in September. "I'm sure he'll come up with something real interesting."
Other announcements include Zoë Kravitz of Big Little Lies and Mad Max: Fury Road, who'll be playing Catwoman – a role she also voiced in The Lego Batman Movie – and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Jim Gordon. You'll know him as Felix Leiter from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. That role reportedly nearly went to Mahershala Ali, but he decided in the end to make a Blade reboot instead.
Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) was confirmed to play assassin Deathstroke in the Affleck-fronted iteration of the film, however it's unclear whether he will now star in a separate spin-off instead.
We don't know yet who will be facing off with Batman as a villain, but there were reports in September that Jonah Hill was in talks to play the Riddler, and Suicide Squad's Jared Leto has said that he would like to reprise his role as the Joker. Whether anyone else would like him to is another question.
How many films will there be?
Moving back toward the celebrated Christopher Nolan Batman franchise, it has been confirmed that The Batman will be a trilogy series, with Pattinson reportedly signing a three picture deal. Director Matt Reeves, who coyly confirmed the news of his casting with three Bat emojis and a gif of the actor, is thought to have only signed on for the first film.
What is it about?
The new series will be a fresh start for the franchise with no connection to Snyder's films. Affleck's now-scrapped script was rumored to be a dark noir-style story that has elements of a detective film. However, the new direction is focusing on a younger Batman and the first of the trilogy likely an origin story in the same vein as Batman Begins.
That said, Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter that the tone might not be too dissimilar.
"It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale," he said. "It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode that we’ve seen in the films."
He explained, "The comics have a history of that. [Bruce Wayne] is supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been."
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.