The question of who will be playing Batman the next time the Dark Knight appears on the big screen is one that's been hotly debated ever since Ben Affleck dropped out of directing The Batman. Almost immediately, the question of whether he'd drop out of the project entirely reared its head, and suggestions for who might replace him turned up all over the place.
For now, Affleck appears to still be attached to the role - despite previous rumours that Matt Reeves doesn't really want him - but that hasn't stopped renewed speculation every couple of weeks and painstaking analysis of everything he says to determine definitively if he's genuinely interested.
Now, Gary Oldman has entered the conversation, having been asked by TooFab at the 7th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts International Awards who he'd like to see play the character if Affleck departs.
“I would like to see someone like Joaquin Phoenix play it. This is no disrespect to Ben Affleck. I think it really depends on who is at the wheel that lifts it.”
It's not a bad call at all, and Phoenix could certainly offer a darker, more Michael Keaton-like take on Bruce Wayne - rather than Affleck's muscle-bound traditional action hero.
Phoenix has been linked to Batman before, back when Darren Aronofsky was in line to make Batman: Year One. The director wanted Phoenix to play Bruce Wayne for that oddball adaptation (which Warner Bros were probably right to can), and he was apparently considered for the role again when Batman v Superman came around.
Whether Affleck's decision to leave the role at some point means he'll depart before The Batman or not remains to be seen, but something needs to be put into concrete soon. And Reeves could do a lot worse than Phoenix.