Appearing at Germany’s CCXP Cologne convention, Batman producer Michael Uslan shared some thoughts about the casting of Robert Pattinson as Batman. The short take away is very definitely in the vein of giving him a chance before you judge.
“My position is this: trust the filmmaker and give the filmmaker, and the filmmaker’s vision, the benefit of the doubt. Then wait ’til you see the movie,” said Uslan. “And then once you see the movie, judge the hell out of it. But I think that’s really the formula going forward. I couldn’t be happier, I couldn’t be more enthused, as a Batman fan, that Matt Reeves is the filmmaker in charge and has selected Robert Pattinson to be his next Batman.”
Uslan has been an executive producer on every Batman film since 1989’s Batman due to a rights negotiation back in 1988. To be fair, while his name appears in the credits of every film related to Batman, he has no creative input into the productions.
Despite his limited involvement, Uslan has been around for every controversy surrounding a Batman film, He recounts the reaction to Michel Keaton being cast and saying it was “an uproar like the world had never seen before. And understand, this was before computers and before social media, and before there were comic book conventions all over the planet. Just in mainstream media, this became the hottest, most controversial topic all over.” He went on to add, “The fans were up in arms: ‘How can you have a comedian play Batman? You guys are gonna revert it back to the 1960s show, you’re gonna destroy Batman.’ Until they saw the movie and saw what Tim Burton’s vision was, and how he executed it. And then the fans never wanted anyone else to be Batman.”
And, while it may be impossible to believe this many years removed from The Dark Knight, there was plenty of displeasure over the casting of Heath Ledger as the Joker. “Then we jump a little bit ahead of time. We have a new filmmaker in by the name of Christopher Nolan. And word goes out that for The Dark Knight he is casting Heath Ledger as the Joker. The fan reaction was berserk. ’How dare you cast some gay cowboy to play the Joker? He’ll destroy the character forever!’ And then of course after they see the movie, they never want anyone else to be the Joker.”
It just goes to show how much these characters mean to people for them to be car this much about who portrays them, even if was before the days of social media.
The Batman is due to hit theaters on June 25, 2021.