Like the passing of the role of The Doctor or James Bond, speculation is currently in overdrive as to who could pick up the mantle of the bat for Justice League and the then rebooted Batman films that will follow. Here I have decided to add to the speculation.
So far the only actor to have had his name used in the media rumour mill, mostly down to him disappearing into the Batcave at the end of The Dark Knight Rises (hinting at him being the next Batman, or at the very least Nightwing). But he would have to be the Bruce Wayne Batman and not a John Blake Batman. Nobody is interested in that. There would be a sort of logic to his casting, giving a loose connection to the Nolan trilogy without being part of its continuity.
Although all of the speculation surrounding True Blood’s Manganiello has all come from he himself telling anyone who will listen that he is going after the Batman job when it comes up, he may not actually be that bad a choice. He has the look and the build to pull off the suit (especially if they finally ditch the armoured suit – Batman’s a ninja, he doesn’t need armour) and has got the brooding down on True Blood.
Like Henry Cavill as Superman, Hammer has been cast as Batman before and like Cavill saw that project disappear into development hell. But now that Justice League is back on track, maybe he can ask for the job back, Cavill got a second bite at the SuperApple, why not give Hammer his? And if The Lone Ranger pulls in the crowd, he could prove a bankable name to.
I know, I know. What’s the guy from The Hangover films doing on this list? Just for being in 2 (soon to be 3) of those films should see his name taken off all lists for anything. But, a little while back it was rumoured that Cooper had been cast for a small cameo at the end of Man of Steel and while those rumours had him as the potential new Lex Luthor, maybe they were going for a different psycho billionaire. As Zack Snyder recently hinted at a possible Bruce Wayne/Batman cameo at the end of Man of Steel to set up Justice League, the theory isn’t that far out there.
Gosling is currently top of everyone’s list for everything at the moment and it’s fair to say that he has both earned that spot and deserves to be there. As Drive proved; he can do intense loner (just throw a cape and cowl on him and he’s there) and he could handle the Batmobile. He also has the body to fill the suit, as pointed out by Emma Stone in Crazy, Stupid Love.
Now those are the choices that have some weight behind the speculation, but in the tradition of internet casting calls, here are my two wildcards in case they choose to take the character in another direction.
Older Batman - Jon Hamm
In the highly unlikely event that Warners will choose to go older, more established Batman (a decade shy of The Dark Knight Returns Batman) then Hamm is your man. For one, just picture that chin in the cowl. It looks like a Neal Adams drawing of Batman. For two, it’s Jon Hamm! Who doesn’t love Jon Hamm? Just watch a couple of episodes of Mad Men and you’ll see I’m right.
My second choice for older Batman is Kurt Russell, but he’d only have two Bat films in him at most and should be saved for the live action version of Dark Knight Returns (not that that would ever happen).
Smiling Batman - Diedrich Bader
This is my wildest of wildcards. You may be wondering who Bader is or, if you do know, be wondering why the neighbour from Office Space should be Batman, but let me explain. I’m talking about the smiling Batman here; the Adam West-esque Batman without the camp (which tonally would completely remove any comparison to the Bale Batman). Now if you look at a picture of a Bader and Photoshop a cowl on him, you’ll see he has the look down. But as we know, look alone is not enough, what about the acting chops to play Batman. Well just check out Bader’s voice work on Batman: The Brave and the Bold (give it another chance, it’s so much better than you first think) and you’ll see that he is the man for the job.
Whoever gets the job, we’ll either find out when Man of Steel hits cinemas in June 2013 or before Justice League hits in 2015.