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My Twitters exploded last night with the news that Ben Affleck had been cast as Batman. Oh, the humanity! What perfidy is this! How could Ben Affleck possibly inhabit a role traditionally inhabited by men with chiseled jaws and dark, brooding eyes!
Oh, wait, Ben Affleck has actually been growing into himself rather nicely:
But still, the usual explosion of alternate fancasting ensued; as Allan Mott observed, “Twitter would have hated Christopher Reeve too.” I thought a few names were missed, and in the interest of some Friday mancandy serious discussion about film, I'd like to put forward some of my alternate suggestions for Batman.
Let's not forget: Bruce Wayne comes from a wealthy background, and lives a very privileged life. So I was looking for people with a bit of that sharp, playboy edge along with the prerequisite brooding demeanor; people who would look at home in fancy dress and in rooftop penthouses, but also those with a little bit of a rough edge. The sort you could imagine actually driving the Batmobile, you know?
Everyone's favorite fancast actor, it seems at the moment. Elba's gorgeous, he's a great actor, and progressive white people have finally learned his name, so it's the one I saw flying all over Twitter last night. Make no mistake, I'd love to see Elba as Batman (or pretty much anything else, I would pay money to watch Idris Elba play a phonebook), but he's far from the only kid on the block.
So let's expand our minds a little, shall we?
This Malaysian-Taiwanese actor is currently on screen in “City of Bones” as Magnus Bane, and if you haven't seen his work, you need to get on it. One, he's smokin' hot. I mean, seriously, majorly hot. For another thing, he's wicked talented. He's an up-and-comer, so get in on the ground level with the fannishness in order to say you knew him when.
Are you watching “The Bridge” on FX? You definitely should be, because it's fast becoming one of my favorite shows. The US adaptation of the Scandinavian series is a sharp commentary on immigration policy, society, and live along the US border, and Bichir in one of the leading roles is really an added plus. He's a fantastic actor, and while he's rough and rugged in “The Bridge,” I have the sense he'd clean up well. Real well.
Strong jaw? Uhm, yeah. This Indian actor has primarily been seen in Bollywood, where he has been a huge success, and I'd really love to see him make the jump to Hollywood as well. He comes from a lineage of cinema stars, and he is gorgeous.
Britain turns out some superb actors, and Okonkwo is definitely one to watch. He's primarily appeared in television dramas, and isn't well known in the US, but he should be. Not least because he's got a great range, but he's also very easy on the eyes.
Wong totally has the face and build for this role; he's handsome, a little bit rugged, and confident in himself in a way that rich boys all too often seem to be. While he's based in Hong Kong, he works in both US and Chinese cinema, and while most of his roles have been pretty minor, this could be a breakout for him.
Another Indian actor who's a powerhouse in Bollywood but not so much in the US, Hashmir is wicked handsome and beloved in his home country. He has a bit of a quirky smile that might be a little too cheerful for gloomy ole Batman, but don't hold it against him. I think he could turn up the brood as required.
This highly commended British actor could bring some significant gravitas to the role of Batman, and he's definitely got the upper-class bit nailed down pat. (I know, I know, we say we don't have classes in the US, but we do, deal.) I would love to see him getting more attention in the US, because then I could see his pretty pretty face more often.
Juan Gabriel Pareja
You might have spotted him in “The Walking Dead.” This Colombian-American actor has popped up in “From Mexico With Love” and a few other films as well, mostly as a background player. I'd like to see him get a chance to strut his stuff, and I think he could take on the persona of Batman really well.
Daniel Wu definitely has the action hero credentials down, but he also has a very distinctive (and distinguished) face that I think would set him apart as Batman. He's handsome, but he has that rugged, driven, slightly haunted look that I think you want for a character who basically seems to be on a life mission of revenge. Uhm, yes please.
Happy with Ben Affleck? Genuinely don't care who plays Batman? Think I've totally left off some great talent on this list? Want to propose some ladies for the role? You know what to do.