Rumors Abound Concerning The Next Man To Wear The Cowl And The Scowl

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Rumors Abound Concerning The Next Man To Wear The Cowl And The Scowl

By Jodi Clager | Trade News | August 5, 2013 | Comments ()


I am less than enthusiastic concerning the announced Superman and Batman movie. First of all, Christopher Nolan just blew the doors off of fan expectations for a superhero movie with his trilogy. Secondly, they will need to recast the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. I am terrified every time they attempt to fill the ass-kickingest shoes in Gotham. You need a man that can pull off harsh and moralistic; suave playboy and brooding loner. It’s a tall order.

I though Christian Bale was outstanding in his portrayal of The G*ddamn Batman and it will be more difficult to follow him than, say, George Clooney. According to Dark Horizons, there are six men in the running to become the new Dark Knight.

Josh Brolin

Superhero Experience: Jonah Hex


The front-runner, allegedly, for the role of Batman is Brolin. We all know he can act, so that isn’t a problem at all. My only concern at the moment is whether his Batman voice would be like his Jonah Hex voice, but without the twang. Brolin should be able to effortlessly pull off annoyance with Superman and hold his own in fights and villain confrontations. His Bruce Wayne would be an older playboy, but a playboy nonetheless.

Ryan Gosling

Superhero Experience: Um, Drive?


Ryan Gosling is sexy, sexy, sexy. He is also an excellent actor. However, he’s no Dark Knight. Quite honestly, I can’t see him signing on to play a superhero and I can’t believe that he would be able to bring the physicality to the role.

Joe Manganiello

Superhero Experience: “True Blood”


Manganiello obviously has the physique required to play Batman. He’s cartoonishly bulked up and proportioned. He’s tall, charming, intelligent (he really is very smart and well-spoken in interviews), has a love for comic books, and his talents are certainly lost on “True Blood”. His Batman would be fierce, analytical, and formidable. His Bruce Wayne would be charming and mischievous. I am actually on board with this casting.

Richard Armitage

Superhero Experience: Captain America: The First Avenger, “Robin Hood”


Wrong picture. Here we go:


I can’t judge Armitage by the tiny role in Captain America. I can, however, judge his face. NOPE. I just don’t see it and I don’t have to explain my reasoning to anyone. SO THERE.

Max Martini

Superhero Experience: Pacific Rim


I haven’t seen Pacific Rim, so I’m sure those who have will let me know what a super failure it is to dismiss Martini. Once again, I’m judging his presence and look from a photo and I do not see Batman or Bruce Wayne anywhere.

Matthew Goode

Superhero Experience: Watchmen


Goode was cunning, manipulative, and a bit psychotic as Ozymandias in Watchmen. He seems to be an entirely capable actor and has can pull off a presence that will entrance an entire room. Of course, that’s Bruce Wayne. It isn’t Batman. Would Goode be able to fill the cowl of the Dark Knight and essentially play two characters? I’m not sure.

I know you’re dying to tell me, so let me know: Who would be your front-runner to play Batman in the Man of Steel sequel?

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Zirza

    Max Martini should be the name of a superhero, not a person. He saves the world! He makes you drinks! Large ones! He knows you're supposed to stir Martinis, not shake them! He's...

    Oh, forget it. I like that Armitage fella. He seems like he can at least match Bale's epic scowl.

  • ed newman

    Let's consider the Batmen to date:

    Adam West
    Michael Keaton
    Val Kilmer
    George Clooney
    Christian Bale
    Kevin Conroy

    I may have missed someone, please don't kill me. Of these contenders, Bale and Conroy are probably the best and Conroy is voice only so we don't know if he could pull off live action. After that is probably Keaton followed by Kilmer and West in some order with Clooney bringing up the rear (heh).

    Based on looks and work up to the point of the casting as Batman, most of us probably would have chosen Clooney first, followed by Bale, then probably Kilmer, and Michael Keaton would likely have been a distant last (he was Mr. Mom fer chrissakes). Keaton turned out to be better than anyone expected, and Clooney was a disaster hardly anyone could have predicted. Had Clooney worked with Nolan instead of Schumacher I believe he would be considered the best Batman, and even Bale couldn't have saved the shitstain that was B&R.

