Rumor Patrol: Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Play Batman in ‘Justice League’

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 27th, 2012 at 5:04 pm,

dark knight rises john blake Rumor Patrol: Joseph Gordon Levitt to Play Batman in Justice League

Christopher Nolan brought his Batman trilogy to an epic conclusion this past summer with The Dark Knight Rises, but there was no way that Warner Bros. was going to leave the character alone for long. As we’ve been discussing here at Screen Rant, the company has been planning to build its own Marvel-style cinematic universe and Batman is going to play a vital role.

The question is, who will play Batman and what role will the character have alongside Superman, Wonder Woman, and other important heroes in an eventual Justice League movie?

We’ve already shared five ways that Batman can fit into the Justice League movie, but a new rumor suggests the character and actor might already exist. According to his sources, Drew McWeeny at HitFix is reporting that Joseph Gordon-Levitt “absolutely will be appearing in Justice League as the new Batman,” building off of his role in Nolan’s final film.

In addition to this piece of news, McWeeny also reports that Gordon-Levitt may even appear as the Caped Crusader in an earlier film, like Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel. Zack Snyder has already commented on Man of Steel‘s connection to Justice League, so it’s certainly within the realm of possibility. Then again, Justice League is already schedule for a 2015 release date – could a Batman sequel be produced before then, or would they push the production of the DC superhero team-up back?

There are quite a few reasons why the Gordon-Levitt rumor makes sense. As anyone who saw The Dark Knight Rises remembers, the film ended with Gordon-Levitt’s character John Blake discovering the bat cave and, presumably, taking over the role of Batman. Nolan and company even shoe-horned in a line about Blake’s real name being “Robin” to make the connection even clearer.

 Rumor Patrol: Joseph Gordon Levitt to Play Batman in Justice League

If Warner Bros. wanted to maintain a connection to Nolan’s enormously popular Batman films, short of getting Christian Bale back for the role, Gordon-Levitt is the most logical option. It also doesn’t hurt that Gordon-Levitt has become one of Hollywood’s most bankable young stars, appearing in a number of critically acclaimed and financially successful films (from Rian Johnson’s Looper to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln).

However, there are some drawbacks to having Gordon-Levitt take over the character for Justice League. For one thing, he’s not Bruce Wayne. Will Batman fans be okay with a different character donning the cowl in a major movie? And would the Justice League team dynamic be as interesting with Superman, Wonder Woman, and … Batman’s replacement, John “Robin” Blake?

Generally, reaction to the end of The Dark Knight Rises was positive, so this may not be a big issue. Then again, Batman is such an iconic hero that he’s one of the easiest characters to reboot, so it’s not as if the audience needs Gordon-Levitt for continuity sake. If the Nolan movies weren’t specifically intended to build into a broader DC universe of films, would it be more disruptive to try and bring Gordon-Levitt back than to simply reboot the character?

Bringing back Gordon-Levitt would also raise some other interesting questions. How far will Warner Bros. go to bring in their existing characters for Justice League? Would they also consider bringing Ryan Reynolds back to play Green Lantern? There was talk of rebooting Green Lantern, but if they’re not planning to use solo films to introduce each character before Justice League, wouldn’t you want to work with as much existing content as possible?

We’ll keep an eye on this story as it progresses. In the meantime, please share your thoughts on what you think of Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Batman in Justice League (and potentially sooner).

Justice League is expected to hit theaters in 2015.

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Source: Hit Fix

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TAGS: batman, justice league

241 Comments

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  1. I have to say, I am looking forward to a justice league movie more than an avengers 2 movie.

    TAKE YOUR TIME, DC. NO NEED TO RUSH. JUST TAKE YOUR TIME AND DO ALL THE RESEARCH THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO GET YOUR MOVIE(S) RIGHT. PLEASE.

    • My sentiments exactly. If it means waiting until 2018 to see an amazing JL movie, i’m fine with that.

      • @DMC,

        Me Too

  2. I don’t understand why people say no super power exist in Nolan’s universe??
    Where is that coming from? Can human destroy like bane? Joker never had super power. So. Where is this thinking coming from????

    It’s not like batman has super power. Why can’t superman slip right into his world?

