Recently, we’ve just gotten news that our boy Ben Affleck will be hanging up his pointy-eared cape and stepping down from his role as the DCEU’s Batman. Now, it’s not impossible that he could reprise his role in future films but as of now, he’s done. This, however, doesn’t spell the end for the character. We will definitely still be seeing more Batman in future films. DC loves them some Dark Knight. War of the Planet of the Apes’ director Matt Reeves will be taking the reins on the character with The Batman set to hit theatres come 2021.
Reeves has said that his take on the character will be a departure from the Bat’s more fantastical adventures as seen in Batman v. Superman and Justice League. Rather, it’s going to be a more grounded, crime thriller with the film exploring the detective side of the Bruce Wayne. Now that sounds like the makings of a great film. Now, Warner Bros. has yet to release any information in terms of casting for the character but it is said that Reeves will be looking for a younger (not Gotham young), less experienced Bruce Wayne. And we certainly have a wishlist on who we’d like to see become the Bat!
1. Jake Gyllenhaal
Since his teen days in Donnie Darko, Gyllenhaal has displayed strength in dramatic and dark roles. I know the term “dark” gets thrown around a lot these days so when I say “dark” I mean world-wearied and cynical. Somebody who has stared into the abyss that is the human condition and left with a piece of it. We’ve seen it in him with films like Prisoners, Nightcrawler, Southpaw and Stronger. He’s not afraid to get into films with heavy themes and heavy emotional tones, which is just perfect for DC’s gloomiest detective.
If Reeves is looking for a man who can run the gamma of the emotional spectrum in its full volume and range, then Gyllenhaal is your man. If Reeves is looking for somebody who has had experience playing a detective then Gyllenhaal is your man! Just look at his performance in Zodiac and Prisoners, they’re phenomenal. In Southpaw, he proved that he’s willing to bulk up for roles, so physique is probably not an issue. Personally, I think Gyllenhaal would be the best pick but there are some other excellent choices worth considering
2. Ryan Gosling
There’s more to Batman than him just grimly brooding on a rooftop. An actor must not only be able to nail the Bat’s intimidation but also to present a classy and gentile Bruce Wayne. This is where I believe Ryan Gosling shows promise. One thing Gosling has is charisma and class, that’s something I’ll admit Ackles may need a lot more coaching in. Whether it be in the comedies like The Big Short or political dramas like The Ides of March, Gosling has shown that he’s a wit.
A smooth operator that could charm the pants off any girl (or guy). That being said, the pretty boy has dabbled in the realm of the violent and grimy. Films like Only God Forgives and Blade Runner 2049 has him playing damaged and morally ambiguous characters with a shadowy past and a deadly set of skills. Not so far off from the life of the caped crusader. For having that gorgeous mug on him and showing great versatility, we’d be more than happy to see him take on the role.
3. Jensen Ackles
You may know him as Dean Winchester from the TV series Supernatural but do you also know that he voiced the anti-hero Red Hood in the iconic DC animated film Batman: Under The Red Hood. In the film, he managed to perfectly capture the rage and righteous indignation of a young Jason Todd who much like his mentor wants to see Gotham rid of crime, though through more extreme measures. Some might be hesitant to give the man a chance, seeing that his character on Supernatural can come off a bit as a one-note smartass with a temper.
That’s more an issue with direction than the actual actor. Ackles already has the build to play the Bat and I could totally see him playing a young, angry Bruce Wayne still trying to make sense of his parents’ death. Reeves is a man who can draw the best out of his performers, one only need look at his Planet of the Apes trilogy and the amazing lifelike performances he produces from his casts. Ackles is raw talent, waiting to be tapped.
4. Toby Kebbell
It’s safe to say that not many people have heard of the guy. In fact, it’s more likely that you’d recognise him in his animated forms or CGI ladened forms. This skinny English actor is the voice behind the legendary Koba from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Durotan from Warcraft. I know right?! This guy! Don’t sell him short though, having such an amazing and emotive voice actor embody the Bat could do wonders to the character’s personality.
I mean I love Christian Bale’s Batman voice as much as the next guy but they were times when it sounded like he was straining himself. Kebbell is actually very soft spoken and polite but on a dime, he could turn full “FIGHT FOR CAESAR!”. We’d be excited to see what kind of voice he’d give to both Bruce and Batman. Also, he’s also had worked with Reeves in the past in Dawn and War of the Planet of the Apes. Reeves brought the best out of Kebbell before, we’re sure he’ll do it again if Kebbell comes onboard.
5. Keanu Reeves
I know, I know! Some of you are probably choking at the prospect of Mr “Woah I know Kung Fu” taking on a role as culturally significant as the bloody Batman. Let me remind you though, that Batman is also a master martial artist. Whoever plays him had better be able to pull off believable and competent fight scenes and be adept at stunt work. We believe Reeves just may be that man. His transition from action movie badass to comic book hero doesn’t necessarily have to be jarring, provided he has time to prepare and a good director.
I certainly have faith in Matt Reeves and given enough care and attention, Keanu could transform into a pretty kickass Batman. He has had experience before playing deadly loners with a penchant for beating the shit out of thugs, criminals and maybe even the occasional demon. He’s looking to do great in John Wick 3: Parabellum and we’re hoping that he’ll take a shot at becoming the Batman. I can picture it know (Constantine reference in 3…2…1), he’s hanging a thug over the side of the building before whispering in his year “This is Batman. THE Batman, asshole.”
So these are our picks on who we’d like to see take on the role of Batman in Matt Reeves’ future film. What do you think? Do you agree with all of our picks or just some of them? Is there anyone else you think would be worthy of taking up the mantle? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and stay tuned to us all for all your DC film news!