Batman is a coveted and well known acting role because so many people fell in love with the super hero as children. You probably recognize the actors who landed the starring part, but what about all those who were considered and didn't get the role? Did you know about all the people who wanted to be Batman? Somehow we landed with Ben Affleck one time, but perhaps there was much better options.
You have to wonder what other choices producers had to play the part of the Dark Knight. Almost no movie parts are chosen from the start, with many actors being considered and even solicited until they finally land who they think will fit the role best.
Who were they? Wait no longer!
Let's briefly go down the list: (Of course, there were many others considered, but these stand out the most)
Hammer was shortlisted for the role of Batman more than once. Along with being in talks for "Batman v Superman," he was also a possibility in "Justice League Mortal," which eventually got nixed.
Armie Hammer since stated that he “would have made a terrible Batman.” The now 29 year old may not have been a perfect choice for that particular Justice Leaguer, but I would like to think he would have made a sweet Shazam!
Having been on the very short list for the leading role in a few Batman projects that never got off the ground, Christian Bale was considered the leading candidate for "Batman Begins" inception. Director Christopher Nolan looked far and wide when he first joined the project in early 2003, meeting with a multitude of talented young actors, including Joshua Jackson, Billy Crudup, Hugh Dancy, Eion Bailey, and future Superman Henry Cavill. In quite the controversial decision, it was the then-23 year old Jake Gyllenhaal that was viewed as Bale’s chief competition for the coveted cape, butler and Batmobile.
Keanu Reeves was not only seriously considered for the starring role of Batman in "Batman v. Superman", he openly voiced his interest in playing the role. a little known fact is that he was also considered for the role in "Batman Forever". He was the perfect height to pit against the average height Superman. As far as I know, he would have been the first biracial Batman to date. Here's to the future!
For his darker-than-usual Batman origin story "Batman Begins", director Christopher Nolan saw a myriad of up-and-coming actors. Among the prospects was Irish actor and "28 Days" star Cillian Murphy. Cillian remembers having an "awkward" audition and screen test in which he read his lines while wearing a complete Batman suit. How's that for feeling silly he didn't get the role? He didn't get that gig, but Nolan was impressed enough with his acting style and skill that he cast him in "Batman Begins" as the Scarecrow. To think, he could have actually been Batman and not Scarecrow. That's got to be worth a few zeroes in ye ole paycheck!
Tom Hanks has got to be the most shocking member of this esteemed list as he does not possess the typical large, chiseled chin and lips that a traditional Batman actor has.
The amazing actor was shortlisted for the role of the Dark Knight more than once. The first was for the original "Batman" movie released in 1989. He was later considered again for "Batman Forever," yet it eventually went to Val Kilmer as we all know. Tom Hanks has most recently made it known he has deep interest in appearing in a superhero film. Maybe we will see him as Batman or another of our favorite super heroes soon!
When compared with Tom Hanks, Gibson seems to be a much better fit.. He was the powers-that-be first choice on who should play the starring role back in 1989, and they reached out to him more than once. However, due to his previous engagements working on Lethal Weapon 2, he had to turn down the role. That's too bad because I would have loved to see his acting style pitted against the bombastic, eccentric Joker. Ah, if only I could have what I wanted!
The James Bond in-the-making was on Batman director Tim Burton's short list for the part of the Dark Knight. But as the slick Irish actor said in an interview, he met with Tim Burton and just couldn't see himself in the role because he thought it was all rather "silly". "Any man who wears his underpants outside his pants," Brosnan said, "just cannot be taken seriously." While this may have taken a hit on his wallet, statements like these helped shape Brosnan's persona and led to the much more lucrative future deals as the coveted bad-boy 007 James Bond and the equally as interesting Ethan in the Mission Impossible franchise.
Regardless the reasons why these actors were not ultimately selected for the starring Batman roles, I personally could not have hoped for anything different. Every single Batman variation I've seen was a masterpiece. You may argue that opinion, but things turned out well in the future for most of the Hollywood heavyweights in this list anyway.
Who would YOU like to see as a future Batman that has not already filled the role?