    • Yeah!You’re right!It will be so frakking awesome to Superman fly..oops!You said he had to be Nolan realistic,right??I meant to say that it will super cool to see Superman..run??Yeah..buddy it won’t work!Flash could!All we need is a suit that can make him run a bit faster,Wonderwoman can also work,all we need is to get a WWE Diva,Martian Manhunter could be re made as a robot and as for Green Lantern??Well…We would be needing a new actor for that part and a reboot of the movie too since Rynolds will be doing a Deadpool movie by then.

      • Ummm

        First off, Nolan isn’t even going to be involved in Justice League, so this argument doesn’t really apply.

        And even if he will be, or if his style is influencing whoever will be behind Justice League, you’re still missing the point. Nolan doesn’t make his movies realistic, per se. Nor are they dark. Rather, they are RELATABLE. They create characters and situations that make us think what would we do if we were in this situation. Nolan himself said it best in a recent interview, when it was thrown around that his movies were “realistic”:

        “The term “realism” is often confusing and used sort of arbitrarily. I suppose “relatable” is the word I would use. I wanted a world that was realistically portrayed, in that even though outlandish events may be taking place, and this extraordinary figure may be walking around these streets, the streets would have the same weight and validity of the streets in any other action movie.”

        So, it’s not the characters that would be realistic, but the environment, So I don’t see why there would be any problem with the classic superheroes having the same superpowers they always have had. And as we’ve clearly seen in the superman trailer, superman will fly in the movie. (I hope you were talking sarcastically about the superman flying bit, btw).

        Anyways, yeah. Batman was done one way, but the rest of the heroes don’t need to be done the same way. And even if they are similar to Nolan’s style, that doesn’t mean the characters can’t have superpowers. Rather, the world must be realistic.

    • Sigh.
      Almost every supernatural element in Nolan/Batman universe is non existent.
      There are no references to other super heroes and even Gotham City looks like a real city.Bane in TDKR was strong but very much unlike he was in the comics,cartoons or video games.The guy is huge and used Venom (a drug) to increase his powers.Where does he use this Venom? Ra’s al Ghul in everything but Nolans universe he is immortal as long as he uses the Lazarus Pits.Where in the films do you hear about this?Every reference to the supernatural is or disavowed,ignored or very subtly implied.Nolan himself has said that in his universe Superman has no place.The real Batman had all these gadgets and cool vehicles that made it appear he could fly.Nolan’s Batman barely has them.Every fantasy like element is thrown out except when he could not avoid it (because Nolan cheats all the time and breaks his own rules and concepts).That is where that thinking comes from.Do you see now why Nolan’s version is not perfect or the best version there is? He himself excluded elements essential to who Batman is.

      • I agree with all of your points, including the fact that Nolan is not the only version of the Batman, and there is definitely room for alternate interpretations of the character.

        But I’d just to like to point out that while he didn’t use any of the fantastical elements himself, Nolan did incorporate a few clever shoutouts. In fact, you yourself mentioned 2 of the best examples, Ras’s immortality, and the lazarus pit. In both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises, Ras makes comments that he is immortal. “But is Ra’s al Ghul immortal? Are his methods supernatural?” and “I told you I was immortal…There are many forms to immortality.” While obviously he does not literally mean he is immortal in context, it’s a clever shout out to his comic book counterpart who literally IS immortal.

        And regarding the Lazarus Pit, this one was a bit more subtle, but the pit/prison that Bane and Talia grew up in, and that Bruce escaped out of in TDKR is known only as “The Pit” throughout the movie. Plus, it’s where Bruce figuratively was reborn. That’s pretty cool.

        • That pit thing is really reaching if you ask me.I get your points but my problem is the subtleness and the symbolism.Not everyone will pick up on that.When it comes to fantasy elements you have to show them or at least be clear that they exist in that universe.For that I refer to The Watchmen.There you have a real world as much as possible but never is subtle about the fantasy or supernatural elements.In fact that universe is much more fitting for The Justice League than Nolan/Batman universe is.

          • I don’t think The Pit is stretching it at all.

            1) It’s called The Pit. Not the prison, or the jail, or anything else. But Pit.
            2) It is somewhat similar in design to the Lazarus Pit
            3) Almost everyone who enters it goes insane, weakens, and eventually dies.
            4) Bruce heals abnormally quickly in it. (this one might be stretching it. probably just a plot hole, but still interesting)
            5) Bruce comes out re-born. He was broken, both literally and figuratively, but he rose out of it a new man, reborn and reinvigorated.

            The Lazarus Pit causes the person to be literally reborn. So too, The Pit causes the person to be figuratively reborn.

