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

Published 2 years 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.


Source: Hit Fix

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


1 2 3 5

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Hmmm!!! I don`t know what to think yet. I don`t see him as The Bat in a JGL movie because Tha Bat is a Leader among them and Iwonder how he could pull it off. Then again Chris was the Cap of Iron Man so… He is a good actor so if it is true then i am ok with it. More Curious I would say… Let`s wait and see. :)

  2. Id def be ok if he took up the mantle.

  3. Honestly, I didn’t think he was good in The Dark Knight Rises. I also just don’t see him as Batman. The Dark Knight Triliogy was it’s only single universe, I don’t see him coming in a joint DC Cinematic Universe. And even if JGL’s Batman somehow isn’t apart of the The Dark Knight Trilogy people would assume or see him as that.
    I’m hoping that this news isn’t true, though I’m certain many would disagree with me. Just my opinion.

  4. Eh, I wasn’t that great a fan of the Blake character, and really have no desire to see him as Batman on film. It seems to me if they’re so intent on basically keeping the Nolanverse alive , it would make more sense to just go to Bale again. Yeah TDKR left things a certain way, but given that WB is basically keeping Nolan’s characters , when the intent was to basically end the saga, they mine as well bring back Bruce Wayne imo. They’d have a better shot marketing Bale’s return as Batman than Levitt taking over the part imo. Either way , they aren’t gonna listen to me so…

    • Agreed

  5. If GL can be multiple sub characters, then why can’t Batman? Be a symbol, right? Or Nightwing can be in place of Batman. It would be an awesome DC Comic twist that was played with in Batman Beyond. Should WB do it in a JL movie? NOOOOOOOOOO…..

  6. I reeeeally don’t think this will happen. The first Justice League movie ever made and it’s not going to feature Bruce Wayne as Batman? And what would happen with the character after JL? Would WB continue on with a new Batman franchise featuring John Blake? I don’t see it happening.

  7. So a Justice League without Bruce Wayne? I dont know if im keen on that yet?? im locked into tradition im sorry lol, and im not so sure about Gordan-Levitt being Batman either, I just dont think he looks big enough for it, Bale wasnt big enough as well, we need someone with a bit of size whos in peak physical form, Gorden-Levitt would be a perfect Robin but I just dont know about the Batman, I would understand their thinking by wanting to keep the momentum, but Bruce Wayne is Batman, and JL Must have him, you cant tell me the first ever live action Justice League film wont have Bruce Wayne as Batman?? that would be to weird for me sorry why not just call Gorden-Levitt Bruce Wayne?

    • I completely agree. Having Levitt play Batman as the Blake character would destroy the dynamic of the Justice League especially between him and Superman. The point of the ending is not so they can cash in on Blake’s Character(Yeah I know why wouldn’t they) it was to show that Batman felt content without having to dawn the cape. Having a JL movie without the true Batman would be a terrible move WB’s part.

  8. Ohk. Let’s see if i got this. They want Ryan Reynolds returning as Hal after an AWFUL movie. A FAKE Batman to replace Bruce Wayne when he could easily be rebooted. They can’t even cast Wonder Woman (or pull off her costume). Oh and their rushing it? This doesn’t look good. Might as wel confirm Cavil Man of Steel in the JL movie (I think he’ll do great but look at hisbco-stars) and throw in Amills “Arrow” since it’s “realistic” enough for a comic book movie. Oh and a few Jonah Hex references. -Tt- DC why are you so stupid?

    • Sorry for all the grammar and spelling errors. I’m using my iPod.

      • I didn’t actually notice any, but that’s probably because I was distracted by the part about pulling off Wonder Woman’s costume.

        • Lol!

  9. This is just nonsense. Yes he is a great actor but batman is the leader of the Justice League because he is a veteran hero. Also there is no other character who has started the JL other than Bruce Wayne. You want to bring another character to wear the “Cowl” due it in the future of JL as marvel It seems is planning to do with Captain America in later movies of The Avengers.

    • Wait. I hate to step out on a tangent, but as a fan of the marvel movies, what’s your evidence for the whole Captain America thing you mentioned? Cause I haven’t heard that talked about in any form except for weird, out of left field, fan comments.

  10. Wow, if this is true than DC really has no idea what it is doing. Leave the Nolan films as their own universe. No need to reboot Batman, everyone who has been going to the movies for the past 25 years knows Batman’s origins. Do the Superman film, then cast for Batman (and NOT JGL) and get the JL film out. I don’t want a Nolanesque JL film. I want it to be a bit more like The Avengers than TDKR.

    • Exactly bring in Darkseid and Doomsday and let em go apeshit on the JLA. The potential could make the Avengers look like chump change.

