By all accounts, it sounds like Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame is going to be the next Batman. Well, the next actor to play Batman in a film, at least — no one knows who the real Batman currently is, let alone who the next one will be. According to Deadline, the film “tracks Bruce Wayne in the formative stages of Batman, which is why they needed an actor in his early 30s.” The movie, tentatively titled The Batman, will be directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and produced by Dylan Clark, whose name was attached in a similar fashion to Bird Box and the aforementioned monkey movies.
Nothing about this scoop sounds like the recipe for a particularly exciting or interesting film, but that’s mostly because “Batman origin story” is one of the most boring phrases in the English language at this point. Pattinson’s inclusion is the same as if they had announced any other handsome, popular early-30s white guy; it’s just more boring for the boring pile, so I’m not gonna sit here and be all “lol sparkle vampires” about this. A lot of people love Twilight, and that’s fine. I watched all of Angel and half of Supernatural, so who am I to decide who lives and who dies.
The rub here isn’t that Pattinson can or can’t do a good Batman, it’s that they’re just doing this same thing, again, and it’s just so stale. Here are some ideas for alternative casting decisions that would make The Batman fresh to death.
Elba has an established track record as a suave sex machine and action hero badass, and we know from his time as Heimdall in the Thor films that he can 100 percent rock a flamboyant costume. Taking Batman away from his billionaire white guy roots would open new, culturally relevant avenues of societal exploration and storytelling, and yes, chances are that DC would completely squander the opportunity, but isn’t that still better than rehashing the same old Batman from the last 30 years of cinema?
Mazouz plays Bruce Wayne on the Fox television series Gotham, which recently concluded its final season. I haven’t seen it, full disclosure, but David is the exact right age to play Terry McGinnis, the street-wise punk with a chip on his shoulder who inherits the cape and cowl from Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond. I have seen Batman Beyond, and Batman Beyond still kicks ass 20 years later. The lessons of cyberpunk have never been more important than right now, as the real world inches closer and closer to a tech dystopia every day, and setting a Batman film in the future would give a lot of the visual effects artists living from paycheck to paycheck some much-needed work. Make a Batman Beyond movie! Do it!!
The only thing preventing Steve Buscemi from being Batman is cowardice. He would definitely take the part, so it’s just a matter of convincing the scumbags in Hollywood that such a prestigious role should go to such a deserving actor. You can squawk all you want about “but he’s so old now” or “he’s too weird looking” or whatever, but in your heart you know I’m right. This version of The Batman would break box office records with the strength of his name alone, regardless of the quality of Buscemi’s performance, which would be incomparable. Everyone involved would be hailed as visionaries. Action figure sales would reach a 30-year high. “Finally,” critics would exclaim, “a Batman movie that takes risks and succeeds because of it.” Robert Pattinson can even stay attached to the project in the role of Alfred Pennyworth.