When you think about how the internet has reacted to almost every casting of a major character for a comic book movie in the last 10 years, it’s hard to imagine why any actor or actress would want to take any of the roles. It’s even harder to imagine why someone would want to submit themselves to the public ridicule after having already gone through the franchise mill once, in a very big way. Still, Robert Pattinson has picked up the cape and cowl and he is the new Dark Knight in Matte Reeves’ upcoming film, The Batman. In a new interview with GQ, the actor explained his thought process behind taking on the iconic character.

“I think sometimes the downsides—which I’ve definitely thought about—the downsides kind of seem like upsides. I kind of like the fact that not only are there very, very, very well-done versions of the character which seem pretty definitive, but I was thinking that there are multiple definitive playings of the character. I was watching the making of Batman & Robin the other day. And even then, George Clooney was saying that he was worried about the fact that it’s sort of been done, that a lot of the ground you should cover with the character has been already covered. And that’s in ’96, ’97? And then there’s Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck’s one. And then I was thinking, it’s fun when more and more ground has been covered. Like, where is the gap? You’ve seen this sort of lighter version, you’ve seen a kind of jaded version, a kind of more animalistic version. And the puzzle of it becomes quite satisfying, to think: Where’s my opening?

And also, do I have anything inside me which would work if I could do it? And then also, it’s a legacy part, right? I like that. There’s so few things in life where people passionately care about it before it’s even happened. You can almost feel that pushback of anticipation, and so it kind of energizes you a little bit. It’s different from when you’re doing a part and there’s a possibility that no one will even see it. Right? In some ways it’s, I don’t know… It makes you a little kind of spicy.”

The Batman opens October 1, 2021.