The Batman star Robert Pattinson reveals that the backlash he received upon being cast in the lead role was not as bad as the backlash with Twilight
The Batman star Robert Pattinson reveals the casting backlash he received for playing Batman was not as bad as when he was cast in Twilight. London-born Pattinson first came to public attention in the role of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). Three years later he shot to international fame when he was cast in the role of vampire Edward Cullen in the big screen adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s smash hit YA novel Twilight, as well as the subsequent sequels The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2.
Following the success of the franchise, which collectively grossed more than $3.4 billion worldwide, Pattinson took a sideways step in his career, electing to appear in arthouse movies and independent films, and typically shunning blockbusters and big money franchises. With critically acclaimed turns in movies such as The Rover, Maps to the Stars, and Good Time, the 35-year-old has developed a strong body of work over the past decade, before making the decision to return to franchise filmmaking when he won the lead role in The Batman, but faced backlash after he was cast.
In an interview with MTV, Pattinson talked about the experience of winning an iconic role, the backlash that came with it, and how this compared to the backlash when he was cast in Twilight. He discussed his thoughts on the role, as well as the reaction to him being cast in the role he had sought for over a year, determining that overall there was “…a kind of weirdly positive reaction. I think it’s because it was so left field.” Read Pattinson’s quote below where he discusses fan reaction to his Twilight casting:
“It was less aggressive than when I got cast in Twilight. Which is strange because no one even knew who I was. That was literally off of one photo, and they were like, ‘Absolutely not!’ (Laughs) That was way more painful.”
Pattinson is far from the first actor who received backlash when cast in the Batman role, with both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck meeting negative reactions when they were cast as the Dark Knight. Any iconic character is going to have a lot of fans, and those fans are going to have their own ideas about what the character should look like and be like, as such, casting choices that go against this can be met with ire. However, it is often the case that casting against type can work very well, as was the case when the late Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight, a casting choice that was met with considerable fan backlash, but ended with the Australian receiving a posthumous Oscar for his performance.
Director Matt Reeves weighed in on the debate, stating that he had cast Pattinson due to his body of work, and even wrote The Batman script with Pattinson in mind. Indeed, the versatility of Pattinson as a star, as well as the fact he had not yet appeared the MCU would no doubt have made him desirable to Warner Bros., and the largely positive responses since Pattinson was cast seem to suggest it was the right call. The massive global success of Twilight, and the projected success of The Batman would suggest that fans do not always know what the best casting choices are. How long Pattinson’s career as Batman might last is unclear, but there has been talks of a potential Reeves Batman trilogy in the works, depending on the success of the first movie.
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