Even as his gargantuan ‘Justice League’ movie hits theaters, rumors abound that Ben Affleck wants out of his contract playing Batman in future DC Comics movies. If he leaves, what currently working actor should don the cape and cowl next?
Before DC rebooted its superhero universe with our current cast of characters, there were plans in motion for a George Miller-directed ‘Justice League’ with Armie Hammer playing the Caped Crusader. Why not give him a second chance? Hammer’s career has been wallowing since the box office failures ‘The Lone Ranger’ and ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’, so this could be a chance to revive his box office appeal with a sure-fire hit.
Assuming that WB is continuing with the “Old Man Batman,” my initial gut reaction to this topic was Michael Shannon, an underused gem of an actor who not only has the acting chops, but a perfectly withered look. However, two seconds later I remembered that he was Zod in ‘Man of Steel’, so that wouldn’t really work.
One of the best parts of the past Batman incarnations is the casting of unconventional actors. Following that tradition and, again, assuming that the movies will continue with an angry older Batman, I could see Ethan Hawke being an awesome Bruce Wayne/Batman. We’ve seen him kick ass in shootouts before, but we’ve never really seen him play a fighter, which could be fun. He’s 47-years-old and could easily look older with the same gray-hair effect Affleck used, so the age part would work out just fine. And we’ve seen him brood in countless performances in the past. I think the underutilized actor could easily pull off playing the Caped Crusader.
I think it’s pretty simple, really. Warner Bros. kind of painted itself into a corner by going with an older ‘The Dark Knight Returns’-style Bruce Wayne for the DCU films, which doesn’t leave a very big window of opportunity to further develop the character. While movie magic can help with this somewhat, it can only go so far. I think if the plan is to continue expanding this universe, the studio may have to introduce a younger protégé – like Dick Grayson or maybe even Damian Wayne – to carry on the Batman legacy.
Dacre Montgomery, who plays Max’s a-hole stepbrother on ‘Stranger Things 2’, might be able to pull this off. Having said that, if I were in charge at Warner, I’d seriously contemplate pressing the reset button anyhow, as I’m not sure if the current DCU is even worth saving at this point.
M. Enois Duarte
Since we’re now living in a DC universe where an older Batman comes out of retirement to fight crime and join the Justice League, we need an actor with both the looks and the chops to be the darkly glum, morose presence that criminals fear. After considering several actors, I can imagine Jon Hamm donning the bat-suit, inventing some fantastical gadgets, striking fear in the hearts of criminals and attending super-rich, fancy parties in a tux. Hamm knows how to play the suave, intelligent gentleman while maintaining the party playboy image to deter suspicion from his nightly passions. Every once in a while, he can drop some wisecrack with a straight face.
My second choice is Karl Urban, mostly because he did such an excellent job as the brooding Judge Dredd. He deserves a shot behind the Batmobile.
I have no idea where the next Batman character lines up in terms of age or setting, but if it’s not a young Batman/Bruce Wayne, then I’d get a kick out of Tom Hardy. True, he has already played an overly-theatric, difficult to understand, and ultimately pointless Bane, but I’m sure he could put forth a much better turn as Batman.
As far as I’m concerned, the best answer to this question is that nobody should play Batman. Haven’t we had enough Batman for a while? Even in the current glut of superhero franchises, where obscure C-List characters are coming out of the woodworks to headline big tentpole movies, somehow Batman is still front-and-center and totally overexposed. I’m burned out on Batman. Let the character retire for a decade or so and then we’ll figure this out.
One exception: Will Arnett can continue making as many ‘Lego Batman’ movies as he’s game to do.
Do you have an actor in mind that you’d like to see play the Dark Knight? Give us your ideas in the Comments.