Ten Actors Who Should Be Considered To Play The Next BATMAN
With Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale's cinematic take on Batman finished, the character will most likely be rebooted in 2015's Justice League film. Hit the jump to see which ten actors I most want to see under the cowl of the Dark Knight.
Ever since his inception in 1939, Batman has been depicted by many actors on both the big and small screens. For the former, the Dark Knight has been played by Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and most recently Christian Bale. With Warner Bros. planning a Justice League movie for 2015 and then a new Batman series afterwards, a new actor will most likely be cast as Bruce Wayne sooner rather than later. With Bale delivering such fantastic performances as both Wayne and Batman (I still believe he’s the best actor to depict the character on screen to date, unless you count Kevin Conroy), it’d be nearly impossible to find an actor who could be just as good, if not better. However, I decided to list ten actors who I believe would be fine replacements for Bale, and who will likely deliver a great performance as the iconic DC Comics legend. Note: 10-6 isn’t exactly in precise order. Also, despite being rumored to be playing the new Batman, I'm not counting Joseph Gordon-Levitt (John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises) because the Nolanverse is done, plain and simple.
#10 - Armie Hammer (J. Edgar)
Pros: Hammer was actually cast as Batman in Warner Bros.'s failed Justice League: Mortal back in 2007, and has more recently been rumored to be back on the studio’s radar to play the character in the JLA movie that they’re planning now. The fact that he has pleased WB enough before makes the idea of his being cast again believable. Additionally, Hammer has familiarized himself with the character before, has since became a more well-known actor, and has the pretty-boy elements needed to play Bruce Wayne well. Plus, he’ll have blockbuster experience later this summer with Disney’s The Lone Ranger.
Cons: The biggest con alone makes Hammer unqualified to play Batman anytime soon, however: His age. At 26, Hammer is far too young to play the Caped Crusader right now, especially since I’d prefer the next big screen Batman to be mid 30s/early 40s; he won’t even be 30 by the time Justice League comes out (assuming that it’s still on course for summer 2015). Ask me again in ten years if I want Hammer to play Batman, and I’ll probably say yes. But for now, I’d prefer somebody a little older.
#9 - Sam Witwer (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed)
Pros: Best known for being the voice of Starkiller in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video games, Witwer also has some comic book experience after voicing Doomsday on Smallville. He’s a good actor, and he has plenty of intensity (Which is exactly what Batman needs). Also, his chin would be perfect to go along with a Batman cowl.
Cons: Some actors would be better playing Bruce Wayne or Batman (for example, I wasn’t big on Michael Keaton’s Wayne although I loved his Batman), and Witwer is definitely one of them. While he would be great as the Caped Crusader in costume, he is anything but a good fit for the playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne.
#8 - Karl Urban (Dredd)
Pros: Urban is no stranger to geek related movies, having had roles in RED, Star Trek, and most recently Dredd 3D. Like Witwer, he has the intensity needed to play Batman, and he’d also have a great Bat-chin and voice (just imagine his Judge Dredd with a Batman costume on instead).
Cons: Also like Witwer, Urban isn’t the best fit to play Bruce Wayne. Batman, yes. But Karl Urban as a playboy? I don’t quite see it. Also, after already playing Judge Dredd, I’m not sure if he would jump at the chance to play a similar character like Batman anytime soon.
#7 - Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone)
Pros: Stevenson would be a perfect choice for an older Batman. In fact, he’s my pick to play the character in a possible adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns. Like Urban, he has plenty of experience in the comic book movie genre, currently playing Volstagg in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, of course, having previously played Frank Castle in the otherwise mediocre Punisher: War Zone. He’d be a fine choice for Bruce Wayne and a fantastic choice for Batman.
Cons: After roles in a handful of geek movies already (Punisher, Thor, and next year’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Thor: The Dark World), I’m not sure if Stevenson is greedy enough to add Batman to his impressive resume. Also, his age (48) may keep him from playing such a physically demanding character for multiple films.
