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Alternate Batmen For If/When Ben Affleck Quits

11 actors waiting for a Bat-Signal to call their own.

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Actor Casey Affleck started a rumor fire recently, suggesting that his brother Ben wouldn’t be reprising his role as Batman beyond the upcoming Justice League film. In the time since Casey and his infamous deadpan made the somewhat confusing remark at Fenway Park, the elder Affleck was able to swoop in, after a fashion, and put an end to the speculation.

“Let me be very clear, I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest fucking part in any movies," he said. "I'm so thrilled to do it. I know there's been some misconceptions because maybe I wasn't enthusiastic about it,” Affleck told the assembled crowd at San Diego Comic-Con, putting the kibosh on the rumors. Still, for at least brief while, those interested in the doings of the Caped Crusader could let their imagination take bat-like flight.

We get the Afflecks we deserve, and for the foreseeable future, Ben will continue to be the Bat. But that won’t stop us from casting possible alternate Batmen, who, for now at least, wait in the wings, eyes to the sky, practicing their best gravelly voice.

1. Ryan Gosling

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It’s a sort of truism in the world that anything would be generally improved if Ryan Gosling were involved in it. We already know that he can drive and throw a punch due to his work in Nicolas Winding Refn’s films. The only question is, due we really want Gosling’s visage obscured by the Bat Mask?

2. Michael Fassbender

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While it’s unclear what kind of superperson non-compete clauses are baked into Marvel contracts, it goes without saying that Mr. Fassbender knows the superhero outfit. Albeit, from the alternate and rival universe to Batman’s. Maybe it’s time to free Fassbender from the, Logan aside, ailing X-Men franchise and cast him as Gotham’s premier brooder and rich boy.

3. Josh Brolin

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His is a face made for a man with a below-mansion cave filled with outrageous high-tech gadgetry and an agenda to avenge. Though, speaking of which, Mr. Brolin is already fairly busy in the Marvel side of supers, appearing in both the upcoming Avengers film as well as the in Deadpool sequel. Seems like you can’t say Brolin without imagining him in some sort of superhero scenario.

4. Andrew Lincoln

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Andrew Lincoln is a British actor. Now, the role of the Brit usually goes to Batman’s confidant, butler, and stand-in parental figure, Alfred. But casting him as such would be a disservice to Mr. Lincoln and to Michael Caine, who filled Albert's soft-padding shoes so memorably. So, let’s let this stew for a while: Andrew Lincoln, aka zombie-slayer Rick from “The Walking Dead” as the defender of Gotham. Sounds good to me.

5. Michael B. Jordan

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With the success of Wonder Woman, DC has finally started to swim after treading so much pop culture water. Now would be the ideal time to build on that success and break the bat mold a bit. It’s 2017 and Batman can definitely be whoever it wants to be and it can definitely be Michael B. Jordan. He’s already proven his fighting chops in Creed, so it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to imagine him breaking in the Batsuit onesie either.

6. Channing Tatum

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Why not get you somebody who can do both and then some? Channing Tatum can wrestle (Foxcatcher), dance (Magic Mike), shoot weaponry (21 Jump Street, White House Down, etc., etc.), and, most importantly, he’s already been in a Batman film (The LEGO Batman Movie). Sure, he lent his voice to Batman’s sometimes rival, Superman, but what does the dancing have to do with Tatum's bona fides? Well, imagine a more fun Capped Crusader whose heroics had some hip in their step.

7. Taylor Kitsch

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I’m not crying. You’re crying. Is what Taylor Kitsch’s face regularly betrays to those who stare at it whether it was in “Friday Night Lights” or “True Detective.” Still, the tough guy with a tear in his eye has been waiting for his breakthrough for a while. And nothing says machismo stardom than nocturnal crime-fighting habits and a three-quarters face mask with pointy spikes at the top.

8. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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This is wishful thinking, sure, since the opportunity to be the hero Gotham needed closed on Joseph Gordon-Levitt as soon as he arose on that platform in The Dark Night Rises. The young and aspiring Nightwing was primed to be the next Batman after Christian Bale, well, bailed at the end of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. But, it seems, that was a hard stop to that iteration of Batman only to be resurrected in the personage of the much less smiley Affleck.

9. Joe Manganiello

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Alas, in a world… Mr. Manganiello is already cast to play the insidious Deathstroke (which is not an 80’s metal band you never heard of) in The Batman, which will star Ben Affleck in the titular role. So, it’s a bit of a compromise then to know we’ll see the former dancer, werewolf, and cable drama star, in the follow-up to Justice League.

10. Matt Damon

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Fun fact: Matt Damon has never played a superhero. He’s been both super and a hero over the course of his film career, but Ben Affleck’s childhood friend has yet to get behind the cape, as it were. Damon knows Affleck better than anyone on this list. With advice from his buddy and his globally recognized chin, now could the Martian’s time.

11. Millie Bobby Brown

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Beginning with Man of Steel, the current arc of DC films all seem to be filmed in the absence of direct sunlight. There’s a vignette coming in at the corners like a creeping shadow or, perhaps, there's just some dust on the lens. In other words, these films are visually dark and contrasty. Why not add some extremely bright light that’s sure to burn a while? Well, there’s a human LED in 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown, you know, Eleven from “Stranger Things.” The embattled DC Universe needs to take off the kid gloves. Bring in MBB, upgrade your Batman for a Batgirl, and Marvel won’t know what to do next.

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