Has the next big screen Batman been found?

News Simon Brew 27 Nov 2012 - 06:57

A strong rumour suggests that Christian Bale's replacement as Batman has been chosen...

There are still plenty of elements to slide into place for Warner Bros' planned Justice League movie, which is due in the summer of 2015. Bringing together a collection of DC superheroes under one umbrella, the issue Warner Bros faces is that with the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, there's only one active DC franchise at present, namely Superman (thanks to next summer's Man Of Steel).

However, it seems as though the studio is beginning the process of putting its Justice League cast together. And the role of Batman might just be first in line.

The disclaimer first. This is a rumour. On the flipside, it's a rumour that's popped up over at Hitfix, whose track record on such matters isn't bad. So here it is: the site is now quoting its sources as saying Joseph Gordon-Levitt "absolutely will be appearing in Justice League as the new Batman".

In fact, there might be more. The site is also suggesting that "it's looking like we may see Gordon-Levitt in the suit earlier than that ... they appear to be solidifying deals for Gordon-Levitt and, potentially, at least one other actor from the Nolan films".

Who that other actor is we've got no idea. And there may yet prove to be nothing to all of this. However, there is a solid possibility here, hence we're passing the rumour over to your good selves. We'll keep you posted on it...


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The other actor would Gary Oldman surely?

It makes sense Levitt inheriting the cape, with all the final scenes involving him in TDKR pointing to the handover. Levitt is easily one of the most talented actors around and he seems to be able to perform in all types of films. Looper will be in a lot of Top 10 film lists this year. Could the Green Arrow make the leap from the small screen to the big? That would be three DC characters with (Successfully) established back stories to appear in JLA.

I hope that this happens. The dynamic between Gordon-Levit and Cavill could be very interesting.

So...the Batman in the Justice League movie will not be Bruce Wayne? Believe it when I see it. And I'm not totally convinced I want to see it.

Please, please, PLEASE be true - you men-in-suits have been gifted an awesome storyline already, so don't f*ck it up!

Hmm, not sure myself. Batman is Bruce Wayne and vice versa. Also, Bruce went through years and years of training to become batman. My money is on him becoming Nightwing and another actor playing Bruce/Batman.

Well I thought any new Batman movies would not be set in the Nolan universe so Levitt could play the new Bruce Wayne. Although it'll confuse lots of people.

While I agree it shouldn't be done in what is essentially another origin movie, it may be worth pointing out that when he died for a year, Nightwing/Dick Grayson DID inherit the cowl and become Batman. And he wasn't just filling his shoes temporarily (something many characters have done, usually to help maintain his secret identity). He WAS Batman. He inherited the title completely.

Also, while I think Gordon-Levitt would make a good athletic Batman (people forget he is an athlete), he still needs to put on a bit more muscle than we have seen so far. Not difficult though, we saw how Bale bulked up.


How about a role in the JL movie for the awesome Norman Reedus? Who could he play?

Surely they could make room for Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman too? Nolan did a fantastic job in creating a new Batman world, so it would be disappointing if they couldn't carry on where DKR left off

Batman:I am in two minds. Whilst I liked JGL I think the JLA Batman should be older and experienced, after all he he is the co-leader alongside superman. Therefore he should be Bruce Wayne. I think we all know Batman well enough to not mind if it is an actor other than Bale portraying him just for the JLA movies.

Superman:What we do know is Henry Cavill has already been set up as Superman so maybe just introduce the new Bruce Wayne in a post credit scene.

Green Lantern: Also (and I know this won't be popular) I have no problem with Reynolds returned as Hal Jordon for an ensemble cast. He has already been set up, meaning you don't need to do any backstory for John Stewart or other new Lanterns.

Wonder Woman: May get her own film but I don't think it is that necessary to set up an Amazonian Goddess whom superman recruits.

Flash: Likewise with Flash whom I have also considered a pretty one dimensional character and will essentially be the comic relief. He won't need much backstory in the JLA movie.

Green Arrow: I would love the JLA movie to link in with 'Arrow'. Again it means the character already has a solid base and the first act can be about forming the team, rather than explaining who everyone is.

Others: It depends who they want to bring it. Aquaman has been bad forever. I am not too fond of Hawkman and it depends when Black Canary is revealed in Arrow. Maybe Atom or Cyborg. But to be honest I think the 6 listed above would be a pretty decent starting point and possibly only bring others in for sequels.

