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.

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By Paul Romano - 1/12/2013


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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Jolt17 - 1/12/2013, 8:11 AM
Lee Pace or Matthew Bomer. No to Michael Fassbender.
Jolt17 - 1/12/2013, 8:15 AM
After his frequent appearance in How I Met Your Mother, I'm far more comfortable with seeing Joe Manageniello in comedy, to be honest. Or maybe, a role that isn't too serious - his credit in the likes of True Blood should be enough to make him fitting a serious role, but I'd like to see him in a role that isn't all-around serious, either.
Vafrous - 1/12/2013, 8:18 AM
I like this list. But I would honestly give my left testicle to ensure that Gyllenhaal doesn't play Batman. He's a great actor, but he looks way too much like a friendly panda bear. I'd go with either Logan Marshall Green, Jonathan Rhys Meyer (seriously), Luke Evans or Dustin Clare (Gannicus from Spartacus). Jai Courtney from the new Die Hard would be cool...
Jolt17 - 1/12/2013, 8:19 AM
And as mentioned above, Witwer doesn't really fit a playboy billionaire - I think he lacks the charisma, and also too young-looking despite his age. (I'm aware that he's close to his late 30's.) Love him as an actor, though, but he's not Batman. Karl Urban, on the other hand, is pretty handsome, but not exactly the playboy-charming type. And after Dredd, I just want to see him in that role...oh, wait; maybe he won't have another chance. (What a shame.) But yeah, I prefer seeing him in an all-hardcore role, much like Judge Dredd.
ATrueHero1987 - 1/12/2013, 8:23 AM
All those are fine EXCEPT Ray Stevenson!
thewonderer - 1/12/2013, 8:24 AM
A big PLEASE NO to Fassbender (who I absolutely love as an actor but not Batman and Magneto, he nails Magneto), Ryan Gosling, Matthew Fox, or Jim Caviezel (I love POI but I'm sorry this guy is too bland).

Armie Hammer needs to dye his hair, if he does so, I think he is the best one of this list at least
TheLight - 1/12/2013, 8:25 AM
With Hammer, he could pull it off but let's face it. He's too tall. I just don't want to see a Batman bigger than Superman. That just doesn't seem right.
Has anyone considered looking at Tyler Hoechlin?
Rhysno1 - 1/12/2013, 8:28 AM
None of these men are Batman.
GUNSMITH - 1/12/2013, 8:28 AM
KARL URBAN WOULD OWN THAT ROLE..AFTER THE DREDD PERFORMANE HE CAN DO BATMAN..AND HIS VOICE WOULDNT SOUND TOO BAD WITH GRUFFNESS

Yodaman1979 - 1/12/2013, 8:30 AM
What about Eric Bana?? I think he would make a GREAT Bruce Wayne and Batman
TrueRedBlue - 1/12/2013, 8:31 AM
So.. we all know that this whole DC Cinematic Universe is gonna suck, right? Like, it's just doomed...
GoILL - 1/12/2013, 8:31 AM
I agree with what Marvel87 said.
MarkV - 1/12/2013, 8:35 AM
Some interesting choices....Karl would be pretty decent IMHO
SupLezz - 1/12/2013, 8:36 AM
I think David Boreanaz would make a great Bruce Wayne & Batman. Rumor has it that he was proposed to play the role in Batman Begins. We all know he can play dark, brooding characters = Angel



95 - 1/12/2013, 8:36 AM
I like 10, 8, 5, 2, or 1. The actors I did not list are not Bruce Wayne material, nor Batman, in my opinion of course. I got to agree with @Jolt17 on the Witwer subject and @Froggy on the Hammer choice. Anyway... another well put together article, Paul ;)
silverdog - 1/12/2013, 8:37 AM
urban or hammer...
jimpinto24 - 1/12/2013, 8:39 AM
Jake Gyllenhaal & Karl Urban are the best choice.
Goran - 1/12/2013, 8:39 AM
I'm all for Fox!
TrueRedBlue - 1/12/2013, 8:39 AM
Everyone got so mad when they found out Spidey was getting rebooted 5 years after Spider-Man 3. But when Batman gets rebooted 3 years after TDKR, it's sooo different. People are sheep.
Jer3miah - 1/12/2013, 8:41 AM
That list is foolish. Stevenson? Fassbender? Looks like a fan boy's wet dream to me. That list has some atrocious selections. Most of them don't fit Bruce Wayne, anyway. In my humblest opinion, I'd prefer an unknown who already possesses martial art skill. I want a Batman who really fights like a ninja and is able and capable of flipping once in a while. Or at least doing a bloody power roll.
CavEl - 1/12/2013, 8:41 AM
Terrible list, especially your number 1. Gosling sounds like a little girl.

