Batman Month: Casting the Next ‘Bat’

daniel cohen does some stunt casting…

On July 20th, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy will come to an end. This is uncharted territory for the superhero genre: a true ending to the superhero’s journey. We may even witness the death of Bruce Wayne. But as they always say, ‘the show must go on.’ We are living in a reboot world, and this will be the third time around for dear old Bats. It’s going to be tough on the next director, but I’m going to help him out. Here are my suggestions on the next Bat cast, free of charge.

Joel Edgerton as Bruce Wayne/Batman

 

Who’s Joel Edgerton you might ask? Joel Edgerton played the main guy opposite Tom Hardy in Warrior, Brendan Conlon. We’ll also be seeing him as Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. I always like it when an up and coming actor, not yet a well known star, gets selected for a superhero role. Look what happened with Green Lantern. Ryan Reynolds was too well known, and people got distracted by his Reynold-isms. They couldn’t separate the character from the actor. Aside from maybe being a bit too old, Edgerton is my choice for the next Batman. He’s perfect for Bruce Wayne. He’ll bring the intensity, and his sense of honor permeates all over Edgerton’s face. I’ll admit I can’t see him in the costume quite yet, but there’s just something about this choice that feels right. Go watch Warrior, and I think you’ll agree. He looks like a hero.

Bryan Cranston as Commissioner James Gordon

Why is Cranston the right choice? He’s already played Gordon! That’s right…Cranston did the voice in the recent Batman animated feature, Batman: Year One. Why not put him in the live action role? Quite simply, Cranston is just a great actor. From Malcolm in the Middle to Breaking Bad, we all know his range reaches many spectrums of the acting universe. But I just look at him and see Jim Gordon. He’s got the look of a mentor and fighter, but it’s not free from concern and worry, and that’s Jim Gordon in a nutshell. He’s all those things, and you’ll need an actor of Cranston’s caliber to deliver all those emotions at once.

 

Michael Gambon as Alfred

Dumbledore as Alfred! Why not? Who better to give advice to Bruce Wayne then the man who advised Harry Potter? But seriously, Gambon fits this role like a glove. He just has to shave the Dumbledore beard before going down to the Bat Cave.

Alex Russell as Dick Grayson/Robin

Dick Grayson is one of the quintessential Batman characters, and was the one thing left completely untapped in the Nolan series. This is an opportunity for the reboot to really stand out. I have to think this new series is going to want to get Robin in there. For those who haven’t seen the movie Chronicle, please do. It is an incredibly funny, sad, and gut wrenching movie. Alex Russell plays one of the main three kids in that film, Matt. He’s got the wit and the charm of the Robin character, but most importantly, has that good nature feel, ala Joel Edgerton. The two would work well off each other.

Nicolas Winding Refn as the Director

With all the talk of actors, who’s going to be the one to direct them? For those who don’t know, Refn directed my favorite movie of last year, Drive. I considered Ben Affleck at one point, but as strong of a director as he is, I think he’s too similar to the Nolan world, and this series has to differentiate itself from that. Drive is a gritty contemplative crime ridden film, but its tone is also different enough to separate itself from the Nolan series. The way he directed Ryan Gosling’s character almost feels like both a hero, and someone who could be a Batman villain. That’s the guy I want in the directing chair for Batman.

With the director and main cast in place, I also want to provide some quick hits on potential villains. I’m going to leave out the Joker for now as the decision to recast him is a topic in itself, and for another day. Here are my quick thoughts though on the other villains, and I even throw a few obscure ones in there just for fun.

Edward Norton as the Riddler
Daniel Day Lewis as Ra’s Al Ghul
Michelle Williams as Catwoman
Zachary Quinto as Scarecrow
Josh Brolin as Harvey Dent/Two-Face
Ron Perlman as the Penguin
Hugh Jackman as Bane
Michael Fassbender as Mr. Freeze
Bryce Dallas Howard as Poison Ivy
Robin Williams as the Ventriloquist/voice of Scarface
Alan Rickman as Dr. Hugo Strange
Kevin Bacon as Black Mask
Benicio Del Toro as Clayface
Toby Jones as the Mad Hatter
Mel Brooks as Killer Croc
Channing Tatum as Man-Bat

Next In Batman Month – My thoughts and retrospective on the Nolan Batman series. Same bat time, same bat channel…

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.

1 COMMENT

  1. definitely an interesting take on the franchise, I’m curious how Perlman fits with the Penguin but I would love to see Fassbender give a redemption to Mr. Freeze (Prometheus showed he could be quite Icy don’t you think?)

    I’m still a huge fan of Nolan’s work with the latest batman films though so I’m not super eager for another reboot any time in the near future.

    @ Joel though I’d have to say if David Tennant was going to be in it it should be a Tyler Perry type movie where he just plays all of the rolls. If Tennant was every character, I would see the shit out of that movie