THE DARK KNIGHT RISES may have only just hit cinemas, but with a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie in the works, it’s only a matter of time before the caped crusader gets rebooted yet again – especially with how fast the SPIDER-MAN franchise saw a remake. Money talks, and Nolan or no Nolan, the franchise will continue. The question is: how?
Will we see a complete reboot, including another origin story? A continuation of Nolan’s trilogy? Or simply a new set of films that dives headfirst into Batman’s story with little to no explanation of his origins, save for a few choice flashbacks?
At this point in time there’s obviously no way of telling. But that won’t stop us speculating on what might come next: heroes, villains, storylines, cast et al. This week we’ll be looking at who can replace Christian Bale as the man himself: Bruce Wayne. Stay tuned over the next month for more on possible future villains, directors, and storylines.
And of course, if you haven’t yet seen, beware: spoilers lie ahead!
1. Christian Bale
Let’s get this out of the way first: Christian Bale has expressed interest in continuing to play Batman in future films, but obviously these wouldn’t fit into the timeline of his existing outings as Mr. Wayne. This could cause head-scratching problems for some audiences, so it’s likely whoever does take on the mammoth job of rebooting the franchise (the poor soul) might want to wipe the slate clean entirely. Which means no Bale. Sorry Bats.
If, however, said director does not want to wipe the slate clean entirely, they may choose to pursue Nolan’s final setup in– perhaps even keeping things in Nolan’s universe – and cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the new Batman. Though with a character name like Robin John Blake, I’d hedge my bets on the rising star getting his own Nightwing film. It’s a long shot, but you never know… either way, for the continuation of Nolan’s universe, this is Warner Bros’ best bet.
A plea to the film blogosphere on Twitter alluded to several nominations for this guy. Certainly a popular choice, then, and the MAD MEN star seems perfectly suited already: his role on said TV show is practically synonymous with Bruce Wayne as it is – smooth, suave and has a way with words – while the tall, dark and handsome actor seems pretty much sculpted for the role. But might he be a bit past it now? Granted, Bruce isn’t exactly a young man in, but a fully fledged reboot would likely rewind the clock several years…
Man-of-the-moment Michael Fassbender seems an obvious choice here: he’s played an Android (), military spy (INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS), and even done the superhero/villain bit before (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS). Some might argue one actor shouldn’t play two different super-characters, but hey, Chris Evans played both The Human Torch and Captain America. And the DC/Marvel split should be enough of a separation (though might also provide contract issues between the studios). Oh, and he isn’t afraid to show it all off on-screen. X-Rated Batman, anyone? No, we thought not.
Now now, we know what you’re going to say: Ryan Gosling can’t be Batman! Look at him! He looks nothing like Bruce Wayne! Well, true, but that’s nothing a bit of hair dye and make up can’t fix. He proved his action chops in last year’s DRIVE (or at least he proved he’ll be capable with the Batmobile), while the upcoming GANGSTER SQUAD will solidify his range after a year which saw Gosling star in crime thrillers, political dramas and romcoms. He’s also a dab hand at playing the mysterious figure, so shouldn’t have too much trouble with Mr. Wayne – though may need a bit of bulking up physically for the role.
Sure, he might be knocking on a bit now, but he’s still the best damn Batman we’ve ever seen. Maybe. And who wouldn’t want to see an aged Batman coming out of retirement to fight the Joker (it could only be Daniel Day-Lewis) one more time? Three skeletons stand in for Gordon, Fox and Alfred, while Helen Mirren steals the show as Catwoman. ‘Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb…’
That’s it for this week, but let us know in the comments which is your favourite, or indeed if you’ve got any alternative preferences. And stay tuned next week when we take a look at possible future Batman villains…
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is in cinemas now.