Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ten Actors That Could Play Batman

With the news of Batman appearing in the follow-up to Man of Steel there has been a lot of speculation about the casting of the Caped Crusader.  Many jump right to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Armie Hammer due to their previous associations with the role.  As with everything the internet throws out the same names wanting to cast Jon Hamm, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and Nathan Fillion in everything.  The most recent rumors I have read says that Warner Bros. is looking for more hardened actors in their late thirties or early forties, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Joe Magnaliano being among the top names.  But I always like to think more outside of the box with casting (I just love fantasy casting in general and have devoted several posts to it).  Here are more out of left field choices that I feel could play Batman, depending on what direction Nolan and Snyder go with the character.

Gael Garcia Bernal
The legendary Mexican star is set to play Zorro, a character who had a very clear influence on the Dark Knight.  Bernal has enough screen presence and prestige that he would seem threatening against Cavill.

Aaron Paul
A human who tries to stand against the alien that leveled Metropolis has to be tweaked.  Who plays that better than this Breaking Bad star?  Paul has upcoming blockbuster credentials as the star of Need for Speed.  He has an edge to him that Batman will need for this movie.

Dave Franco
I actually think that the youthful actor is pitch perfect for Robin, but it is doubtful that he will be in a movie.  James Franco's younger brother is actually 28 years old (not fair as I am 22 and look like I am about to turn 40).  Surprised that he has not been cast as an action star yet.  He was a stand-out in 21 Jump Street, played a military man well in Warm Bodies and was one of the stars of the surprise blockbusters Now You See Me.  I can see him playing a determined Batman that does not care if he is outmatched.  Would be an interesting juxtaposition to Cavill.

Taran Killam
If DC were to follow Marvel's lead and cast a more comedic actor Taran would be an interesting fit for Bruce Wayne.  The tall actor is in good shape and is a good looking guy, but not good looking by Superman standards.  I think that it is important for Batman to feel much more human in comparison to Superman and Killam very much feels like an everyman.  His star is rising, with Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis leaving SNL he will be the show's leading man.  Also his wife plays Maria Hill over at Marvel.  Killam can play action convincingly as evidenced by the hilarious The Stand Off sketch.  Also like many of these choices he could provide the levity that movie will need.

Kyle Chandler
I would rank this respected actor higher, but at 48 it is doubtful that he will be considered.  Chandler has many Superman like qualities, namely his midwestern charm and commanding presence.  But with Man of Steel feeling much more like a Batman movie it may be interesting to have a more idealistic, responsible Batman.  Chandler also plays father figures well and with the strong roles that Jor-El and Pa Kent had in the first movie it would be interesting to see Batman continue as somewhat of a mentor to Superman.  Also Chandler just looks like Bruce Wayne and looks great in a suit.  Would be an interesting pairing.

Dax Shepard
This choice is way out there, but the more I think about it the more it kind of works.  I thought about Shepard because I am burning my way through Parenthood and have been shocked to learn that he can really act.  I can see Shepard actually being similar to Michael Keaton in many respects.  He does not look or act like a superhero, but the oddness of him in that role would make him work.  Shepard could bring some crazy to Batman and I can see him playing a broken kid who is angry that his parents are dead.  Whereas Superman is great with people this would be the Bruce Wayne that just does not care and is kind of messed up.  Of course Shepard has not been able to carry his own movie and he may be too perfectly cut to play Batman.  But I can see him bringing a fascinating edge.  I considered the likes of Walton Goggins, Scoot McNairy and Giovanni Ribisi for similar reasons.

Chadwick Boseman
Boseman just got some great exposure playing Jackie Robinson in 42 where I really felt he gave a great performance.  Surprised that it has not bring him any other roles yet.  Jackie Robinson is actually a decent comparison to Batman in this upcoming movie.  A normal person who has the odds hopelessly stacked against him.  Boseman can play a hero and is easy to root for.  He is also a very good actor, physically.  I think that he would be a great unexpected choice for Batman.

Karl Urban
Unlike the rest of these choices I have seen Urban mentioned a fair amount.  He was actually my main choice for Superman but the more I think about it Batman really is a combination of Dr. McCoy and Judge Dredd.  Batman is single minded to getting a job done to the point of being emotionless and is very aware and driven by a pessimistic view of the world.  Physically he can stand up to Cavill and his older appearance would give him the hard edge needed.  Urban has not been able to make it as an action star, but he has never disappointed me and deserves much better roles.

Oscar Isaac
With this year's Inside Llewyn Davis he may finally break through as a star.  Isaac is a diverse actor and should be able to play both Bruce Wayne and Batman convincingly.  His small scene stealing role in the beginning of Bourne Legacy is what convinced me of his superhero potential.  He is intimidating and captivating to watch even if he is not going to share any details of his life.  He has also worked with Snyder before on Sucker Punch, a movie that surprisingly never gets mentioned when promoting Man of Steel.

Channing Tatum
Sure he is voicing Superman in The Lego Movie but I honestly think he has what it takes to play a great Batman.  His experience as the straight man in 21 Jump Street would make him ideal against the likable Cavill.  He has proven himself as a dramatic actor in Magic Mike, where he plays the surprising every man that this Batman needs to be.  He would make for one charming Bruce Wayne and physically could believably stand against Cavill.  This is casting that some people may not like but general audiences would get excited for.  I think that casting this movie star would be what this movie needs.

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