It might be an over-exaggeration to say that the Dark Knight had a good decade. There were bumps on the road, just gonna say Justice League Movie, but Batman still managed to stay in the spotlight. 2019 also marks the 80th anniversary of the caped crusader, as well as the success of his arch-nemesis solo project, The Joker. So somebody thought it was a perfect time to shed some light on another big-budget movie project. Matt Reeves, you sneaky little bugger.
Reeves managed to tease the audience with hints of potential casting choices. However, he never fully started the reveal until Ben Affleck was out of the whole thing. With more recent updates on the situation regarding the movie, we thought it would be a perfect time to look at the casting choices.
Once A Bat, Always A Bat
At this point, we can safely say that Robert Pattinson is completely distancing himself from the Twilight franchise. Honestly, we don’t blame him. With current films like The Lighthouse, Pattinson is really becoming a big name in the cinema world once more. Though Affleck was initially considered to continue the persona of Bruce Wayne, he was dumped by Reeves like a rotten chicken for a more fresh one. Enter Pattinson, who takes on the role of the Dark Knight in his early years. While first meet with negative feedback, Reeves stated that Robert was an ideal choice and was considered multiple times.
As the movie is leaning somewhat towards the storyline Batman Year One, the young actor is a perfect choice to portray the brooding hero at the start of his career. Over time the public accepted him as the leading role and Affleck’s replacement. But it wasn’t until the release of The Lighthouse that Pattinson fully caught everyone’s attention. In a recent interview, he stated that the movie helped him approach the role in his own unique way. Realizing that the caped crusader is more of a vigilante than a hero is a vital part of his character. Robert looks like he has done his homework, let’s just hope he does a solid work of portraying him.
The Other Characters
While Reeves cast the main protagonist way back in May, he would only recently reveal his co-stars. The first one to come up was Zoë Kravitz in the role of Catwoman. This wasn’t the first time Kravitz took on the persona of the anti-hero. In 2017 she was the voice behind the character in The Lego Batman Movie. It was this specific film that landed her the part in the upcoming live-action movie. She didn’t have much time on the screen, and her take on the character was underwhelming. I don’t think she was a good pick for the live-action role, but who knows, maybe she pulls through.
However, the role of Jim Gordon is, in my opinion, spot on. Westworld’s, Jeffrey Wright, is cast as the police commissioner of Gotham City and Batman’s close ally. J. K. Simmons originally wanted to continue the role of Gordon, but after the failure of the Justice League Movie departed the DCEU, and left the position open for some time. This would not be the first Batman movie to feature a black actor as a caucasian character. In Tim Burton’s The Batman, the role of Harvey Dent was portrayed by Billy Dee Williams, who did an excellent job. Wright’s most notable work was mostly on the small screen, but the actor proved in the past that he can pull off some great performances. So this is a win in my book.
The Big Bad?
One thing the upcoming movie didn’t reveal was its main antagonist. However, Reeves made a choice out of the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery and settled for two characters. The first one is already confirmed to be The Riddler, played by Paul Dano. Dano is a well-respected actor, known for movies like 12 Years A Slave, Swiss Army Man, and most notable There Will Be Blood. In 2018 he also went and directed Wildlife. This cemented his status as a pivotal figure in the entertainment media and having somebody like that tied to the project might not be so bad. Yet, it is not confirmed if the master of riddles will be the primary antagonist or his rumored co-star.
As soon as the project launched, Reeves envisioned the primary nemesis of the film to be The Penguin. There is no denying that Danny DeVito gave us a memorable and terrifying performance as Oswald Cobblepot, and there is little chance anybody could beat that. Despite that, I won’t be so quick to judge, yet I have to raise my eyebrows at the idea of Colin Farrell taking on the role. Jonah Hill, first considered for the position, turned it down earlier this year. Recently, Farrell has been in talks to fill the character’s shoes. Even though he has a solid movie background, I think he isn’t the best choice as Pattinson’s adversary.
At the same time Farrell was considered for the main antagonist, two other casting choices were rumored. McConaughey and Serkis were in talks for the parts of Harvey Dent, and Alfred, respectively. None of the actors are still one hundred percent tied to the movie, yet some speculate that Serkis has already accepted the part. Serkis does strike me odd as Alfred in this entire thing, but my main issue is the lineup of villains. While they are all iconic, things manage to go downhill with DC when there are too many great actors and characters involved. Let’s hope that’s not the case, and Dent is given the role of a side-character.
Overall, the DCEU still doesn’t manage to impress me. Yes, there were good movies, but it will take a lot more to wash away the Batman v Superman stain. Both Farrell and Kravitz could be recast for better actors. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are bad actors, but after reading so many DC comics, I can sniff out who is valid and who is not. As a big fan of the comics, I don’t think this is the direction to go. Other than that, the rest of the cast seems legit and could really give a new, refreshing twist on the whole thing. Matt Reeves’ The Batman is set to premiere on June 25, 2021.