So you have the majority in place already and the rest you can tack on without too much trouble. Therefore you can move onto plot points. This for me is twofold. A story involving the Martian Manhunter and then bring in either:
1) Zod (as an extention to MoS (Similar to the Loki plot in Avengers)),
2) Luthor / classic Joker as the founders of a group of villains (Injustice League style).
3) Brainiac

If any or all of those ideas are used I will be happy. I always loved the JLA and just hope they do it right. They have a chance to be much more fantastical than the attempts to ground Avengers in reality (After all Superman, most of the Lantern Corp, Wonderwoman and the Martian Manhunter are not human). But for this to be possibly they need to distance themselves from Nolan's Dark Knight, which would not work in the JLA context

Sorry for the essay.

"it's looking like we may see Gordon-Levitt in the suit earlier than that" Cameo or new film? Personally I'd expect Fox to return, as Blake would need all the gadgets but Gordon would be a possibility, they could be a more of a team then before.

If you think about it having a "new" Batman in a the JLA movie might make sense, interesting dynamic as a new guy tries to fit in with heroes and gets mentored?

Anne Hathaway will be the "other" character, no?


I could totally buy JGL as Nightwing on the JL but not as Batman.

It would make sense for him to come on board as Batman if the JL had already had interactions with Bruce and after his retirement he'd told them that he's got someone lined up to replace him, but for the inaugral JL movie to not have Bruce Wayne just smells of Cock-Up.

Freeman or Hathaway would be my guess, unless there's some minor character that they're planning on giving an expanded role. They did say it was someone from the Nolan Films, not TDKR specifically.

Were there any undeveloped cameos from characters in the previous two?

I'm just happy that we get a non-Bale Batman :)

I could get behind the TV Arrow making the jump to the movie as I've been really enjoying it so far. I think it's struck a much better balance of realism/fantasy than the Nolan movies did.

If Warner Bros make a new Batman character with any reference to Nolan's films then they will ruin the impact of the trilogy. They should cut all ties, make a new batman and let Nolan's films stand alone, don't just ride on the success of the Dark Knight Rises.

Hitfix? Never heard of it. Its easy to quote "sources" without actually having to justify the information.
If there is any truth to it at all, I think it will be a bad move. JG-L is a fantastic actor but is not a Batman, doesn't have the presence, stature or background for it. It would be a bad move from DC/WB and may spell the end of the Batman franchise. Unless of course they are targeting a teen market for Batman and Justice League, in which case they may make money but will lose a lot of friends

It doesn't make that much sense. Bruce Wayne is supposed to be, to borrow Tony Stark's words, a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist, not to mention a ninja with 7 years training. Blake would be horribly injured on his first outing and would have no money to repair any damage to the costumes and equipment Bruce left for him.

Leave Nolan's trilogy behind. It's not canon. It's not Batman. Start again Warners. You now have the chance to do Batman properly. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm know how it's done.

I think overall it is a bad idea to link Nolan's universe with the new JLA movie. It will end up feeling like they've pushed those franchises together just for the sake of continuing Nolan's Batman. Whereas Iron Man established very early on that it was apart of a much bigger universe, there has been no mention of anything happening outside of Batman's world. I think the best thing would be to re-boot the Batman franchise with a Batman who fits into the world of the JLA.

*sigh* Please no.

Cue training montage!

I was thinking EXACTLY that at the end of TDKR. Yes, Batman is a symbol, and anyone can be Batman. Providing they have 7 yrs of Ninja training, and not a few months of police work.

I do love the Nolan Bat-verse and as much as I would like to
see it again, I don’t think that it would really work having it existing in the
JLA world. It would have to be another iteration of the Bats simple because of
the ending of TDKR.

Because if they did go along the lines of the Nolan-verse Bats
then people would be sitting there thinking "Why didn't Superman or Green
Lantern or any other member help Batman out with a seized Gotham and take care
of the nuke?". Just a thought.

I'll be happy either way with whatever DC property comes out
next (even Green Lantern with its bad bits), but I would like to see how John
Blake would have gotten on in the next instalment after TDKR... never-mind.

Okay, this may sound like a rant at you, but it's not. I've just heard the notion that doing more can damage what came before argument so many times for film and TV that I'm going to rebut it right now.

