Christopher Nolan Is Shaping the Third Batman in a Row

Christopher Nolan and Batman

Twilight star Robert Pattinson is having a blockbuster 2019. Not only is he receiving plaudits for his performance in Robert Eggers' The Lighthouse, but he also secured the coveted role of the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves' The Batman. To top it all off, Pattinson is rounding off a sensational year with a part in director Christopher Nolan's upcoming film Tenet.

In an interview with Variety, Pattinson revealed that he broached the topic of Batman with Nolan already. "I was talking about things to do with the Batsuit," he said. "How to get more movements in it."

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Naturally, Pattinson is unlikely to divulge the in-depth conversations he might have had with the esteemed filmmaker about the part, but one thing's for certain: Nolan is shaping the third cinematic Batman in a row.

From 2005 to 2012, Nolan oversaw The Dark Knight Trilogy, which starred Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. The British director brought legitimacy to the comic book movie genre and showed what was possible beyond the films being merely vehicles to peddle toys and merchandise. However, it was 2008's The Dark Knight that made the industry and fans stand up and take notice, as it became the first comic book movie to cross the $1 billion threshold.

Nolan's involvement in DC properties didn't end there. While preparing The Dark Knight Rises, screenwriter David S. Goyer pitched Nolan an idea about a Superman story. The two hatched out a premise and the director took it to the studio for approval. Impressed with the idea, Warner Bros. hired Nolan as a producer and Goyer as the writer for Man of Steel.

Nolan returned as an executive producer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The director claimed that he only served an advisory role, but Zack Snyder revealed the bigger part that Nolan had in the movie, including the controversial decision to kill off Superman.

"It was pretty early, and [Christopher] Nolan and I had long conversation about it, a really great, sort of philosophical conversation about it," Snyder told Collider. "He was really cool because he played an amazing devil's advocate about why not to do it, and then in the end was like, 'No you're right, it's better to do it.'"

Judging by Snyder's comments, it's obvious that Nolan didn't just slap his name on the film and hope for a payout. He provided input on all things -- including Batman. While Nolan didn't necessarily handpick Ben Affleck to portray the Dark Knight, he was privy to the casting information and involved in decisions that shaped the character.

"When they told me that Ben [Affleck] was interested in doing it, I thought, 'How thrilling!' This is the guy who just won Best Picture as a director and as an actor," Nolan said to The Daily Beast, "and I thought it would be a great thing that he'd be willing to do this."

Ben Affleck as Batman

It's probable that Nolan's influence on Affleck's Batman and the DC Extended Universe waned as the studio took the reins and interfered in everything. Nonetheless, the director was still a part of crafting "Batfleck" for Warner Bros. and DC.

Now, with Pattinson working closely with him, it's possible that Nolan might provide him with a few pointers and sage advice. Considering how he's no longer involved with DC in any shape or form, his influence might not be as great as before and others will mold the new Batman.

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Pattinson respects Nolan, however, so he'll listen to what he tells him and likely take it to heart. Even so, it's uncanny how he's directly/indirectly influenced three Batmen in a row.

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