Batman is a character who has lived under many different incarnations since his inception. With Christopher Nolan’s third and final film as director The Dark Knight Rises just around the corner, a reboot has already been mooted by studio Warner Brothers. Very little is known about the reboot at this stage and Warner Bros haven’t likely figured it out for themselves just yet, though when speaking to the LA Times back in March 2011, studio boss Jeff Robinov said:
“We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”
With Warner Bros. presumably keen not to take too much heat away from The Dark Knight Rises and understandably so, not much else has been mentioned regarding Batman’s cinematic future. What is known is that a probable ‘reinvention’ is on the cards and that Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas will likely be involved as producers, that’s it.
With this in mind, speculation as to who might be the next Batman once the Dark Knight has risen may seem a little arbitrary, but its fun right?
After the success of Nolan’s first two efforts and the inevitable success of the third instalment, it seems unlikely that Warner Bros. will want to stray too far from their winning formula, but it doesn’t mean they won’t.
The recently released Spider-Man reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man didn’t mark a radical new direction for Peter Parker (ok, he’s a bit younger), and comes just 10 years after the Sam Raimi-directed original. Yet the box office hit $59m in two days, proving that an easily accessible franchise reboot is a no brainer for the studio. The superhero blockbuster is the cash cow that keeps on giving. By that rationale, its reasonable to suppose that the next Batman movie wont be too different in tone from Nolan’s. If the studio casts a younger Batman, they can start the franchise over, re-tell the origins story and get another three films from a well trodden, audience-friendly, familiar character with a pre-existing fan base.
If this is the case then unfortunately for some fans, this may mean it’s the masses that gets what it wants, leaving other directions uncovered. In 2000, Darren Aronofsky was set to co-write with Frank Miller on an adaptation of Batman: Year One. As a film the project was shelved, with the reboot perhaps Warner Bros. will give Aronofsky another shot? Perhaps a more comic book feel will be introduced, although with the darker tone of Nolan’s trilogy proving successful and the failed comic book style of Schumacher’s Batman & Robin, the studio may be hesitant.
Getting to Batman himself, with Christian Bale supposedly leaving, who will get to don the next Batsuit? Whatever direction Warner Bros. decides to go, there’s a number of common traits the lucky actor will need to fill and a number of elements the studio will have to consider.
Obviously they’ll need to be Batman and Bruce Wayne. They will therefore need to be equally adept at playing a billionaire playboy and suit-wearing, crime-fighting tough guy. The right choice will not only need to look the part, but be convincing in the role, Batman is an highly intelligent, serious character with burden and responsibility. With little known about the proposed reboot there are a number of things to consider. The studio may want to start a fresh and cast an unknown or up-and-comer, with the intention of not only making a new film, but a new franchise. Without a star there’s an element of risk (John Carter anyone?), though perhaps an A-lister or someone synonymous with another franchise would be distancing and thus distract the audience from believing in the character.
Taking all this into account, here’s 10 ways they could go when casting the next bat flick, and despite loving the idea of how awesome his chin might look in the famed Batsuit, Bruce Campbell didn’t quite make the cut, in no particular order, here’s who did.
Click “next” below to start our journey…