For whom does making more ruin the original films?

a) the original audience? No, because they can choose not to see the new ones. Or they can choose to ignore them. Or they can rail against them and say how much better the originals were (Star Wars, anyone?). No matter what happens in the new films, the story of Bale's Bruce Wayne has been told, and anything that comes after is not going to take away from that.

b) the new audience? No. People will be brought in to see a new Batman film that may have never seen the Nolan trilogy. If it's bad, it's hardly likely to put them off (since if they were going to see it without the film then they'd have likely seen it by then) but if they find something to like in it then they will search out the originals, and see that they are either brilliant or better. (Again, look at Star Wars; the franchise was revitalised in 1999 in a way that nostalgia alone could never manage). Either way, it can't possibly do anything bad to the Nolan trilogy.

c) the cast and crew? No, because the ones that don't return have the defence of 'Well, it wasn't my movie that sucked', and can be proud of what they did. The ones that return have the same risk they have with any movie of making a well-loved movie or a crap one, but with a lot more money behind them. Either way, it can hardly be considered a bad thing for anyone involved.

d) the studios? Ha. They can ride off the reputation of Nolan's movies as much as they like. For one thing, they're going to anyway. And for another, at least if they keep JGL and maybe another of Nolan's bunch on then there'll definitely be some calibre going into it. Not that that is a guarantee of success, but it's a good starting point. Furthermore, what if they ARE good movies? Then they'll be right to ride on Nolan's coattails, because it'll get more people watching the damn things.

If you want to leave Nolan's trilogy as an untouched masterpiece, then don't go see a Batman film with connections to it, but there's a good chance that you will be the one missing out. And if you see it and it's terrible, then don't buy the DVD, and Nolan's trilogy will remain unblemished as a complete saga on your shelf. But if people didn't have big ambitions for these things, if someone didn't see a cut of Iron Man and realise that they could make the world huge, then we wouldn't have had The Avengers. And if we're going to be getting a new Batman movie whether we like it or not, then let it build on what's come before, because unless they retcon parts of Nolan's films like making the Riddler Bruce's dad or making Two-Face into an alien, they cannot possibly harm them.

How can they do an new origins of Superman in Man of Steel, then have him team up soon after with a Batman in Justice League that is someone OTHER than Bruce Wayne...?? JGL will not be Bruce Wayne, but the same character he played in TDKR...this to me does not make sense......

YES...I like this....Nightwing...that would be a great twist...good call.

I cant shake the feeling that we're heading towards an almighty car crash here.

I was thinking The Flash maybe.

* a part
very different meaning than 'apart'.

Id love to see Ronnie Corbett as Batman/ Bruce Wayne - can you imagine it!

I don't know. Flash seems too clean cut. Hawkman however has rage issues and is more of an adventurer. I can't really buy Reedus as a forensic scientist!

Absolute nonsense. How can Nolan's real world Batman universe be carried over into the JLA version? I can't believe people are seriously thinking that actors from Nolan's trilogy will be playing the same parts in a JLA movie. Makes as much sense as Arnold Schwarzenegger turning up as Mr Freeze in The Dark Knight Rises.

JGL already said in an interview that he isn't tied to any new Batman or DC related films w/out hesitation. He won't be Batman in JL.

Terrible. The comic books have room to play around with who's under the mask occasionally, but in the movies... well, if it's not Bruce Wayne, I don't give a crap.

Sarcasm aside... I can actually imagine Corbett as the Penguin!!!

Yes as long as he keeps the glasses on!

I really like the Arrow show but I think, despite Green Arrow coming first in the comics, that his inclusion in this film would be a mistake. Those not in the know (i.e. regular, non comic reading cinema goers who are in the majority) would accuse the film makers of copying Hawkeye in The Avengers (and, by then, Avengers 2).

Bruce Wayne will be Batman, whoever plays him.

I would like JGL as Batman but in a style similar to Rorschach in Watchman. Mysterious, in the shadows, not really part of the group. Don't have him take his mask off or be referred to by his real name. Some of the audience will realise that it's perhaps Blake from TDKR but otherwise he is 'Batman'. Since the rest of the group have epic powers his role can be as the detective for the group; something that hasn't really been explored on film.

I want Bruce Wayne to be Batman in the Justice League movie. Plain and simple. I don't really have a preference which actor puts on the cowl but considering the way TDKR wrapped I think JG-L isn't the best choice as he should clearly be Nightwing and John Blake just wouldn't have the experience to help found a team like the JLA. But seriously, I'm going to see the movie ALMOST regardless of who they cast. The story is the most important thing.

Who says that the next movie outing will follow immediately after TDKR? He may have a few years to get in shape and learn some moves.

Jim Caviezel as Bruce/Batman? Certainly hits the fight scenes right in Person of Interest

Add all those actors in and you'll have one crowded movie - but, who knows. I'm just excited we'll be seeing more from Batman and the Justice League movie better be good!

Oh God why?! Cast someone who is actually big and mean looking to play him. Someone you'd actually fear. I wouldn't fear JGL

Maybe the other actor is Christian Bale?

