By: Basheer Buksh, SFU Student
With the recent news about Robert Pattinson being cast as the newest candidate to don the cape and cowl on the silver screen, fans of the iconic superhero have been left polarized. While many support the casting choice, many more are petitioning to find a different actor.
The concern by fans is fair, especially since recent DC films featuring Batman (Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League) have not been successful, in part due to choices with the character, as well as with the plot and vibe of the movies in general. The question is whether or not Battinson (see what I did there?) is the hero we need to fix this history of bad Bat portrayals and stories. Though I may not be an expert on film or superheroes, I know what I like when it comes to Batman portrayals, and unfortunately, Robert Pattinson isn’t it.
Christian Bale’s portrayal of the Caped Crusader in The Dark Knight Trilogy was almost perfect, exemplifying the strength and brilliance of Batman while also providing a stellar performance as the billionaire Bruce Wayne. The same cannot be said of Ben Affleck, Batman of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Affleck did well on the superhero side of the role (besides shooting a gun, I mean really? Batman shooting a gun?) but was lacking as Bruce Wayne. Affleck didn’t adopt the essence of the classy, charming, rich playboy that Bruce Wayne is so known for. Rather, he played the role as awkward and angsty.
Robert Pattinson seems destined to be the opposite. While his past roles point to him being a good fit as a young Bruce Wayne, the other, arguably more important part of the role involves being a powerful action hero in an awesome suit. Seems easy, but if Adam West and George Clooney taught us anything, that’s not all there is to it.
To be fair, Robert Pattinson has more than just Twilight under his belt, and if you were to isolate that from the rest of his career, he has the makings of a pretty decent actor. Unfortunately, being a good actor doesn’t mean that he can play an action hero as intense and exciting as the Dark Knight. It’s a daunting task for even the most decorated action film stars!
Even though there have been countless disappointments in the history of superhero castings, there have been redemption stories and pleasant surprises as well. Who knows, maybe Robert Pattinson will be the hero we need. He’s no Christian Bale though, so I remain skeptical, but nonetheless hopeful.
Hopefully he’s the hero fans deserve.