What could be better than your first day working on a Christopher Nolan blockbuster? Well, for Robert Pattinson, that special moment coincided with another momentous occasion in his career.
The actor found out that he'd clinched the role of Batman on his very first day on Nolan's Tenet. Pattinson is set to portray the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves' movie The Batman, due for release in 2021. Unsurprisingly, he says his head was swimming for days afterwards.
In an interview with Games Radar, Pattinson says that he heard the news on "The morning of the first day." He adds: "It was kind of insane. It was a very, very intense weekend. That was a crazy way to start Chris' film. [laughs] I think I was doing the screen test, as well, on the Saturday before I started."
In the end, it was a two-horse race between Pattinson and fellow Brit Nicholas Hoult. It was the former who emerged victorious, cementing a recent run of intriguing roles including Claire Denis' challenging sci-fi drama High Life, and rip-roaring black and white thriller The Lighthouse.
Based on his recent roles, we can only imagine the level of intensity that Pattinson will bring to Bruce Wayne. The Batman had started shooting in the UK in early 2020, but was put on hiatus owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Recent industry news indicates that The Batman will begin shooting again very soon. And Pattinson says he's keen to get going.
"We'd really gotten into a really good rhythm as well, so it's kind of strange to be pausing," he explains. "But, again, it's a hard movie. I mean, obviously it's Batman, so it's kind of nice. I basically went straight from Chris [Nolan's] movie into that. And, yeah, I was feeling a little bit loopy anyway.
"So having some time off is not the worst thing in the world. But hopefully, it'll be sooner rather than later that everything is hopefully in a better place."
Before we get there, we've got Pattinson's role in Tenet to savour. Of course, we don't know anything about it – typically, we know very little about Nolan's latest, other than it involves time inversion and a globe-trotting espionage plot to prevent armageddon.
Pattinson has admitted on more than one occasion to have been completely confused by Nolan's latest venture.
He tells Esquire: "It's an incredibly complicated movie, like all of Chris's movies. I mean, you have to watch them when they're completely finished and edited three or four times to understand what the true meaning is. When you're doing them, I mean, there were months at a time where I'm like, 'Am I... I actually, honestly, have no idea if I'm even vaguely understanding what's happening.' And yeah, I would definitely say that to John David."
Pattinson adds: "On the last day, I asked [John David] a question about what was happening in a scene, and it was just so profoundly the wrong take on the character. And it was like, 'Have you been thinking this the entire time?' There's definitely a bond in the end in kind of hiding the fact that maybe neither one of us knew exactly what was going on. But then I thought, Ah, but John David actually did know. He had to know what was going on."
Fortunately, Pattinson clinching the title role in The Batman isn't an audacious Christopher Nolan dream sequence. It's very real, and we can't wait to see the results.