      • @Ed, Darkseid would need a trilogy to be given “justice”.

    • In total agreement Andy S

    • Agree. Yes, the Nolan Trilogy was very successful. However, everything does not need to be Nolanized just as much as everything does need to be found footage.

      Clayface would never exist in the Nolanverse, so do not even think about Darkseid.

      DC has kept their comic characters dark and serious with out being “grounded and realistic” for years. They should have the ability to do this on the big screen as well.

    • “The only credibility the WB has in launching these movies is trading off Christopher Nolans name.”

      I would have to disagree. Actually they can trade off on The Avengers. The Avengers is what will pull people into the theaters to see JL. While the Avengers leveraged off the single movies to make a team movie they showed it could be done. Almost any halfway decent attempt with known names on a team will net money/fill seats because of The Avengers.

      ” If they try to reboot batman and green lantern in the justice league movie ”

      There is no need for that. At all. And if they have said they will I dont think it will be as drastic as having to retell everything. Much like the one liners in other movies (one that comes to mind is the bright colored spandex remark from Xmen) a simple nod to why it is the way it is now is all that is needed.

      “The shared DC universe already exists if warners say it does. Have Nolans name be the back bone of credibility behind their ‘phase one’ movies.”

      The issue with this is Nolans credibility in making the Batman universe would be tarnished if Warner/DC says the Universe exists as Nolan himself said it doesnt in HIS movies. So now you are trying to pull off a man that did a 180 on his stance on the Universe as a whole.

      “Batman? It’s not his movie and it doesn’t have to be Bruce behind the mask.”

      It has to be Bruce Behind the mask. Why? Thats what the general populace expects and was raised on. Us comic geeks may know and accept (short term/alternate universes etc aside) it on occasion however it always comes back to Bruce Wayne. Also in Nolans Batman it is not like Bruce is dead. It is easy to say the JL wants THE Batman and not the replacement.

      “I love the Avengers but the worst thing the Justice League movie could possibly do is emulate it for the easy win in my opinion.”

      What is there NOT to emulate? You have to establish the characters. They have been considering they have already been around for years upon years. To have say Wonder Woman show up on JL BEFORE a WW movie is fine as people know who/what Wonder Woman is based on the years she has been around. While they may not know the intricaies of her character they know enough about her to accept her as a JL member.

      They need to come together to face a common threat that one alone can not stop. I personally like the Original JL story to do this. Granted not as simple but give each hero 20 mins of face time taking out their respected issue only to find it has something to do with a central greater issue. Even the cartoon JL origin with J’onn J’onzz can work getting his intro in throughout the movie.

      Once they find out the threat is greater the form the JL at the end goiong into JL 2.

      I would have more issue with a movie Universe being created/leveraged off by the man who said there is no place for this type of character in his universe than anything else.

      Not to be harsh but I just disagree with everything you have said with supporting on moving forward with Nolans established “universe”.

      • Thanks for saying it how it is!

  11. I don’t think wb has a problem making the justice league different than the comic books. JGL is a fantastic actor so I’m fine with it. and then for once people can’t be like batman is a detective that’s not how he fights! Cause its the movie incarnation of a man who took place of Bruce. though it wouldn’t be easy to accomplish things would have to be explained like how he was trained and by who ect. but I am cool with it.

  12. This is a stupid idea. I loved the Nolan films but that universe does not fit with the justice league at all. Also, Batman is Bruce Wayne, end of story. I thought dark knight rises wrapped things up perfectly. Any JL batman needs to be a reboot that will fit into the more fantastical world of justice league. Men of steel and power rings would not fit into Nolan’s world so DC shouldn’t force them in when a reboot is perfectly acceptable and will happen eventually anyway.

    • What’s wrong with having nolan’s trilogy (and I agree it works as a self contained story) nested within a larger DCU story? As far as tone goes, does it matter? Comics change artists and writers arc by arc with huge tonal shifts that still serve the ongoing drama.

      • That Batman does not live in a world of superhuman beings. If he did, then Bane and Ra’s Al Ghul would have been done right.

      • “What’s wrong with having nolan’s trilogy nested within a larger DCU story? ”

        Because Nolan set the precedent, tonally speaking. Nolan was adamant when he stated that his series of Batman films were its own self contained story and continuity. There is also no real comparison to the constant changes in artist and writers within the DC comic medium since even within those mediums various super powered characters continue to exist regardless of the tonal shifts of Batman. If you’re going to totally disregard the tone that was set with the Nolan trilogy then they might as well bring back Bale as Wayne as oppose to starting a JL with a character created in Nolan’s universe.

