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September 08, 2004

Points for Everyone! Well, everyone who wins.

First Place: 100 Culture Mavens points
Second Place: 50 Culture Mavens points
Third place: 25 Culture Mavens points


The Batman movies have always made money, despite horrific casting choices at the title position. Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney... they not only share the sound of the first syllable, they are also united in being good actors cast incorrectly.

Well, Warner Brothers is giving the Batman series another go. The hope this time is that a relatively unknown, Christian Bale, can, erm, bail out previous casting gaffes. (To be fair, Michael Caine as Alfred is a sweet pick, insomuch as MC can play any role he wants.)

Here's your chance to teach WB a lesson. In YOUR Batman movie, who plays the Big Bat and why? Convince me of your choice and you win. Choices can be repeated, but if you pick someone already chosen, your rationale better be better.

You have until Saturday morning, whenever I happen to drag my sorry tail out of bed. Begin.

Posted by Dan at September 8, 2004 01:13 PM

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A decent portrayal of the Batman is someone halfway mad. Someone angry and brooding and steaming.

If he didn't have the accent, Antonio Banderas would be perfect.

Hugh Jackman could do it. He was good as Wolverine. Yeah, definitely Jackman. Tall, thin, muscular, brooding, crazy, already knows how to play a superhero and make you believe him.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at September 8, 2004 01:38 PM

I actually liked Keaton--despite the lack of chin, he played the distracted playboy millionaire bit perfectly.

Unseriously, I like this guy (not work or liquid-in-mouth safe).

Seriously, I like Vince Vaughn, cast against type. Clean-shaven, he could pull off the Bruce Wayne thing; he certainly has the intensity for the Batman sequences, if not the physique.

Or maybe that kid from Napoleon Dynamite.

Posted by: folkbum at September 8, 2004 03:46 PM

Three good choices:

  1. Bruce Wayne, because he has so much experience.

  2. Halle Berry, because we all know no one looks better in a black vinyl cosutme (How ever aweful Catwoman was, we'll always have that).

  3. Or, if you must insist on someone both real and male, I am forced to go with WB's choice of Bale. Simply, there is no actor out there that has yet to be given the chance that can pull off the action, the physically intimidating presence, the dark brooding, and the playboy look all in one while also being able to act a little bit. (I actually like Hugh Jackman as batman, but can't imagine him as Bruce Wayne.)

Posted by: Nathan at September 8, 2004 08:00 PM


Thought-provoking answer. Um, number three I mean. It may be possible that no known quantity can pull it off.

If you mention "Catwoman" again, I have to take points away :)

Good thoughts so far, gents.

Posted by: Big Dan at September 8, 2004 08:13 PM

I'm with folkbum on this one. Keaton is the Batman. I can't think of anyone better.

Posted by: Ralph at September 8, 2004 09:02 PM

OK, you're going to have to follow me closely on this one.

The Bat has to be able to come off as a barely-controlled volcano of righteous rage in cosutme, but he has to be charming in the role of Bruce Wayne. He has to be comfortable with wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. He has to be muscular, agile, and able to take a punch. We have to believe that he can get up after having the feces beat out of him for an hour by various minions, and still find the inner strength to dismantle a bomb, capture the evildoer that killed the girl he was hooking up with earlier in the film, and turn him over to the police instead of killing him.

He has to be big enough to be a draw, but new enough that WB can talk him into a multi-pic deal and make the franchise live again.

So, I think the only reasonable choice would be Dwayne Johnson.

OK, so he isn't Bobby DeNiro. I think he could pull it off. He has the athletic ability, and a built-in fan base. And the racial diversity couldn't hurt the franchise, either.

Posted by: Mr. E. at September 9, 2004 03:05 AM

The Rock in a tight leather costume? Forget the movie, just print me up a poster.

Posted by: Rosemary's Baby at September 9, 2004 09:09 AM

I actually agree with Nathan that Christian Bale is an excellent choice. I think he will show himself to be the best Batman yet--by far. But we will have to wait and see.

In the meantime, let me offer up David Boreanaz.

First of all, he has practically been playing Batman for the last couple years on Angel. He was a dark, brooding superhero haunted by his past who could pretty easily fall into morally ambiguous frames of mind. He already has the build for the part--a bit of weight training and definition is probably all he needs. He has the looks. He's shown that he can brood with the best of them and does well at portraying an outcast.

Anyone who saw the story arc in the second season of Angel in which he goes sort of bad, firing his crew and going after Darla and Drusilla on his own knows that he can play a dark hero very well. However, he also has superb comic timing and could pull off some nice quips very well.

He can act heroic one moment then turn around and be unsure of himself and self-deprecating. He can turn on a dime in his acting, which is not a skill to be underestimated.

Furthermore, Angel was ultimately an obscure show so Warner Bros. could get him on the cheap and probably would have no trouble getting a multi-film commitment out of him. To most of America, he's pretty much unknown, so it would be a fresh face. I think he would do an excellent job in the role.

Posted by: Joel Caris at September 9, 2004 03:16 PM

If I may be so bold as to offer a second option: Heath Ledger. He may yet be a little young, but for a "Year One" movie it could work. He's got a decent dramatic range and a sort of aloof prep-school jock-snob thing going on that I always thought Bruce Wayne may have grown up with. His American accent is good enough, too.

And dammit, Ralph, stop agreeing with me! I was just getting comfortable hating you again!

Posted by: folkbum at September 9, 2004 07:18 PM

Offer as many options as you like. No limit. But only the good ones will win.

Posted by: Big Dan at September 9, 2004 10:38 PM

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