I should start this off by pointing out that when I heard the news that Heath Ledger was playing The Joker in The Dark Knight, I was openly condemning him. Up until that point, outside of Brokeback Mountain, I had never really seen him transform himself as an actor, and didn’t think of him in terms outside of Ten Things I Hate About You. For a moment I thought they were going to try to go the”cool, good-looking Joker” route, which in hindsight is very stupid of me, but I am telling you this for a reason. When I finally saw what the Joker looked like in that film, I was in awe, and that awe only tripled when I heard his drugged-out drawl and saw the odd, lip-licking mannerisms that Heath injected into that character.
My point is, I am doing that exact thing again, and though I am catching myself this time, I cannot seem to stop myself, either. I know that I need to reserve ALL JUDGEMENT until the film has come out, but yet, as someone who writes about movies for a living, it is also my job to speculate, and complain, and inject my two cents, regardless of who likes it and who agrees or not. And honestly, I will be the first one to come back here and write a follow up saying I was wrong if I end up being wrong, which could very well happen, so hold me to that.
That massive disclaimer out of the way, I, like most of the world, was rather unhappy at the sudden news that Ben Affleck had been cast as Batman in the forthcoming Batman vs. Superman. Though I was never a huge fan of Bale’s Batman (eat a Sucrets, dude), he got the job done, and it is safe to say Affleck will, too. But getting the job done just isn’t enough for me. Batman is one of the coolest men ever in fiction, and I want a Batman that is going to truly resonate with me. So I thought: what if I had been given the chance to cast this Batman film? What direction would I have gone?
It’s safe to say that some of these choices may piss some people off, but let’s be honest, isn’t that half the reason I’m here? As odd as some of these may be, I do think the majority of them are spot on, and I give my reasons for picking them in every example.
Feel free to take to the comments and let me know you agree (or disagree). Also, feel free to post other actors you think would do a good job as Batman in the comments, too.Next
Hear me out, because I REALLY stand behind this choice. Clive Owen has EVERYTHING needed to make a believable Bruce Wayne, which is the first thing you need to think about when mentally casting a new Batman. If you can’t believe the person as Bruce Wayne, then how you will you buy him as Batman?
The thing is, Owen really has that Wayne swagger (yes, you can punch me in the throat for using that word). He can do the charming thing no problem, and when it comes to being a badass, he can pull that off seamlessly as well. Think Sin City as a reference, and he was already jumping out of windows and battling insane psychopaths, which would have set the tone perfectly.
As a matter of fact, I will say it right now, Clive Owen was the PERFECT choice for the new Batman. Someone messed up. And just so you know, if you disagree with this choice, things are gonna get REALLY spicy by the end of this list.Previous Next
I have to say, the name I heard bounced around the most before this casting was set in stone was Jon Hamm. And all you have to do is sit back for a second and imagine it, visually, and it kind of clicks into place. For the people who think Hamm may be too old, understand, the story in this movie is showing us an older Batman, more world weary and beaten down, so the age is perfect, actually. And you will come to see that all the ages on this list are relative to one another, and pretty much relative to Ben Affleck.
And if you think about Mad Men, you pretty much have already seen Hamm doing his best Bruce Wayne. The dashing, cut throat businessman hiding dark secrets and a darker past. While it may be hard to imagine him in the actual cowl because we have nothing to measure him against in that area, it is clear to see Jon Hamm has acting chops, and probably has some “gritty superhero” mojo hidden up his sleeve.
On top of that, he seems like a genuinely nice, cool guy, and what’s better than having someone play Batman who was is actually approachable by children and fans, which we all know, Bale was not known for. At this point, don’t feel obligated to tell me that Bale went to the hospital after people got shot up watching his movie. Spare me, it’s called PR, and though you may think it is all acts of altruism, if it were true altruism, we wouldn’t have even heard about it.Previous Next
Okay, I can hear Batfanboys getting even more upset at this than Affleck, but come on? Farrell can play cool and detached quite well, which is needed for Wayne, and we have seen that he has all sorts of action movie chops, playing everything from a vampire to Jesse James. I also believe that Farrell would interject some sexuality into the character as well. I know that may sound a bit sassy, but really, Wayne is a playboy, and we can’t forget this. Hell, even Batman got it on with Catwoman IN COSTUME in a recent run on the comic, so anyone who feels the need to point out that Batman shouldn’t exude any kind of sexuality can take that issue up with far better and more successful writers than me, who’ve written him as such.
And I know what people will say next to detract from this. The height thing. People will TRY to tell me that Farrell is way too short to be able to pull off any kind of believable superhero frame, but I can shut those people down with some basic facts that anyone could find if they did five seconds of research.
