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Pattinson apologizes after sparking outrage from Batman fans

Battinson is doing a little backtracking.

The star of writer-director Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman reversed course on an assertion he's made a couple of times in recent months: that Batman isn't actually a superhero. Of course, he did so in typically cheeky fashion; he is, after all, British.

Speaking with TimeOut, the actor explained that he thought he'd lost the role when the fact that he was being eyed for it by Warner Bros. and DC Films was publicly leaked, as nothing was official at the time. He was, obviously, excited when he was cast (what actor wouldn't be), but ever since landing the coveted part, the star has been the subject of much grousing from fans. Some of them, it seems, just don't think he's cut out for the role — and those "not a superhero" remarks didn't do anything to win them over.

Pattinson is quite aware of that fact, and he explained to TimeOut that if he had simply brushed up a bit more on his DC lore, he wouldn't have said what he said — although he didn't exactly back all the way off of his comments. "I wasn't educated about the subject. People got very angry about it," he said. "It's bizarre. I still can't understand the argument. Okay, he's a superhero, I'm sorry! The next headline: 'Pattinson retracts: Batman is, in fact, a superhero. He takes it back.'"

Despite the insane level of scrutiny that comes with being cast as the Caped Crusader, though, Pattinson is still beyond excited for those fans to actually see the film. "I'm only worried about [whether] people like it when it's done. Right now, people can think what they want," he said. "It's the coolest thing ever. I still can't really believe it."

What did Robert Pattinson say that had fans so angry?

Pattinson first put forth his Bat-opinion during a conversation with the New York Times in October of last year. While it's understandable that said opinion would be a touch controversial among fans, it's also kind of tough to argue with — and it illustrates the interesting approach the actor seems to be taking to portraying the character.

"Batman's not a hero... he's a complicated character. I don't think I could ever play a real hero — there's always got to be something a little bit wrong," he said. "[Batman's] morality is a little bit off. He's not the golden boy, unlike almost every other comic-book character. There is a simplicity to his worldview, but where it sits is strange, which allows you to have more scope with the character."

Okay, that's all well and good — but Pattinson really ran into trouble in December, during a sitdown with Today. At that time, the star not only doubled down, he did so by employing an argument that any comic book fan would shoot full of holes: that the Dark Knight has no superpowers. "Batman is not a superhero," Pattinson stated flat-out. "It's weird, I always balk at it. It doesn't count. You need to have, like, magical powers or something."

All we can do is speculate as to whether Pattinson has ever heard of Black Widow, freaking Iron Man, or the loads of other superheroes who don't technically have any powers. We suppose his backtracking can't hurt his standing with the fans, but many of them — due to his long-ago involvement in the Twilight franchise — will disparage Pattinson's casting until the end of time in any event, unless he absolutely kills it in The Batman. Fortunately, we're damn near positive that he will.

Was Robert Pattinson the right choice to play Batman?

We've pointed this out on several occasions before, but since a lot of fans seem to keep missing it, we're going to go ahead and do it again: Pattinson is a far better actor than his stint in the Twilight movies would suggest. For recent evidence, look no further than The Lighthouse, director Robert Eggers' follow-up to the 2015's acclaimed horror flick The Witch. Pattinson stars as an old-time lighthouse operator who slowly goes mad along with his older, more experienced cohort, and it's basically a two-man acting masterclass in which the star more than holds his own opposite the great Willem Dafoe.

If you're still not convinced, we submit 2017's Good Time, a harrowing crime drama from the Safdie brothers, who just turned in a minor masterpiece with Uncut Gems. Pattinson's desperate turn as a crook trying to scrounge up the dough to spring his simple-minded brother from jail must be seen to be believed; in fact, when the initial furor around Pattinson's casting first arose, Reeves defended his choice by tweeting a GIF from the film along with three bat emojis.

Pattinson also delivered a stunning performance in the 2018 sci-fi drama High Life, in which he portrayed one of two survivors (the other being his daughter) of a doomed deep-space mission. What we're saying here is that the dude has spent his entire post-Twilight career absolutely crushing it in extremely challenging roles — which is why we have been and remain certain that Pattinson is a perfect choice to play Batman.

Of course, the proof will be in the finished product. The Batman is currently before the cameras, and is slated to hit the big screen on June 25, 2021.