It's official: Warner Bros has confirmed it has closed a deal with Robert Pattinson and he is officially the new Batman.

The studio confirmed to Variety that the Twilight star will play the caped hero in Matt Reeves' The Batman, due to release in July, 2021.

Pre-production on the film is expected to start soon, but no official start date has been set for filming.

Reeves - who made the last two Planet of the Apes films - has taken over directing from Ben Affleck, who stood down in January 2017.

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Affleck starred in the coveted role in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017's Justice League, with Zack Snyder at the helm of both films, which each received mixed reviews.

Pattinson is an unexpected choice to replace Affleck. He shot to stardom in vampire-romance franchise Twilight, which saw him star as brooding teen vamp Edward Cullen across five hit films.

More recently, he's starred in The Lighthouse, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival, Claire Denis' High Life, Netflix's Waiting for the Barbarians, and is currently starring in Christopher Nolan's latest offering, Tenet.

According to Deadline, Tolkein star Nicholas Hoult was also on a short list for the role.

Armie Hammer and Aaron Taylor-Johnson have also previously eyed the role, which has been held in the past by the likes of Christian Bale and George Clooney.