I agree the likelihood of it ruining Nolan's trilogy is pretty unlikely, but it can happen. It's usually when a sequel decides to mess with the original film via retcons (Scream 3 springs to mind, where they foolishly messed with the events from the first film.) I can't imagine they'd do that if they are continuing with JGL's character...

To be fair, I can't see a stubborn Bruce Wayne asking for any of their help... It's HIS city, after all...

No thanks.

I don't think they can follow up the Nolanverse with anything of similar style and quality without Christopher Nolan at the helm. For me, they should go in a different direction.

A cross between Sin City and Dredd. An ultra artistic comic book story, maybe modelled after the Arkham Asylum novel, maybe The Long Halloween.

Dont want new guy or new batman so soon

As much as I rate JGL, it really should be Bruce in the Justice League movie, and having him played by someone who was someone other than Bruce in the last Batman movie would just be plain confusing to mainstream movie-goers. So I hope it's false.

Ugh, this rumour - if true, and that's a big IF - showcases everything that's wrong with the film industry these days, they just can't let things go gracefully, I never saw the ending of TDKR as a potential set-up for JGL taking on the role in future films but rather was just that; AN ENDING. A full stop. Period. End of story. Blake may or may not follow in Wayne's footsteps or he may chart a different course, it was deliberately left open not to set up another film, but to emphasize the motif that Batman can be anybody... of course, being given extensive training by a ninja death cult in the Himalayas and having a multi-billion-dollar fortune and a massive array of high-tech weaponry from the family firm certainly helps in that regard!

JGL as Nightwing pls!

While I accept your comments we have to remember we're talking about the general movie going public, not bat-fans.
However, I suppose there could be a Nightwing film with JGL then at the end when he has completed his training he could become Batman for the JL film. Actually that could be quite cool, pulls on the cowl then credits roll...

Exactly what I said above.

My point about Gordon-Levitt inheriting the cape was based purely on the scenes at the end of the film. I am totally ignorant to the Baman Graphic novels, (something that I have started to remedy.) my comic book reading were in the 70's and were the UK staples Roy of the Rovers, 2000ad, Warlord etc. But at the end of the day its the film industry who will call the shots and they are business man and they want to make money. They don't care for logic, continuity, or history. Nor do they have any wish to respect the feelings of the fans of the source material. You only have to look at the morons who green lit "Batman and Robin" to see how they operate and understand about what the average "fan" wants. They care about synergy and how many books, toys, videogames, t shirts etc they can sell off the films and not whether Joe Fanboy was emotionally engaged/thrilled/excited. Nolan walked a tightrope of fan expectation and the execs box office dreams and delivered the goods...admirably. Most fail abysmally and yes I'm talking to Bay and Sommers at the back of the class!

Think about it. The villains here that Batman is gone and they're going to run riot. Someone needs to fill the suit even if they aren't fully trained for the safety of Gotham. It makes sense.

I don't disagree with that but at the same time I think DC should just run with what they have.

At the moment the movie Hawkeye isn't particularly fleshed out whereas an announcement that the Arrow character would be in the movie might get the TV show more viewers and they would have had a whole season (at least) to get to know the character so he would arrive more fully formed than his Marvel counterpart, who hasn't had any real development as yet.

The other thing about Oliver Queen that might make him unsuitable is that the TV version of him seems to be too much like a combination of the recent film versions of Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark:

A selfish rich heir to a billion dollar family business survives a traumatic ordeal in a dangerous yet exotic faraway location then comes back, after being believed dead for a long time, a changed man having undergone physical and emotional turmoil and decides to use his existing, and newly learned, skills, not to mention using his fortune to craft weapons and crime fighting gadgets, to put right his own wrongs and also return peace and justice to the city he loves.

That could describe all three of them.

Okay, first, JGL denied it, or at least his agent did.

Secondly, HE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE JOHN BLAKE. Holy christ on a cracker there is no reason WB has to stick with JGL being John Blake at all. He could just as easily play Bruce Wayne as long as the first person to meet him in the movie goes, "Oh wow, Bruce Wayne!" Just look at Marvel playing revolving doors with Bruce Banner. Did anyone seriously care that he went from Eric Bana to Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo? And more importantly from Ed Norton to Ruffalo within the same continuity? NO. And then Nolan's universe has already been stated to be a standalone 'verse so who should care if JGL plays Wayne? No one. Judge him on whether he could act the part, not on "OMG ERRYBADDY WOULD BE SO CONFUZED."

im not convinced on Levitt..fine actor, just not the man for Batman..a little too metro.

