Armie Hammer could be the next actor to don the famous black cape and take on the role of Batman in the upcoming film directed by Matt Reeves.
Filming for The Batman – a standalone film that will not follow on from any of the earlier episodes in the Batman series – is slated for release in 2021, but with Ben Affleck confirming that he wasn’t going to be reprising the role he played in Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad and Justice League, speculation is hotting up over his replacement. And, according to bookies, Hammer, who starred in The Social Network and Call Me By Your Name, is the favourite to become the tenth film Batman.
Like Superman and James Bond, Batman is one of those eternal characters whose longevity requires regular refreshes, but perhaps only the casting of Dr Who attracts more controversy than the identity of a new caped crusader. Comic, fantasy and film fans quick to denounce any perceived dropping off in standards or failure to adhere to the Batman template, a fate that befell Michael Keaton even before he took on the role in Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman. Keaton was judged by some to be too much of a comedy actor to play the part, though his performance was eventually well-received.
But Hammer may have a headstart on his rivals having almost played the part before. Back in 2007, he was cast as a younger Batman in Justice League: Mortal but that film was delayed by a writer’s strike and a dispute with the Australian Film Commission and was eventually cancelled altogether after the success of The Dark Knight. Hammer, who also almost ended up in the Hal Gordon/Green Lantern role in Justice League would be a popular choice and is the current 7/4 favourite with Unibet.
He faces some interesting competition. Jake Gyllenhaal is prominent in the betting at 4/1 with several bookmakers, having at one time been considered for the role in Batman Begins. But his portrayal of Mysterio in Spider Man: Far From Home makes it less likely that he would sign up for Batman, and Gyllenhaal himself has denied rumours that he was in the frame. Hammer’s main rival appears to be Robert Pattinson. Unibet have him at 4/1, although he remains an actor who divides opinion and after the controversial casting of Ben Affleck, Warner Bros may be wary of hiring the star of Twilight.
Among those available at bigger odds are The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi star Oscar Isaac, and Michael B Jordan, who came to prominence in Creed and Black Panther. They are rated by William Hill as 6/1 and 8/1 shots respectively, while Skybet have priced up Kit Harrington, who played Jon Snow in Game of Thrones at 10/1 with Mad Men star Jon Hamm at 16/1 and Venom actor Riz Ahmed a big outsider at 100/1.There is no news yet about when the final decision will be made, but with filming due to start this year, Batman fans will be closely following the betting markets for clues.