Warner Bros. is struggling to redefine its most profitable character, Batman. Former Batman star Ben Affleck left the project and the role entirely. Warner Bros has yet to announce the future of the billionaire Bruce Wayne character. As with some casting rumors, the upcoming Matt Reeves BATMAN stand-alone movie remains stuck without a lead. Warner Bros. needs to think long and hard about who will play the caped crusader next.

DC cannot afford another actor short-lived in the role. Another misstep would permanently damage the character’s credibility. The decision on who plays Batman is less of an issue, as Affleck’s performance received praise before leaving the role behind. The direction DC takes is crucial in bringing the Dark Knight back from the dead.

The Career of Batman Stretches Multiple Decades

Batman is a flexible role to cast, as any actor of every age can fit into the costume. Bruce Wayne’s legacy beings on the day of his parents’ death when he was a kid. If DC wants to explore the origins of the character, the casting call would be looking for a young teen. The role also stretches near the end of Bruce’s life when he’s an old man hanging up the mask. The stage calls for an actor to play the damaged hero after multiple decades as the Gotham hero. However, both phases of Batman’s career have been shown with the television version of GOTHAM and with Affleck’s portrayal. Warner Bros. needs a fresh, new take on the character and set him in the middle of his crime-fighting days.

All the Actors to play Batman
Courtesy of Geek Expression

Every cinematic Batman story is preoccupied with showcasing the origins and retirement of the Caped Crusader. All the actors to play Batman have dealt with either the beginning or end of the superhero. Audiences want to see Batman in his prime. They don’t want to re-experience the same stages over again. Warner Bros.’ next Batman needs to be young, yet mature enough to represent the peak of the crime-fighting hero.

The connection between DC’s movies is in question. It’s undetermined what direction Warner Bros. will take with the character. DC can either recast or reboot the role. Both options will cause some changes to their continuity. The current successful entries in the DC universe are WONDER WOMAN, AQUAMAN and SHAZAM! Especially with the standalone JOKER movie, Warner Bros. appears not to be planning to connect the characters for the time being. Nevertheless, DC will eventually want to bring the characters together again shortly.

Batman’s Greatest Enemy Being Continuity

The continuity in the DC universe will eventually cause some concerns. DC’s team-up movie, JUSTICE LEAGUE, clearly shows Wonder Woman and Aquaman working with Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman. The casting for Superman relies less on age. However, the age of Batman will narrow down to what direction Warner Bros. wants to take. If Reeves’ BATMAN movie stays set in the 1990s, then the actor would appear too young when eventually interacting with the present day characters. Unless God-like Wonder Woman, Bruce Wayne is a mortal human being without any superpowers.

Batman the animated series
Courtesy of Polygon

The decision on THE BATMAN casting will depend on the direction Warner Bros. plans to go in. According to reports, Reeves’ BATMAN will take place in the 1990s. This decade would be perfect for Batman. With its classic animated series and original four movies, Batman fits well in the decade. If DC has no plans to connect their movies again, then a Batman series would shine away from the modern day. However, if Warner Bros. decides to go back to a shared universe later, then the character needs to resemble Affleck’s age down the road.

Another JUSTICE LEAGUE  team-up film will require a time jump and aging for the Bruce Wayne actor. Without any attention to continuity, audiences will question the suddenly de-aging between being in the mid-40s to early 30s. Even more distracting would be to have an actor in his 30s age up in future installments. Especially after the controversy with Cavill’s mustache in JUSTICE LEAGUE, it’ll be very distracting and expensive for an aging effect. DC and Warner Bros. need to settle on the future of their characters. Despite that, there’s an easy solution for their problem; write their failed movies out of continuity.

Erase the Bad, Highlight the Good

MAN OF STEEL, BATMAN V SUPERMAN, SUICIDE SQUAD, and JUSTICE LEAGUE cause some big problems for the DC Universe.  These films cause continuity issues for their future movies with Cavill and Affleck appearing in them. The easiest solution for DC and Warner Bros. is to abandon these movies and start fresh with a new timeline. WONDER WOMAN, AQUAMAN, and SHAZAM! would begin their new line of continuity. Each of these films has shown a critical and financial success. The franchise would benefit from leaving behind these movies.

Ironically, a DC movie based on another JUSTICE LEAGUE member, THE FLASH, would be able to accomplish this task. An adaption of the FLASHPOINT story-line would solve this situation. DC would have the opportunity to reset their timeline and write out their misguided movies. The story is about Barry Allen traveling to an alternate dimension where all his fellow heroes are completely different. A film adaptation could explain the recasting of THE BATMAN.

Unfortunately, THE FLASH is facing the same production problems as THE BATMAN. That being said, if THE FLASH can get back on track and make its 2021 release date, this story-line could explain the new Batman actor before his solo film the same year. While the re-casting doesn’t need an explanation, it would help audiences adjust to a new actor in the role.

The Dark Knight Will Return

batman casting rumors
Courtesy of GeekTyrant.com

Warner Bros. and DC have shown second life after its failure with JUSTICE LEAGUE. Ironically, the movie to derail the shared universe led to a new direction for the brand.  DC has been successful currently with solo debuts for their characters who have yet to see a cinematic adaptation. That being said, Warner Bros. will push for that revival of its most profitable character. While Batman stumbled with his original appearance, the Dark Knight will return bigger and stronger in the near future.

DC can only go so far without bringing in Batman. Reeves’ BATMAN film will be crucial for the future of the series. The casting for Bruce Wayne must come off strong and decisive when eventually announce. Warner Bros. can’t afford another Jesse Eisenberg response that fans disapprove of with their next Batman. A quality lead in the right direction will lead to success for Warner Bros. and DC.

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