Yesterday we reported on the rumor that Ben Affleck wants out as the Caped Crusader so that got us thinking, who should replace Affleck as Batman, if indeed Justice League is the last time we see him dawning the cowl.
Since its pseudo begging with Man of Steel the DCEU has been on shaky ground at best, and down right unwatchable at worse.
When the reviews started to come in for Batman v Superman and an interviewer brought it up to Affleck the “Sad Affleck” meme was born and it was brilliant, but you could see in Ben’s eyes “not again” he finally just back into the super hero genre after the bashing he took with Daredevil and he thought he had a winner and boy was he wrong. Then Suicide Squad bombed (Ben was briefly in that) and rumor has it that one of the reasons he stepped down as director of The Batman was studio interference (something that sank Suicide Squad).
So let’s say the rumors are true, let’s say Ben wants out and he gets out, what now? Well the way I see it Warner Bros. has three options, option one, recast, we get a new Bruce Wayne, option two Dick Grayson takes over the mantle, option three, full on reboot.
First up, let’s talk recasting, recasting in a major franchise is never easy, especially when it’s a major role, Marvel did it pretty well with Bruce Banner by you know having the character missing for four years between The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers, less so gracefully by Marvel was James Rhodes with Terrance Howard to Don Cheadle.
So the question remains, will DC and WB do the graceful thing and leave Batman alone for awhile or bring him back right away? I think we all know if JL is Ben’s last movie we’ll see Batman in the next JL movie no matter who is playing him, so graceful is out.
So who do we think would make a good Bruce Wayne? Well first off why not go back to Christian Bale, he had expressed interest in the reprising the role for a bit when the DCEU was announced. With a little bit of a retcon (kind of what Marvel did with The Hulk and Incredible Hulk) you could link the DCEU back to the Nolan-verse. This move could give some much needed credibility to the DCEU.
Tom Hardy, who played Bane would be a great batman and has the acting chops to pull off both Bruce and Batman (as long as his Batman voice isn’t some weird ass accent), another great actor who could pull off the dual role without a problem is Jake Gyllenhaal, anyone who has seen Night Crawler and Donnie Darko knows Jake can get super dark which is needed for Batman and then movies like Prince of Persia show he can do action.
However, those to are on the younger side, for more experience actors like John Hamm (who should have been cast in the first place) or Michael Fassbender (a long shot given X-Men). Both men have the suaveness to pull of Bruce Wayne, and as we’ve seen in Assassin’s Creed and X-Men Fassbender has the chops for Batman, we haven’t seen that yet from Hamm, but I don’t doubt that he could pull it off.
Option two could be either having Bruce retire (like he did at the end of the Dark Knight Rises) and passing the mantle onto Dick Grayson or killing Bruce off and having Dick take it over. Who could play Dick?
Right off the bat (pun intended) I have a pair of Game of Thrones actors, the first King of the North Robb Stark aka Richard Madden and Jon Snow Kit Harington. Both men have the look of Dick Grayson and have the action chops thanks to GoT. Also they both can pull off the light-heartedness of Dick which translates to Nightwing and then to Dick’s Batman which isn’t nearly as dark as Bruce’s Bat.
Also a bit of a wild card would be Matt Bomer of White Collar fame. He’s a versatile actor that has the look of Dick and can definitely bring the light Dick brings but like he showed in The Nice Guys can also bring the dark as well. He has sharp features much like the way super heroes are drawn and he’s a former NFL draft pick so we know he’s athletic.
Lastly they could just reboot the whole universe, which seems like a big thing, but might be for the best, also it would work with the DC comics way of going about things. DC is always rebooting the universe and they could just pass this off as following the comics, also it would give them a fresh start to get some better filmmakers making their movies since Zack Snyder can visually capture a comic on screen but shouldn’t be trusted with writing or guiding a cinematic universe.