The 5 film roles that prove Robert Pattinson has always been the perfect choice as Batman

The 5 film roles that prove Robert Pattinson has always been the perfect choice as Batman
The Batman: Trailer released for new film starring Robert Pattinson
Warner Bros.

Robert Pattinson is ready to be a really, really big movie star again.

After years of prioritising esoteric projects (some brilliant, some not so great – more on that later), he’s returned to the world of blockbusters with Tenet and now The Batman.

His casting raised a few eyebrows when it was announced, partly because many still associate him so firmly with the role of bloodsucking heartthrob Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies.

But his film choices since first bursting onto the scene in Hollywood with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire all those years ago suggest that it’s one of the smartest casting decisions in a long while.

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In a nice touch of symmetry, Batman was filmed in the same studio in which he made Harry Potter 15 years ago, too – only, the actor spent more time making ambient electronic music in the bat suit this time.

These are the five movie roles that prove Robert Pattinson has always been the perfect choice as Batman.

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse | Official Trailer HD |

Twilight might have made him a star, but The Lighthouse took things about as far from the world of sexy vampires as it's possible to get in 2019.

This bizarre, hulking beast of a movie was shot in grainy black-and-white using pre-war camera equipment and co-starred Willem Dafoe, with the pair playing two lighthouse keepers devolving further and further into madness.

There was much to praise about the film, but most importantly, it showed how far the actor was willing to go for a role (one scene sees him violently masturbating over a miniature mermaid figurine – which, incidentally wasn’t the first masturbation scene Pattinson had put to camera after appearing in Claire Denis’ High Life).

There was no movie star ego on show – Pattinson was ready to distort the way he looked physically, commit to one of the strangest accents we’ve seen in recent years in movies and throw himself headfirst into a role that stripped away any notion of Hollywood posturing.

Good Time

Good Time | Official Trailer HD |

Uncut Gems (or if we’re pronouncing it correctly, Uncuhh Gaaaams) is an anxiety-inducing thrill ride of the finest order, but the Safdie brothers’ excellent heist thriller Good Time set the foundations for their signature style two years earlier.

Pattinson propelled the movie with an effervescent central performance and put some of the gnarliest, grittiest scenes of his career to screen in the process.

It’s one of the most significant movies of the past 10 years for Pattinson, especially as it’s one of the first times he’d bridged the world between hugely popular blockbusters and more cult projects. It marked a career highlight five years after the Twilight series ended.


'Cosmopolis' Trailer

We don’t have to worry about Pattinson playing a slick millionaire playboy – he’s done that already. He was eerily compelling as the millionaire Erik Packer in David Cronenberg in Cosmopolis, which remains one of the most underrated movies of the 2010s.

The movie was a huge departure for the actor after taking on the rom-com route. The mawkish, misguided Remember Me and 2011’s unconvincing Water for Elephants didn’t bode well for his career as a Hollywood leading man at first. But this experimental career step was a firm reminder of his talents, and proved he was never afraid to take unusual routes in pursuit of his craft.


TENET - Final

Tenet and Nolan's Batman films obviously have plenty of things in common – and it’s not just because no-one could understand the dialogue in Tenet or The Dark Knight Rises.

They both fall in the category of cerebral blockbusters, and while his detractors may have been concerned the star of Harry Potter and Twilight couldn’t hack the action sequences in the new film, Tenet is proof that Pattinson very much can.

He took his experiences from the Tenet set straight into Batman too, after landing the part on the first day filming on the Christopher Nolan movie.

Pattinson said in a new interview with Total Film magazine: “It was a very, very intense weekend. That was a crazy way to start Chris’ film. I think I was doing the screen test, as well, on the Saturday before I started.”


Twilight - Final

There’s one thing that became very clear in the run up to The Batman, and it’s that this incarnation of Bruce Wayne will be the most emo take on the character yet.

We imagine Pattinson’s version of the caped crusader would have been really into My Chemical Romance as a kid, and embodies some of the similar angst that Pattison has brought to screen before.

There seems, at least to us, to be a clear connection between Twilight and The Batman which brings the actor’s career nicely full-circle, with Pattinson seemingly leaning into the gothic glamour of his character Edward Cullen in his most high-profile role in years.

Speaking to GQ recently, he said he was bringing a “nihilistic slant” to the role, saying: “All the other stories say the death of his parents is why Bruce becomes Batman, but I was trying to break that down in what I thought was a real way, instead of trying to rationalise it,” he said.

“He’s created this intricate construction for years and years and years, which has culminated in this Batman persona. But it’s not like a healthy thing that he’s done.”

In the end Pattinson could turn out to be the hero Gotham deserves, and the one it needs right now.

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