Just when it seemed like Zack Snyder's upcoming Batman vs. Superman couldn't surprise comic book fans any more than it already has, yet another bombshell has dropped. Reports are now claiming that stage actor Ray Fisher has been signed to appear as DC superhero Cyborg in the upcoming film, already introducing big screen adaptations of Batman, Wonder Woman, and potentially several more unannounced comic book characters.
While the actor's resume may be a short one to movie fans, Variety reports that he has landed the role after weeks of testing. Besides confirming earlier reports that Snyder and co. were on the hunt for an African-American actor in his '20s (a description all comic fans took as a clear indication Cyborg could be introduced for future films, given his integral role in the Justice League), Fisher's casting confirms his status as an up-and-comer - having recently auditioned for Star Wars: Episode VII as well.
The casting comes as somewhat of a surprise given the relative calm and silence surrounding the film's actual production or story, with director Zack Snyder warning that official reveals and details may still be a long way off. However, if Warner Bros. and DC want to start building towards a Justice League team-up (as seems to be the case), then the pivotal role played by Cyborg in The New 52 origin implied his presence at some point.
We went into great detail explaining the problems - and promise - of introducing Cyborg when Henry Cavill hinted that the character was one he would like to see adapted to film next. If there were any doubt that WB was intentionally dropping these fan tidbits to gauge or build interest in their second-tier heroes, today's casting should take care of it once and for all. For the record, here are Cavill's thoughts on the matter:
"Cyborg I think would make a wonderful character and an incredible bridge between both superhumans and humanity in a different way to Batman. So I don’t know where he’s going to come in or if he’s going to come in, but that’s one I’m particularly excited about. Other references I’m not too sure on, but we’ll see where those lead. Those with keen eyes will see them."
Although Snyder may have decided to return to casting a relative 'unknown' for an iconic superhero role - something he avoided by casting Ben Affleck as his new Batman, and Fast & Furious starlet Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman - the characteristics he was searching for are a bit clearer. Fisher's most recent (and quite praised) performance was in the New York Theater Workshop's production of Will Power's "Fetch Clay, Make Man," in which he played heavyweight boxing champ Muhammed Ali.
While Fisher's appearance as Cyborg will likely be a small one, confined to the role of 'Victor Stone' (pre-cyborg enhancements, merely the son of a STAR Labs employee), his experience as both a soft-spoken, emotional and athletic icon will serve him well. How the writers will find a way of working a collegiate athlete into Batman vs. Superman's plot is anyone's guess, but Snyder has previously claimed that he's casting his roles based on the script's demands, first and foremost.
While he may not be introduced as a half-metal hero, the inevitable battle between Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and any other potential villainous powerhouses is sure to have some surrounding impact - if Man of Steel's climactic fight is any sign of DC-level destruction. Could an attack on STAR Labs leave Victor Stone clinging to life, ready to come into his own for a Justice League sequel? That's speculation on our part, but the opening of a terrified cyborg eye is the kind of post-credits scene that would send fans spinning.
What do you make of the casting? Were you hoping to see an established star like Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson bring the role to life, or a is younger, lesser known actor a wiser move? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Batman vs. Superman hits theaters on May 6th, 2016.
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Image Credit: Joan Marcus (via NY Post)