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Juicy rumor of the weekend: Who is on the current shortlist to play Batman in Zack Snyder's Batman/Superman film!?!

Published at: Aug. 3, 2013, 7:35 p.m. CST

Hey Yo, Draven here.

We all knew this was coming after Warner Bros announced the Batman/Superman film at this year’s Comic-Con but THR has a short list of actors that are “in the mix” for the role of Batman. They had this to say about their sources’ information on the role of Batman in the film:

“But the real insight is the kind of Bruce Wayne/Batman that Snyder is looking to cast. According to numerous sources, this Wayne/Batman will be in the late 30s or around the 40 mark. He will be established and rugged. This new movie will not seek to recount an origin story or the rise of the Dark Knight. Sources say the new movie is aiming for the tone of the relationship and fight seen in Frank Miller’s 1980s ground-breaking mini-series The Dark Knight Returns.”

Now before we get to the list, just know that this is a very early rumor and the script is not finished and so nothing has been sent to actors or agents. This does give us a good idea of the kind of actor WB and Snyder are looking for (and let's face it part of the fun of following all of this information on the internet is speculating). On this list we have actors that are very popular and famous and actors that are out of left field. Now let's get to it:

  • Josh BrolinIt is said that he is the current front runner. This makes a lot of sense as he seems to fit every it of criteria that THR's sources have said Snyder and WB are looking for. He also is an established actor and can overcome the shadow, Christian Bale has put on the role. The biggest problem facing his casting would be his high profile divorce the he had with Martha Kent actress Diane Lane. Does he want that to become a story with both of them in a big, blockbuster film? Maybe but it is definetly something to consider.
  • Ryan Gosling - This seems to be more internet chatter than anything because as good of an actor as Gosling is, he doesn't fit any of the above criteria. To me this seems like the least likely choice of anybody on here. I am not saying he would be bad, but I don't see this happening and how many franchise tentpoles has Gosling been in?
  • Joe Manganiello - He is another young guy who is mostly known for his roles on TRUE BLOOD and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. He was one of the finalists for the role of Superman that eventually went to Henry Cavill. It is also said that Snyder liked him a lot so it would appear that he has a good shot at this role. I don't know if he would be able to pull off being an established Batman.  Just imagining him as Frank Miller's version of Batman is hard to do but then again, a lot of people didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off a believable Batman and he was great.
  • Richard Armitage - He is 41, so right about the age they are looking for. He also has two more installments of THE HOBBIT to boost his profile, so he seems to have a great shot to get the role. He also has that rugged look that Brolin has and would be our second straight British Bruce Wayne. I like this choice. 
  • Max Martini -  His highest profile role just came as a fighting father in PACIFIC RIM. He is 43 so he again is right around the age WB and Snyder are looking for. He is mostly known for his TV work and his profile isn't that big, so again it would be hard to establish him as an experienced Batman. 
  • Matthew Goode - He is only 35 and has a babyface so it doesn't seem like he would fit in with what Snyder is looking for but he did play Ozymandias in Snyder's adaptation of WATCHMEN. He is also a really great actor with a lot of different roles so this could be a risk Snyder and company are considering taking. It would be hard to imagine him in the cowl facing off with Henry Cavill and it seeming like a believable matchup. On the other hand, he has the ability to take the role in places nobody expects and make it his own.
  • Gerard Butler - He isn't on THR's list but Latino-Review is reporting that he is also in consideration for the role. He fits the age and ruggedness that is required and he already worked with Snyder on 300 but I don't think he has the range to overcome the Bale shadow. He plays the same kind of role in most of his films whether they are terrible romantic comedies or action films. If you compare that kind of role to what Bale did with it, then it is really going to be a drastic difference in quality. 

I know a lot of us wish Jon Hamm would be considered for the role and he would be a great fit, but it looks like the filming of the final season of Mad Men might get in the way. Obviously, WB just wishes Bale would reprise his role and it sounds like they tried to make it happen but he turned them down.

My pick would be to give Michael Keaton the role back if they are going to really emulate THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS but that isn't happening. If I had to pick somebody off of this list, it would probably be Brolin but I also really like Armitage and the potential of Matthew Goode. I would bet that none of these actors ultimately get the role though (and this will all just be pointless, but we can look back at the fun we all had speculating about every single name that has been dropped).  

Enough with my thoughts on the role though. Who do you guys want to see get this role? Is there any obvious candidate nobody is talking about yet, that fits this criteria? Do you think an unknown actor can play an established Batman with no origin story? Does this list encourage your enthusiasm for this project?

And most importantly, will this be the final shot of the film?

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