In case you’ve been living under a rock since last weekend, Warner Bros. announced that the sequel to this summer’s blockbuster hit Man of Steel will feature the Dark Knight himself – Batman – in a film to be titled “Batman vs. Superman” or “Superman vs. Batman”. However, it was not mentioned who would be playing the Caped Crusader.
Zac Snyder is set to return to the director’s chair on the sequel and producer Harry Lennix made the announcement at Comic Con last weekend by quoting Frank Milller’s The Dark Knight Returns. The graphic novel features an aged Bruce Wayne – 55 years old to be exact – donning the suit one last time in order to clean up the streets of Gotham but he encounters Superman along the way and the two end up in a battle for the ages.
Snyder, who has said in the past that he’d love to see Miller’s dark portrayal of an older Batman on-screen, didn’t say whether or not Man of Steel 2 would be adapting that particular story…I’ve got a feeling they’re going to be looking for a younger Wayne, someone who can play the character for multiple movies.
If that’s the case, here are some suggestions:
Armie Hammer – 26 years old
Hammer isn’t quite the movie star you’d expect to be taking on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman…but neither was Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, or George Clooney at the times they were cast to play the part. Christian Bale wasn’t as well known as he is today but he was still an established actor at the time he was cast as Batman. Hammer is quickly becoming an A-list actor but he has not yet established himself at the box office. It was thought that this summer’s blockbuster-flop The Lone Ranger (co-starring alongside Johnny Depp) would propel him to the forefront of Hollywood. However, the movie bombed and so did Hammer’s chances of establishing himself as a go-to actor anytime soon. If Warner Bros. did decide to take a gamble on Hammer he’s young enough to sign on for multiple films – this sequel, a Justice League film, and several stand alone Batman films – but he also has the looks to appear older than he is.
Luke Evans – 34 years old
Evans is quickly becoming a household name when it comes to big budget blockbusters. He didn’t really become a mainstream actor until 2010 appearing in the bomb Clash of the Titans as “Apollo” and going on to star in The Three Musketeers, Immortals, and most recently the bad guy from Fast & Furious 6. Evans is currently starring in The Hobbit trilogy, so he’s going to be even more well known by the time this Superman/Batman film gets off the ground. He’s got the looks of a playboy billionaire while also having the build and action chops to pull off the look and characteristics of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Evans is not a notable actor but he’s more than capable enough to pull it off.
Ryan Gosling – 32 years old
Hear me out before you object…Gosling has everything you’re looking for in an actor portraying an iconic character such as Batman. He’s a mega-star in Hollywood. He’s got the looks. He’s an outstanding actor. He’s witty. He’s charming. He’s ruthless at times. Take the actor you saw in Crazy Stupid Love coupled with the actor you saw in Drive and Place Beyond the Pines and viola! you’ve got yourself Bruce Wayne to a tee. Gosling may be a little too mainstream for what Zac Snyder and Warner Bros. are looking for (Henry Cavill was nowhere near a household name when he was cast as Superman). If they’re looking for an established young actor that would be a box office draw on name alone, Gosling is your man. Considering Disney is rumored to be looking at Gosling to play a character in their new Star Wars trilogy, that may take him out of the running for this.
Bradley Cooper – 38 years old
Cooper would be the oldest actor to ever play Batman on screen if he was cast, but if Warner Bros./Snyder are truly going to adapt Frank Miller’s comic it might make sense. Cooper certainly is a box office draw these days and has the looks/charm needed to play Bruce Wayne. Cooper finally broke through that barrier that is “serviceable actor” to “Oscar nominee” with his role in last year’s Silver Linings Playbook. He’s got the ability to be a damned good Bruce Wayne, I just don’t know if Snyder wants a recognizable face.
Idris Elba – 40 years old
Elba certainly would be the most controversial choice to take on the role of Bruce Wayne, mainly because the character has always been played by a white guy. However, Elba has quickly become a very well known name in Hollywood circles. After hitting the scene in HBO’s The Wire – playing a sophisticated crime lord, Elba has gone on to star in recent blockbusters such as Prometheus, Thor, and Pacific Rim. He’s been touted about as being a candidate to play James Bond whenever Daniel Craig decides to step away. He’s a rather well known British actor who has quickly made his presence felt in America. Elba’s casting would open the doors for a lot of things, not only with Batman but in other comic book adaptations where race plays a role.
Jon Hamm – 42 years old
Hamm would officially be my candidate if Snyder is indeed following Frank Miller’s adaptation closely. Hamm has everything you want in an established, veteran actor. Currently the star of AMC’s hit television series Mad Men, Hamm has brains, brawn, and suave. Hamm is largely known for his TV work, he’s also starred in a couple of big name films most notably Ben Affleck’s The Town. He’d be an interesting choice as name recognition isn’t quite there but substance more than qualifies him at this point.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 33 years old
Last, but not least, if Snyder and Warner Bros. wanted to have any sort of connection to Christopher Nolan’s Batman films – the casting of Joseph Gordon-Levitt is obviously the way to go. Now, if you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises you know that JGL did not play Bruce Wayne but instead ended up portraying the persona of Batman. Like what was said in the film, “anyone can be Batman, he’s an ideal not a person”. Gordon-Levitt is a fantastic young actor that has established himself rather quickly being Christopher Nolan’s go-to guy in Inception and TDKR. Would Warner Bros. dare to have another character – not named Bruce Wayne – don the mask? That would be the only question.