  3. Yes,you make good points and probably are right.But symbolism isn’t the same.Your arguments concerning The Pit is exactly the reason why it won’t work with characters from the Justice League.Their powers can’t be symbolized.That is the whole point.Most of the abilities of the members in the Justice League are out of this world and fantastic.There is no way to circumvent that.

    • Oh, for sure. I completely agree. Justice League wouldn’t really work in Nolan’s universe.

      I was just pointing out how Nolan has made clever references to the fantastical elements of the Batman mythos, while not actually touching upon them in depth. But of course, that wouldn’t really work for a JLA universe, as you pointed out.

  4. ” ‘The term “realism” is often confusing and used sort of arbitrarily. I suppose “relatable” is the word I would use. I wanted a world that was realistically portrayed, in that even though outlandish events may be taking place, and this extraordinary figure may be walking around these streets, the streets would have the same weight and validity of the streets in any other action movie’.”

    “So, it’s not the characters that would be realistic, but the environment,”

    And these quotes are the reason why Marvel has been beating out DC in the selling of comic books for years. I believe it was stan lee who said the same things I just quoted, but just used different words when talking about marvel. The environment of Marvel comics is very real. New York is New York and the names of locations/settings are all the same and real. It is just the characters that are different or unreal. That was one of the reasons why I favored marvel over DC because I could relate to a place or location in a marvel comic book that was, for example, named New York and is drawn the same way as the place actually is in real life.

    Thanks, ezra.

    • +1

  5. even if Nolan’s batman universe is not used, i don’t think i would have a problem if they used michael keaton’s batman universe. Nevertheless, it all depends on how “relatable” or “realistic” or “fantastical” they make the justice league movie. Keaton’s batman is my favorite.

  6. I respect everyone’s opinion and I follow these threads very closely. It’s both entertaining and happy to know that there are lot of people who share same interest.

    Having said that, I don’t see why or some of you think that Nolan’s style of movie simply cannot coexist w/ other super heros.. Why not?
    Based on box office performance, I get the feeling that this is what people want to see. Grounded and realistic batman along w/ same foes who do not obviously show having super power. I get it. But what is wrong w/ entering super hero into it’s world? Why can’t you have serious and realistic world get introduced to superman? I don’t see any problem w/ that. Look.. batman is bad ass and he will find a way to deal w/ whatever gets thrown at him. Let other super hero be what they are. It’s not like batman ever had any super power.. I don’t understand what the fuss is about.

    Like someone said, why would the studio who has made 2.5 billion over past 3 movies while still people love this batman do crazy thing and bring someone else or change its style? If I was them, even w/ no Nolan coming back, I would do everything in my power bring back continuity.(Bring back Chrisitan Bale.. Catwoman.. Morgan freeman.. and mr.caine..) I think it’s the obvious move and only move to make.

    • They don’t need to show Bruce Wayne.And what exactly would adding the other characters from Nolan’s version accomplish in a movie about The Justice League.With so many members to focus on it makes little sense to bring in more supporting characters that could distract.

      Batman is more bad ass than Nolan has shown.

  7. if you have followed the threads closely than you should have known by now.
    Nolan’s version can’t coexist with anything Justice League because of the whole realism factor.Sure the world could be realistic but the characters like Green Lantern,Martin Manhunter and Superman can never be.

    Batman never had super powers but he used much more gadgets and made him even do more incredible things and appear like he had super powers.In Nolan’s version it is clear it is a man in a suit.

    Your arguments concerning earnings and continuity make no sense to me since most of the success of Nolan is based on hype.Not everyone was happy with Nolan’s version.There is no continuity needed since you only need Batman.That can be anyone.

    • I understand your concern but I for one would have no problem continuing Nolan style batman into JL w/ other super power.
      That was so fun about Avengers.. They didn’t act like captain america was able to fight the gods.. But was able to smartly use his strength to deal w/ situation at hand. I expect batman to be shocked by superman and others but deal w/ them accordingly.

      I however definitely don’t agree w/ Nolan’s success based on hype.
      No one can bring pure adrenalin and excitment into bring back his character into screen in 3rd of trilogy like Nolan can.
      What third of trilogy was as good as this one? Not many..
      And if you haven’t seen this movie in true imax, you missed big part of his intended movie experience.
      I am not saying Dark Knight Rises was a perfect movie. It was far from it.

      However, majority of the people enjoyed it immensenly. It was true event movie that you cannot say for many movies.

