Bye-bye, Batfleck. This is the dawning of the age of Battinson.
After much speculation about who would replace Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne in director Matt Reeves’ The Batman, we finally know who the lucky actor is: Robert Pattinson.
Sources close to Variety have noted that Pattinson, who broke into the mainstream with the Twilight franchise and has since gone on to make a major name for himself in the drama genre and with arthouse films, is in final negotiations with studio Warner Bros. to top-line the feature as the titular DC Comics hero.
The ink on the contract hasn’t dried just yet, but the deal is expected to close soon.
“It’s hard to explain, but I need you to be open-minded. Can you do that?”
Warner Bros. declined to comment on the news, but it looks like Pattinson will take flight to become the Caped Crusader before too long, as The Batman is slated to start pre-production sometime this summer and could go in front of cameras either late this year or early next.
For many who’ve kept their fingers on the pulse of all things related to The Batman, learning that Pattinson is about to rise as the new Bruce Wayne and assume the mantle from Affleck, who dropped out of The Batman as its director and its star, comes as little surprise. Rumors have been swirling for months now, and at one point gained so much traction that artists began crafting digital works envisioning what the English actor would look like in the Batsuit and dressed up in black-tie attire as the billionaire Bruce Wayne.
Other actors, including Armie Hammer, Logan Lerman, Jack O’Connell, Ansel Elgort, Dylan O’Brien, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Noah Centineo, Richard Madden, and Kit Harington, were reported contenders for the leading role in The Batman, but it’s clear that Pattinson was the favorite. Warner Bros. and Reeves evidently love Pattinson so much that they’ve tapped him before the final version of the film’s script is even complete. It’s true: Right now, Reeves is still polishing the story before locking it in, but he apparently couldn’t wait to secure Pattinson before then.
Reeves was said to be scouting for an actor 15 to 20 years younger than Affleck, who’s in his mid-40s. Pattinson fits that age range nicely.
According to Variety, Warner Bros. is giving Reeves as much time as needed to make The Batman as perfect as possible, starting with the script and the cast. The studio reportedly hopes that this version of the famed DC vigilante makes up for how the character was depicted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
Reeves previously described his take on the iconic superhero as an “almost-noir driven, detective version of Batman,” and the film as a whole as being influenced by the works of Alfred Hitchcock.
Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter in June of 2017,
“What I try to do […] is use the camera and use the storytelling so that you become that character, and you emphasize with that point of view. There’s a chance to do [a version of Batman] that is point-of-view driven in a very, very powerful way, that will hopefully connect you to what’s going on inside of his head and inside of his heart.”
To many, Pattinson is still and will always be Edward Cullen from the Twilight saga.
But the actor has done some genuinely fantastic work in the time after the five-movie fantasy-romance franchise wrapped in 2012. Pattinson went from glittering in the Washington state sun as the brooding vampire, to dazzling in films like The Lost City of Z, Good Time, and High Life.
Pattinson is set to appear in The Lighthouse, The King, and Waiting for the Barbarians in 2019 alone. The Batman is a project unlike anything Pattinson has done in his career thus far, and it gives the actor, whose biggest film role will likely always precede him, a chance to show millions of people who haven’t kept up with his post-Twilight work that he’s more than just the vampire guy.
Pattinson does have a lot to live up to, since many actors have played Batman before him, but the potent combination of his sharpened acting chops, his status as a sort-of-underdog, and the positive response his casting in The Batman has already received hints that he’ll more than live up to expectations.
“What are you?”
The Batman hits theaters on June 25th, 2021.
Let us know what you think about this at @TheYdraft
DC Superheros “Suit Up” For 24-Hour FanDome Event #DCSuitUp
Next weekend DC is organizing a virtual 24-hour FanDome event for fans, where fans will come together (virtually, of course). With reveals planned for nearly every DC/Warner Bros. property under the sun, you just know it’s going to be a super time (eh? eh?) that opens up the celebrity and teaser trailer floodgates. To ramp up the excitement, participating stars — like Dwayne Johnson (Black Adam), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Cress Williams (Black Lightning), Zachary Levi (Shazam!), Ezra Miller (The Flash), and even Javicia Leslie (aka, the new Batwoman for Season 2) — are helping show off heroic and villainous cosplays from around the world.
