It is highly unlikely that anyone will ever win an Oscar for playing the caped crusader. Somehow, despite the remarkable enduring prominence of the dual role of Bruce Wayne and Gotham’s dark knight, the idea of honouring someone for being very very good indeed at dressing up as a giant bat to scare criminals probably has less chance of finding traction with the Academy than Uwe Boll has of coming out of retirement to win best film. The Joker? Well that’s another matter entirely.
But this does not mean that the pressure is off when portraying Batman, far from it. Pull on the cape and cowl, and audiences and critics will still be mulling over your performance three decades later, as Val Kilmer and George Clooney have learned to their cost. There is no such thing as a cheap pay cheque for a forgotten movie in the era of on-demand streaming video, Twitter and the fanboy blogosphere.
Fortunately for Robert Pattinson, he has signed on to make his debut in the upcoming The Batman at a very good time indeed. The British actor’s admission to GQ this week that he is not even working out in an effort to bulk up for the role of the gilded superhero might once have drawn mild criticism from knuckleheaded corners of the geek community, but now feeds into a continuing sense that Pattinson is setting himself up as the anti-Batfleck. 
Where Ben Affleck bulked up to ridiculous proportions to play a gun-toting, meat-headed mega-jock of a caped crusader, it is hoped Pattinson will represent a less showy and ultra-violent return to the dark knight’s traditional role of costumed Gotham detective in Matt Reeves’ film.
Pattinson also hinted that he has found his Batman “gap”, the natural space to craft a unique version of the superhero that we won’t have seen before on the big screen. “I kind of like the fact that not only are there very, very, very well-done versions of the character which seem pretty definitive, but I was thinking that there are multiple definitive playings of the character,” he said. “You’ve seen this sort of lighter version, you’ve seen a kind of jaded version, a kind of more animalistic version. And the puzzle of it becomes quite satisfying, to think: Where’s my opening? And also, do I have anything inside me which would work if I could do it? And then also, it’s a legacy part, right? I like that.”
While Pattinson may not have been hitting the gym, it sounds like he’s been preparing for the role in other ways, not least by examining quite where some of his predecessors went wrong. “I was watching the making of Batman & Robin the other day. And even then, George Clooney was saying that he was worried about the fact that it’s sort of been done, that a lot of the ground you should cover with the character has been already covered. And that’s in ’96, ’97?”


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