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Cast This: The Batman

While the impressive roster of DC Comics characters has been making its way to theaters over the past few years, they can't exactly be accused of presenting a meticulously crafted universe with a well-organized long-term plan.

Four loosely connected movies with DC superheroes (and villains) have made it to screens so far, but just about everything else involving the popular characters has been sliding around the schedule (THE FLASH, SHAZAM), running relatively silent (GREEN LANTERN CORPS, CYBORG, BATGIRL, NIGHTWING) or getting replaced entirely (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS), with other random projects suddenly appearing, like a Joker origin movie that's totally unrelated to the current DCEU. So it seems like pretty much anything goes.

For the moment we're still expecting to see the Dark Knight return in THE BATMAN, with Ben Affleck in the title role. But with some "will he or won't he" back-and-forth over the past few months, only time will tell if that will remain the case.

Affleck has made no secret of his focus on a directing career -- he may have had a misstep with last year's poorly received pulp crime-drama LIVE BY NIGHT, but before that he experienced a celebrated run behind the camera with GONE BABY GONE, THE TOWN and the Oscar-winning ARGO. If his planned adaptation of Agatha Christie's legal drama WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION or the war movie RED PLATOON gets on his schedule soon, that could take a significant chunk of his time.

And of course, Affleck had intended to direct himself in (and co-write) THE BATMAN before stepping aside earlier this year for Matt Reeves (DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) to take over the chair. Reeves has mentioned that he has ideas for a multiple-movie arc, but (as with many DC movies) nothing has been firmly scheduled. Assuming THE BATMAN would be able to start filming before the end of 2018, Affleck would be 46 years old for the first in a theoretical new series that might take six or seven years to finish. (Granted, Robert Downey Jr. was 42 when initially cast as Tony Stark for the first IRON MAN...)

Presumably, JUSTICE LEAGUE will be a box office smash when it arrives in November, and Affleck would almost surely be back in the cowl for a sequel (which is also still unscheduled).

But beyond that, who can say? We still don't know for certain how THE BATMAN will fit into DC's larger cinematic scheme. And even if does fall within whatever continuity exists in the DCEU, it's not as if there isn't a precedent for replacing the human form of the Caped Crusader and his billionaire secret identity...

Adam West popularized the character in the 1960s and was (and will be) forever known as Batman, even when Michael Keaton stepped into the role for two blockbuster Tim Burton movies. Val Kilmer and George Clooney also each briefly slipped on the suit for nocturnal crimefighting before Christian Bale supplied his growling presence for Christopher Nolan's DARK KNIGHT trilogy, and Affleck more recently became the newest jaw jutting from the cowl. (Meanwhile, the loopy Fox TV show "Gotham" continues its own young variation of pre-Batman Bruce Wayne.)

For those somehow unfamiliar with one of the most omnipresent superheroes on the planet, Batman was created in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. After young Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents by the gun of a street criminal, he devoted his life to fighting crime. As an adult, the dashing businessman took on the mantle of vigilante Batman  and used his remarkable detective skills and physical conditioning to battle various villainy, while attracting an infamous and colorful rogues gallery that includes the Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Bane, and the Clown Prince of Crime himself, the Joker.

So if Affleck doesn't end up as the Batman on a continuing basis, who could be some prime candidates to play the wealthy playboy and his costumed superhero side?

Michael Fassbender would obviously not be the first actor to cross the Marvel/DC divide, and has the charm and intensity for both of the requisite identities. Ryan Gosling has still not made his way into a comic book movie, and there's basically no bigger or better opportunity than the World's Greatest Detective. And Armie Hammer now has a much higher profile than when he was first cast as the character a decade ago in George Miller's failed JUSTICE LEAGUE movie, but would still be outstanding for the part.

Let us know below who you think would be perfect as the next Batman!

As for the last CAST THIS column, there were loads of excellent suggestions for the adult versions of the Losers Club in the sequel IT: CHAPTER TWO, but some popular choices were:

Bill Denbrough - Jason Bateman
Richie Tozier - Bill Hader
Beverly Marsh - Amy Adams
Ben Hanscomb - Joel Edgerton
Eddie Kaspbrak - Elijah Wood
Mike Hanlon - Sterling K. Brown
Stanley Uris - Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Source: JoBlo.com

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