    My point is that Batman is so much more about attitude and writer/director/actor choices than inherent "Batness". Same goes for most iconic characters. Daniel Craig is a great 007 that was an out of the box choice, but I think he would have been terrible in some of the 70's era campy Bond flicks.

    So who is directing this next movie? It's Snyder, right? Based on his history he doesn't seem to have a strong feel for character, nor a strong vision. He adapts other peoples ideas in a by the book fashion with a certain visual flare and a pretty good sense of action. He has tended to cast well (particularly Watchmen) but it hasn't mattered that much as his movies still wind up a little sterile.

    My guess is he will cast someone who looks the part and who doesn't embarrass himself in the role, but he won't be able to tease a performance that shows the core paranoia and anguish at Batman's core. He'll focus on action sequences and whiz-bang and whoever becomes the Batman will have to get a two-picture deal and hope the next director will understand what really makes the character great.

  • BlackRabbit

    I've always said Clooney was the perfect Bruce Wayne, but a shit Batman.

    Guy Pearce?

  • ed newman

    You're right. I think that Clooney could do Bruce Wayne in his sleep. I think he could have handled Batman as well but I am not as sure. He certainly wasn't asked to try in B&R. When you really analyze it, what did Bale do as Batman though? He growled a lot. It's pretty hard to pull off any real emoting under the cowl. Most of Bale's acting really comes as Bruce Wayne. The best of it is in Batman Begins as he trains and learns, then less convincingly again in TDKR as he mopes and then becomes increasingly re-engaged. In TDK he mostly just reacts to the Joker who steals the show.

    Guy Pearce could do it. I am actually a bit surprised he wasn't the choice in the Nolan films. He had worked very successfully with Nolan in Memento, and they haven't done anything else since. Maybe he was difficult? Probably any of these guys could do it given what Snyder will ask them to do, but Pearce would give the next director more to work with than some of these guys above.

  • I wish people would stop trying to cast Gosling in fucking everything. Every single goddamn time. The guy isn't magical, people. He can't be in everything and he wouldn't be good in everything. It's exhausting.

    Also, Armitage is pretty damn heroic in The Hobbit. He's also super hot and has an incredible voice. So definitely don't dismiss him.

  • Mrs. Julien

    He's hot as hell, but I have qualms about his proboscis.

  • It's_A_Thought

    Ralph Macchio.

  • Dave Dorris

    How about this: The whole fucking thing is a really bad idea.

    Jeez WB, can you just get a grip? Are we really going to jump from a lukewarm reception for MOS and straight into Batman kicking Superman's ass?

    Where's the buildup? The root of the conflict? Does Superman get to be a freakin' hero to the world first? Maybe a little lightness before the foreboding dark?

    I don't know, maybe I'm jumping to conclusions here, but they've been poking this from every conceivable direction for years and I've lost faith they know what they're doing.

  • Helo

    With all due respect, neither of these cats looks or "feels" the part of Batman. I can appreciate them wanting to distance themselves from Bale and Nolan with the casting, but... Grizzled Batman would need his own film before meeting Superman in an MoS entry. Youngish Batman wouldn't be nearly as paranoid as needed to take on Superman, either.

    A few years have to have passed in movie universe time for this to work. Say, it's been 6-7 years since Metropolis was forcibly remodeled, but in the wake of the whole incident, it's been 5-6 years that Gotham City has seen it's crime levels go down...

    That said, I'd say... Anson Mount. Dude's got menacing stare and build down cold. Just old enough to not be wet behind the ears, just young enough to not be some crazy old coot.

  • dizzylucy

    Leave Batman alone!

    Of this list, Brolin might be the best, but I just can't see anyone coming close to Bale's take. And it's too soon.

  • Sack Blabbath

    Why not cast against type & try Johnny Depp?

  • BLZ Bubb

    Idris Elba

  • Wait, wait, wait....there's a dude seriously using the name Max Martini? And he's not in porn?

  • van1968

    I'm not sure Bruce Wayne would be much of a factor in a Batman-Superman movie. Maybe a scene or two, but having two superheroes in the same movie (esp. when they're not already teamed up -- see "Avengers, The") would force the screenplay to spend less time on each man's civilian identities. Less character-driven duality, more costumed ass-kicking. In this scenario, the good news for Batman fans is that we would see more of the masked hero; for Superman fans, however, it would mean continuing to avoid the Clark Kent/Lois Lane/Daily Planet hijinks that were seriously underexplored in Man of Steel.