He doesn't have the base to be brooding like Batman.
CoolantTech - 1/12/2013, 8:41 AM
Its between Caviezel and Manganiello for me, can't really see any of the other guys accurately portraying him
typicalfanboy - 1/12/2013, 8:43 AM
babygoose's voice is so high. i can't ever see him being batman.why is he number 1? aquaman or flash, sure, but not batman.
95 - 1/12/2013, 8:44 AM
@TrueRedBlue You know, I saw a clip of Gangster Squad on the tele and it was surprisingly bland. So when I looked on Rotten Tomatoes and saw the score in the 30s I became less enthusiastic about Will Beall's JL script. Of course someone could rewrite it, or perhaps a good director can make it work, but it is a little concerning now, that of all people, Beall got to pen the script. In fact, even the JL: Mortal screenwriters were an odd choice (and I hear they did a shitty job).
yingyangpalms - 1/12/2013, 8:46 AM
How about a badass guy to play Batman instead of guys like Gosling who would only fit the role because they look like Ritchie Rich.
Some of the other guys are good actors but are not badass enough to be Batman.
We dont need another Pussy Batman like Nolan gave us. So I wouldnt want anyone on that list, though I'd like to see Witwer get some good roles.

This is the guy who should be Batman:




A Batman played by Michael Jai White would brutally slaughter Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney and Bale all at the same time. Then he would take Basinger, Pfieffer, Kidman, and Thurman home to see a real Batman. Due to ugliness, he would discard both Rachel Dawes in a dumpster on the way to Wayne Manor.
StrangerX - 1/12/2013, 8:47 AM
Well these are all good choices, but I prefer Eric Bana as the Worlds Greatest Detective
MBZ1993 - 1/12/2013, 8:47 AM
SAM WITWER!!! perfect choice for Batman has the jaw and he can pull off the dark low voice bale did
gambgel - 1/12/2013, 8:47 AM
I voted for Jim Caviezel

He is closer to Bale's look and personally it would be amazing to see him as Batman close to Henry Cavill.

most of the others are too young in my opinion. and Fassbender is already Magneto so Id preffer another actor.
TheLight - 1/12/2013, 8:48 AM
I don't think this will EVER get resolved. DC's got to wake up.
EtriganTheDemon - 1/12/2013, 8:49 AM
I don't like this list, I cant see any of those choices being Batman. I find it surprising that no one has thought of Andrew Lincoln from The Walking Dead. He has the looks to play Bruce Wayne, but he could be a totally bad-ass Batman. Referencing his freak-out scenes in The Walking Dead, he would be more raw and angry rather than have an overly gravelly voice.
CavEl - 1/12/2013, 8:51 AM
2.) Mangenillo made sense for Superman because of his height and muscular physic, not much sense for Batman.

3.) Foxx hates CBMs.

4.) Fassbender is already Magneto.

5.) Jesus works, but you'd have to pair him up with Jon Hamm (Kal-El) for a Kingdom Come movie.

6.) Jake Gyllenhaal is a great choice.

7.) Ray Stevenson is a hell no, looks like a gorilla.

8.) Karl Urban is a great choice.

9.) Sam Whitwer is another great pick.

10.) Hammer is not Bruce Wayne or Batman...something about him makes him look too happy.
Jolt17 - 1/12/2013, 8:51 AM
KnightofSteel: You must be new here... :)

In all seriousness, though, Henry Cavill has been people's contender for Superman since quite a long time ago, at least on this site - including me, yes. And him being confirmed in the role is, of course, a dream coming true for a lot of people.
IronDean2099 - 1/12/2013, 8:55 AM
KnightofSteel@ If I remember correctly, about half of these actors were frequently included in Superman fan casts. It's like, 'we get it you want every superhero to be ripped with a strong jaw.'
Supes17 - 1/12/2013, 8:56 AM
I think Caviezel would do well. He was originally supposed to portaray SUperman in Superman Returns but Singer flelt that he had gotten too famous due to Passion of the Christ
hayyam - 1/12/2013, 8:56 AM
Luke Evans or Wes Bentley
Supes17 - 1/12/2013, 8:56 AM
Gosling? gtfo
Jolt17 - 1/12/2013, 9:01 AM
LEVITIKUZ: He's around 34 by now, I believe, but he looks way younger than that. And spot on, my friend - I've been saying that he'd fit Batman if the man behind the costume is Dick Grayson, not Bruce Wayne. He'd make a great Dick...um, Grayson. Or any other younger heroes, but Nightwing is the best I can think of for now.
JacksonVegaIII - 1/12/2013, 9:02 AM
Some people are mentioning some terrible actors, they may look the part but jesus, theyve gotta follow Bale for christ sake

Eric Bana would be good - good chin, good actor

Ryan Gosling could work

Fassbender is a great actor but Im not too sure, I wouldnt be all that disapointed if he did get it tho

Viggo Mortensen would be great altho he's probably a little to old

Arnie Hammer no no no

Joe Manganiello isnt a good enough actor/screen presence


Gyllenhaal youve gotta be joking, a good actor but NO

Urban doesnt have the chin for it

Stevenson is too old and doesnt have the screen presence

Boreanaz aint a good enough actor

Fox such a boring uninspiring screen presence

Tens yrs ago I wouldve said Viggo Mortensen all the way
he's pretty much perfect for Wayne/Batman in my opinion but alas hes a little to old now.

At the minute Id say Bana

StrangerX - 1/12/2013, 9:03 AM
seriously this is the guy
Eric-Bana Pictures, Images and Photos
JatevinM - 1/12/2013, 9:08 AM
Only about half of this list should even be considered. I'd really like to see Manginello as Superman but since that role is already taken I could see him as Batman.
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