        • I would like to say that the Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy on its own has changes in tone, structure, mood, and realism.

          Batman Begins had a tone that was emotionally intimate with the character of Bruce Wayne with taste of adventure, epic, and even mysticism. When Bruce arrived at his own party and was pulled away by a lady to make him meet Ras Al Ghul- the tone, the acting, the music, was set up to have the audience believe that Ras Al Ghul did survive. It was a twist on expectations, revealing that Ducard was in fact Ras who even had a direct reference to the source material of “supernatural means” to immortality. All the CGI shots with the fire breathing horse and Scarecrow looking at Batman as a monster did not seem out of place either.

          It all depends on how it is handled. Nolan filmed Batman Begins in which the character was up and center and created a world in which the “Suspension of Disbelief” was easier to attain by grounding the story to its essence, by treating the source material seriously, earnestly and respect. Batman could not exist in the real world but they created a film in which we could believe what it happening. Nolan was also unsure of whether or not he will return, so Batman Begins was filmed in a very open ended way where anyone can take the sequel in a variety directions.

          The Dark Knight had Nolan return but with the direction much different than Batman Begins. Here the tone shifted to cut out the sense of adventure and mysticism in favor an even more grounded crime drama-suspense film. The structure focused on more characters other than Bruce Wayne, and moved in a quick pace in which the Batman and the Joker both appeared as absolutes. It did not deal with how Batman did what or where was he similarly like the Joker. We saw these two masked men at war with one another with Gotham and every other major character in the middle. The ties tonally to the first film was scarce in order to create a tone that fit for the story that Nolan and Co. wanted to tell.

          As much as The Dark Knight was more grounded in reality I think everyone can testify that there was a sense of something out of place, not in a bad way. Just seeing two masked men speaking to one another thematically over human nature and their goals was just chilling; and the things both these individuals accomplish through nigh impossible odds in perfect strategy against one another was not strictly realistic. The film was further grounded but the characters and themes became more “super”men in juxtaposition. This juxtaposition just served to show how incredible these characters are in this fantastical world that we as an audience deem real. The escalation of what can occur grow with each installment.

          The Dark Knight Rises provides a tone and structure that is hybrid of the first two entries and something of its own at the same time. Themes and structure of the first film- Batman Begins- return majorly as this film seeks to distant itself of the second yet holding ties to themes and character of the second. Each film becomes more of an ensemble piece and here Bruce Wayne is less active for majority of the film as the other characters, old and new take reins- learning what the the Batman represents. Who Bane is and what he does, is even more improbable than anything we have seen before. While the character may not have transformed into a hulking brute, the essence of who the character really is is present in the film. The artistic license taken with the character is not much different than others in the series. The core concept is there and provides a connection the thematic quality of pain. The film starts of similarly as grounded as The Dark Knight but slowly shifting to the tone of adventure and epic as Batman Begins.

          Whereas the second film opted to go further grounded than its predecessor- while maintaining the escalation of above realistic nature of its character and thematic arcs- The Dark Knight Rises slowly transitions out of the grounded nature of the second into a much larger canvas of possibilities closer to the first one, perhaps even exceeding it. The Dark Knight Rises, while grounded, is the least realistic of all the films. This to further serve the story that the Batman – “has changed things, forever.” The Dark Knight offered a more grounded experience to further acknowledge things getting better and the realistic consequences. The Dark Knight Rises is the fantastic elements cementing into place.

          So if the trilogy itself can rework itself and continuously tease the audience that more above-real and above-human elements are possible with an increasing escalation of characters and events, why cannot that occur for the Justice League film? Man of Steel seems grounded but it does not mean the character will not be epic or non-super. It is just about how one handles and steers the project.

          Sorry for all the grammar mistakes or incoherent nature of what I wrote. It is still to early for me over here.

  13. What would be cool is if they had him play batman but like he isn’t good at it and gets killed so bruce wayne cames back and takes back the batman role. Don’t really see it happening, just would be a good way to re-introduce wayne into the JLA. and get Bale back as well.

  14. I think this has potential to be good. If they do bring Levitt into the movie as Batman, then they would have to incorporate that idea into the Justice League story. If they just had “Robin” as the new Batman then it would do no good. It all about the story. They could definitely pull it off. Just need the right idea for it.

    • 100% agreed. Bruce Wayne can return further down the line. Fandom will be less confused by a recast Bruce Wayne in a few years if it comes from a storytelling perspective first.

  15. He could do it. Have u seen looper? Levit has the acting chops to pull it off. He just has to make it his own. He doesn’t need to try to over due the intimidation voice of baile. Like I said. If he makes the role his own, I have no reason to see why he couldn’t be a great batman.

