Robert Pattinson: Twilight star succeeds Ben Affleck as Batman, say reports

31 May 2019, 20:20 | Updated: 31 May 2019, 22:57

Robert Pattinson has been cast to play Batman in the next film about the caped crusader, according to US reports.

The Twilight star, known to fans as R-Patz, has been given the nod for the lead role in The Batman by Warner Bros, Variety reported.

He will officially succeed Ben Affleck in the role of Bruce Wayne in the DC Comics franchise.

Reports suggest Pattinson has been case as the superhero role in a three-film deal.

The Batman, due for release in 2021, will be directed by Matt Reeves, who made the last two Planet of the Apes sequels.

Pattinson, 33, made his name as vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight series, starring opposite Kristen Stewart's Bella Swan.

The movies, based on Stephenie Meyer's best-selling books, were hugely popular with teenagers.

Since the five-film franchise ended in 2012, Pattinson has avoided blockbuster roles, preferring to work with unheralded movie-makers.

His recent collaboration with the French director Claire Denis, erotic sci-fi mystery High Life, won him considerable praise.

He also stars in one of the best-reviewed films from this year's Cannes festival, Robert Eggers's The Lighthouse, an intense psychodrama set in 19th-century Maine.

Pre-production on The Batman is expected to start this summer, although there is no official start date for filming.

It will be the first solo Caped Crusader movie to form part of the DC Extended Universe.

Affleck's two Batman outings, 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017's Justice League got disappointing reviews from critics.

Fans and studio executives alike will be hoping Pattinson's star quality and youth appeal revives the superhero franchise.