3. Jamie Dornan
This choice may be too easy, since few actors have proven to be as skilled as the modern Ben Affleck at portraying quiet, intense, dangerous, handsomely brooding protagonists as Jamie Dornan. The Irish actor may be most widely known to American audiences as the infamous 'Christian Grey' of the Fifty Shades movie series, but fans of binge-worthy crime thrillers probably know him as the villainous half of The Fall (a role and series that has earned critical acclaim).
It's impossible to tell which path Warner Bros. and director Matt Reeves will want to take with their next Batman: choose an actor of comparable star power to Affleck to build excitement, or one lesser-known to American fans (or to blockbuster movie audiences) to drive home The Batman as its own version of the character. Dornan has the smarts, the physique, and the darkness needed to deliver a serious Batman drama, so the only question is whether or not that's what the movie will be aiming for.
2. Finn Wittrock
Finn Witrock's name is likely to be familiar to fans of the DCEU's Batman Family, since his name emerged as a rumored contender for the star of DC's mysterious Nightwing movie. That film may have been one of the first officially greenlit entries in DC's growing movie universe, but momentum has stalled following Justice League and DC Films' restructuring. However, Witrock was embraced by many fans as a suitable actor for Dick Grayson, and made it clear he would love to be considered. So if he was good enough to play an older Robin, would a younger Batman fit just as well?
Witrock is guaranteed to be up to the physical challenges of the role, since he has spoken openly about his rigorous training regimen required for his role in Semper Fi, currently in production (alongside the DCEU's Captain Boomerang, actor Jai Courtney). And let's be honest: the fact that he looks like a Mikel Janin drawing of Batman come to life can't hurt his chances.
1. Jack O'Connell
Finally we arrive at the other actor rumored to have been on Matt Reeves' radar, and certainly the more intriguing contender. When the first reports suggested that Jack O'Connell was being eyed for Batman, we're willing to bet many DC fans were surprised (he's not exactly the clean-cut formula turned to for Batman actors in the past, or even Marvel stars these days). But with a performance leading Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, O'Connell erupted into international conversation. And since then, his roles have continued to be as impressive as they are varied. (O'Connell did star as Calisto in 300: Rise of an Empire, for those looking to find some kind of connection to the existing DCEU Zack Snyder created.)
If Matt Reeves is looking to tell a dramatic, intelligent, pull-no-punches detective story, then his interest in O'Connell is easy to understand. In all honesty, his casting may depend on whether Batman is a role O'Connell wants to pursue. But where there's smoke of a potential casting there is often fire. And something tells us he could be talked into it.
Be sure to let us know your own picks for the new Batman, and which actors you think could portray the Dark Knight in his earlier years--before the DCEU hardened him into an antihero willing to fight Superman himself.