After two years of nagging and contradicting reports, it's finally official: Ben Affleck will not star in Matt Reeves' The Batman. As we all know now, the film will focus on a younger Dark Knight and is set for release on June 25, 2021.
No one knows if this means Affleck is gone as the Bat for good in the DC Extended Universe, but there will definitely be a new actor donning the cape and cowl for Reeves' forthcoming feature. Thanks to the super-sleuths on the Internet, we've managed to find out some of the top-secret names being considered to take ownership of the Batcave. Some of them stand a chance, while others not so much.
10 Rumored: Kit Harington
Out of all the names on this list, Kit Harington might be the one with the biggest chance of sneaking into the Wayne Manor. First off, he's officially done with Game of Thrones, so he no longer has extensive commitments and should have a more manageable schedule for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, you'd expect Harington to want a massive role like this one to prove that he's more than just Jon Snow. He's a well-known face to fans, but he's not quite A-list material yet, but The Batman could change this. It also helps that he's a huge Dark Knight fan and has made no secret about it.
9 Won't: Jon Hamm
If you think about it, Jon Hamm looks more like Batman than even Affleck. He has the look and there's no doubt that he could become one of the best actors to portray the Caped Crusader if given the chance. Furthermore, he's admitted in an interview that he'd be down with playing the role.
Unfortunately, with the news that Reeves is looking for a younger actor for the part, that automatically puts Hamm out of the running. He's a year older than Affleck, so it seems like Warner Bros. missed the boat for this casting by more than a few years.
8 Rumored: Jack O'Connell
Last year, Jack O'Connell's name swirled around in the blogosphere as a potential candidate for The Batman. Even though it's been a few months since the news first broke, it doesn't seem to be slowing down. If you believe a handful of scoopers, O'Connell is the runaway favorite for the part, and it's merely a formality.
He's an unsurprising choice when you consider that Reeves is a fan of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy. O'Connell is reminiscent to Christian Bale in terms of intensity and acting ability, so no one should be too surprised if he's finally announced as the new Caped Crusader.
7 Won't: Jake Gyllenhaal
As soon as the gossip surfaced that Affleck was hightailing it, John Campea mentioned on his show that Jake Gyllenhaal was being considered by Warner Bros. to become the next Batman. It's a move that would make sense, especially since Gyllenhaal is a popular name and almost portrayed the character in Batman Begins.
That said, the chances of this casting happening are low after Gyllenhaal took the part of Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far from Home. We don't know how many movies Gyllenhaal has signed on for in the MCU, but we wouldn't bet against him returning in a Sinister Six type of setup down the line. Plus, Gyllenhaal has denied the rumors of the Batman casting, too.
6 Rumored: Robert Pattinson
When you mention Robert Pattinson, there are two camps. One that thinks he's still the sparkling, emo vampire from Twilight and the other that recognizes he's turned into a fine actor over the past decade. There's really no reason to hold his Twilight past against him because he's proven his ability over and over again.
Warner Bros., though, will probably want to avoid a controversial casting, especially after the Affleck fiasco. We'd wager that the studio will focus on a less divisive name than Pattinson. It's a shame, really, but let's see what pans out as the production for The Batman kicks into gear.
5 Won't: Scott Adkins
Recently, Scott Adkins' Batman audition tape leaked onto the Internet. Fans saw the popular action star recite lines from The Dark Knight Rises and it got tongues wagging about his potential casting in Reeves' The Batman. In fact, someone has already started a petition to ensure that Warner Bros. casts Adkins as the next Caped Crusader.
Adkins released a video addressing the leak of his audition tape. He confirmed that it was for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he knows that he's unlikely to ever play the Caped Crusader. Even so, it's still alright to dream, right?
4 Rumored: Armie Hammer
Had the Writers Guild of America strike not happened, we could've already seen Armie Hammer as Batman in George Miller's Justice League: Mortal. Hammer was signed up and ready to go, even slipping into the suit, but eventually, the whole project was derailed and scrapped by Warner Bros. in favor of The Dark Knight Rises.
Since then, Hammer has remained on the studio's radar and many fans were convinced that he would play Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in 2017's Justice League. It obviously didn't happen, but maybe now will be Hammer's second chance to play Gotham's favorite son in Reeves' The Batman.
3 Won't: Christopher Meloni
Christopher Meloni is no stranger to comic book properties. He popped up as Colonel Nathan Hardy in Man of Steel and is currently the star of Happy!. After the news of Affleck's departure from The Batman, Meloni took to Twitter and suggested that he should be the next person to drive the Batmobile.
It's probable that Meloni was kidding about getting the gig, especially since he's 57 years old and much older than the age category that Reeves is looking at. Still, we wouldn't mind seeing Meloni cast as another character in Gotham City. He'd make an excellent Harvey Bullock, that's for sure.
2 Rumored: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Put aside Aaron Taylor-Johnson's appearances in Kick-Ass and Avengers: Age of Ultron for a second. Neither of those films showed us what he's truly about, as he portrayed relatively generic characters in each of them. If you want to witness why he should be a prime candidate for Batman, watch Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals.
With a Golden Globe win and a BAFTA nomination under his belt, it's easy to forget that he isn't even 30 years old yet. If Reeves is adamant that he wants an actor under 30 for the part of the Dark Knight, he might just have found the right person here.
1 Won't: Chris Pratt
One of the strangest bits of gossip that landed online is the suggestion of Chris Pratt becoming the next Batman. Considering that Pratt has a major role as Star-Lord in the MCU, it's highly unlikely that he'll be jumping ship to a rival competitor right now. After all, we're still getting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and he'll definitely be a part of it.
Pratt himself laughed off the rumors and made light of them. He even added that he believes Gyllenhaal and Hammer have better odds at securing the part than he does. Yeah, this one ain't happening, folks.