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The Wait Is Over, We Now Know Who The New Batman Is

Bye-bye, Batfleck. This is the dawning of the age of Battinson. 

After much speculation about who would replace Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne in director Matt ReevesThe Batman, we finally know who the lucky actor is: Robert Pattinson

Sources close to Variety have noted that Pattinson, who broke into the mainstream with the Twilight franchise and has since gone on to make a major name for himself in the drama genre and with arthouse films, is in final negotiations with studio Warner Bros. to top-line the feature as the titular DC Comics hero.

We must stress that the ink on the contract hasn't dried as of this writing, though the deal is "expected to close shortly."

Warner Bros. declined to comment on the news, but it looks like Pattinson will take flight to become the Caped Crusader before too long, as The Batman is slated to start pre-production sometime this summer. The studio has yet to set an official filming kick-off date for The Batman, though insiders with knowledge of the production have stated that it could go in front of cameras either late this year or early next.  

For many who have kept their fingers on the pulse of all things related to The Batman, learning that Pattinson is about to rise as the new Bruce Wayne and assume the mantle from Affleck, who dropped out of The Batman as its director and its star, comes as little surprise. Rumors that Pattinson would star as a younger version of the Dark Knight in the film have been swirling for months now, and at one point gained so much traction that artists began crafting digital works envisioning what the English actor would look like in the Batsuit and dressed up in black-tie attire as the billionaire Bruce Wayne. (Spoiler alert: The answer is "surprisingly badass.") 

Other actors — like Armie Hammer, Logan Lerman, Jack O'Connell, Ansel Elgort, Dylan O'Brien, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Noah Centineo, Richard Madden, and Kit Harington, among many more — were reported contenders for the leading role in The Batman, but it's clear that Pattinson was the favorite. Warner Bros. and Reeves evidently love Pattinson so much that they've tapped him before the final version of the film's script is even complete. It's true: Right now, Reeves is still polishing the story before locking it in, but he apparently couldn't wait to secure Pattinson before then. 

Reeves was said to be scouting for an actor 15 to 20 years younger than Affleck (who is 46 years old as of May 2019). Pattinson fits that age range nicely: the 33-year-old actor is 13 years Affleck's junior, and is now officially the youngest person to ever portray an adult Bruce Wayne in film. 

Per Variety, Warner Bros. is giving Reeves as much time as needed to make The Batman as perfect as possible — starting with the script and the cast, and ending with, well, everything else. The studio reportedly hopes that this version of the famed DC vigilante makes up for how the character was depicted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League

And that could end up happening — Reeves' past comments on The Batman are all the evidence one could need to be convinced of it. The director previously described his take on the iconic superhero as an "almost-noir driven detective version of Batman," and the film as a whole as being influenced by the works of Alfred Hitchcock. Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter in June of 2017, "In all of [my] films, what I try to do, in an almost Hitchcockian sense, is use the camera and use the storytelling so that you become that character, and you emphasize with that point of view. There's a chance to do [a version of Batman] that is point-of-view driven in a very, very powerful way, that will hopefully connect you to what's going on inside of his head and inside of his heart." 

Sounds like this could be one of the coolest approaches to the character that fans have ever seen. 

To many, Pattinson is still and will always be Edward Cullen from the Twilight Saga. But the actor has done some genuinely fantastic work in the time after the five-movie fantasy-romance franchise wrapped in 2012. Pattinson went from glittering in the Washington state sun as the brooding vampire to dazzling in films like The Lost City of Z, Good Time, and High Life. His star is only getting brighter from her forward: Pattinson is set to appear in The Lighthouse, The King, and Waiting for the Barbarians this year alone.

The Batman is a project unlike anything Pattinson has done in his career thus far — and that's a good thing. This gives the actor, whose biggest film role will likely always precede him, a chance to show millions of people who haven't kept up with his post-Twilight work that he's more than just That Dude Who Played That Vampire for Four Years. Pattinson does have a lot to live up to, since many actors have played Batman before him, but the potent combination of his sharpened acting chops, his status as a sort-of-underdog, and the positive response his casting in The Batman has already received hints that he'll more than live up to expectations. 

See Pattinson done up as the new Bruce Wayne when The Batman hits theaters on June 25, 2021.