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5 Controversial Choices to Play the New Batman

The Bat is dead, long live The Bat. With Nolan‘s trilogy well and truly in the ground and Christian Bale‘s Bruce Wayne off living the high life in Italy with Selina Kyle and a string of his mother’s pearls, we’re going to have to get over our collective love of the seven onscreen iterations of Gotham’s favorite son. And sooner than we might have thought: with Batman Vs. Superman having been announced in Hall H at this years’ ComicCon, a new incarnation of Der Fledermausmann will almost certainly be winging his way to cinemas very shortly. The question remains, however, as to who will play him.

We’ve written articles aplenty on the top 5 actors/actresses we’d like to see take on different roles through the DC and Marvel universes, but this will be our first with an eye towards recasting. As such, this time around we’re going to try something a little different: all of the actors who appear would, we think, be solid choices to face off against Henry Cavill‘s Superman, and, at some point, to helm their own standalone film, but they might not be ones you’d expect (or necessarily agree with). Since each of them would provide a unique take on the character, here they are in no particular order:

 

5. Taylor Kitsch

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Our initial thought was to have The Lone Ranger‘s Armie Hammer appear here, but given he was previously cast as Batman in in George Miller‘s 2008 attempt at a Justice League movie and that he stands at 6’5″, 4 inches taller than Cavill’s Superman, he might be a bit too All-American for The Dark Knight. An actor in a similar position, however, would have to be Taylor Kitsch. Just last year, Kitsch had the potential to become the biggest movie star on the planet with his leading roles in two $200 million blockbusters, Battleship and John Carter. Due to being respectively a derivative rip off of a beloved board game and terribly marketed, both movies were enormous flops (though they eventually went on to at least make their money back).

As such, Kitsch, through no fault of his own, may be considered more or less unbankable, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed a chance with an established property like the Batman franchise. His role as a scarred-up former navy seal turned drug dealer in Oliver Stone‘s Savages has proven he can do darkly intense, plus, as Cajun energy-thrower Remy LeBeau AKA Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he already has experience in the superhero genre. Kitsch, at the very least least, wins out over Hammer in terms of physicality: Superman needs to loom over Batman. In any case, with The Lone Ranger seemingly set to be the newest summer tent-pole to collapse, DC could do worse than a man with experience starring in huge-budget genre pieces, and nothing left to lose.

 

4. Jon Hamm

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With Batman vs. Superman presumably due to pick up fairly shortly after the events of Man of Steel, it seems unlikely that DC are going to want the new cinematic Batman to be in his infancy, too. With his origin story last told less than a decade ago, it would make sense for Zack Snyder to skew towards an older Bruce, someone with the wit and experience to take on Superman himself. As such, Jon Hamm might be an interesting choice: his name has previously been bandied around in contention with the Superman part, but, based on what we’ve seen of him so far, he could equally play a tormented Dark Knight. Though he doesn’t have much experience on the action front, Hamm could definitely bring a certain world-weary cynicism to the role that would nicely counterpoint Cavill’s youthful idealism.

In striking a balance between Batman and Superman, it’s likely the new film will have less time for Bruce Wayne as a character, making it vital to do something with Batman himself. As such, where better to draw inspiration from than Frank Miller‘s The Dark Knight Returns? The 42 year-old Hamm isn’t quite the grizzled Clint Eastwood sort just yet (Eastwood himself, at 83, is now sadly far too old to don the cowl, failing an adaptation of Batman Beyond), but his performance as Don Draper showcases the perfect balance of charm and self-loathing. If the studio’s looking for a Caped Crusader who instantly feels like he has a little more history behind him, then Hamm could be a Clooney beater (joke).

 

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Robert Wallis

You can also read Rob's work at www.ofallthefilmblogs.blogspot.com.

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