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:[divider]
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.[divider]
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.[divider]
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!)[divider]
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.[divider]
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.