FIVE ACTORS WHO COULD PLAY BATMAN IN THE ‘JUSTICE LEAGUE’ MOVIE

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The next time we see Batman on the silver screen, it won’t be in his own solo film, but as a member of the legendary Justice league of America, alongside mighty heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. Now that Christian Bale has left the cape and cowl behind, Warner Bros. is looking for their fifth big screen incarnation of the Dark Knight (not counting 1940’s serials). Here’s a look at five possible actors who could take up the mantle of the bat in the Justice League film and beyond:

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5.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I’ll start with the obvious choice first. (SPOILERS ahead for those who have not seen The Dark Knight Rises.) In Christopher Nolan’s farewell to Batman, JGL played earnest beat cop John Blake, an orphan who figured out that Batman was really Bruce Wayne and helped him rid Gotham City of Bane. At the end of the film, John Blake’s real first name was revealed to be “Robin,” as a wink-and-nod reference to Batman’s long-time masked sidekick. After Bruce Wayne flew off to live happily ever after with Selina Kyle (with the world thinking he was dead), “Robin” was given directions to the Batcave, and it seemed as if the mythic power of Batman as a symbol inspired him to carry on the mantle of the Dark Knight Detective.

I wouldn’t hold my breath for this one. Besides being too tied in to Nolan’s bat-films, JGL is an extremely hot commodity in Hollywood right now, on the verge of commanding huge salaries for starring roles. Whoever takes over the role of Batman will more than likely have to sign a long-term commitment (at least five films) to play the character in Justice League, plus any sequels and some solo Batman films as well. I don’t think Warner Bros. will be able to shell out a huge amount of cash to lock Gordon-Levitt down, and I don’t think he’d agree to it, anyway. Despite this, I think he has the acting chops to pull off a terrific Batman.

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4.) Garrett Hedlund

I’m in the minority when I say that Garrett Hedlund was impressive in Tron: Legacy. Where others saw a wooden performance by a Hayden Christensen-esque pretty boy, I saw a budding action star with a certain magnetism and life behind the eyes.

Hedlund isn’t playing it safe in his career post-Tron; he’s flexing his burgeoning acting chops by tackling the challenging role of Jack Kerouac’s wild drifter Dean Moriarty in the upcoming film adaptation of the seminal beat generation novel On The Road. I think there’s something more to Hedlund than a pretty face and generic action roles. He’s got a brooding quality and a nice raspy Batman voice that wouldn’t require much adjusting, unlike Christian Bale’s endlessly mocked animal growl.

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3.) Nathan Fillion

I don’t think Nathan Fillion would make a good Batman, but since this is an article discussing casting possibilities for a superhero, I am required to include him under geek blogger law. ( I am violating the code by not posting a picture from Firefly or Serenity, however. Damn the man! Fight the power!)

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2.) Michael Fassbender

Okay, admittedly, this is purely fanboy dream casting on my part. I have a massive man-crush on Fassbender and whenever a male action/genre/sci-fi/whatever role is announced, I believe Fassbender should be immediately cast. The guy simply commands your attention and holds it there until the film is over. His performances seem effortless, yet powerful and mesmerizing.

You have to admit, Fassbender would make an awesome Batman. He would completely own the screen as a seasoned, badass, take-no-shit Dark Knight that could reduce the younger heroes to a puddle of piss with a look, and verbally destroy anyone who dare argue with him. He could easily master the grim, relentlessly determined aspect of the character, then instantly transition to suave, debonair, playboy mode. But, there is no way in hell this is happening. Fassbender is probably a bit too old, and – like JGL – a little too high-profile and pricey. I’m sure Fassbender wouldn’t want to be tied to the cape and cowl for any period of time, either.

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1.) Armie Hammer

Out of all the actors mentioned here, Armie Hammer is probably the most logical choice to be the next big screen Batman. He’s a physically imposing presence (6’5″, 220 lbs.); has a deep, commanding voice; and the guy can truly act his ass off, as his performances as the Winkelvoss twins in The Social Network and Agent Clyde Tolson in J. Edgar can attest. Hammer is also playing another legendary masked hero in the upcoming Disney production of The Lone Ranger, alongside Johnny Depp as Tonto.

His star is rising, but he is not yet a household name. Playing the greatest superhero of all-time  in several high-profile blockbusters could certainly change all of that. Plus, the guy was already cast to play Batman once before. Yep, Armie was signed to play the Dark Knight in Mad Max director George Miller’s shelved Justice League film back in 2007. The time may be ripe for Hammer to get another shot at it.