#6 - Jake Gyllenhaal (Source Code)
Pros: Gyllenhaal happened to be writer David S. Goyer’s choice to play the Caped Crusader in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, but in the end, Christian Bale (Nolan's choice) landed the role. So his being considered for the role again in the near future wouldn’t be shocking. Gyllenhaal shows that he can handle action very well in Prince Of Persia, and that he can be a great actor with Source Code. He also has the pretty boy factor that could work well for Bruce Wayne.
Cons: While he’d be a fine choice for Wayne, I’m not sure if Gyllenhaal has the brooding factor needed for Batman, but I’m sure that can be fixed. Additionally, he recently said that he isn’t in a hurry to play a superhero anytime soon, and is more focused on honing his acting skills within the near future.
#5 - Jim Caviezel (Person Of Interest)
Pros: Caviezel is an underrated actor, and one who would be a great choice for a slightly older Batman. He can provide the intensity needed (as shown in The Passion Of The Christ), and he can also provide the detective skills (as shown on the TV series Person Of Interest). Plus, he’d be a good choice if Warner Bros. wanted to go with an actor similar to Christian Bale, and he can play Bruce Wayne well too.
Cons: I’m not sure if Caviezel can get into the shape that’s crucial for the Dark Knight, or has what it takes to do many of the stunts required. Like Ray Stevenson, it may also be tough to sign him onto a multi-picture deal since he‘s in his 40s.
#4 - Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class)
Pros: Yes, the man who has been suggested for just about every major CBM role these days. Fassbender is a fantastic actor, and one who would balance the roles of Bruce Wayne and Batman perfectly. He has the charm, the intensity, some brooding, etc. What more can you ask? Just watch him in X-Men: First Class to see what I mean.
Cons: Unfortunately, this con is the main reason why Fassbender isn’t at the top of my list. He’s too busy playing Magneto for at least two more X-Men movies, and the fact that he’s so frequently fan-cast into CBM roles makes his name a rather predictable one. While it doesn't change his acting talents at all, many people would probably prefer a more original choice.
#3 - Matthew Fox (Lost)
Pros: I’m going a bit outside of the box with this choice. Fox is another underrated actor, proving that he has action chops in the likes of Speed Racer and Alex Cross. He has that mysterious factor in the former which would work well with Batman, while the latter proves that he can work out when the role demands it. He’d also be a solid choice if the next Batman was inspired by the version in The Batman animated series.
He doesn’t seem to be very interested in CBMs, recently saying that he believes that the genre will eventually die out. A great script can always change his mind, though.
#2 - Joe Manganiello (True Blood)
Pros: Previously in contention for the role of Superman in Man Of Steel, I better see Manganiello (who also played Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man) as Batman. He has the brooding look to him, and he’s more than fit physically for such a role. Plus, he has expressed interest in playing the Caped Crusader in the upcoming reboot and is a comic book fan. He can also portray the playboy Bruce Wayne well.
Cons: Can’t really think of a big con for Manganiello. He’s just such a great choice for Batman.
#1 - Ryan Gosling (Drive)
Pros: And now, to my personal top choice. Like Fassbender, Gosling has been mentioned for many CBM roles (such as Steve Trevor, Aquaman, and the actor even expressed some interest in playing The Flash recently), but to me, he’d be perfectly suited for Batman. Not only does he have the playboy persona down, but he has the action chops and experience to probably play the Caped Crusader. He would also be easy to sign on for multi-picture deals since he’s still young. While I can’t see anybody topping Christian Bale as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, Gosling would definitely come close. He even recently stated that Drive was his attempt at a superhero movie.
Cons: Like Manganiello, I can’t think of a major con for Gosling as Batman. He's an ideal choice.
Feel free to share your top choice(s) for Bruce Wayne/Batman in the comments below.
Honorable Mentions: Josh Brolin (Gangster Squad), Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead)
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