Who Is On The Shortlist To Play The Next Batman?

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Once it was announced that the next DC Comics movie would be Batman/Superman, and feature a brand new Batman, speculation began immediately as to who would play him. Warner Brothers, perhaps sensing this wanton curiosity amongst the fanbase, has apparently decided to get a head start on deciding who will get to wear the cape and cowl.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog is reporting that the process of considering actors has begun. The Batman in the film is rumored to be an older, more experienced Batman, and have an adversarial relationship with Superman like the one seen in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns comic series (which might be a reason why Frank Miller was rumored to be consulting Zach Snyder on the film).

Here is the list given by Heat Vision:

Josh Brolin

josh-brolin1Age: 46

Nationality: American.

Where You’d Know Him From: For a certain generation, you’d know him as James Brolin’s son. Their children might know him from his starring roles in The Goonies. People with short-term memories would remember him from his recent spate of work, including No Country For Old Men. Milk (for which he earned an Oscar nomination) or W.

His Most Recent Work?: He had a role in this year’s Gangster Squad.

Why He’s a Good Fit: He’s a great actor that looks the part. And he has experience in comic book movies; he did a stunning Tommy Lee Jones impersonation in Men in Black 3 and is set for the lead in next year’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

Why he’s not?: The only other comic book movie he had the lead in, Jonah Hex, bombed and bombed badly. Warners apparently has held no bad feelings in the matter, because he is the rumored frontrunner for Batman in this film.

Interesting Bit of Trivia: He was married to Diane Lane, who plays Ma Kent in Man of Steel, until February of this year. That should make for an uncomfortable set if the two ever have to share a screen and a plethora of “Batman slept with your momma, Superman” jokes if he gets cast.

Ryan Gosling

ryan-gosling-garticleAge: 32.

Nationality: Canadian.

Where You’d Know Him From: His career is on fire at the moment. He has starred in Half Nelson (For which he was nominated for and Oscar), The Notebook, Crazy Stupid Love, Drive, The Ides of March and Blue Valentine.

His Most Recent Work?: He also had a role in this year’s Gangster Squad and also appeared in The Place Beyond the Pines. He will be seen later this year in Only God Forgives.

Why He’s a Good Fit: He’s a great actor whose career is at its apex. He is skilled in the dark and edgy roles, which suits him nicely for the role of Batman. If you’ve seen a film where he takes his shirt off (almost all of them), you’ll know that he has the type of physique that would not require much help from the costume department to look heroic. His popularity with the female movie audiences s so great that they’ve actually built an Internet meme around it. And he has Warner Brothers corporate sibling, Entertainment Weekly’s, seal of approval.

Why He’s Not?: If they are going for a Batman who is older and more mature than Superman, I doubt the year and a half that Gosling is older than Henry Cavill is going to play all that much.

Interesting Bit of Trivia: Before he became the heartthrob to millions of women, he was a mouseketeer. He appeared on the same generation of the Mickey Mouse Club that Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aquilera starred on. Keep that in mind the next time you see him shirtless.

Joe Manganiello

Joe+Manganiello+GQ+XLV+Super+Bowl+Party+Red+4RqQ3fds0AnlAge: 36

Nationality: American

Where You’d Know Him From: He is a regular on the HBO series, True Blood. He plays a werewolf.

His Most Recent Work?: In addition to True Blood, he appeared in last year’s Magic Mike.

Why He’s a Good Fit: He is almost as popular with the ladies as Gosling is, but in the more important female fans of genre fiction demographic. He also has a superhero like physique, and more of a Dark Knight Returns Batman body type than Gosling. Even though he is only five years older than Henry Cavill, he looks quite a bit older.

Why He’s Not?: Coordinating his shooting schedule for the film with his one for True Blood might prove to be an insurmountable obstacle.

Interesting Bits of Trivia: He was supposedly on Zack Snyder’s shortlist to play Superman before Cavill was chosen.If he holds a grudge, that might add a bit of pep to the Batman/Superman rivalry. Also, he has experience in working on a comic book film, having played Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (It’s true! It’s on IMDB! Look it up!)

Richard Armitage

richard-armitage-in-hobbitul-o-calatorie-neasteptata-large-pictureAge: 41.

Nationality: English.

Where You’d Know Him From: He has an extensive resume in BBC shows, including Strike Back, which aired in the States on Showtime.

His Most Recent Work?: Not a big fan of British imports? Well, Armitage plays Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a role he will reprise in the film’s two sequels.

Why He’s a Good Fit: Based on the picture to the left, he certainly looks like Bruce Wayne. He’s got the right age difference to make that plot point work. He has experience turning a kick-ass character from another media that has many rabid and loyal fans into a kick-ass character on the big screen.

Why He’s Not?: That character was his most notable work and he was all but unrecognizable under tons and tons of make-up. Outside of that, he’s really not that well known a commodity. And also, xenophobes might be up in arms if both Superman and Batman are played by Brits (but I’m sure they’d welcome Welshman Christian Bale with open arms if he decided to come back)..

Interesting Bits of Trivia: Armitage also has another superhero film connection. He played Heinz Kruger in Captain America: The First Avenger. Kruger was the Hydra Agent that assassinated Stanley Tucci’s Professor Erskine. He also had an uncredited role as a “Naboo Fighter Pilot” in Star Wars,Episode I–The Phantom Menace. Taking that into consideration, it’s a wonder why Disney/Marvel hasn’t snatched him up for Doctor Strange and/or Star Wars, Episode VII.

Max Martini

The Cooler Movie PremiereAge: 43.

Nationality: American.

Where You’d Know Him From: He has done a lot of TV, including roles in 24, The Unit, Lie to Me and Revenge. He has also appeared in films such as Saving Private Ryan, Columbiana, and Redbelt.

His Most Recent Work?: He played the father part of an Australian father/son Jaeger team in Pacific Rim and will be seen as a Navy SEAL commander in this year’s Captain Phillips.

Why He’s a Good Fit: He does seem to have a lot of action-adventure roles to his credit. His performance in Pacific Rim was gritty, layered and had a lot of qualities that would translate well into playing Batman.

Why He’s Not?: Well, he’s not the most well known name on the list. And, assuming he gets the part and doesn’t dye his hair, he will become exhibit B that film students in the future will use as they try to figure out why Zach Snyder takes brunette characters from the comic books and casts them with redheads.

Interesting Bits of Trivia: His step-father was The Rockford Files’ Stuart Margolin and many other family members are in the entertainment business. Pacific Rim conflicted with him taking a role on True Blood, which would have made this list even more interconnected.

Matthew Goode

"Brideshead Revisited" Launch Event - ExclusiveAge: 35.

Nationality: English.

Where You’d Know Him From: He is known for his work in Match PointLeap Year, and he played Ozymandias for Zack Snyder in Watchmen. 

His Most Recent Work?: He appeared in this year’s dark psychological thriller, Stoker.

Why He’s a Good Fit: He has worked with Snyder before, which can only be a good thing. He can be quite good given the right script and directing. And his role in Stoker shows he can play normal-seeming crazy, a good talent for Batman.

Why He’s Not?: In Watchmen, he wore a Schumacher-esque latex muscle suit as a form of commentary. If he plays Batman, he might have to wear it with no sense of irony. He has arguably the least Batman physique of anyone on the list.

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About William Gatevackes 1933 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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The problem is finding someone who can play a good Batman and Bruce Wayne. Depending on where they want to take the characters I’d like to see Victor Webster take the part.

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