My BATMAN Dream-Casting Takes A Tiny Step Closer To Reality
Ok, what is going on here? Between yesterday’s big news about Jon Favreau going to that galaxy far, far away and these comments from Karl Urban I’m about to share…it feels like the entertainment gods are being way too generous to me. I’ve been banging the drum for Favreau to get involved with Star Wars and for Urban to play Batman for years, so I just kind of have to pinch myself.
Mind you, the former is a set thing and the latter is unlikely to ever happen, but this feels very cool nonetheless.
Back in 2013, when it was announced that Zack Snyder would be seeking out an actor to play the new cinematic version of Batman for the follow-up to Man of Steel, my first choice was Karl Urban. I’d become a fan of his while watching all of his varied performances in films like The Chronicles of Riddick, Star Trek, and Dredd. He struck me as a character actor trapped in the body of an action star. He could be big and intimidating, but also neurotically nebbish and hilarious like his McCoy in the Trek movies. And with Dredd he had proven that he could command the screen with only his mouth and jaw exposed- a pretty important trait for anyone donning the cowl.
Then Ben Affleck got the job and the rest is history (or infamy, you be the judge).
Still, in my heart of hearts, I’ve quietly kept my hopes alive that I’d one day see Urban as The Dark Knight. With Matt Reeves coming on board and seemingly wanting to make his own mark on the character, which would include recasting Affleck, I once again started tweeting and suggesting how cool it’d be to see Urban nab the role. Yet everything I’ve heard- and reported– leads me to believe that the man Reeves wants is Jake Gyllenhaal.
Now, I have no issues with Gyllenhaal. I actually love the guy. I think he’s criminally underrated, and actually one of the finest actors of this generation. So I want to see nothing but great things for him, but would he even crack my Top 10 list to play Batman? No.
Regardless, things on the Batman front seem a little topsy turvy lately, and there’s reason to think that Reeves directing The Batman isn’t necessarily the lock it once was. If he leaves, I suspect the prospect of a Gyllenhaal Batman will go with him- since he’s the one who wants Mr. G to be ol’ Batsy. So people are once again kicking around ideas as to who should take over the role.
My friend Paul Shirey, the editor-in-chief over at JoBlo, mentioned to Urban in a recent interview that there are a bunch of fans like me who’ve been campaigning for him to be the next Batman and here’s what the actor said:
“Oh, really? Wow. I don’t know. I haven’t really contemplated that. Usually the way the process works for me is I get sent projects, sent scripts and I read them, meet with the filmmakers and really on that basis choose to get involved. As far as Batman goes, I guess my favorite Batman movie was THE DARK KNIGHT. Chris Nolan is just an extraordinary director and I thought Christian Bale was a fantastic Batman and obviously with such talent like Heath Ledger that was the perfect comic book movie right there…So, I don’t know, I’m open to any and all opportunities.”
While this doesn’t exactly mean much, since I’m sure you’d be hard-pressed to find any man in Hollywood with a pulse who wouldn’t want to play Batman, I think it’s great to put it out into the universe that he’d be interested in the role. Because if Warner Bros. is paying any kind of attention to what’s going on out there, this should check off a couple of boxes on their to-do list when it comes to actually casting the new Batman. This puts a check in the “Fans Want Him” and “He Wants It” boxes of this hypothetical list. The next one would have to be “The Director Wants Him,” which is where I’m sure we’ll hit a snag.
For better or worse, outside of Thor: Ragnarok, Urban has a history of being associated with projects that struggle. The rebooted Star Trek series is in a state of limbo, Dredd didn’t do particularly impressive numbers, and the Fox TV series he top-lined (Almost Human) got cancelled after one season.
But hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?
What do you think of Urban as Batman? Would you dig that? Is it better or worse than my desire to see Chris Hemsworth play James Bond? Let me know in the comments below!
Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder of Revenge of The Fans. Previously, he's written for Latino-Review, IGN, Moviehole, and The Splash Report. He's also the host of the top-rated show The Fanboy Podcast and the co-host of The Revengers Podcast. E-Mail: MFR@RevengeOfTheFans.com | Twitter: @I_AM_MFR