LOS ANGELES — He's going from sex symbol to bat symbol. Sources tell Variety that Robert Pattinson is in negotiations to play "The Batman" in Matt Reeves' forthcoming superhero film, which hits theaters June 25, 2021.
While sources say it's not yet a done deal, Pattinson is the top choice and it's expected to close shortly. Warner Bros. had no comment. NBC News has not verified the report.
Pre-production on the Warner Bros.-DC Comics pic is expected to start this summer.
Reeves, the filmmaker behind the last two "Planet of the Apes" sequels, assumed "Batman" directing duties from Ben Affleck in January 2017 and has been developing the elusive project ever since. Affleck and Warner Bros. began discussing the actor-director leaving the Caped Crusader behind following "Justice League," allowing Reeves to pick his own Bruce Wayne.
Reeves will produce "The Batman" with his "Planet of the Apes" collaborator Dylan Clark.
Pattinson was cast even as Reeves continues to polish a final version of the script.
A former "Twilight" heartthrob who has successfully turned to arthouse fare, Pattinson, 32, becomes the youngest actor to ever play Batman on the big screen.
Warner Bros., in giving Reeves plenty of time to develop the script, is hoping the latest iteration of the DC icon is done right, following the disappointments of "Batman v Superman" and "Justice League."
No official start date has been set for "The Batman." Insiders tell Variety filming could start in late 2019 or early 2020.
Pattinson is about to shoot another film for WB: Christopher Nolan's event movie co-starring John David Washington, which is set to open July 17, 2020.
Pattinson has a total of four films opening this year, beginning with Claire Denis' "High Life." He also appears in Robert Eggers' "The Lighthouse," which bows at the Cannes Film Festival, "The King" for Netflix and "Waiting for the Barbarians."
He is repped by WME, the Curtis Brown Group, and 3 Arts Entertainment.