Last week, it was widely reported that Robert Pattinson would be the next Batman in DC Comics’ latest reincarnation of the Caped Crusader. Pattinson will replace Ben Affleck after the actor appeared in three movies as the superhero. But to many, Pattinson will always be the vampire teen Edward in the “Twilight” series. That has brought out the Twi-hards (the triology’s superfans) and the Twi-haters (no explanation needed), flooding social media with mixed reactions about the casting.

There are multiple petitions circulating online to get director Matt Reeves and the producers to reconsider Pattinson for the lead. On Twitter, #SparklyBatman was trending, referring to Pattinson’s “Twilight” role where vampires sparkle when exposed to daylight. But for every batch of angry fans’ signatures, there are hundreds of fan art in anticipation for Pattinson’s batty debut.

 

As a person who has not seen a single “Twilight” movie, I haven’t witness Pattinson as a teen heartthrob or a pop culture figure. However, I’m a big Batman fan, having seen all the movies at least twice and watched most of the animated series (the one in the early 1990s is my favorite Batman of all time).

Batman has taken on many forms, and it’s a difficult role for any actor to do the character justice. In its most recent forms, either Batman/billionaire Bruce Wayne can’t play well with others (“The Lego Batman Movie”) or he wants things his way (“Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Justice League.”). All have found some success among fans, but they don’t have the impact of the Tim Burton series with Michael Keaton or the Christopher Nolan trilogy with Christian Bale.

FILE, In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, British actor Robert Pattinson arrives at a film premiere of “Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1” in Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

For Pattinson, he has little to worry about outside of fan reaction. His post-”Twilight” career has prepared him for this iconic role. Here’s how:

Director David Cronenberg, left, and actor Robert Pattinson attend the Cosmopolis Germany premiere at Cinema International, in Berlin, Germany on May 31, 2012. (DPA/Abaca Press/MCT)

He has played a billionaire before

Bruce Wayne is the billionaire with a heart of gold who hides behind a cape, a mask and an array of toys to fight crime. Pattinson has practice in the billionaire department in “Cosmopolis.” Directed by David Cronenberg, Pattinson plays Eric Packer, a young rich guy who is traveling through Manhattan in a limo to get a haircut. His financial and personal worlds deteriorate over the course of the movie, as Packer confronts a changing society and his own shortcomings. Audiences didn’t care much for the film, but critics applauded Pattinson’s appearance as he was branching away from “Twilight.”

Director Robert Eggers, from left, actors Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson pose for portrait photographs for the film ‘The Lighthouse’ at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

He has worked with top-notch directors

In addition to Cronenberg, Pattinson has worked in starring roles for some of the most respected directors. He also appeared in Cronenberg’s “Map to the Stars” as a limo driver, Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert,” James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z” and recently Claire Denis’ “High Life.” Reeves, who started as a television director and has gone on to direct “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “Cloverfield,” is best known for action and fantasy. Pattinson worked in these genres early in his career and should work well with Reeves.

“Good Time'”

He gets better with age

Pattinson’s performance in 2017’s “Good Time,” a drama about a Queens criminal who robs a bank with his brother and is on the run, was one for the ages. He takes an unexpected turn from likable heartthrob to despicable scum. It’s like he took Edward and threw that YA character into the trash. And as he has gotten older, Pattinson has mapped out a stable career for himself for years to come, including a role in Nolan’s upcoming spy film “Tenet.”

The previous Batmans weren’t all gold

Back in late 1980s, not everyone was happy when Michael Keaton was picked as Batman. Keaton’s casting came after his turns in “Beetlejuice,” “Gung Ho” and “Johnny Dangerously.” However, he proved audiences wrong with the success of “Batman” and “Batman Returns.” Val Kilmer and George Clooney did not do well in their outings, but director Joel Schumacher should get most of the blame for “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin.”  It also created a carousel of actors filling this iconic role, leaving little room for an actor to define it. Even Bale criticized his take on Batman, despite playing the role in all three Nolan films. In an interview, Bale said he wished he explored more of the “very, very dark, messed-up character.” And then there’s Affleck. The reactions around Hollywood were hilarious, positive or downright mean.

“The Batman” is slated for release June 25, 2021, and more casting news is expected in the coming days and weeks. But for all those Twi-haters, there is already one sparkly Batman.