Former Twilight star Robert Pattinson is in negotiations to play Batman in the latest installation of the superhero franchise, according to US reports.

Variety broke the news Pattinson, who became a teen heart-throb playing vampire Edward Cullen, is the top choice to play the Caped Crusader.

Pattinson is expected to "close shortly" a deal to star in the untitled Matt Reeves-directed Batman movie, which is slated for release on June 25, 2021.

Robert Pattinson is reportedly in talks to take on the role of Batman. Photo / Supplied.
Robert Pattinson is reportedly in talks to take on the role of Batman. Photo / Supplied.

ButDeadline reports Pattinson playing Bruce Wayne is far from a done deal, with X-Men star Nicholas Hoult also on a short list for the role.

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Both actors are surprising choices for the role, with Ben Affleck last donning Batman's suit in 2017's Justice League.

Actors Armie Hammer and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were also considered for the role, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

At 32, Pattinson would also be the youngest actor to ever play the DC Comics superhero.

Affleck had been expected to star and direct the next Batman movie but told Jimmy Kimmel Live in February he couldn't make it work.

"I tried to direct a version of it and worked with a really good screenwriter but just couldn't come up with a version, I couldn't crack it," Affleck told Kimmel.

"So I thought it was time to let someone else take a shot at it. They got some really good people, so I'm excited."

Before Affleck, Batman was played by Christian Bale in the Christopher Nolan-directed Dark Knight trilogy that was a hit with critics and audiences alike.

Pattinson playing Batman is a surprising choice for the English actor who has shunned mainstream movie roles in recent years.

Reports Pattinson was in the running to play Batman drew a mixed reaction on Twitter, with some complaining the former teen-heart throb was woefully miscast.

Since The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 came out in 2012, both he and co-star Kristen Stewart have favoured more indie fare.

Pattinson's latest film is the Claire Denis-directed High Life, which will screen at the Sydney Film Festival next month.