As soon as 'The Dark Knight Rises' hit theaters, people started talking about who should play the next Batman. The talk continued as news of a 'Justice League' movie ebbed and flowed. However, all talk about casting a new Caped Crusader has officially become newly relevant! At Comic-Con 2013, it was revealed that 'Man of Steel' director Zack Snyder will be making a Batman/Superman movie. So, once again, it's time to put on our speculation hats. Who should take up the mantle of the Dark Knight? Well, we have a few suggestions.
Our one rule for this list: we did not include any actors that are currently playing established comic book superheroes. Sorry, Hugh Jackman and Michael Fassbender.
With so many actors, all we can do is look at their other work, desperately try to imagine them in a cape and cowl and say "Well, he may make a good Batman." But, Karl Urban already has a feature length Batman audition video called 'Dredd.' The sadly overlooked sci-fi action film sees Urban playing a police officer in a future dystopia and thanks to his large, face-obscuring helmet, all he can act with is his mouth, jaw and voice. But this doesn't stop Urban from delivering a memorable and badass performance and utilizing a voice that's reminiscent of Christian Bale's Batman. Not to mention, between 'Dredd,' 'Star Trek' and 'Red,' Urban has a thing for geeky projects and would surely give a character like Batman the necessary enthusiasm.
Before he became that really good actor from 'The Social Network' who had the misfortune of being cast in 'The Lone Ranger,' Armie Hammer almost played Batman. When director George Miller almost made a 'Justice League' movie a decade ago, he cast the very young and entirely unknown Hammer in the part, causing the entire internet to go "Who?!" That project fell apart, but Hammer has hung around, growing into an excellent leading man who has the misfortune of being cast in lousy projects. If Henry Cavill can get a second shot at Superman after being cast in a failed film ten years ago, then surely Hammer should get a chance.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is a badass. He's charming. He's extremely handsome. He's funny. He's a powerhouse performer. And people like him. A lot. It's tough to stand out in a cast of dozens, but he manages to do it in every episode of 'Game of Thrones,' where he's transformed the despicable Jamie Lannister into one of the most fascinating and likable characters on television. The only thing keeping him from being a lock for Batman is his accent, but he's an actor. He'll work around it.
The cast of Starz's terrific 'Spartacus' series had a massive challenge with each and every episode: they had to take dialogue and situations that were inherently ludicrous and make us believe them. In other words, series star Liam McIntyre is ready for the comic book movie world. Put him in a costume, fill his mouth with mumbo jumbo about world engines and watch him deliver it all with conviction. It's easy to look silly when you put on tights and growl at bad guys, but McIntyre will make it look effortless.
Here's the thing about Batman: the actor playing him needs to have an amazing jawline and Jon Hamm has one helluva jawline. However, the star of 'Mad Men' has a lot more going on besides the chiseled physical features that Liz Lemon once described as those of a "cartoon pilot." As Don Draper, Hamm has shown extraordinary chops, creating one of the deepest and most complex characters on television. In other projects, he has showcased all of the wit, humor and charm necessary to play a superhero.
On 'The Walking Dead,' Andrew Lincoln spends every episode as a ticking time bomb of violence and desperation, radiating so much intensity that you're more than willing to forgive the show's slow plotting and useless supporting cast. Lincoln is a powerhouse of an actor, a guy with a loyal fanbase, but not too much baggage (and with a reasonable starting salary, we'd imagine). Is he a fit for Batman? We say yes, especially since it would continue the tradition of British actors taking on American superheroes.
Where the heck has Josh Holloway been? Since 'Lost' came to an end three years ago, the man who was Sawyer has been quiet, popping up in small roles here and there. (He does have a starring role in 'Battle of Year' this fall, a movie about breakdancing...)
We're not sure why an actor this good (and good-looking) hasn't exploded yet, but maybe it's because he was waiting for the role of Batman to open up. Although our mental image of Holloway is of a shaggy, southern bad boy, it's easy to imagine him cleaned up in a tux for the role of Bruce Wayne and growling behind a mask for the role of Batman. He may not have headlined movies like others on this list, but he's certainly got the chops for the part.
It's not a question of if Joel Edgerton will become one of your favorite actors...it's a question of when. Edgerton has spent the past few years killing it in some of your favorite movies, specializing in playing relatable badasses. Anyone who doubts that he can play a stone-cold superhero should watch him in 'Zero Dark Thirty.' Anyone who doesn't think he has the build of a superhero should watch 'Warrior.' Anyone who wonders if he can pull off the whole "millionaire playboy" thing should watch 'The Great Gatsby.' Eventually, someone is going to cast Edgerton as a superhero. Warner Bros. and DC better grab him before Marvel does.