Movies & TV

Who Will Be The Next Batman?

As Ben Affleck hangs up his cape, we consider the top contenders for the keys to the Batmobile
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It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me," said Batman, or the various actors who have played the caped crusader over the years.

As it turns out, who is underneath does matter, as Ben Affleck officially hanging up his mask poses the question of who will play Bruce Wayne next.

Having played the leading man in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, the actor today tweeted that he was excited to see 2021's The Batman come to life, attaching a link to an article about him having "passed the torch to the next generation of Bruce Wayne".

But to whom? Which actor has the time to dedicate to saving the people of Gotham, or inclination to sign up for all the pressure and politics that go with playing the world's most iconic hero? In short, who is not the hero we deserve, but the one we need?

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Kit Harington

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Rumors have been swirling for some time that the British actor might follow playing a brooding hero in GoT with a brooding hero in Got-ham. Speaking at Esquire Townhouse last October the actor admitted, “Oh it would be awesome to play Batman. I love the director who’s doing the next ones as well.” There's been no mention of it since, but in the past his representatives have denied the rumours when asked by Entertainment Weekly.

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However, with the series coming to a close he'll certainly have the time on his hands, though he has told Esquire he wants to take some time off for a sabbatical. Harington isn't the biggest fan of the limelight, so he may turn it down on the grounds the character comes with a costume even more instantly recognisable than his Winterfell fur coat.

John Hamm

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IMAGE: Getty

Don Draper is possibly the only character with more confidence and bravado than Batman, making actor John Hamm a natural fit to step into the Batmobile. He's was linked to the role last September after saying he'd be up for it and revealing he had been reading comic books since the age of 9.

"I'd probably fit the suit. I'd have to work out a lot, which I don't love," he told Graham Bensinger on In Depth. "But, I am sure there's an interesting version of that being out there. And if they wanted to tap me on the shoulder and ask me to do it, why not?"

He did also admit he had "Never been offered anything" but added in cryptic Bruce Wayne fashion, "I think the internet wants what it wants."

Jake Gyllenhaal

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IMAGE: Cartier

Jake Gyllenhaal is reportedly The Batman director Matt Reeves' first choice for the role according to Collider who claim that, "There has been some conversations, but it’s not a sure thing this is happening."

However when subsequently asked by CNA Lifestyle if he's going to play Batman last April Gyllenhaal responded, "Wow, that’s a very difficult question. The answer to that question is no."

While that might sound pretty definitive no, Gyllenhaal for years resisted the allure of big franchises in favor of more niche roles, which Stronger director told Esquire "milk him for his weirdness".

Now that he's recently signed on to play super-villain Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it might be a (bat) signal he's changing his mind and could be open to playing more superheroes.

Timothée Chalamet

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IMAGE: Getty Images

Forget the kevlar suit and imagine for a moment the majesty of Batman in a bejewelled harness á la Timothée Chalamet at the Golden Globes this year. The 22-year-old would be a markedly younger Bruce Wayne than we're used to seeing, but has been linked to the role over the last year. The Beautiful Boy actor did admit The Dark Knight is one of his favorite films and when pressed again on the red carpet said "well look if it was like The Dark Knight or something...yeah".

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Chalamet has a busy schedule ahead with Greta Gerwig's Little Women, the role of Henry V in The King and a part in Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch all in the works. He's also taken on a major part in another big blockbuster franchise - playing the lead in Denis Villeneuve's Dune reboot. Hopefully Alfred Pennyworth can help manage his schedule.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Olivia Ovenden
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