      • I am not the majority of people.Besides a majority also like the Paranormal Activity film series.And how anyone can think that is good is beyond me.I can only speak for myself.
        Only time will tell if in twenty years time this or the others in the trilogy will be seen as a classic.For me it doesn’t.Most of Nolans movies except Memento didn’t touch me like it did with you.There is something about his style that I dislike.You talk about Pure adrenalin and excitement.I am a huge film fan and one thing I can tell you that action and excitement wise only a few Hollywood productions (which is still a significant number) have achieved that especially compared to the older Hong Kong movies made in the eighties and nineties.You even will get spoiled after having seen enough of all that Hong Kong goodness.When epicness is concerned I think of The Good,The Bad and The Ugly,Star Wars,LOTR,The Great Escape,Guns of Navarone,The Godfather.You know why?I felt emotionally connected to the characters.There has only been a few times I felt that in TDKR.I did enjoy Nolan’s Batman for the most part.But never did they wow me or give me the feeling that I can watch them over and over again.But like I said that is my opinion on it.

        • @chrichton, fair enough man.

          I am actually old enough and asian enough(actually am korean) to have seen most of 80s hong kong movies and I think I know what you mean..
          I guess emotionally being connected to movies is a subjective matter and I like to leave it at that. Movies you are mentioning are no doubt great movies and I value everyone’s opinion on this board(this is why I enjoy so much coming here).

          I also can definitely say few things in Nolan’s movie annony me but only because he could have made a perfect movie.. I am just sad that he will no longer make batman movie and whoever comes after him will have a big shoes to fill.

  8. I see why people say no because Nolan is set to be part of JL that we know of. But alot of people are saying that no superpowers exist in his universe. Why? just because we couldnt see any. The fact that Bane was a normal human and still capable of that much damage made him that much more frightening. It also made it believable that Batman even had a chance against him. Also just because there is no mention of other heroes doesnt mean they werent there theoretically. Nolans story was about Batman….thats it why include others. Plus maybe Batman is the first. It could work. Henry the future wonderwoman actress, Ryan Reynolds….god i hope not. All would be younger than Bale. So if the dark knight does tie to Jl they could say Batman was the first hero but id=f youve seen the films Batman isnt considered a hero really at all even though he clearly is

  9. ryan reynolds playing hal jordan(green lantern)..no need..yea he had a slight sense of humour in the movie..but didnt look good as a pilot..playing deadpool will be a big challenge..requires wit,a massive sense of humour,and if the writers include the fourth wall into the script,he has to bloody well pull it off..
    Anywho,why do you need him when you can have a US Marine play green lantern.just like in the animated series.john stewart.and if you ask me, Idris Elba would be perfect. There’s nobody better.but his role in Justice League has to be significant.a separate movie for him aint required i guess

    • “john stewart.and if you ask me, Idris Elba would be perfect. There’s nobody better.”

      I really really like this idea. Maybe allows them to recast Ryan Reynolds as The Flash, as he should have been, while making those of us who grew up with JL/JLU feel nostalgic in a good way.

      And I also don’t think he necessarily needs his own movie, either; the mythos has already been introduced, so just explain his background in the opening credits, give him a long intro scene for himself (maybe with Hal to distinguish how different they are), and he ought to be good for the rest of the movie. Or maybe look to the cartoons for how they introduced GL (or any of the characters, for that matter) to the audience.

  10. As stoked as I will be for a shared universe movie from DC about their ensemble cast for their iconic superheroes in 2015, I am, however, quiet cautious about the Warner leadership unconventionally introducing these gestating figures through one explosive plot. Trying to introduce each of the separate characters through one movie is a dauntingly risky move, not only from a fiscal point of view but from a thematic one. What concerns us more is the latter one. Clearly, trying to write a story that will properly be able to encompass all the different background story arch of Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash and reboot Batman will convolute the overall story, thereby making it difficult for audiences to encapsulate the overall picture. Generally speaking, good movies are attuned to niche storylines. It would make sense to follow the marvel path by giving a fair amount of attention to all of our superheroes separately and then bringing them together into one JLA movie, even if it will mean postponing the date for a JLA movie for another three years. Remember, stalling the movie would be an infinitely better option than doing a horrible job of it and single handedly making it a colossal embarrassment as well as ruining potential sequels. However, if done well, this unconventional method could perhaps turn out to be a novelty strategy. Such would only be possible if the Warner Bros. entourage could somehow focus on as little characters as possible, thereby developing more effectively on a more restricted story arch, while leaving the climactic buildup as being open to the calling out for the need for other superheroes for protection from even greater threats in future movies. This, then, could be a more subtle approach to introducing Flash and other heroes alike. This would be akin to Michael Bay’s first Transformers movie, where Optimus Prime, at the end of the movie, steps up on top of a hill calling out to other surviving protagonists, asking them to unite for even greater evils to come. As a huge DC fan, I will want Warner Bros. to get their eggs in one basket (or separate ones!) and consider approaching this sensitive situation cautiously regardless of how they approach the JLA team. After all, this movie in 2015, or the lack thereof, will determine the future of the other JLA cast members and whether they will be able to compete with their Marvel counterparts.

