With Ben Affleck officially retired from the role of Batman, everyone wants to know who the new Batman actor will be. UK bookmakers William Hill think it will be Jake Gyllenhaal or Oscar Isaac, but Black Panther (opens in new tab)'s Michael B Jordan and Game of Thrones' Kit Harrington are also rocking some decent odds. Longer shots from the bookie are Bodyguard's Richard Madden, who is also tipped for the new James Bond (opens in new tab); Tom Hardy - who seems extremely unlikely given his turn as Bane; and Venom (opens in new tab) villain Riz Ahmed. We asked the real experts, our writers, for their suggestions for the next Dark Knight, and got some surprising answers.
This is the latest in a series of big questions we'll be interrogating our writers with, so share your answers and suggestions for topics with us on Twitter (opens in new tab).
Let’s be honest, Warner Bros. is really just looking for Ben Affleck, but not Ben Affleck when it comes to finding the DC Extended Universe’s new Batman - and who’s that? Jake Gyllenhaal, that’s who. Affleck was a good fit for the role, but unfortunately his stint as the Dark Knight was marred by the inadequacies of the DCEU and the development hell of his solo movie, meaning a fresh start is needed. But all the reasons why Affleck was cast in the first place remain sound, so Warner is really just looking for someone similar to Affleck who can be easily slotted into his spot as the Caped Crusader. Gyllenhaal is that person. Another well-known name (Warner won’t be looking to take a risk on an unknown) who’s on something of a career high right now thanks to the recent(ish) success of Nightcrawler (opens in new tab) and Nocturnal Animals (opens in new tab) (not to mention his upcoming role in Spider-Man: Far From Home (opens in new tab)), I think we can all agree, he’s got the looks. He’s one of the bookies favourites too, with Betway (opens in new tab) giving 100/30 odds on him becoming the next Batman. He’s got the fanbase, the acting chops, and the believability to play one of the leading roles in the DCEU and he’s going to… you’ll see. Lauren O’Callaghan
I don’t know where the idea of Donald Glover as Batman came from, but it’s one I can’t shake now that I’ve got it in my head. It’s mainly the idea of him gliding into a room in full Bruce Wayne mode, oozing that unshakable confidence and charm he can pull out when he needs to. His turn as Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story (opens in new tab) proves he can do a good playboy, and isn’t adverse to big-name franchise movies. He’s got a softer side as well without a loss of strength that might make a good change from the gruff, angry Batman we usually get. Recent versions of the character on screen have all been very one dimensional - all laser-focused justice and tight-jawed indignation. Glover could bring a little more humanity to it all with more depth than the usual 'my parents died and now all crime must pay.' Leon Hurley
Suave, intense, and intimidating; those three words could comfortably sum up either the Batman or Jon Hamm. Such qualities are the latter’s calling-card in almost every role, making him the perfect candidate for billionaire vigilante Bruce Wayne. Because the Caped Crusader isn’t just a brawler or detective - he’s a whip-smart businessman with a taste for excess as well. Although this hedonistic lifestyle is an act to throw others off his scent, it’s still a crucial part of Batman’s character that’s easy to overlook. Luckily, Hamm has a proven track-record in this arena: he personifies Wayne’s brooding yet classy swagger. His turn in Baby Driver also shows that he’s capable of seething fury as well. The gangster he played in Edgar Wright’s film was a vengeful, unstoppable force with single-minded focus. Sound familiar?
Sure, there are other great choices for the role. I would kill for Josh Brolin as a rugged, intense Dark Knight who’s seen too much. You could definitely make the case for Oscar Isaac as a younger Bruce, too. But come on: Hamm’s got the jaw. He’s got the smoldering glare. He has the class, the physicality, and that dangerous gleam in his eye which suggests he’s not entirely sane. All this makes him arguably the most comics-accurate depiction of the DC legend to date. In other words, the hero we want and deserve is BatHamm. Make it so, Warner Bros. Benjamin Abbott
On the face of it, he might seem like another already-established A-list actor suggestion, but I would suggest that a Ryan Gosling comprised of a few particular performances would be a great fit. A particular version of him, if I may, so bear with me. Let’s begin. Start with the understated and quiet tough guy we saw in Drive, showing he can portray an understated strong man character, but with undercurrents of quiet menace and justice. Mix in a helping of the all-action Blade Runner 2049 (opens in new tab), which nicely demoed Gosling's suitability to playing a rough and tumble action hero, and, importantly, his ability to step into a major franchise. And finally, finish it off with a glaze of his excellent man-in-suit role of The Ides of March, showing off a brilliant, eloquent, well-spoken and cunning exterior as a varnish to something more complicated; his eyes in the last scene of Ides eerily showed off a realization of power and responsibility. I’m fond of Christian Bale’s Batman; the gritty, dark films (and even his gritty, dark voice) just felt like they were so far away from previous ‘comic-booky’ iterations that I remember. And while Gosling would be another big name stepping in, he would certainly have the range to make a Batman that would be something different. Rob Dwiar
The perfect Batman is right in front of us, and yes, it's the guy who played Shane in The Walking Dead. We know from The Punisher (opens in new tab) that Bernthal can pull off the physical demands (and growling, surly voice work) of the Caped Crusader, but there's more it to than that. Ever since The Walking Dead, Berthal has too often been typecast into the same, one-note roles of the gruff, red-blooded tough guy, leading many to presume that's the only hat he's capable of wearing. But listen to Bernthal giving interviews in real life, and he comes across as a smart, sensitive, immensely charismatic guy, who you could easily imagine playing Bruce Wayne as much as Bats himself. The Dark Knight would thus be a way to show off both sides of Berthnal's talents as an actor; the musky, physical performer we all know, and the more charming savant that audiences are less aware of. Plus, after all the fuss over Batfleck's meaty jawline, I'd say audiences are more than ready for someone with Bernthal's rugged disposition and unconventional handsomeness to don the mask. Alex Avard
The darker take on the Dark Knight has been done plenty, and I doubt anyone can top the combination of Nolan and Bale. So, while I'm not saying it's financially sound, I'd love to see a one-off return to the colorful kitsch and absurd capers of Batman '66 (which is also the name of a great pinball table). Channeling the poise, charm, and classic handsomeness of the late, great Adam West wouldn't be easy, but Peter Serafinowicz is just the man for the job. The English actor's no stranger to superheroics: he's perfect as the titular, atypical hero in The Tick, and you may remember his noble sacrifice in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Watching Serafinowicz don the blue-and-grey suit to trade alliterative quips with Robin (Tom Holland, maybe?) and track down appropriately cartoony villains would be a hoot, not to mention a refreshing change of pace for the Caped Crusader's recent filmography. Lucas Sullivan
He's already called Batman, he hates crime, and those pointy ears are built in. Rachel Weber
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