Everything we know about ‘The Batman’ casting so far
The reign of Batfleck is over! Long live BatPatz. The Batman, the latest project based on the popular DC Comics hero, is currently underway. Robert Pattinson, who plays Batman, is training hard for his “dream role” despite his recent COVID scare. While the film has had production issues dating back to when Ben Affleck was involved, The Batman seems to be moving with full speed ahead.
It’s easier to break out of Arkham Asylum than obtain plot details for studio blockbusters. We do know The Batman’s take on the character to be more “grounded”; which director Matt Reeves will attempt to do without rehashing Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. We hope for something more creative. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about the star-studded cast for The Batman.
Will the new Alfred Pennyworth please stand up?
The recent spate of actors all brought something new and different to the role of Bruce Wayne’s long-suffering and faithful butler. Jeremy Irons (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League) and Douglas Hodge (Joker) have recently joined their ranks.
Sean Pertwee owned the role for five seasons on FOX’s Gotham. There’s even a solo series based on a much younger Alfred in Epix’s Pennyworth. Jack Bannon plays the former SAS soldier in 1960s London. So who will play the character in The Batman? Andy Serkis, in a rare live-action role, brings us one of those rare moments of perfect casting.
Serkis is best known for his motion-capture performances. He played Gollum in Lord of the Rings. He will reunite with director Matt Reeves after working with him on 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes.
Serkis jumps to the DC production from Marvel having previously played the villainous Ulysses Klaue in the MCU films Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) & Black Panther (2018). He’s the latest actor to appear in both camps, following the likes of Michael B. Jordan, Tommy Lee Jones, and Jon Favreau.
Introducing Mister Oswald Cobblepot
The other big casting news is that Colin Farrell will play Oswald Cobblepot, also known as The Penguin. Penguin is one of the biggest names in Batman’s rogues gallery, and considers himself “The Gentleman of Crime”. The two most enduring portrayals of the character comes from Robin Taylor Lord in Fox’s Gotham and Danny DeVito in Batman Returns.
Yes, it is hard to top Danny DeVito. With Farrell’s casting, it looks like Reeves wants to depict a more realistic version of the Penguin – unless he wants Farrell to go full ham like he did in 2003’s Daredevil. Farrell, honestly, was one of the unintentionally hilarious parts of that movie.
What fell through
Farrell wasn’t the first choice of Reeves and Warner Bros. for the role of the Penguin. For a time, it looked like Jonah Hill was going to join The Batman. Hill voiced DC Comics hero Green Lantern in the LEGO universe and recently appeared in Harmony Korine’s Matthew McConaughey vehicle The Beach Bum.
When news broke that Hill was in negotiations for the role, it was still early in the negotiating process. Reeves & Warner Bros were considering him for either the Penguin or the Riddler. Neither camp has commented as to why negotiations with Hill fell through. We hope it’s not Matt Reeves’s cologne.
Some of the roles were cast earlier: Jeffrey Wright will play Gotham police commissioner Jim Gordon. Wright is best known for his roles of Bernard Lowe on HBO’s Westworld and Felix Leiter in the James Bond franchise, along with supporting roles many other Hollywood films. He’s set to reprise the latter role in the upcoming film No Time to Die.
In October, Zoe Kravitz was announced as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. She actually voiced the character in The LEGO Batman Movie back in 2017. Her previous roles also include Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise and Bonnie Carlson in HBO’s Big Little Lies.
Paul Dano was announced as Edward Nashton/The Riddler. He’s best known for his dual roles of Paul and Eli Sunday in There Will Be Blood and recently made his directorial debut with 2018’s Wildlife.
Kravitz, Dano, and possibly Farrell will be the three antagonists of the film. Catwoman appears to be in Batman’s foe column again, while the pair recently got married in the comics. Granted, their courtship started with them on opposite sides of the law.
While Robert Pattinson has made himself known as an indie darling, he broke onto the scene with the Twilight franchise. There he played undead heartthrob Edward Cullen for five movies. He recently appeared in the sci-fi blockbuster Tenet & the crime drama The Devil All the Time. If you want to see him sport a ridiculous Southern accent, check out the latter. (Legitimately, that is a pretty great film.)
The Batman: in theaters March 4, 2022.