Robert Pattinson (Twilight) and Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) are reportedly in the running to be the next Dark Knight in Planet of the Apes writer-director Matt Reeves’ The Batman, with the former said to be ‘holding the edge’. Both are in line with the solo Batman movie’s search for a younger Caped Crusader — Pattinson is 33 and Hoult is 29 — and both are English, same as Christian Bale who got his own standalone trilogy and would see the role revert back from an American actor in Ben Affleck, who stepped away because he “knew he wasn’t the right one for this particular version”.
According to Variety, Pattison is the “top choice” to be the next Batman, though it’s not a “done deal”. Deadline added Hoult’s name into the mix shortly after, noting Reeves and Warner Bros. aren’t yet decided on whom it should be even as Pattinson “holds the edge”. Reeves was initially interested in someone in his mid-20s, per an earlier report, while Warner Bros. wanted someone “a little older”. Deadline says that both are looking for someone in their “early thirties” now. Hoult will have turned 30 by the time The Batman begins filming, which might be late 2019 or early 2020, per Variety.
Though Pattinson is still best known for the Twilight saga, he has garnered critical appreciation for several roles since, including David Cronenberg’s 2012 drama film Cosmopolis and 2014 satirical film Maps to the Stars, David Michod’s 2014 futuristic Western film The Rover, James Gray’s 2017 adventure film The Lost City of Z, Safdie Brothers’ 2017 action crime film Good Time, and Claire Denis’ 2018 sci-fi horror film High Life. Aside from Mad Max, Hoult has also starred in the X-Men franchise, and several biographical roles — J.D. Salinger, Nikola Tesla, and J.R.R. Tolkien — in the films Rebel in the Rye, The Current War, and Tolkien, respectively, in recent years.
Pattinson will be next seen in Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, which premieres at the ongoing 2019 Cannes Film Festival, while Hoult reprises his role of a mutant — possibly for the last time — in Simon Kinberg’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which opens June 7 worldwide. Pattinson is about to begin filming on Christopher Nolan’s 2020 movie, and Hoult was recently cast in Taylor Sheridan’s wilderness thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead alongside Angelina Jolie.
The Batman is slated to release June 25, 2021 worldwide. Before that, Warner Bros.-DC Films will release the standalone Joaquin Phoenix-starrer Joker film in October, Margot Robbie-led Birds of Prey in February 2020, and the Patty Jenkins-directed sequel Wonder Woman 1984 in June 2020, with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine reprising their roles from the 2017 original. There’s a soft reboot The Suicide Squad from James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) in the works, slated for August 2021, and an Aquaman sequel set for December 2022.