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About Author

Jeff Carter

Jeff is the defining voice of his generation. Sadly, that generation exists only in an alternate dimension where George Lucas became supreme overlord of the Earth in 1979 and replaced every television broadcast and theatrical film on the planet with Star Wars and Godzilla movies. In this dimension, he’s just a guy from New England who likes writing snarky things about superheroes, monsters, and robots.

  • Anna_Papachristos

    What are you talking about? Armie Hammer has been a household name for years! http://www.gapalicious.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/imgLogo.gif ;D

  • Eddie Murphy. The man’s got *range*!

  • ugh…Fassbender is fine as Magneto. He doesnt have to be in everything for chrissake! when youre done fellating the mans balls get back to us with a real list.

    • @facebook-677108452:disqus Ohhh…I’m sorry, sir, did I ruin this highly important and crucial topic with some lighthearted humor? How DARE I? The unmitigated gall! I am so ashamed, what an affrontery to the sanctity of geek culture blogging I am. How ever will I sleep at night? I’m sorry Gerard…I’ll get to work on a “serious” list right away. Tell me, will 20 actors suffice, or perhaps 25? Yes, a serious 25 actor list with zero snark or comedy. I shall get back to work on it right away, and by “get back to work on it,” I mean, I will ignore your trolling and do nothing. Have a nice day.

      • Poke

        Dont respond to trolls man, it makes you look bad and encourages them

  • yeah…you got me. You should have titled this “3 Actors The Could Play Batman and Then I Try To Be Funny Twice” , certainly would have been more accurate.

    • My first troll! Now I know this site is going to be successful!

      • that was a good joke…last week. sloppy sloppy sloppy. forgive me for being such a passionate fan that when i see a headline like that i click thinking “wow, i wonder which five actors theyve suggested” instead i get “blah, blah, blah Fassbender is the shizz yo!” and “Nerds like Nathan Fillion right?”…smh

        • If all you want is straight up boring news, and lists presented with no levity or snark, I suggest you go read another site, because the GLA is all about having FUN with this information. Have you read anything else on this site? 90% of the articles and news blogs here add personal commentary and humorous observations/anecdotes.
          Life is way too serious and dour as it is, and while I love superhero movies and sci-fi/fantasy more than anything, there’s no need to take this shit so seriously. I’m not just going to type out lists and regurgitate information about geek culture without adding some humor to help bring it to life.
          Oh, and I wasn’t joking when I said Fassbender would make an amazing Batman. I listed very valid reasons to support the choice in the second paragraph, which you seem to be ignoring.

  • electreffect

    DiCaprio. Bruce Wayne with a Napoleon complex.

  • JGL would be a horrible choice. Too much confusion with The Dark Knight trilogy and a lot of confusion among fans as to which “Robin” he’s supposed to be. (Frankly, I was hoping that lady would’ve said “Richard” or “Tim” when talking about his birth-name, but then again, most of the audience wouldn’t have gotten it). I digress.

    I totally agree with you about Armie Hammer. The guy is blue-eyed, strong-jawed and nails the “deeply concerned” look. I can imagine him wearing the bat-suit, cowl off, hand on his chin, pondering in the Batcave all sullen and foreboding.

    All in all, great article. It really got me riled up for a geek argument. Keep ’em coming!

    • @twitter-41046501:disqus Thanks! I’m actually working on a Justice League casting article as I type this.

      • Looking forward to it. You got yourself a new reader.

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  • TrackerLV

    Jensen Ackles, Joe Manganiello, Andrew Lincoln, Jake Gyllenhaal, or Bradley Cooper.

    • Brian Tubbs

      Jensen Ackles! Hell yeah!

  • NEP

    I’ll say that Garret Hedlund LOOKS LIKE a Bruce Wayne. Armie Hammer is too big to be Batman but I could see him being Aquaman. I think that would make a lot more sense. When you think ‘King of Atlantis,’ you think of stature and presence which Armie, in my opinion would bring to a character that would need it.

  • Floyd Willis

    I think that Idris Elba should be the next Batman!!!!!!!!!

  • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

    You have got yourself a new fan. I really appreciate you suggestions of Fassbender and Hammer. Depending on the tone and mood of the upcoming Justice League franchise, I think Fassbender and Hammer are equally suited if the tone is along their acting style. If the Franchise continues the “darker” and more “realistic” visual and emotional style of the Nolan trilogy and the new Man of Steel, I think Armie Hammer is better suited visually and emotionally. However, if there is a more fantasy styled tilt to the JL film(s), like it seems the super SciFi Guardians of the Universe will be applying, then I think Fassbender is better suited. Really though, I think they would both be great in both scenarios, even if I favor the set-ups I just mentioned.

