A sneak peek at Robert Pattinson’s incarnation of the caped crusader is out. Fans are hyped, but has the DCEU redeemed itself just yet?
Ben Affleck may have stepped down from his involvement in the DC Extended Universe, but Batman is still set to return to our screens in 2021, this time with the role being taken over by none other than Robert Pattinson. The Batman director Matt Reeves has released our first look at Pattinson fully costumed and in character as the crime-fighting hero, to widespread speculation among die-hard fans of the character. If different, the new suit looks pretty badass.
While there’s not much we can decipher from the cryptic studio-released footage, we’ve also been lucky enough to see leaked set photos of Batman in the flesh. Some fans are losing their minds, but others aren’t too hot for it. To me, it kind of looks like a stuntman in a “stunt” batsuit, so I’ll spare the judgement until I see a trailer.
— Roxy Striar (@roxystriar) February 21, 2020
It’s safe to say we all know Batman’s story – we’ve seen it a million times. Boy loses his parents, has a weird fear of bats, and so he dresses up as a bat while he fights bad guys, because, well, who wouldn’t. Once again, the character has been recast, making Pattinson the 6th actor to play a live-action Batman in three decades, because clearly we can’t get enough. It also makes Pattinson the second actor to play the character in the DCEU after Affleck, which is pretty confusing.
But does it matter? At the end of the day, we’re getting a new Batman movie, and that’s all that matters to most fans. So from a commercial standpoint, absolutely not, because people will see the movie regardless.
DCEU Track Record
Let’s admit that the DCEU got off to a terrible start, and for the longest time, it was hard to imagine any sort of recovery. When the two most popular and important DC characters collided in Batman v. Superman, the end result let down long-anticipating fans and was panned by critics. Things only went downhill when Suicide Squad was released to an even worse response, and personally, ranks pretty high up there in my most hated movies.
Why did these movies fail? Well, for me, it was a mix of terrible writing and unconvincing character motivations (Batman and Superman bury the hatchet and become buddies because their mothers share the same first name), overkill CGI (speaks for itself), and Jared Leto’s Joker (okay, he wasn’t that bad, but it could’ve been a lot better).
By 2017, with the declining support for the DCEU after the past two films, it was no surprise that Justice League was underwhelming. In the same year however, things began to look more hopeful when Wonder Woman took audiences and critics by surprise. The film was praised for its direction, acting, and visuals – unlike previous DCEU films.
Since then, Aquaman and Shazam! have also charmed audiences and have been met with improving reviews. More recently, Birds of Prey has managed to get a generally decent response out of the audience, but was nothing groundbreaking, and it underperformed at the box office. Sorry Harley Quinn.
So Is The DCEU On The Road To Redeeming Itself?
Well, sort of. After previous failures, it seems they’ve come up with a new strategy.
The DCEU has proven itself capable of making a decent film a few times now, but they also don’t seem to know what they want. The company itself seems to be trying to move on from certain movies and pretend they never happened, repeatedly disrupting the continuity in the process. The fact that they’ve just recast Batman basically reboots the character… within the same universe?
From what we’ve seen so far, it’s safe to assume that Pattinson’s Batman won’t exactly tie into what we’ve seen with Affleck’s version. Many will probably choose to see the upcoming Batman film as its own thing and just ignore the “universe” behind it, which feels like the way to go.
So as for the DCEU, it’s hard to say if it will redeem itself, but at least it looks like they’re taking small steps in the right direction.
It also depends on how well this new Batman film performs. The DCEU only has so many chances left, so it’s kind of a make-or-break for them at this point, considering the popularity of the character. Given the DCEU’s track record, I wouldn’t put it past them for it to be yet another disappointment of the franchise. At the same time, Reeves is a great director, and Pattinson’s moved on from his Twilight days and has proven himself a perfectly capable and electrifying actor in recent years (Good Time, The Lighthouse), so I like to believe there’s hope after all.
As always, Batman to the rescue, right?
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