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How Christian Bale really feels about Robert Pattinson becoming the new Batman

When Robert Pattinson takes up the Batman mantle in 2021's The Batman, he will become the sixth actor to don the cape and cowl in 30 years — following in the footsteps of Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and most recently, Ben Affleck. Of the Bruce Waynes we've seen on the big screen thus far, Bale is arguably the most iconic, having portrayed the character in Christopher Nolan's highly-regarded Dark Knight trilogy. Meanwhile, some fans are skeptical of the newest Batman, Pattinson, taking on the role, given that he remains best known for portraying sparkly vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight saga

But what does Christian Bale think of Robert Pattinson becoming the next Batman?

You don't have to worry about adding Bale to the list of R-Patz haters, as the four-time Academy Award nominee thinks Pattinson is a solid choice

While sitting for a Variety interview to promote his upcoming film Ford v Ferrari alongside co-star Matt Damon and director James Mangold, Bale was asked what he thought of Pattinson being cast as Batman. "Good. Good choice," Bale said while giving a thumbs up. When pressed for why he had that opinion, Bale continued, "He's interesting. I'm sure he'll come up with something real interesting." 

Damon then interjected, bringing up Pattinson's critically-acclaimed performance in the Safdie Brothers' 2017 film Good Time. "He's fantastic," Damon said of Pattinson's acting. "He's really good." 

To wrap up his thoughts on Pattinson, Bale was asked if he had any specific advice he'd give to the actor when it comes to wearing the Caped Crusader's costume. "Oh, just same as for Ben [Affleck], just be able to pee by yourself," Bale cheekily responded. "You don't feel much like a superhero when you can't take a p*** by yourself." Sounds like good advice to us.

What does Robert Pattinson think about being the new Batman?

A week prior to Bale's remarks, Pattinson gave his own reaction to his casting in a separate interview with Variety. As it turns out, the star of The Lighthouse had actually campaigned for the role of the Dark Knight. Pattinson told the outlet, "I'd had Batman in my mind for a while. It's such an absurd thing to say. I sort of had an idea to do it, and I'd been prodding [The Batman director Matt Reeves]. He didn't accept any prods. I kept asking to meet him." 

Then, news leaked that Pattinson had landed the role… before he even auditioned. Pattinson was, understandably, quite aggravated when he saw the reports. "When that thing leaked, I was f***ing furious," Pattinson said. "Everyone was so upset. Everyone was panicking from my team. I sort of thought that had blown up the whole thing." 

Pattinson's nerves calmed when the casting became official, and he revealed to Variety that he actually didn't mind the negative reaction it caused among some fans. "To be honest, it was less vitriolic than I was expecting," the 33-year-old actor said. "It's much more fun when you're an underdog. There's no expectation of you."

When Pattinson received the news that he was going to be the next Batman, he had just begun filming Christopher Nolan's upcoming film, Tenet. The actor took advantage of his proximity to the Dark Knight director to get a few Batman pointers, mainly regarding how to move in the cumbersome costume. "I was talking [to Nolan] about things to do with the Batsuit," Pattinson told Variety. "How to get more movements in it." We can only imagine that Nolan passed along the same bathroom advice that Bale is giving to Pattinson now.

What version of Batman is Robert Pattinson playing?

As for what The Batman will be about, that remains a closely-guarded secret. It's expected that the film will make up part of the DC Extended Universe, but it's unclear just how that will work. After all, Affleck was the DCEU's Batman, having appeared as the character in three films. But with his exit, along with the exit of Superman actor Henry Cavill, it looks as though the franchise is heading in a new direction. 

Does this mean Pattinson will be playing the same iteration of Batman as Affleck canonically? It's not impossible, considering The Batman is said to focus on a younger Bruce Wayne – and it might make sense given that Pattinson is 33 years old, while Affleck is 47. However, there's also a chance that The Batman's young Bruce will be a totally different Batman than Affleck's. But with Wonder Woman and Aquaman proving to be successful franchises, a hard reboot of the DCEU seems out of the question, which makes the situation that much more complicated. So, if Pattinson is indeed playing a Batman that we haven't seen before, how would that work? There are a few fan theories out there, including one that suggests Pattinson is playing the Batman Beyond version of the character, while others propose that a "Crisis on Infinite Earths" or "Flashpoint" storyline could provide a partial reset of the DCEU, bringing in a Batman from another reality — i.e., Pattinson's Batman.

However The Batman ends up fitting into the DCEU, star Robert Pattinson can at least rest easy knowing that the Dark Knight himself, Christian Bale, is fully in his corner.