Central casting for Matt Reeves’ long-gestating The Batman is nearly complete and folks, it’s shaping up to be something truly special. We heard a while ago now that Robert Pattinson, former Twilight heartthrob and legitimately compelling performer, would be donning the cape and cowl to play the titular hero. Since then, director Matt Reeves (best known for helming the last two films in the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy) hasn’t stopped impressing this blogger with his casting choices. Alongside Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, Gotham City will be populated by the likes Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman; Paul Dano as Edward Nigma, aka The Riddler; Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner James Gordon. Additionally, Deadline is now reporting that Colin Farrell is in talks to play the role of Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin.
When it comes to filling out roles, Reeves seems to be taking cues from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. He isn’t following what seems to be standard superhero movie protocol by going after flashy headliners for the sake of mass appeal, nor does he seem interested in making a star out of any young up-and-coming talents. Like Nolan before him, Reeves is enlisting celebrated character actors who, in turn, bring a heightened level of prestige to his film with their collective awards and nominations. It makes sense, too. After all, Batman is the fourteenth highest-grossing media franchise in the world. People are going to turn out to see his films regardless of who’s been cast.
Moreover, these actors have all mostly thrived by delivering powerful, captivating performances in either smaller supporting roles or as the lead in more obscure independent flicks. The unconventional nature of entrusting this cast to lead the next era of one of the biggest superhero film franchises of all-time speaks to the strangeness that has been the cornerstone of all the best Batman stories ever told.
Of course Reeves has never been one to let the trend of the day cloud his vision of a film. The works he’s best known for, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes, feature casts largely composed of CGI creatures. Thanks to phenomenal visual effects work courtesy of the talented artists at Weta Digital, you could never tell which actors were playing which apes. And perhaps that’s to the film’s benefit. We don’t ever get a chance to see Cesar as Andy Serkis. We only see Cesar, which is one less barrier to entry for the unfolding narrative. Similarly, I have very little doubt that we the moviegoers will have much trouble getting sucked into the world brought to life by such a thoughtful filmmaker and outstanding cast.
What do you make of the central cast for The Batman? Are you as enthused as I am? Or are you more of a “Let’s wait to see the movie” kind of person? Swoop down into the comments section below and let me know! I want to hear your thoughts!