With Ben Affleck officially out as Batman, the mantle of the Dark Knight is now open for a brand new actor to inhabit and there’s a frenzy as to who exactly will take on the role in The Batman.
Director Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) is said to be focusing on a film that will explore a younger Batman with a focus on his detective abilities and will be delivered with a very hard-noir aesthetic. Reeves has also hinted that we’ll likely see multiple villains included in the film and their are rumors of a rogues gallery that may include The Penguin, The Riddler and The Court of Owls.
While all of this is so far speculative at the moment, the wheels are turning and names such as Nicholas Hoult, Taron Egerton and Robert Pattinson have been touted as being on the shortlist to take on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
We’re still a long way off any official casting and so I thought I’d offer up my take on who I’d like to see take on the mantle of Batman:
5. Jake Gyllenhaal
When it comes to Batman fan castings, Gyllenhaal is a name that has been synonymous with Batman ever since 2005’s Batman Begins when the actor ended up in second place behind Christian Bale for the title role. Following on from Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Gyllenhaal was again a serious favorite for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before Affleck was cast, and since then fans have continued to hope that he would take on the character. Known for his vast acting range and transformative performances, I feel that Gyllenhaal would make for a great playboy as Bruce Wayne, along with being able to portray the driven and haunted nature of Batman. But with new director Matt Reeve’s desire for a younger Batman, I fear that Gyllenhaal’s current age at 38, and his commitment as Mysterio in the burgeoning Spider-Man universe may have pushed him out of the running. Still I would love to see him as Batman and we’ll just have to see what develops from here.
4. Luke Evans
Ever since he first popped up in 2010’s Clash of the Titans, I’ve been game for anything that Welsh thespian Luke Evans has done and he’s really come into his own as a leading man with solid roles in films such as The Hobbit, Fast & Furious 6 and Beauty and the Beast. When Henry Cavill was first announced to take the role of Clark Kent/Superman for Man of Steel I instantly thought that Evans would make a great Bruce Wayne/Batman and had hoped to see the two of them battle it out. With his propensity for dark and tormented characters, and his gothic delivery I reckon that Evans could make for a really obsessive Batman and we could be in for a real treat if he were cast.
3. Michiel Huisman
Every speculative casting needs a while card entry and for The Batman my vote goes to Michiel Huisman. While the Dutch actor is not an obvious choice, his recent work in the likes of Game of Thrones and The Haunting of Hill House has really opened him up as an actor and I feel like he has both the charm and physicality to make for a great Bruce Wayne/Batman. While he’s a burgeoning star in his own right, he’s not quite on the A-list level that Gyllenhaal and Evans sit on at the moment, but I have a feeling that given the opportunity to do Batman, Huisman would really commit to the project and with his wide range of performances I believe that he could do something innovative with the character where we are actually seeing the character, rather than just the name star behind him.
2. Garrett Hedlund
Director Matt Reeves has continually boasted that The Batman will follow a younger Batman in an almost Year One quality and if we’re going for youth I feel that Garrett Hedlund could be a good fit here. At 34, he’s in the right age range for the character and over his career has taken the time to try a lot of different characters and genres. While Hedlund has generally shied away from bigger budget productions in favour of more independent film work, and turned down roles including Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey and Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games, I have the feeling that the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman could work well in his favour and I’d be keen to see his dramatic flair brought to the surface for an appearance as the Dark Knight.
1. Armie Hammer
While he’s been labelled as the favourite amongst both industry and fan castings, and was even rumoured to have be signed onto the part, before shooting those rumors down, I still have my fingers crossed that Armie Hammer will take on the role of Batman. Standing 6’5, Hammer is a physical beast and over the last decade has spent a lot of time honing his craft as an actor in amazing performances in films such as The Social Network, J. Edgar and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The young actor was critically lauded for his work in Call Me By Your Name and he’s continued to choose diverse and evocative subject matter to keep him busy as an actor. Like Christian Bale I think we’d really see something special if Armie Hammer would take on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman and that he’d give us a truly 360 degree performance that would also take into Reeves’ noir driven detective archetype that he’s leaning towards here. There’s also the matter of unfinished business for Hammer who was set to embody the character in George Miller’s unproduced Justice League and I really hope that we finally get to see Hammer take on the character and finally make his mark on the big screen with it.
While we’re still a way off knowing exactly who will take on the mantle of the Dark Knight detective, and whatever casting we get is sure to shockwaves through the internet, I’m fairly certain that Matt Reeves is going to deliver us something special with his interpretation of the Batman mythos and I can’t wait to see what will come next.
The Batman is set to be released in cinemas in 2021.