Gary Oldman says he would like to see Joaquin Phoenix play the lead in The Batman if Ben Affleck exits the role. Affleck succeeded Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader in Warner Bros.’ unofficially titled DC Extended Universe. The acclaimed filmmaker first appeared as the Gotham protector in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, and he briefly reprised his role later that year in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad before making a full reappearance in Snyder’s Justice League in November 2017.
Affleck’s Batman took it upon himself to unite the world’s finest heroes – himself, Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) – for the first time ever on the big screen for an ultimate showdown with the supervillain Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons. Unfortunately, Justice League significantly underperformed both critically and commercially, and that has only exacerbated reports that Affleck plans on exiting the role of Batman.
Gary Oldman, who played Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, told TooFab at the 7th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts International Awards that he would like to see Joaquin Phoenix take over Ben Affleck’s role as Batman in the DCEU, shoud Affleck leave. Oldman said: “I would like to see someone like Joaquin Phoenix play it. This is no disrespect to Ben Affleck. I think it really depends on who is at the wheel that lifts it.”
Oldman is currently earning wide acclaim for his portrayal of former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s WWII drama, Darkest Hour, but he will always be remembered by comic book fans as Jim Gordon in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, a role he played from 2005 to 2012. Considering that he has an intimate background with the Caped Crusader, his candid answer is rather interesting. And he’s not the only person who could see Phoenix in the role of the DC superhero. For those that don’t know, Darren Aronofsky originally wanted Phoenix to play Batman in his unmade Batman: Year One adaptation. What’s more, Phoenix was reportedly considered for the role of the Joker in Snyder’s Batman V Superman as well.
At the moment, Affleck is looking for a way to segue out of the role, which casts doubt over his involvement in Reeves’ The Batman film (and potential trilogy). But considering that Affleck still has one film left on his contract, he will reportedly be making his final appearance as Batman in DC’s upcoming Flashpoint adaptation before hanging up his cowl for good, thus leaving the door open for another actor to enter the role – but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
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