  • stella

    If joe manganiello ends up getting it will Batman randomly rip his shirt off every few scenes for no discernable reason?

  • depgar

    Joe Manganiello has the voice, the height, the body , even a full straight jaw that could fit the cowl, he kinda looks like Bruce Wayne from the Arkham series

  • Sure_Why_Not

    Tom Hardy as Bane pretending to be Batman.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Brolin's got the chin. Done deal.

    Although I would like to see Martini getting a bit more high profile work. He was the best thing about The Unit.

  • $65530708


    "Brolin. We all know he can act..."? Prove it (*Don't bother mentioning Goonies).

    Russell Crowe too old? Guy Pierce maybe?

    **Or maybe a couple of Spartacus alum: Liam McIntyre or Todd Lasance.

  • DeistBrawler

    Russell Crowe? From Supermans father to Batman? That would be a little awkward.

  • $65530708

    Yeah, but it would definitely be a mind f*ck for Supes.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Karl Urban should be Flash.

    Russell Crowe could maybe bring it, but I'm thinking more in like a Batman Beyond kind of context. Seriously limited actual Batmanning, basically. I fear Guy Pierce's Bat-voice, because his normal voice unsettles me (is that just me? It's just me, isn't it?).

  • $65530708

    No, Urban is too stoic to play the Flash (plus I want Joel Mchale for that).

  • NoPantsMcLane

    Steven Seagal.

  • BendinIntheWind

    After seeing Pacific Rim for the second time yesterday (don't judge!), I think I'm developing a massive crush on Max Martini. Don't know if he can swing an American accent, but I would absolutely love this choice.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Well, he is American, so I would hope he can.

  • BendinIntheWind

    Welp, I'm an idiot. And I'm also sold. GINGER BATMAN!

  • hickoryduck

    Does Joe Manganiello have nude pics of you or something? I can think of no other reason you would think he's actually talented enough to play Batman/Bruce Wayne. Dude is a charisma vacuum.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Is he? I mean, he does nothing for me on True Blood but in interviews he really is fairly charming. I think the problem really may just be the show.

    Still, not sure I see a Batman. Poor man's Wolverine if Jackman gives it up, hells yeah.

  • hickoryduck

    I saw Magic Mike and don't even remember him in that. He's pretty groanworthy on his stints on How I Met Your Mother as well. No matter your opinion on TB, the best actors on that show rise above it. He's just consistently terrible.

    I've only ever seen a few of his interviews, but in all of them he spends most of his time talking about his body and working out and I just want to punch him in the face.

  • Maguita NYC

    I must apologize in advance, for I am calling you out on your lying liar mcliaster ways.

    You, have not seen Magic Mike. Because if you had, you would definitely remember the long schlong scene, as well as the pumping d*ck scene. And both are Mangamiammo's. Other than that,' I don't think you are lying about his "acting" skills. He has none. And watching his "brooding" werewolf stint on TB, I know he would not be able to pull off a Bruce Wayne one.

  • hickoryduck

    I really have seen Magic Mike. I only watched it for Matt Bomer's alien beauty though. I vaguely remember some dick pumping scene, but didn't really care much.

  • Maguita NYC

    Then watch it again. Not sober. And have fun ridiculing it.

  • BendinIntheWind


  • Dave

    John Hamm has been rumored. I'd like to see him do it. He's done the brooding on Mad Men. And he is charming and funny outside that role. So I can see him being able to handle both sides of the character. And he's got the height and chiseled face to compete with Cavill.

  • My ladyparts would explode at that.

  • $65530708

    I want Hamm to play Lex Luthor, so Batman's out.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor


  • $65530708

    But awesome...

  • cruzzercruz

    I fear a more muscular Jon Hamm, for lady folk will never be the same after seeing that.

  • Brian Martin

    If they actually do TDKR, nobody beats Brolin.....nobody. So get Diane Lane OUTTA THERE.

  • Joe Grunenwald


  • Ryan Ambrose

    George Clooney!