I just hope the story established in the Nolanverse can be maintained, rather than scrapped entirely. Blake could take on the role of the Batman, with the support of Fox and Alfred in his endeavours. He's an orphan formerly housed by St Swithins, so it would be out of the ordinary for him to be a regular at the Wayne Manor orphanage, even a volunteer there. Which would of course give him quick access to the Batcave. Sigh... I'm getting carried away here, but the existing arc is too good a thing to sacrifice

It just occurred to me but wouldn't Selina Kyle/Catwoman sticking around to partner up with JGL's Blake to fight crime, rather than flying off into the sunset with Bruce off topic I know, but I didn't think of it when seeing the film.

Maybe Levitt will be Bruce Wayne. WB might go with a new continuity, they did say they would reboot the (shudder) franchise. They could have been impressed enough with Levitt in DKR to give him the chance to be Batman/Bruce Wayne. He is, after all, an actor so doesn't have to be playing the exact same role. The other actor mentioned could well be Anne Hathaway, again she could have impressed the execs with her portrayal of Catwoman. It doesn't have to be a continuation, look at Judi Dench in the Bond films, M in the Brosnan films which could be as camp as christmas, then still M in the Craig films which are much more serious in tone.

It could describe a lot of superheroes. It's a standard trope just like the stranded alien, or the bite from an animal and the mystical object granting powers.

It's what you do with them that makes them different from each other and in the comics it's clear that Green Arrow and Batman, whilst from similar backgrounds are totally different people. Arrow has always been more willing to go further than Batman even if his politics were likely more liberal.

It'll be interesting to see where the TV show goes with the character though as I'm sure that despite his early ruthlessness and focus he will become more relaxed and 'hero-like'.

The JL would benefit from a Stark-like personality though, whether Green Arrow could provide that remains to be seen.

It's unlikely. Nolan's just said that in his version Bruce's story is at an end.

Of course that won't matter to the suits, I'm sure but I really can't see JL being made without a Bruce Wayne Batman.

They need to do an alternate universe/past timeline movie first (like Justice Society of America in the 50s) with older actors playing them. Caviezel as Batman is exactly right. Jon Hamm as Superman, Bridget Regan as Diana since she is believable as an ageless Amazon. If we wait for all the characters to be introduced one by one, it will be the 22nd century before we get a Justice League.

Sorry as much as I love JGL, he still looks waaaay too young to be playing a debonaire billionaire in his mid-30s. We need a man, not a boy. JGL just doesn't have the stature for someone like Batman who needs to be at least 6 foot 5 to be a dark superhero that spreads fear in the hearts of gotham city villains. I would prefer if it was someone like Ryan Gosling or Michael Fassbender, Game of Thrones, Kit Harrington or Josh Bowman. Has to be someone with an older, more mature look to be able to carry off sophistication, complexity and confliction of emotions and more.

Hey man, great comment, and for the most part I agree. The one thing I would have to take issue with is that Aquaman has been 'bad forever'. It seems to me that the public opinion of Aquaman has been shaped by a single skit in Family Guy. In the DCU he is not seen as a laughing stock, and why would he be? He has super-strength on land as well as in water, invulnerability, telepathy, royal lineage and is not only the protector of most of the earth.but one of the founders of the planets premier super team.

The JLA film is a great chance for DC/WB to show this much-maligned character as the heavy hitter he's meant to be. Once again, great ideas there, dude.

So, what ... he's going to go down to the local judo club?

Sure, why not? How long was Wayne in training? Also, it's a movie...

I have a feeling the Batman in the new film wont unmask.

Rex-Quan-Do classes down at the Y should get him in prime Bat shape!

All that would do is make those cinema goers look like fools because The Justice League was created before The Avengers, and Quinn was a part of it way before The Avengers formed, and before Hawkeye joined.

That's not really a realistic argument to use on non comic readers.

It would make the cinema goers look like fools to nobody but comic fans themselves but since cinema goers are in the vast majority to the relatively cult sized group of comic readers do you think they will even care? The chances are they won't even find out - but they will still have their opinion and word of mouth, regardless of what the little known truth is and before you know it the country will be full of people coming out of cinemas, chatting in the pub or on message boards saying "You know what? That Green Arrow guy was just a copy of that Hawkeye from Avengers." There will more likely than not be someone there to correct them and the word will spread. Comic fans may vocalise their objections to the odd person here and there but in the long run, the fact that Avengers came first in the cinema, was so successful and that JLA seems to the casual movie fan to be a cynical exercise in attempting to copy Marvel's success that the truth will, in general, not out.

No matter how much comic geeks (and I count myself proudly among them) protest that Green Arrow/JLA came first, people will still just say "Not in the movie theatre they didn't and that's what counts to me."

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