Film - Batfamily Casting Part 2

Our own dark knight David Ames has given himself the task of casting a new Batfamily for the rebooted Batman movie universe. In this, the second of his three articles, he starts his casting calls...

Catch up with yesterday's look at the current DCEU here.

Note from David: I LOVE Ben Affleck as Batman. I say that to what I am sure is a chorus of boos but hear me out. My favorite iteration of Batman in the comics is the iconic Dark Knight Returns from Frank Miller. I like the angry, paranoid, mountain-of-a-man that is Miller’s Batman. He is violent and has grown tired of the idiotic pandering to criminals who don’t deserve it. Affleck’s portrayal is almost spot on, other than the occasionally terrible jokes that the writers have him crack. Also, physically Affleck is huge, towering over most Hollywood types at 6’4”, with a huge barrel chest. He is also a pretty great actor and if you look at his most recent decade of work, it has been incredible. Affleck is the victim of some pretty terrible writing which has sullied what should have been a landmark role for him and it hurts me. In this fancasting, even if I enjoy the actor who currently plays them or has in the past, I will recast all.

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Ever since I heard that Ben Affleck wanted out as Batman, I had only one actor in mind. From what I have read, this actor has also expressed interest in the role (hint hint Matt Reeves!). To be Batman, we need an actor who is large with broad shoulders and a deep, yet intelligent sounding voice. He needs to be physically imposing but also attractive when out of the cowl. As Bruce Wayne he needs to ooze class and intelligence as well as business savvy. For my money there was only ever one choice. I knew from the first episode of Mad Men that Jon Hamm would be a perfect Batman.

Alfred Pennyworth

This is a hard role to cast because both actors who have portrayed Alfred in recent big screen adaptations have been amazing in their own rights. Michael Caine and Jeremy Irons are incredible versions of the character and both leave rather large shoes to be filled. For my casting, I wanted the caring aspects put forth by Caine to mix with the slightly more upper class feel from Irons. This Alfred needs to have the acting chops to pull off all that might come his way, be it action or emotion. Also, as Alfred does tend to provide a bit of comic relief in the comics, this actor would also need to have some comic sensibility. With a body of work that spans nearly four decades, covering everything amazing from Underworld to Love, Actually to Harry Potter to Sean of the Dead, Bill Nighy is my choice to play Alfred Pennyworth.

Nightwing/Dick Grayson

As of now, there hasn’t really been a very good adaptation of Dick Grayson for the big screen. Chris O’Donnell was okay but those movies were so rough that his performance is somewhat lacking. Also, it is hard to pull off that costume in the films. As for the character, he is incredibly interesting. Unlike Bruce Wayne, whose parents’ deaths have turned him into a loner who cares for people from afar, the death of Dick’s parents hasn’t affected his sense of humor. He is smart, powerful, snarky, and exceedingly loyal. To stick with my favorite iteration of the character, Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows’ New 52 version, we would need someone who is strong, agile, intelligent, and of Romani descent (or at least able to pull that off). Now here is where I will do some ranting about the DCEU: why in the hell would you recast a character who brings in 4-7 million views weekly on a tv show? They should have left Grant Gustin to play Barry Allen in the movie and that way my choice, Ezra Miller, could play Nightwing. In Justice League, he looks so similar to the New 52 Nightwing that it seems meant to be. We know he can pull of the serious acting from films like Madame Bovary and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He also has the comedic chops from his amazing turn as Patrick in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I think Ezra Miller would be the perfect Nightwing.