    What could possibly go w-- Oh...

  • Guest

    Totes. Forget about Nolan, I want to see Snyder base the film off Schumacher's Batman and Robin.

  • Peter Capaldi, obviously.

  • BetoPlacido

    What? Joe Manganiello? Sam Raimi's Flash Thompson, the Bats?! OK: Hit me.

  • DarthBetty

    My husband to be wants Dan Stevens to be considered as Batman. He has the best grimace tho.

  • Phaedre

    Well I have seen Jensen Ackles' name thrown about here and there. I could see him in the cowl (imagine all the focus being on those freaking lips) but I have trouble seeing Bruce Wayne in him.

    Still none of the above choices do anything for me. i guess Christian Bale ruined me.

  • Maguita NYC

    Matthew Goode would be great: A blonde quirk to make us forget the dark broodiness of Bale. Also, he plays evil well and could totally compliment Henry Cavill's (OMG. HSGL md) silent reserve with some teasing and bullying.

  • Wigamer

    I think he was only blonde for Watchmen--and with dark hair he is faaaaar prettier.

  • Wigamer

    I know you like your visual aids!

  • Maguita NYC

    Woohoo! Yes to the Goode one.

  • NateMan

    Jensen, however, would be fantastic for Nightwing.

  • foolsage

    I'd love to see Jensen cast as Barry Allen.

  • Jakesalterego

    Martini was a badass in The Unit. If they are going to be playing in the Dark Knight Returns universe, then he can definitely pull off the misanthropic asskicker.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Can he be charming? But also, when this was mentioned my first thought was, "Eh, he'd fit better in a Bourne movie," and then I was all, "He would. Why the fuck did they give the spin-off to Renner?"

  • God Of Bal-Sagoth


  • Fabius_Maximus

    Can you imagine the nerd rage?

  • Kip Hackman

    As someone who is prone to nerd rage, I'd super be on board with Idris Elba. Screw it, make Batman british as well. Maybe what I really want is a feature length Luther film.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Could work if they'd adapt "Gotham by Gaslight".

  • Maguita NYC

    I'd like to crown myself its gnarly yet selfless leader.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Ooh. Fuck yes. If we can have Elba, I will fight an actual war for that race swap. It'd be so worth it.

  • Stacie

    Idris Elba for everything!

  • Irina

    Armitage was pretty badass in Spooks, so I think he can totally pull it off. He's also DREAMY, so there.

  • Sherry

    Also, I know a lot of people around here don't like The Hobbit, but damned if he didn't bring Thorin Oakenshield to life with a shit-ton of gravitas. I couldn't stand the character in the book but Armitage makes him easier to relate to. And oh, that voice...that voice. That's a damned good Batman voice. Or in my bedroom voice. [fans self]

  • He was the best part of that shitshow of a movie. Mmm.

  • Tracer Bullet

    The vivacious Mira Sorvino.

  • Misomaniac

    Why not hire two actors to play two characters?

  • DarthBetty

    THIS. I am a huge supporter of this idea. But also hoping in vain that Kevin Conroy dubs everything.

  • Az

    Lainey had said something about Wes Bentley with whom I'd be completely on board. As for Gosling playinr Batman, that'd be like Natalie Portland playing Catwoman. Just... no.

  • Az

    Whoa holy terrible spelling Batman. I meant Natalie Portman. Also, Brolin is more of a Superman than a Batman.

  • pajiba


  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Nah, Matt Smith needs the work. Throw him a bone.

  • Brian Martin

    The first Batman to threaten a criminal with a "lubricated horse cock".

  • Pinky McLadybits


  • Horatio Postlethwaite

    Not Ryan Gosling. Please not Ryan Gosling. Joe Manganiello would be a good choice I think. Max, not Bruce, but I think he could do Batman. And while I wouldn't want him to take on the actual role, I would love to see The Rock in the Batman get up.

  • Az

    I would love to see the Rock in any getup whatsoever. Or none at all.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    I am entirely on board with Armitage. As in, he can TOTALLY play Batman in my bedroom.

  • I suddenly feel the need to rewatch North and South.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Then my work here is done.

  • Captain_Tuttle

    In which case pants are optional?

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Underpants are.

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