The announcement that Matt Reeves’ film The Batman is set for a June 2021 release has brought with it the end of a tumultuous era. After three years – and only three films – Ben Affleck’s reign as the caped crusader is officially over.
It’s been a rough few years for Gotham City’s premiere anti-hero, with each Affleck entry receiving a critical panning, in spite of praise for his take on the character.
There is, however, no good in dwelling on the past and the hunt for Affleck’s replacement is on. Word on the street is that Reeves and company are seeking out a younger star for the part.
With that in mind, we’ve had a think and come up with some suggestions. Here are five actors who could replace Ben Affleck as Batman…
10. Jamie Dornan
Perhaps the visually most obvious choice on the list, in terms of finding an actor who automatically fits the Bale and Affleck bill, Dornan has been wasted for too long in the Fifty Shades franchise.
Finally free, Dornan is ready for a meatier role. He’s got the physique nailed and, as anyone who’s ever seen BBC drama The Fall will attest, he can do broody threatening like a pro.
9. Zoe Kravitz
We’re calling it. DC need to rest Batman and embrace the Wonder Woman/Captain Marvel zeitgeist. Until recently, Joss Whedon was primed to produce a Batgirl film. When he dropped out, the project was thrown back into development hell.
As for Kravitz, she’s an actor more than capable of heading up a super-franchise. Smaller roles in X-Men: First Class and Mad Max: Fury Road have done much to demonstrate her action film credentials and we’d be more than happy to see her take the lead. Fantastic Beasts be damned.
8. Daniel Kaluuya
Kaluuya’s time is now. Having moved from indies to mainstream with last year’s Black Panther – only to be curiously absent in Infinity War – Kaluuya is having his early-a-list moment.
In Widows, the Brit showed himself to have a dominant screen presence, whilst who can forget his star-making turn in Get Out. If DC want versatility, diversity and a much needed edge, they have their answer here.
7. Timothée Chalamet
If he’s not the most likely candidate to play Batman, Chalamet certainly ranks amongst the bravest studio choices. Through Beautiful Boy, Chalamet proved himself adept at physical transformation and we have no doubt he could bulk up for an action lead.
Chalamet’s Batman would perfectly fit the bill of a younger Batman, with much to learn and much angst to overcome. He’s got a huge fanbase and is Hollywood’s one to watch bar none for the next decade.
6. Lakeith Stanfield
Some might say, with good reason, that BAFTA Rising Star nominee Stanfield’s quirky screen presence – see: Sorry to Bother You – might be better utilised by DC/Warner Bros. as a Batman foe. The Riddler, maybe.
Whilst there’s no denying, Stanfield would make for a terrific Batman baddie, we’re as ready to see him headline a blockbuster as we are to see the dark knight given a different personality to the overused mould of the past century.
5. Tatiana Maslany
Another potential Batgirl on our list – screw gender norms, she is Batman – is Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany. In the BBC America drama, Maslany demonstrated her ridiculous talent by playing multiple clones, each with unique personalities.
Seeing as Orphan Black has inspired a comic book series of its own, we know Maslany has the makings of a DC hero. She can currently be seen in Nicole Kidman film Destroyer but watch this space. That’s all.
4. Oscar Isaac
With his stint in Disney’s rebooted Star Wars trilogy nearing its end, Isaac is as good as franchise free. He’s no stranger to superhero blockbusters, having played En Sabah Nur in Fox’s recent X-Men: Apocalypse and has a proven record for being the shining light in weak films – see: Life Itself.
Isaac’s take on Batman would bring more than beefcake muscle and we can think of few actors more skilled in balancing heroism with a deeper undercurrent.
3. John Krasinski
Nobody saw The Office‘s Jim turning into a bone fide action star but how things can change in Hollywood. From A Quiet Place to Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan has subverted expectations at every turn and there is no doubt he’s more than capable of doing the same as Batman.
He’s got the look and is totally able inject emotional nuance into restrained roles. We’d certainly go with this. Emily Blunt for Catwoman?
2. Mahershala Ali
Aged 44, Mahershala Ali is only two years younger than Affleck and so probably doesn’t meet Reeves’ job description. In all other respects, however, he’s perfect – both as an actor generally and potential Batman.
After years of tapping away in small roles, Ali made his breakout in Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, winning an Oscar for his efforts. More recently, he’s delighted in Green Book and proven his superhero mettle in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. If DC want a smarter, more thought-provoking Batman, Ali’s their man.
1. Henry Golding
Bruce Wayne is both crazy rich and infused with an inner darkness. In other words, he’s the perfect part for instant a-lister Henry Golding. In Crazy Rich Asians Golding showed us he could carry wealth and A Simple Favour demonstrated his capacity for darkness.
Golding is currently lined up for another Paul Feig comedy and a bizarre Guy Ritchie drama about criminal toffs but it’s time he cleared a bat-shaped space in his diary. He has charisma but we want to see him tap into his potential.
Who would you like to play Batman? Let us know in the comments!