Robert Pattinson lined up to replace Ben Affleck as Batman

Robert Pattinson lined up to replace Ben Affleck as Batman

Okay, I don't think anyone was expecting this.

A new Batman movie has been in the works for a few years now. It was originally meant to be written and directed by Ben Affleck, who would of course reprise his role as the caped crusader. Unfortunately, neither Batman v Superman nor Justice League did nearly as well as they hoped, with the former being divisive with fans and bombing with critics, while the latter sought to make Avengers numbers at the box office, but ultimately came up short.

Now, director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is at the helm of The Batman, and Affleck has departed the project entirely - which means there needs to be a new Bruce Wayne to drink martinis by day and beat up thugs at night.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, there were numerous actors shortlisted for playing the role, including Nicolas Hoult, Armie Hammer, and Aaron Taylor Johnson. But they claim the front-runner is none other than Robert Pattinson.

Pattinson was first seen by many in a brief appearance as Cedric Diggory (RIP) in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but many came to know him through the often-maligned Twilight series. That series of movies definitely had its fair share of fans, but doesn't exactly have the best reputation in nerd culture. In fact, even he doesn't seem to like them.

Robert Pattinson says Twilight doesn't make sense in interview:

Yet, since that point, Pattinson has proved himself again and again to be an excellent actor, starring in a variety of interesting projects in a diverse range of roles.

Despite how young he seems to be for the role, he's actually a couple of years older than Christian Bale was when he made Batman Begins in 2005. And while there's obviously going to be a lot of backlash to the casting (there are people who won't forgive him for Twilight), it's a similar position other actors have faced in the Batman series.

While Michael Keaton is now known to be a serious dramatic actor, at the time of his casting in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie he was known as a comedic actor. Picturing the guy from Beetlejuice playing the Dark Knight seemed like madness at the time, but it paid off and was wildly successful.

Fast-forward to 2008 and Heath Ledger was the target of much ridicule when he was cast as the Joker, with fans angry that the Brokeback Mountain actor had been cast as the classic comic book villain. However, he ended up redefining the role and winning a post-humous Oscar for the role.

Meanwhile, Affleck himself was seen as unlikely to be cast as a superhero again after Daredevil bombed in 2003, but most fans seemed to like him in the role.

According to Variety, Pattinson's deal isn't 100 per cent finalised, but their sources confirmed he's in talks and is expected to sign the contract "shortly". The Batman is set to be released on June 25, 2021.