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Will Robert Pattinson’s Batman Be “One and Done?”

We know that many of our readers are looking forward to seeing former “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson take on the role of Batman when his new movie “The Batman” is released next year. When he was cast in the role as a surprise choice to take over the iconic batsuit from Ben Affleck, we dared to imagine that he might keep it for numerous sequels just as Christian Bale did before Affleck. It’s beginning to look like those hopes might be in vain. Like Val Kilmer and George Clooney before him, Pattinson may play Bruce Wayne’s iconic alter ego just once before handing it over to someone else.

To make matters worse, Pattinson might not even get any say in the matter. There have been rumours about tensions between the star and director Matt Reeves since the movie began filming, and the word on the Hollywood street right now is that Pattinson is flat out refusing to work with Reeves again. Pattinson’s star name and celebrity status would normally ensure that it was the director who lost his chair rather than the actor who lost his costume, but those who claim to be “in the know” claim that it will work the other way around this time. Executives at Warner Bros have become tired of what they see as bad behaviour by Pattinson and will re-cast the role rather than replace Reeves.

No official comment on the matter has been made by Pattinson, Reeves, or Warner Bros. For that reason, we have to take all of these reports with more than a small pinch of salt. Even with that said, though, “The Batman” appears to have been a production beset by trouble since the day it started filming. Like many films scheduled for a 2020 or 2021 release, it’s had both its release and its filming schedule thrown into chaos by the pandemic. It’s now set for March 2022, but re-shoots were still taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, as recently as June this year.  Early on in the filming process, the press widely reported that everything had to be put on hold because Pattinson contracted Covid-19. Although Reeves didn’t comment on the matter then either, he’s understood to have been furious with Pattinson for getting the illness by violating “bubble” conditions.

If that story is true, it wouldn’t be the first time Reeves has been furious with Pattinson. Sources close to the movie claim that he was visibly shocked when the star came in for the first day of filming. Reeves and Pattinson are said to have agreed that Pattinson would “bulk up” with muscle for the role in the same way that Christian Bale did, but Pattinson showed up in his usual svelte shape and had to be persuaded to undergo extensive gym work to add muscle to his frame. That also caused a delay and thereby caused further problems for Reeves. Delays on a movie set take chunks out of the budget, and that may have incurred the displeasure of Warner Bros.

We’re piling rumours on top of rumours here, but a little over a month ago, it was suggested on several gossip websites that Warner Bros aren’t happy with the current state of “The Batman.” Quoting several anonymous sources, websites like “We Got This Covered” claimed that senior figures within the company didn’t like the rush edits they’d seen of the movie and were also unhappy because production had gone significantly over budget. We have no way of verifying any of the rumours, but a very old piece of wisdom says that there’s no smoke without fire. These repeated reports of unhappiness on the set must be coming from somewhere, and if Warner Bros are pushing back on Reeves because of budget and quality issues, it would make sense for Reeves to be unhappy with the person he blames for those issues.

The same website claims that Pattinson’s stance is that he won’t agree to appear in any “Batman” sequels or work with Reeves on any future projects at all unless the director apologises. Reeves is said to be in no mood to apologise, feeling that it’s he who’s owed an apology from Pattinson. The situation is now at an impasse, and the studio might be forced to act. What kind of action they take will depend on which aspects of the rumours – if any – are true. If they’re genuinely unhappy with the quality of the film – a story that comes from trusted Warner Bros leaker “SpideyForever245” on Reddit – they might opt to delay the film even further so editing work can be carried out. If they’re unhappy with Pattinson, they’ll either start making plans for a sequel without him or drop the idea of a sequel altogether.

The idea of DC and Warner Bros abandoning sequel plans probably isn’t realistic. The Batman franchise is among the biggest money spinners the company owns. It sells astonishing amounts of merchandise from branded products to video games and even pulls in money at online slots websites. The last time we counted, there were nine Batman-branded online slots, including versions based specifically on the movies “Batman Begins” and “Batman vs Superman.” Based on past form, there are probably plans to make a new online slots game based on Pattinson’s “The Batman” and release that to websites like too. It wouldn’t make any sense for the studio to stop making films when there are millions of people willing to spend money to see them, and if there are already plans for a sequel, it’s doubtful that a dispute between an actor and a director would undo those plans. One of them would have to go – and if Pattinson is as unhappy as the reports make him out to be, he might be glad to be freed of the obligation.

The rumours are strange. Pattinson has no established history of being difficult on set, and Reeves has no known history of falling out with actors. It might be a simple case of a personality clash, but if it were, we’d expect the two parties to be able to work through it as a matter of professional courtesy. Warner Bros will have to make an announcement about a sequel (or lack thereof) eventually, so we’ll hopefully get to the bottom of this matter sooner rather than later.

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