‘Dark Knight’ Dilemma: With Bale Out For ‘Justice League,’ Who Should Play Batman?

by Ryan Rigley

Since Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy ended last year, Batman fans all over the world have been wondering if and when actor Christian Bale would be putting the cape and cowl back on. While Warner Bros. has been anything but discreet about their plans to make a “Justice League” film, Bale has not given a definite yes or no answer pertaining to whether or not he’d be reprising his role as the Dark Knight. That is, until this week.

“We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three [Batman films]. That’s enough,” Bale said in a recent interview. “It’s a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with.”

So now that we know for sure that neither Nolan nor Bale will have anything to do with “Justice League,” we can’t but wonder who will be the next Caped Crusader?

Michael Fassbender
Best known for his roles in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” and Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus,” Michael Fassbender has proven without a doubt that he has what it takes to portray a larger than life comic book personality; as seen in 2011’s “X-Men: First Class” in which Fassbender plays Magneto. If he can play a metal-manipulating mutant hellbent on revenge, he can certainly play a masked vigilante on a never-ending quest for justice.

Josh Brolin
This California-born actor has proven time and again his uncanny ability to emulate other well-known personalities, as seen in “W.” and “Men In Black 3” in which he plays president George W. Bush and a young Tommy Lee Jones respectively. Josh Brolin is also quite familiar with comic book movies, portraying DC’s Jonah Hex in 2010 and Dwight McCarthy in the upcoming “Sin City” sequel.

Karl Urban
Often times referred to as Bones, from “Star Trek,” or Judge Dredd, from “Dredd,” Karl Urban is no stranger to the world of geek culture. With roles in comic book films such as “Priest” and “Red,” Urban is already quite enamored with comic book community. But most importantly, he’s an amazing “chin actor” as made apparent by his starring role in “Dredd.” Not to mention the fact that Judge Dredd’s personality is actually extremely similar to that of the Dark Knight, albeit with more lethal forms of justice.

Ray Stevenson
Most recently appearing as Firefly in this year’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” Ray Stevenson also has an ample amount of experience playing comic book roles. In fact, he’s portrayed both Volstagg in “Thor” and the Punisher in “Punisher: War Zone,” two characters made popular by DC’s arch-nemesis: Marvel comics. The fact that Stevenson has played the Punisher is reason enough for us. After all, Batman and Frank Castle are basically the same; the only difference being that Frank kills.

Kevin Conroy
Let’s face it. The man is already practically Batman. Ask any comic book fan whose voice they picture whilst reading a Batman comic and they’ll tell you Kevin Conroy’s. He’s the voice behind all the most popular animated incarnations of the Dark Knight, i.e. “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Batman Beyond,” “Justice League,” “Justice League Unlimited,” and both the “Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham City” video games. All he needs to do is bulk up by a hundred pounds or so. Otherwise, he’s a shoe-in!