Though the planned Batman/Superman movie is still in its very early stages and yet without a script, The Hollywood Reporter has put together what they're hearing is an early list of frontrunners to take over as Batman from the departing Val Kilmer. Here's what they've got:
Josh Brolin - At 46, Brolin is the oldest actor being eyed for the role, and the only to have already had a formative crime-fighting experience involving bats. THR's sources claim director Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. are looking for an "established and rugged" Batman, and are looking for inspiration in Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns series, so Brolin's age, rugged looks, and Miller-esque lantern jaw make him an obvious candidate under those guidelines. But if he's busy at the center of an entire superhero universe, what will the studio do when they want to continue the Jonah Hex franchise?
Ryan Gosling - As seen with Star Wars casting rumors, it's obligatory to now mention Ryan Gosling when talking about a big-name franchise in need of a real hero/human being. There was a time when he'd have seemed completely wrong for Batman, but now that Nicolas Winding Refn has bred him into a dark, quiet sociopath with his own costume and skewed lawfulness, you can kind of see how this could work.
Matthew Goode - Goode already worked with Snyder on Watchmen, there too playing the rich, aging genius of a seminal '80s comic. And thanks to the romantic-comedy Leap Year, he's already formed a chemistry with Amy Adams, which is important should Snyder decide to abandon The Dark Knight Returns-inspired story for something based on Lois as the Bride of Batman. Like Gosling, he's probably not immediately what one would have thought of as a Batman, but as he's most-recently shown in Stoker, he can bring a dark, brooding, really creepy energy that would at least make for something interesting.
Joe Manganiello - The True Blood star was very close to stealing from Henry Cavill the lead in Man of Steel, so it makes sense he'd be brought back to give Batman a try now. He's Snyder's go-to for dark-haired muscular dudes.
Richard Armitage - Did you watch The Hobbit and think, "Man, that Thorin Oakenshield is like Batman were Batman a dwarf"? Well, if you did, you may have been right.
Max Martini - The Australian's dad from Pacific Rim? If you say so.
Powers Booth - Okay, Powers Booth is not actually up for it but man, if they were really doing a Dark Knight Returns-style old Batman, he'd be great, right?
Adam West - According to one insider, all of this talk is so premature, "You might as well put Adam West in this list." So there you have him. Because that's about how seriously you should take any of this, and he would love the work.