    • If they bring bail back, I think he should be responsible for assembling the justice league as Bruce Wayne , and not batman. Only to put on the mask when he is finally needed by the league. That could be a suitable story. This is gonna have to be a hell of a script to get bail to sign on though.

  16. I think he could do it, he’s a tremendously talented actor, but I personally prefer him as Nightwing, if he turns out to be Nightwing that would be great. The problem is though, how are they going to introduce all the characters? I feel like this needs more time to introduce everything so that people understand have have knowledge of the characters. The strange thing is I had a dream about JGL signing on to be Nightwing and then the next day I wake up and in the news JGL said that he would consider a JL movie if the script was good. It would be weird if he this turned out to be true.

  17. I like JGl however I do not think that he should take over as batman.
    Simply because the Justice league needs Bruce Wayne as he is a leader and can inspire.
    JGL is still young and I feel that he does not give off that same flair that Cristian Bale showed for Batman
    JGL seems to only excel when he is around other great actors such as (bruce willis, looper)
    (tom hardy, Learnardo Dicaprio, Inception) (Daniel day Lewis, Lincoln) (Cristian bale, Michael Caine…. etc Dark knight rises) (Seth rogen (not amazing but still a brand name) in 50/50)
    even in (10 things i hate about you) He was helped by the breathless performance of Heath Ledger and he has had a some average or below par films such as Uncertainty

    So to summarise, I think he is extremely talented, but he is still maturing. I do not think he is ready to take such a large role such as Batman just yet, if he can be surrounded by even stronger cast members then maybe he can lead them. BUt I am not slating him, for me he is up there with the best, but hes still young!

  18. As a big Batman fan, I would support this. A few friends and I actually discussed the possibility of this idea. Even the idea that he could be considered Batman Beyond? Instead of just a simple new Batman. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s body build would seem more fitting to Batman Beyond rather than the Bruce Wayne Batman.

    I’d really hope they reboot that awful Green Lantern movie. The style is just way too off compared to Nolan’s trilogy, or the new Superman movie.

    Also – Are they thinking of including Green Arrow in the Justice League movie? That new Arrow TV show is pretty awesome. It also follows that style/feel of the new Superman movie, and Nolan’s movies. I would really enjoy seeing that eventually lead into the Justice League movie.

    Anyone else have thoughts on all this?

  19. I have no real objection to JGL playing Batman in the Justice League film, aside from one point that others have brought up, that being that Batman’s role in the JL film might work better if he is not perceived as a “young newbie” (i.e. not Bruce Wayne). But honestly, if I was calling the shots at Warner Bros (which I really should be), I would attempt to connect the JL universe to the Nolan films if at all reasonably possible. TDKR ended on the perfect note to set up a continuing story.

    Two other thoughts. First, as I always say, they need to reboot the Green Lantern. That film should not be associated with anything that is currently being worked on, and I just do not buy Ryan Reynolds. The Flash can provide more natural, intentional comic relief. Second, the JL film needs to have a good villan(s). Difficult, to be sure, but worth working really hard to develop.

  20. And did everyone forget that John Blake is horribly unqualified to be Batman, let alone stand toe to toe with members of the Justice League? He’s a cop with training only in law enforcement. He would not be the Batman that Bruce Wayne was. And let’s not also forget that Bruce Wayne was a billionaire who poured millions into becoming Batman. How John Blake’s Batman would survive financially I have no clue. It’s extremely forced without logic.

    • “And did everyone forget that John Blake is horribly unqualified to be Batman”

      Very true. I was never keen on how TDKR handled the character because it seemed like a half hearted attempt to close Wayne’s arc by giving the mantle to a character that Wayne barely even knew and a character with none of the finances and training at his disposal. When all of this is taken under consideration I believe that throwing the Blake character in a JL film in an effort to ride on Nolan’s trilogy coat tails isn’t the best idea.

    • Trainging is nothing, Will is everything
      -Ra’s al Ghul

  21. I’m not liking this! As much as I like JGL as an actor I need my Batman to be named Bruce!!

    • I like the idea some people had on here. Maybe for the first movie show Joseph struggling as Batman. By the end of it, Bruce comes back either as Batman himself, or as a guide. (Similar to how Bruce would watch over Batman Beyond).

  22. Why doesn’t Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character Robin John Blake just use the alias “Bruce Wayne” in the Justice League movie? That way you have your Bruce Wayne, its still connected to TDKR and it can make that origin of Batman part of a shared DC universe

    • Because another Batman reboot would be too soon, and annoying

  23. To me batman has to be Bruce Wayne.

1 2 3 5