Mimicking the seamlessly matched action of that kickass video Zoe Bell organized back in early May, the #DCSuitUp posts begin with a certain DC film or TV actor, who then hands things off to the fans and their Tik Tok videos. Because who would any of these blockbuster stars be without the people supporting them, right?
It beautifully underscores what the 24-hour celebration of comic book ecstasy is all about. WB’s glaring absence from Comic-Con@Home will hopefully be forgiven if we lay eyes on some sweet, sweet footage from The Suicide Squad or The Batman.
— DC (@DCComics) August 7, 2020
Videos have been steadily dropping on DC Comics’ Instagram account throughout the day and more are expected to arrive (where you at, Pattinson?) as we draw closer and closer to FanDome.
V for Vendetta knew our future would be a bleak one
The Verge is a place where you can consider the future. So are movies. In Yesterday’s Future, we revisit a movie about the future and consider the things it tells us about today, tomorrow, and yesterday.
The movie: V for Vendetta (2006) directed by James McTeigue
The future: In V for Vendetta, a lot has gone wrong very quickly, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much to be done about it. The film is set in the late 2020s, and London is now under the authoritarian rule of the fascist High Chancellor Sutler (John Hurt), the leader of the extremely Nazi-looking Norsefire party.
The parallels to real-world 2020 are alarming: the “St. Mary’s virus” has unleashed a pandemic on the world, crippling the United States (which doesn’t really factor into the film’s London-centric plot) and sending it on a path to economic ruination and civil war. The Norsefire party, which rode in on a wave of neoconservative support, locks up gay citizens, anyone who practices a religion other than the state-sanctioned church, and is supported by state-run media. Surveillance is almost casual, with government vans regularly sweeping the streets to listen in on citizens.
This is the world in which we meet Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman), an unassuming employee of the British Television Network. One night, she is threatened with sexual assault by secret police and is subsequently saved by V (Hugo Weaving), a superhuman terrorist in a Guy Fawkes mask. Like Guy Fawkes, V has a plan to blow up Parliament and assassinate several members of the government responsible for the Norsefire takeover and, it’s revealed, his own creation. The film ends before we find out if he’s successful, but not before the citizens of London are inspired to also don his mask and take to the streets.
The past: V for Vendetta, while not as mean a work as the comic by Alan Moore and David Lloyd it’s based on, is a movie that is unapologetically about a terrorist. In March 2006, this felt radical for a blockbuster movie that was written by the Wachowskis as their first big project after the Matrix trilogy. Reviewers were fascinated by this.
“The cleverest aspect of the film is the way it turns a terrorist into a crusading hero while remaining politically correct,” Guardian film critic Philip French wrote in his review. “What it doesn’t manage is to create a credible future or avoid pomposity.”
“By all rights, this should be the worst time imaginable to release V For Vendetta, a film with — there’s really no polite word for it — a terrorist hero prone to saying things like ‘Violence can be used for good,’ and ‘Sometimes blowing up a building can change the world.’” begins Keith Phipps’ review for The A.V. Club. “So why does V For Vendetta play as such a crowd-pleaser?
Only five years removed from 9/11 and just as many years into the US War on Terror, a blockbuster film valorizing a terrorist felt radical in a way that was almost immediately arresting. The film softens this very obvious edge with overt allusions to 1984, making it feel as much of an homage to George Orwell as it is to Lloyd and Moore.
Alan Moore, the writer of the comic on which the film is based, refused to have his name appear in the film or on any materials promoting it. (Moore has made it abundantly clear that he objects to any adaptation of his work out of principle, regardless of quality.) Purists would object to the film reducing the source material’s very specific response to Thatcherite England to a metaphor of Bush-era America (in a story where America is specifically sidelined) or the way the movie turned V into more of a dashing hero than a died-in-the-wool extremist. But time had a way of rendering all of these points effectively moot. The movie comes across much differently now.