Red Hood/Jason Todd

As the second character to don the mantle of Robin, Jason Todd was very different from his predecessor as well as those who came after. He was exceptionally gifted both mentally and physically, but unlike Dick and Tim, Jason had a serious dark side that came out in many of his exploits with Batman. Unlike the lighthearted joking of Nightwing, Todd is scathing and uncaring about those who commit crime. He was killed by the Joker, beaten to death with a crowbar at the behest of the fans who called in and voted on his fate, and was resurrected accidentally by Superboy-Prime and eventually had his health and memory restored by the Talia al Guhl, utilizing her father’s Lazarus Pit. He took on the mask of the Red Hood, a moniker worn by numerous villains in the DC Universe. Todd then begins a war on crime, using methods more akin to Marvel’s Punisher than to Batman. He still works with Batman on occasion but their relationship is tedious. The role would need to be someone who is strong, intelligent, but can play dark very well, as Todd’s personality is pretty bitter and angry. He would also have to be physically prepared to be Todd, both in muscle and in agility. I think the perfect casting for Jason Todd would be Jensen Ackles as he has shown all of these characteristics in Supernatural as well as films like My Bloody Valentine. He looks the part, can be darkly funny, and physically imposing.

Red Robin/Tim Drake

Tim Drake is the third character to take the mantle of Robin, but later left to join the teen titans, donning the role of Red Robin. He was in the audience the night Dick Grayson’s parents were killed and, through his own investigation, was able to discover who Batman really was. Drake saw batman spiral into darkness and violence after the death of Jason Todd and began to train himself to take the role of Robin, which Batman eventually bestowed upon him. Tim Drake is loyal, funny, and a great leader. He is also the most intelligent of the Robins. For this role, I needed to find someone who was strong of will and exudes both intelligence and sincerity. He needs to be athletic looking but still be nimble. I think with his turns in Fury, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah, and 3:10 to Yuma, Logan Lerman has everything he needs to be a great Red Robin.

Robin/Damian Wayne

As the newest edition to the Robins of the Bat Universe, Damian Wayne has yet to have a silver screen adaptation. If you aren’t sure who he is, Damian was created by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, and is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Guhl, daughter of Ra’s al Guhl and on-again-off-again romantic partner of Wayne. He was conceived without Batman’s knowledge and grown in an artificial womb. He was raised by his mother and trained from birth by the League of Assassins. They instilled a killer instinct and a disregard for both sympathy and human life in Damian but after meeting his father, he has changed his ways and now is a member of the Bat family. The actor playing Damian would have to be young enough to play a kid but also have the chops to pull off the darkness needed to play such a complex character. There would be a lot of physicality in this role as Damian is basically a ninja. He also needs to have a dark, sarcastic sense of humor. I have two choices for this role and this was one of the tougher to decide. I think that David Mazouz would be a great Damian if they go with the older version of the character. He not only looks the part but could also pull off the acting necessary to deliver the character and do him justice. The fact that he plays young Bruce Wayne in Gotham would be simply a nice Easter egg.

My other choice would be Jack Dylan Grazer whose turn in It immediately convinced me that he could be funny and snarky but still pull off darkness in a believable fashion. He would be a great Damian if they went with the younger version of the character.

and finally for today...

Batgirl/Barbara Gordon/Oracle

Barbara Gordon is the daughter of Commissioner James Gordon, and one of Batman’s closest allies. Her character has gone through a lot in the past few decades. She was a hero who was eventually paralyzed by the Joker. Afterward, she took on the role of Oracle and became a technological god for Batman, becoming his eyes and ears all over Gotham. She eventually underwent experimental surgery which brought back her mobility and she once again took on the cowl as Batgirl. As a character she is intelligent and resourceful. She is not afraid of much, and her heart and caring are two of her most important character traits. While she has never been written as a romantic symbol necessarily, her relationship with Dick Grayson has been something of a fan favorite for years. The two were married in one continuity, but even when they aren’t, there has always been some sexual tension. The actress playing Barbara would need to have the chops to pull off anyone of her many iterations, whether it was the strong female lead character she is now, the sidekick from the Silver Age of comics, or the resourceful paraplegic Oracle. If it is my choice she needs to be a redhead as that is a pretty iconic part of her look. For this role I chose one of the new, young, beautiful people from the CW. I have never seen her in anything else but her performance on Riverdale shows her range from insecure to sexy to strong and resourceful. Also, the red hair! That is why my choice for Batgirl is Madelaine Petsch.

Come back tomorrow for the second half of David's Batcasting - who will he choose as Batwoman, Lucius Fox or the unshakeable Commissioner Gordon?

Follow David on Twitter @TheDavidMAmes

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