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THE BATMAN: Casting Murmurs And My Stance on The Armie Hammer Story

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A couple of months ago I got a hot tip about who was having advanced discussions for the role of the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. I had a primary source who had been correct with countless other bits of intel. I had two additional insiders who’d heard very similar things. And I was told that the news of Hammer’s impending signing was starting to spread, so if I wanted to bag the biggest exclusive ever, I’d have to “run it now.”

So I did.

I wrote up a report about what I’d heard. Even had a friend of mine do a digital painting of Hammer in the Batsuit. I really, really believed what I was reporting. You can hear more on what went into that report, and my response to the initial reaction to it here:

So now here we are, a little over two months later and the internet is ablaze with rumors that we may finally get a definitive answer on who will be the next cinematic Batman. Naturally, folks have been asking me the same question these last few days: “Do you still think it’s Hammer? Do you stand by your story?

And my answer is, simply: Yes.

I know there are plenty of intriguing rumors out there, and that a lot of the folks I mentioned were “in contention” earlier this year still seem to be making the rounds today. But you should know that I have yet to hear anything different on my end, and that I think names like Nicholas Hoult and Aaron Taylor-Johnson have been screen tested- but for a villain. Not Batman.

Though I also have to admit something to you, dear reader:

I haven’t been keeping tabs lately.

See, I’m not a journalist. Never have been. I’m just a passionate dude with too much time on his hands while his kids are at school, who’s had the privilege of adding this really fun side project to my life for the last 5+ years. This glorified hobby has led to experiences like flying to London to interview Michael Fassbender on the 007 soundstage at Pinewood, having people like Mark Millar and Mark Waid on my weekly podcast, seeing movies and having access to materials way ahead of the general public, and- above all else- making a ton of wonderful friends and connections along the way.

So if I blew this, or if I was given faulty intel, so be it.

I’ve had to accept that these last few months, as I’ve been inundated with questions about this story. And I get it. Writing a story like that, and making such a ginormous claim paints a bullseye on your back. So that’s cool. But through it all, I’ve had to look at my life and my priorities and remind myself that none of this stuff is life or death. I’m a fan, and I run a fan blog. We’re not curing cancer here. We’re trying our best to pass along info and insights on the things we love most.

For the last month or so, I’ve worked on realigning my priorities a bit, because it’s very easy to fall into this fanboy vortex- both because it’s fun and because there’s never a shortage of things to obsessively discuss with fellow fans. Part of that introspection is why I’ve scaled back my twitter usage, and why I’m not out there beating down doors for scoops as often.

There are folks out there to which this is a career- or at least a prospective one. They’ve built their lives around being successful bloggers or journalists. And I’m happy to leave all of that to them. Me? I have a career. And it’s one I love. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t be in my 17th year doing it. I get to collaborate with and entertain people on the most important milestones in their lives, making memories and moving people to music as a DJ and Master of Ceremonies. I pinch myself every weekend that I get to do something three days a week that affords me my weekdays at home to take care of my family and write/podcast about geeky stuff.

So I’m still happy to pass along any cool info that comes my way (like that epic-sounding casting breakdown I shared from James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad a few weeks ago), but I need you to remember that I’m not a traditional reporter.

Think of me as more of an analyst who hears cool stuff.

But back to Batman…

The last time I poked around to see if Hammer was still our guy was a month ago. At that time, my primary said he indeed was.

As I stated in the original report, he had yet to sign on the dotted line as of mid-February, but that the logistics were being looked at and- assuming they could work them out and he wanted the job- it was looking like a foregone conclusion. “It’s his if he wants it,” was the general sentiment shared with me at the time from others.

I’ve been saying since January that I believe we’ll find out who our new Batman is in the spring, and we seem to be right on target with that as it’s the end of April and it looks like news is rapidly approaching. So the wait is almost over, my friends.

Personally, I’m just excited to find out if Hammer did, indeed, sign. And if he didn’t, I’m just as excited to see who did. This is Batman, people! I will not shed a tear if someone else ends up under the cowl (okay, I might if it’s Dylan Sprouse or Noah Centineo), because no matter who it is it means that we’re one step closer to seeing Matt Reeves’ vision for The Batman come to life.

And it would also mean we get to start hearing who’s been cast in other iconic roles. Because once they announce Batman, you know it’ll only be a matter of time before we get news on who’s playing Alfred, Gordon, and the mysterious villains (yes, multiple, as I’ve reported since last summer).

And take this as you will, but before all of these “Batman news coming soon” whispers started popping up, I tweeted this as a reply to a fellow fan:

A couple days later, a few others seemingly heard something similar and started sounding the alarm that it could be the big reveal of who’s playing Bats. Most notably, it was Daniel Ritchman’s tweet three days after mine that really kickstarted this conversation:

Want to know who told me that something Batman-related was coming soon? The same person who told me that Hammer is our guy.

I’m just going to leave that there.

And now we wait. Together.

These are exciting times, and I’ll be here to write, rant, and rave about it whether it’s Hammer or not. So get ready, because it sounds like they’re putting new bulbs in the bat signal.

When it inevitably lights up, who do you hope is beneath the cowl to answer its call?

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Mario-Francisco Robles

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

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