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As Ben Affleck hangs up the cape, who should be the next Batman?

With Matt Reeves developing a new Batman film depicting a younger version of Bruce Wayne, the mystery of who’s going to be cast as the next dark knight is slowly taking over the internet’s collective mind.

After years of speculation, Warner Bros has at last set an official date and director for the next big screen incarnation of Batman. Back in 2016, it was rumoured that Oscar-winning director Ben Affleck would not only star in but also write and direct the new entry, but now we know that plan has been completely scrapped and Affleck is officially stepping aside as the caped crusader.

Early February, Warner Bros announced the new film titled The Batman is scheduled for a June 25, 2021 release and will be directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, War for the Planet of the Apes).

Reportedly, this new version will show a younger version of Bruce Wayne, although it will not have anything to do with the most famous reboot of the character so far: Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One from 1987.

The announcement has fans flexing their brains all kinds of crazy predictions do the rounds.

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington, new Marvel supervillain Jake Gyllenhaal and Mad Men heart-throb John Hamm have been rumoured for months to be on the radar for the role, but the new revelation that this particular version will portray a younger Bruce Wayne may leave some of them out of the race.

Even teen idol Nick Jonas has thrown his hat into the ring with a tongue-in-cheek comment on Hypebeast’s Instagram account that made his fans go wild.

screenshot of hypebeast's Instagram account

Mexican actor Diego Boneta auditioned as Batman in Hollywood Reporter’s “THR audition room” back in 2013, and his clip has been dug out by fans and brought forward for consideration.

Other not-so-obvious names have been thrown out on social media, like Sam Heughan (Outlander), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy), Will Poulter (The Maze Runner) and Christopher Abbott (First Man).

But among all the actors that have been rumoured over the past couple of weeks, it’s Armie Hammer (The Social Network) who seems to be the favourite to portray Gotham’s caped crusader. Not a surprise if we take into account that he was already cast as Batman in George Miller’s failed project Justice League: Mortal.

This week, Armie Hammer popped up again strong on social media when various news outlets started spreading “inside information” revealing the actor was in final talks to portray the character, but such reports where debunked shortly after surfacing.

Who do I think should portray Batman? Well, to be honest, I don’t think the world needs another Batman film at the moment. Like, come on, every Batman film after The Dark Knight (2008) has been terrible or, at best, mildly tolerable.

While movie adaptations have pretty much sucked for the last decade, the two latest runs of the caped crusader in comic book form have been critical and commercial successes. Scott Snyder and Tom King have rendered versions of the “world’s greatest detective” that has been beloved by fans and labelled one of the all-time best. Clearly, something is not working among studio heads, because there is heaps of good material to adapt.

Promotional image for the 1960's BtamanTV series featuring Adam West as Batman

Adam West played Batman in the eponymous 1960s live action TV series.

Warner and DC should just let the character stay away from the big screen for a couple of years while they take enough time to develop a really strong adaptation – a carefully created adaptation should rake at least a billion at the box office. What they’re doing currently is hurting a franchise that’s based on one of the most recognisable characters in popular culture.

What is your pick? Who do you think has the necessary screen presence to portray young Bruce Wayne in the next Bat-flick? More importantly, do you think the world needs another Batman movie?

As a bonus, here’s a clip of Christian Bale’s audition for Batman Begins, with a little help from Amy Adams as Rachel Dawes.

About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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