Five actors we’d like to see take over for Ben Affleck’s Batman in the DCEU
As great of an addition as he was to the DCEU in his portrayal of Batman, Ben Affleck’s time as the caped crusader appears to be coming to an end after the 2020s Flashpoint movie. The solo Flash flick will presumably take its direction from the 2011 miniseries of the same name, which sees Barry Allen’s Flash transported to an alternate multiverse where Thomas Wayne, not Bruce, is that dimension’s Batman.
Sources have said that Matt Reeves’ planned The Batman solo film will move with a new actor to helm the titular role, and that the director is already meeting with actors to fill the role. While this certainly is disappointing to fans of the DCEU, a case could be made for using the Flashpoint movie to ease the impact of the change in actors, given the story’s multiverse-changing implications.
As a person who wasn’t high on Affleck being Batman in the first place, I’m using this opportunity to look at actors who could do a little something different for the role of the Bat, or at least get away from Affleck’s older, grizzled veteran portrayal of Batman.
My personal favorite choice for the role of Batman, Armie Hammer would be a great choice to play a younger, cockier Batman.
Aside from his look fitting the billionaire playboy to a T (see his work in The Social Network), Hammer’s already starred in action flicks like The Lone Ranger and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The biggest hurdle for him to don the cape and cowl seems to be the planned Green Lantern Corps movie, in which he has long been rumored to take part, and the unwillingness to “de-age” Bruce Wayne’s character within the DCEU.
For me, though, a younger Bruce will always play better and remain truer to the character, though the world-weary veteran Batman has its place, and Armie Hammer fits the bill in and out of the suit.
Jon Hamm is the perfect fit to replace Ben Affleck as Batman. He’s around the same age, with nearly the same build, and he’s an incredible actor.
If you’ve ever seen Mad Men, you know that Hamm already fits the role of Bruce Wayne perfectly – the secretive, confident, charming, and insanely rich Don Draper he portrays on that show is as close to being Bruce Wayne as you can get, and Hamm’s acting ability makes every scene he’s in on Mad Men compelling.
He’s also portrayed an intense, gritty character called Buddy in 2017’s Baby Driver, lending credence to the idea that he could pull off both Bruce Wayne and his in-suit vigilante alter-ego.
What’s more, according to Radar Online, he’s “gunning pretty hard” for the role, so unlike Affleck, he could be committed to playing Batman in the long run.
Anson Mount’s character on AMC’s Hell on Wheels, Cullen Bohannon, is basically Batman in the Old West. A vigilante set out to dole justice by any means necessary, the character starts off as a gritty anti-hero, but evolves throughout the show to survive in the ever-changing western frontier.
Sure, Mount’s spin on Black Bolt in The Inhumans may not have been as good, but his character on that show was broodingly suave à la Bruce Wayne, and one of the few highlights of the show.
For my money, Mount could play as the brutal and distrustful Batman in an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, and could always come back from the brink like his character in Hell on Wheels.
We’ve talked about different interpretations for the next Batman over the course of the article, but for me at least I think one of the most interesting ideas would be to eschew the idea of Batman entirely and let a woman pick up the cowl.
A Batwoman solo film in the DCEU would certainly shake up the fabric of the DCEU, and could lead to a larger Batfamily set of films, with both a Nightwing and Batgirl film in the works.
Michelle Dockery seems like a perfect choice to helm the Kate Kane version of Batwoman, too. She’s played a strong lead in Netflix’s fantastic Godless, and as an award-winning stage actress brings an acting range that would be necessary to the complex role of Kate Kane.
Kane, a prominent LGBT character and former military cadet, is inspired to fight crime after taking down a mugger in Gotham city. Batman swoops in just as she defeats the mugger, helps her off the ground, and flies away, leaving a lasting impression of hope and vigilance in Kane.
Jake Gyllenhaal has played bridesmaid a couple of times when it comes to superhero roles, being passed over by Tobey Maguire for Spider-Man and Christian Bale as Batman in the early 2000s, but he may finally don the armored bodysuit in Matt Reeve’s Batman standalone film.
Gyllenhaal may even have a leg up on the other actors in the running, as he is said to be Reeve’s first choice for the role, and he’s a full eleven years younger than Affleck, meaning he could presumably helm the franchise for years to come.
There’s no question Gyllenhaal could handle the role of Batman – he’s an amazing actor with top notch stuntwork which he showcases in many of his movies – and he certainly has the build. The one question his casting would raise for me is his portrayal of Bruce Wayne, a traditionally suave but dark character through and through. It certainly could lend a less traditional portrayal of Bruce Wayne, and that should excite fans.
Image credits: Michelle Dockery, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Jon Hamm, Anson Mount