Batman has come a long way since the tights of Adam West and Burt Ward in the ‘60s. The Batbelt contains better gadgets and the sharks no longer climb up ropes because a stage-hand lobs them at Batman’s trailing leg.
Christian Bale set the bar for modern Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, which Ben Affleck lived up to in a different, gruff and darker style in the two Justice League films to date, as well as a cameo in Suicide Squad.
Oscar winner Affleck, however, decided that two proper outings as Gotham’s saviour were enough; no more silver-winged hair which resembled Perry White in the Superman comics. He hung up his cape and cowl, having been in the director’s chair for the new film, The Batman.
An artistic dispute caused him to drop out and with a major rewrite underway, as well as Matt Reeves in the director’s chair. Affleck is a producer on the film which begins shooting this year but is not scheduled for release until 2021.
Who will take the lead role has yet to be decided with some intriguing outsiders in the field.
Armie Hammer may sound like a brand of toothpaste made out of caustic soda but his credentials to be the Bat are strong. They aren’t indisputable but anyone who played the Lone Ranger to Johnny Depp’s Tonto can’t be all bad. Adding Ilya Kuryakin in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was just showing off.
Swiftly denied reports suggested the 32-year-old Californian already held talks about the role. However, he is currently filming Dreamland so if anyone wants to begin shooting soon, they are going to have to wait.
It’s Not The Twilight of His Career
While Hammer is 6/4 favourite, creeping up on him is Robert Pattinson. In a twist, we could end up with an English-born Batman opposite an American Alfred J. Pennyworth.
Pattinson has the darkness around him which contrasts to Hammer’s levity. With Reeves telling the world this will be a “noir-based” film, that may count for a lot and Pattinson at 3/1 is a good bet for the part.
The Twilight Saga refuses to disappear when mention of his name is made and that brooding menace certainly chimes with Bale and Affleck’s interpretation of the role.
Indeed, you could easily see this as Pattinson’s Keaton versus Hammer’s Clooney in the title role.
The Darko Horse?
Jake Gyllenhaal is creeping up the ratings but would something of a surprise casting. His CV reeks of eclecticism and of the outsider from society roles which make it no surprise he is being thought of as a potential Batman.
Joining him on the fringes of the race is Michael B. Jordan at 8/1 to Gyllenhaal’s 6/1. No, not the NBA star of Space Jam but actor Michael B. Jordan, son of Michael A. Jordan. You can see where this one is going…
Casting an African-American Batman is as seismic over the pond as Idris Elba signing on as the next James Bond. Could those two together in one year be the piece of yarn which unravels lifetimes of hatred and discrimination built around the colour of someone’s skin?
Has Hollywood and Pinewood got the cojones to do that?
Thrones, Guards and Complete Outsiders
Both Kit Harrington (12/1) and Richard Madden (33/1) may think of Batman as hedging their Bond bets but neither seems likely to be approached for this one.
In the background is James Franco (40/1) shouting “What about me?” when others would no doubt shout “What about #MeToo?” if he were cast in the lead role here.
Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley is a 16/1 shot although it’s fair to say Penn & Teller have more chance of being cast while at 21, Fionn Whitehead (20/1) is far too young, especially as Reeves declared this is not a Batman ‘origin’ story but an original film.
I wonder…is anything original anymore? Someone light the Batsignal and we’ll find out.
Full Odds Listing
|Michael B. Jordan||8/1|
Odds courtesy of Skybet.com