Michael Keaton, who played a great Batman in the first few Tim Burton films is five feet, ten inches tall. I have never, not once, heard someone say anything about how Keaton was too small for the role. And wouldn’t you know it, Colin Farrell is five feet, ten inches tall. This means that Farrell could pull it off without question. Remember, a great many movie stars and action stars are smaller than you think. You are tricked by some basic filming techniques that work now and have always worked. I mean, think of Tom Cruise. Dude is like three feet tall, and yet he is cast in action movie after action movie, where, if the director pulled back, you would see Tom Cruise standing on a step ladder to throw a punch at a normal sized man. I kid you not.
So the height thing is a non-issue. This is about who would potentially make a cooler Batman than Ben Affleck, and I truly believe Colin Farrell would make a much cooler Batman. Okay, now is when I lose you….Previous Next
Oh man, I can feel the Earth trembling with people eager to call me an idiot for this, and if that is the case, so be it. But really, Sam Rockwell is EASILY one of the best actors of our generation, and if you want a good performance, no matter who the person is playing at the heart of it, you should want a good actor. Someone who consistently performs, no matter the part, and consistently sells you that this person they are playing could very well exist.
The person who could do that right now, without question, would be Sam Rockwell. Again, if you want to call out the height thing, just read the whole entry on the list about Colin Farrell. Height, when it comes to modern film, is not an issue. You believed in Hobbits, after all, and those actors were NOT three feet tall. Side note, why was Tom Cruise not cast as a Hobbit? Just kidding, kind of.
At the heart of the matter here is Batman being cool and badass, and maybe a bit of a douche, but in the best way possible. The issue is a Batman who, at times, makes you wonder if he is, indeed, the good guy or just as insane as the bad guys. What you need is a Batman who, at the end of day, seems tired and beat down by what he does, but refuses to stop doing it, know matter the toll it takes on him.
That, my friends, would be Sam Rockwell.
Remember, Batman is a tortured soul, who has lost (and loses) everything he loves at some point, and the character who plays him needs to represent that to us. At NO POINT in Bale’s performance, did I see his Bruce Wayne as vulnerable. And I can guarantee to you Christopher Nolan had an issue with that, too, so he gave him a freaking cane, to LITERALLY make him seem vulnerable, because Bale could not convey that.
But we need an actor to play Batman who can convey that believable level of vulnerability. Who can show to us that this is just a mortal man, doing all this because it is right, and no one else has the courage to. But make no mistakes about it, as “larger than life” as Bruce Wayne is, he a brittle man, on the verge of falling apart at any moment, be it physically or mentally, and Sam Rockwell can portray that better than any actor right now. Well, not better than Nic Cage, but I digress.
Oh wait, Sam Rockwell DID PLAY BATMAN? And damn, he really DOES nail it.
Alright, this next one may get me killed…..Previous Next
You DO know who Anthony Bourdain is, right? He is a sort of rockstar chef (who rarely cooks anymore), a writer,a world traveler, and a madman, who used to host No Reservations on the Travel Channel, but now he hosts Parts Unknown on CNN. Before any of you grab me by my bat cowl and drag me outside to Bane me over your knee, I need to say, I tested this theory out on my Twitter and Facebook, and it got a lot of love.
If you don’t know who Bourdain is, this idea might not work for you at all, but to anyone who is a fan of his, when I say this, their faces light up. He already has the worldly part down. He has the snarky, confident part down. He knows what it’s like to have to deal with strange, creepy, odd people, and he is a former addict, so he knows about loss and pain.
But on top of that, and the main factor that made me pick him is, he just seems like he could be motherf*cking Batman in real life. He is just one of those guys that has that kind of energy about him. Granted, would this Bruce Wayne be as “technically” handsome as the ones we are used to? No. But you know what? This is an older Batman, more experienced, more aware of his world and his own mortality, and for that reason alone, there would be no one more fitting to don that Batman cowl than Anthony Bourdain.
Bring on the hate-comments. Oh, and don’t even TRY to touch this last one….Previous Next
You know what, I dare you! I DARE YOU to come on here and give me ONE reason why this guy isn’t perfect for the role of Batman! Would any of you actually have the balls to say that he can’t play Batman because of race? Not only would I crucify you for that comment, but I hope most readers here would too. What about Bruce Wayne’s character forces him into Caucasian nationality? He lives in the hood and has two dead parents who were shot in front of him. He was born into money, and whenever people offend him or break the rules, he goes medieval on their asses.
So again, why would Idris Elba NOT be perfect?
He is suave, and in the same breath, can obviously throw down when the time comes, so his skin color has nothing to do with it. He would be a perfect Batman, and his race would only bring more nuances to the character. Truth is, I am kind of glad he isn’t Batman, though, because I am genuinely hoping Idris Elba becomes the new James Bond. Mark my words, that man is destined for big things.
So in closing, as a “journalist”, it is my job to bitch about decisions other people make, and to imply I could make better ones, only to eventually tuck my tail between my legs and admit I was wrong all along. And who knows, maybe Affleck will blow me away as Batman, and I will back here in a few years, telling you all what an ass I am. Only time will tell.Previous