It has been widely reported that Ben Affleck will not be returning to play the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Although the actor didn’t actively suggest he would be leaving the role in an interview last week for USA Today, he did say it is something he is contemplating. He went on to suggest: “You don’t do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of (the role).”
Affleck didn’t offer any reason for his doubts over the future of the role, but one thing could be down to the poor reception critically for the DC movies he has featured in. He has now portrayed Bruce Wayne aka Batman three times in two years now (Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Justice League), but it’s looking increasingly likely that we will see someone new donning the cape in the stand-alone Batman movie. Here are some potential candidates for the role:
As it stands, Gyllenhaal is the favourite to don the cape after a report was released last week claiming he expressed interest in the role and even had meetings with director Reeves.
In the DCEU leaks section of Reddit an allegedly ‘incredibly reliable source at Warner Bros’ revealed “Gyllenhaal really wants the role, but the studio isn’t 100% sold on the idea yet.
Interestingly, the 36-year-old auditioned for the role of Batman in 2005 for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins with the role of course going to Christian Bale instead.
Having supposedly been chosen to play Batman in the 2008 version of Justice League that was scrapped, Hammer must surely feel that he has unfinished business when it comes to the role.
Hammer previously worked alongside Superman’s Henry Cavill in The Man From UNCLE where he portrayed a dark and dangerous spy which could work as some form of audition.
In 2007, Will Smith’s I Am Legend featured a cool easter egg—a movie billboard layering the Batman and Superman logos together. This was when a Batman v Superman movie was originally planned – and Farrell was one of the front runners to play the Batman, despite Christian Bale filming The Dark Knight at that moment in time.
Farrell won’t be featuring in the next instalment of Fantastic Beasts, freeing up some time for him to possibly feature as the caped crusader, but at 41 years of age, it’s difficult to see him commit to the character.
It’s tough to see this one becoming a reality due to his commitments as Magneto in the X-Men franchise, but Fassbender would be a solid choice for the role.
His CV consists of some dark, gritty roles which have demonstrated why he would fit the ruthless persona of Bruce Wayne.
Again, at 40 years of age, it might be difficult for Fassbender to take on such a demanding character physically.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
This is one of the more farfetched shouts but super-fan theories portray some form of logic. Morgan featured briefly in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice as Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father.
One alternate timeline in the comics sees Thomas Wayne – not Bruce – become Batman. This theory does involves some form of time travel from The Flash which comic fans will be familiar with.
In addition, at 51, there’s little chance of Morgan being able to commit himself to the role – though fans of the TV series Negan would argue otherwise.
Somewhat of a wildcard in this list – especially considering how much of a factor age seems to be amongst the other candidates. But with that said, anyone who has watched Reeves resurrect his career in both John Wick films will know just how nimble the 53-year-old still is.
With John Wick 3 in the pipeline, it’s unlikely that Reeves would take on the role of Batman, but he has demonstrated that he would have been perfect for the role once upon a time.