    So here is my break down of your list with my favorites.
    Fave- 1.- Armie Hammer. He is physically fit to the role. Batman has always been of large stature and I don’t think his physical presence has ever been well represented in film. This physical fit of character is based on my assumption that he would be cast as Bruce Wayne and not some other iteration of Batman.
    2.- Garrett Hedlund. I agree with you on the under appreciated thing. I was charmed and mesmerized by the visual power in Tron:Legacy but, for me, the reason that the story and the narrative stuck was because of the the raw undercurrent of emotional energy that Hedlund possesses. This emotion belongs inside of Batman’s arsenal and I don’t know of a contemporary actor that fits this bill as well as Hedlund. However, if the new films include the Dark Knight trilogy in their Batman history, I don’t think that Hedlund has the face to match what Batman/Bruce Wayne has been through. I would love for Hedlund to play a new iteration of Batman, brought forward, perhaps by an encouraging Bruce Wayne, in response to the need of the Justice League. However, if the Dark Knight Trilogy is not considered canon I still think that Garrett Hedlund can do a great job but, I would demote him to number 3.
    3.- Michael Fassbender. With Gerrett Hedlund’s potential 3rd place ranking, Fassbender holds a potential 2nd place rank. Obviously, Fassbender has a broad spectrum of psychological and emotional tools in his acting bag. In Prometheus we were shown the cold and emotionally isolated android. While Batman is no android, the emotionally withdrawn and cold calculating look in the eye is a homerun for Fassbender in this role. We also know that he has the physical ability because of his role in 300. Regardless of all of these great attributes, if we were to imagine Bruce Wayne in the current business world, I think Michael Fassbender looks a lot more like a Bruce Wayne than Bruce Wayne ever could if we imported the original Batman face from the comics and Photoshopped it into the present. Fassbender looks like the tech-savvy Bruce Wayne that modern times demand. Batman is no longer the gumshoe with gadgets detective that his birth required him to be. Visually, Fassbender is the modern Batman in my mind. Cristian Bale did a great job acting the character of the “past meets present” Batman. I think Fassbender physically and visually is the ideal modern, silicon valley embracing, tech-savvy, sociable Batman that the world needs, even if it doesn’t want it.
    4.- Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Like Hedlund, but with financial obstacles ignored, I really think that Gordon-Levitt could become a great new iteration of Batman. Like the Robins who ascended to Batman status before him, “Robin” could become a great Batman without needing to be sidekick Robin first. If JL takes the story line from the Dark Knight trilogy and carries it on, Gordon-Levitt could be a nice fit, story wise, and would add some naivety/brashness to the character that Nolan’s current Batman could not naturally carry to the JL. This would allow the character time to develop into the calculating mind that becomes the League’s tactician.
    5.- Captain “Mal,” Nathan Fillion. As entertaining as he is as Castle and as handsome as he looked in superhero getup in Dr. Evil’s Sing-Along Blog, Nathan Fillion is obviously a terrible idea. Lol.

    • Wow, thanks for all the kind words! That’s a great great breakdown of the casting choices, and I appreciate you becoming a new fan. I hope you enjoy all of the articles and reviews here. Welcome to the League!

  • Jim

    Ding dig ding ! & the winner is Michaeeeeeeel Fassssssssssssbender, this really is a nice list & Fassbender perfectly fits as Bruce Wayne which is important considering anyone can play masked role, easier playing Batman rather than Wayne. I still feel Fassbender should be no.1 contender. Nice list though 😀

  • tony macaroni

    You assumethat Fassbender……. would actually be interested. Which I doubt. He’s already done a couple comic book roles plus Prometheus, he’s a Good actor…..he’s not Ryan Reynolds and Chris Evans who are apparently building their careers on doing nothing BUT comic book movies.

    • Actually, I don’t assume he’d be interested. In fact, I state in the article that it would never happen: “But, there is no way in hell this is happening. Fassbender is probably a bit too old, and – like JGL – a little too high-profile and pricey. I’m sure Fassbender wouldn’t want to be tied to the cape and cowl for any period of time, either.”

  • Brian Tubbs

    Every single pick here is horrible. 1.Jenson Ackles 2. Anson Mount, 3. Josh Holloway (with brown hair of course)

  • balegal1978

    Fassbender all the way.
    Or Jom Hamm or Richard Armitage

    • balegal1978

      and he is not too old…he´s in the right age;…

  • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAFLECK!