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James Gunn, We Have a List of Potential Batmans For You

A collage with Karl Urban, Theo James, Richard Armitage, Bradley Cooper, and Jack O'Connell

James Gunn and Peter Safran recently announced that a new Batman film is in development in the DC Universe (DCU). The film will be titled The Brave and the Bold and will feature a new Batman, as well as the Damian Wayne iteration of Robin, who is Batman’s biological son. In announcing the project, Gunn confirmed that the DCU was getting a new Batman and retiring Ben Affleck’s iteration of the character. However, rumors soon arose that a former Batman actor, such as George Clooney, Val Kilmer, or Michael Keaton, would be taking over the role again. Gunn soon debunked that theory, though, and confirmed via Twitter that a new actor that has never played the role before will be cast as Batman.

While no actors have been tied to the role yet, that hasn’t stopped fans and the media from speculating on who could take on the role. Batman is a very complex figure and requires actors to be able to pull off the personalities of both Bruce Wayne and the Caped Crusader. The DCU will likely be seeking a big name in Hollywood for the role, for the allure of star power. Also, only an experienced actor will be able to pull off the emotional depth of Batman, as well as be able to navigate his feelings of being a father. Here are 10 talented and experienced actors who could potentially play Batman in The Brave and the Bold.

Karl Urban

Karl Urban as Billy Butcher in a car in The Boys

Karl Urban already has experience playing a gritty, complex hero from his appearance as Billy Butcher in The Boys. In addition to his impressive role in The Boys, he has been on the Hollywood scene for over 30 years now and has starred in the Star Trek reboot series and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as in Thor: Ragnarok and Pete’s Dragon. His roles have shown that he is a very versatile actor who could easily portray the fierceness of Batman and the intellectual, introverted, and charming personality of Bruce Wayne. Plus, he has the physique to play a superhero and is at the right age to play a father, making him the perfect candidate for the role of Batman.

Scott Adkins

Scott Adkins (left) as Diran Nazarian standing next to Jamie Foxx in Day Shift

Scott Adkins is a name that Redditors have consistently brought to the forefront for the role of Batman. The 46-year-old English actor is best known for portraying the professional prison fighter Yuri Boyka in the Undisputed franchise. In addition to the Undisputed films, he has starred in The Expendables 2, Ip Man 4: The Finale, and Day Shift. He is also set to appear in John Wick: Chapter 4 as Killa. He is both an experienced actor and a very talented martial artist, who began practicing martial arts at the age of 13. Of course, while his roles have often been as fierce and gritty characters, his acting experience has largely been limited to similar roles and direct-to-video films. While it’s unclear if he has the star power to portray Batman, he definitely has the looks and skill for the role.

Theo James

Theo James as Tobias (a.k.a. Four) in Divergent

Theo James is an actor best known for starring as Tobias “Four” Eaton in the Divergent trilogy from 2014-2016. Since then, he has gone on to make quite a name for himself, starring in projects such as The Time Traveler’s Wife, Sandition, and White Lotus. He has experience starring in a film franchise, as well as portraying intense characters with both charm and an edge. Additionally, he is a talented and experienced enough actor to star in a critically acclaimed TV series. Not to mention, he’d probably be interested in the role considering he dressed up as an “old-school” Batman during his acting school days. James has the looks, experience, personality, and fanbase to make him a strong candidate for Batman.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ives holding a gun in Tenet
(Warner Bros.)

It’s not surprising that Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s name has come up for the role of Batman. Taylor-Johnson is an actor on the rise in Hollywood who is rumored to be the frontrunner for the role of James Bond. In addition to this, he has been busy starring in some big hits recently, including Tenet, The King’s Man, and Bullet Train. He will also be starring as Kraven the Hunter in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe in the upcoming film of the same name. Given his growing fandom, penchant for action roles, experience with comic book adaptions, and his versatility, he is truly a shoo-in for an even bigger superhero role.

 Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal as Quintin Beck (a.k.a. Mysterio) in Spider-Man: Far From Home

Jake Gyllenhaal is an actor who has been connected to the Batman role for quite some time now. It has been reported that the actor was a strong contender for the role of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy before the role ultimately went to Christian Bale. Meanwhile, it’s not hard to see why he would be considered for the role. He is one of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood, has experience in the superhero genre, and has proved his versatility and ability to portray emotionally complex roles in films like Nightcrawler and Prisoners. He also has the right looks, charm, and age to portray the DCEU’s Batman.

Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde in Hannibal

Richard Armitage is another actor who would fit perfectly in the role of Batman. Plus, he’s another actor who has also already come close to playing the role. He revealed he auditioned to be the DCEU’s Batman when they first began casting and was reportedly shortlisted for the role, though it ultimately went to Affleck. It’s not hard to see why Armitage would excel as Batman when he has the looks for the role and has experience playing an intense, stubborn, and heroic character with his role as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit trilogy. He has also appeared in Hannibal, The Stranger, and Robin Hood, showing his versatility as an actor. Let’s hope he gets a second shot at the role for The Brave and the Bold.

Jack O’Connell

Jack O'Connell as POW Louis Zamperini in Unbroken
(Universal Pictures)

Back in 2018, there were rumors that the DCEU was eyeing Jack O’Connell to replace Affleck as Batman. While the rumors were unconfirmed, they have resulted in O’Connell remaining a name of interest in the search for a new Batman. The actor is best known for portraying the weathered war hero Louis Zamperini in Unbroken. He certainly could nab the emotional depth of Batman and looks the part, as well. The biggest question would be if he boasts enough star power to be the DCEU’s next Batman.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper as Stanton "Stan" Carlisle in Nightmare Ally
(Searchlight Pictures)

Bradley Cooper is another actor who was rumored to be in the running for Batman back in 2019. Additionally, he has been heavily advocated for the role by his fans. Cooper would be an excellent choice for Batman, as he is one of the most experienced and talented actors on this list. He has been nominated for an Oscar nine times and has starred in countless critically acclaimed hits like A Star Is Born, Nightmare Ally, American Hustle, and Silver Linings Playbook, where he portrayed very emotionally complex characters. Cooper is very well-equipped to take on the complex role of Batman and he also boasts the looks and physique of the hero.

Jensen Ackles

Dean carrier a crowbar
(Dean Buscher/The CW)

Jensen Ackles has made it no secret that he would love to play the role of Batman in live-action, and The Brave and the Bold might be his opportunity. He has previously impressed audiences by portraying Dean Winchester in Supernatural and Soldier Boy in The Boys. Ackles has also already voiced Batman several times in DC animated projects. He’s a versatile actor with experience in both live-action and animated comic book adaptions. Plus, he has a strong passion for the role, which might make give him an edge if he gets a chance to audition.

Richard Madden

Richard Madden as Prince Kit in Games of Thrones
(Warner Bros.)

Richard Madden is another actor that fans have advocated for the role of Batman. However, some fans have also shown a preference for him playing a different Batman character, like Two-Face. Madden is best known for starring in Game of Thrones, Eternals, and Rocketman. He has experience in comic book adaptions and would be well suited to lead a franchise with his acting skill and fanbase, making him a strong candidate for Batman.

(featured image: Amazon / Lionsgate / NBC / Searchlight Pictures / Universal Pictures)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.