The present: In retrospect, both the great strength and weakness of V for Vendetta is in its lack of specificity. Its Orwellian aesthetics give it a sort of timeless veneer, and its arguments about fascism and the creeping death of liberty are old ones that become painfully relevant whenever there is a new attempt to undermine democracy by those in power.
The movie’s most enduring symbol is a mask, one that was adopted as a sign of real-world protest by the hacktivist group Anonymous in the early 2010s when Occupy Wall Street was the most widely known activist movement in the United States. Unfortunately, a grinning Guy Fawkes mask meant to denote an anonymous solidarity glossed over something vital about institutional oppression: it isn’t applied equally.
In 2020, attacks on democracy are brazen and blunt, and we know painfully well that subtlety is not a hallmark of authoritarianism’s reach. In fact, as critic Scott Meslow wrote in 2018, while V for Vendetta has more bite than it did upon release, you could now say it doesn’t go far enough.
“It imagines a universe in which a single shooting death of an innocent little girl could inspire an entire society to stand up against a militaristic police force,” Meslow writes. “It imagines the resistance to an anti-democratic political movement rising up, in part, from powerful but principled members of that political movement. A modern adaptation might dismiss all those plot points as too optimistic.”
V for Vendetta isn’t particularly concerned with the details — creeping concessions to fascists are recounted in a bleak cascade, and resistance is sparked by a single dramatic act. The film’s universe is small; the only perspective outside of Evey’s is that of Finch (Stephen Rea), a Scotland Yard inspector who is on V’s trail and discovers that the government engineered the crisis that led to its power grab. Through Finch, we piece it all together, and in the film’s best touch, it’s all portrayed in one dramatic montage: corruption, domination, and revolution existing side by side as events the film depicted are intercut with scenes that are about to happen over the movie’s final 30 minutes.
It’s very affecting, but it glosses over how much work it is to defend democracy — how much the people you need to stand beside you in protest actually prefer the rule of fascism as long as the fascists align with them, how institutions aren’t built for democracy but for normalcy, and how the people running them will always choose the latter over the former.
The past can’t hurt you anymore, unless you let it: When V for Vendetta first came out in 2006, eminent critics like Roger Ebert, Joe Morgenstern and Peter Travers stated that the film was set in 2020 — and that’s what we originally wrote too. But a tipster points out one of the movie’s plot points is about a terrorist attack at St. Mary’s that occurred ”14 years ago”, and a minute after revealing that (1h, 31m), the movie shows that several covert intelligence operatives who died “the day after the St. Mary’s outbreak” were marked deceased in 2014.
If 2014 is 14 years ago, that means most of the movie actually takes place in 2028.
Who wouldn’t want their Echo Dot to look like Baby Yoda?
There are plenty of things I could tell you about Otterbox’s new stand for the third-generation Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker. I could tell you about its “durable materials” or how it’s designed to “securely” hold on to your Echo device. The Amazon listing even claims its “precision-fit, non-slip base” is “engineered for optimal audio output.”
But you and I both know that none of that really matters, because what’s really important here is that this base adds little tiny Emmy-nominated Baby Yoda* ears to the sides of your Echo Dot. If you want to pretend that you’re actually speaking to The Mandalorian character every time you ask Alexa to set a timer, then this is (probably) the easiest way to do it.
The stand is made by Otterbox, a company best known for its smartphone cases, but which has also put out a number of interesting gadget accessories over the years. There’s the stackable wireless chargers that it announced last year, or the phone cases that came with built-in PopSockets-style PopGrips.
OtterBox’s Baby Yoda Amazon Echo stand is available for pre-order on Amazon now, with a release expected on August 20th, for $24.95. For those keeping track, that’s a little under half the cost of the Amazon Echo Dot itself. The stand is only designed to work with the third-generation smart speaker.
*Yes, I know the character is technically called “The Child” but please, I implore you, live a little.
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