  11. There was a time in the Batman comics where NightWing aka the original Robin came to Gotham and took the role of Batman in Bruce’s absence so he could play Batman without true fans crying about it. In addition to the fact that he could just become the coolest superhero in the DC Universe NightWing (that is just my opinion so don’t hate). Batman wont be the same without Bale, but Levitt is a great young actor and he would be a fantastic actor to give the role to.

    • That was what I was thinking too; JGL being Batman would be just like Dick Greyson temporarily taking up the cowl because Batman couldn’t. Or maybe for this movie, won’t; maybe Bruce from Nolan’s universe stays reluctant to leave retirement, which could allow for an interesting relationship that hints at a Batman/Robin dynamic. Maybe in the end Bruce comes back as Batman and JGL becomes Nightwing and shares screen space with Bruce??

  12. Ill only vote yes for JGL if he plays batman beyond if not I say a different actor like Karl urban or ryan gosling

  13. Me personally, i dont agree with gordon levitt playing the new batman. I am die hard batman fan and the only batman that should be in the justice league movie is the bruce wayne batman, i may approve of it more if gordob levitts character was named tim drake, dick grayson, jason todd, or terry McGinnis, because these characters were all future batman in the comics. And another point is that batman is supposed to be a highly trained martial artist, and had genius level intelligence and is trained in criminology, they showed bruce wayne train for years to become batman, Gordon levitt is just a cop and has no training and even in the comics most of batmans predecessors were trained By bruce Wayne. So idk about all this new batman talk, the only option i see is if The new batman appears some years after the dark knight rises ended and hes had time to properly train

  14. Me personally, i dont agree with gordon levitt playing the new batman. I am die hard batman fan and the only batman that should be in the justice league movie is the bruce wayne batman, i may approve of it more if gordob levitts character was named tim drake, dick grayson, jason todd, or terry McGinnis, because these characters were all future batman in the comics. And another point is that batman is supposed to be a highly trained martial artist, and had genius level intelligence and is trained in criminology, they showed bruce wayne train for years to become batman, Gordon levitt is just a cop and has no training and even in the comics most of batmans predecessors were trained By bruce Wayne. So idk about all this new batman talk, the only option i see is if The new batman appears some years after the dark knight rises ended and hes had time to properly train.

  15. I loved dark night rises and I would really love to see what could be done with a new batman but the new batman should not be in the justice league it’s just not right i think that Bruce Wayne should be the batman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt should have a different story i wold have to say if the original batman isn’t the justice league movie i will be severely disappointed.

  16. Levitt as Batman? Why not just a new actor all together.
    Bring in the Canadian actor Dan Payne, he has the looks and the ability.

  17. If they want to spend the money they can always keep Batman as the younger guy and keep Bale on as Bruce Wayne. I recall reading several story lines where this happened. would solve reset problems, and you would still have the mind of Bruce mentoring the Justice League

  18. They say his real name at the end of the film is Robin though.. He’d be the sidekick not batman.

    • Except Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not “The Robin/Nightwing”
      The people who took up Robin’s role:
      1.Dick Grayson
      2.Jason Todd
      3.Tim Drake
      4.Stephanie Brown
      5.Damian Wayne

      So… No John Blake is not actually Robin aka Nightwing… That’s just his first name.

  19. Gordon-Levitt would be awsome, if you follow the comic books Robin take the role Batman when he breaks his backthen after doing the role becomes Nightwing. Bale already stated he would not do a movie with Robin so they may skip that part and go straight to Robin playing Batmanthen later on maybe even Nightwingthiswould eleavte the stress of a none Bruce Wayne Batman.

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