Now that we know Zack Snyder’s plan for Man of Steel 2 is to team Superman with Batman – or perhaps pit them against each other as adversaries – the biggest question on every film geek’s mind is, “Who’ll play the next version of the Dark Knight?”
Snyder, Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer all have come out and basically said that Christian Bale will NOT be back, and the new Batman will be a stand-alone Caped Crusader with no connection to the latest Nolan trilogy. That’s disappointing, as Warner enjoyed unprecedented success with that particular Batman run, but I admire Snyder’s decision to branch off in a different direction and construct his own vision of the DC cinematic universe.
Especially when you hear that they want an older Batman… possibly to fit in with the tone of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
The Hollywood Reporter released a list over the weekend of the names in contention to play Bruce Wayne in the Batman-Superman movie. Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Joe Manganiello, Richard Armitage, Max Martini and Matthew Goode are the actors singled out by the trade magazine as being high on Warner’s wish list. At the same time, THR notes that an insider close to the production admits that casting talk is “premature since the script isn't yet written.” But given the fact that Snyder used an infamous quote from Dark Knight Returns to sell the Batman-Superman movie to comic fans in Hall H last month, the fact that they want an older actor to possibly play Batman is encouraging.
What happens in The Dark Knight Returns? If you haven’t read the classic Batman story, it takes place in the future, where an older, grizzled Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement because he’s fed up with the crime that’s overwhelming Gotham. He adopts a new (female) Robin, and eventually fights Superman… defeating him with the assistance of a Krypton-laced exoskeleton.
As for the names listed above, I think that Gosling and Brolin are a joke. Gosling’s not the right choice to play the Batman, and Brolin delivered two duds for Warner in Jonah Hex and Gangster Squad. Why would the studio reward him with a coveted franchise part like Batman? It wouldn’t.
Goode, however, has history with Snyder – having played Ozymandias in the director’s adaptation of Watchmen. Is that enough to put him in the running for the Superman sequel? Or is this list hogwash, an effort to keep the buzz swirling on a movie we won’t see for years?
We’ll soon find out. Warner is going to have to roll cameras on Man of Steel 2 soon if it hopes of hitting its 2015 release date. What are your thoughts on the current choices to play the new, older Batman? If you don’t like any of the names above, who would you prefer to see in the role? Share your thoughts below!