Perhaps the best part of a new Batman movie announcement is the ever-churning rumor mill pumping out new speculation every day until concrete details are announced. This time, it's spewing out nonsense at full blast because it's not just the villain unknown to fans, it's Batman himself. Christian Bale reportedly was offered oodles of cash to play the aging vigilante playboy in Batman vs. Superman, but the actor has been very vocal that he doesn't wish to reprise his role as the caped crusader. There are only a few Hollywood men able to fill his cowl -- and there are some who definitely shouldn't. Here's the scoop on all of them.
Five Picks for the New Batman
Andrew Lincoln As the lead in Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln has shown his moody, intense acting chops through some insanely tragic moments. If the above clip doesn't have you weeping like a ninny after about three seconds, you're likely made of stone . . . Or you're a walker. You know which superhero was born from tragedy? Mutha f***n Batman. Besides, Superman (Henry Cavill) is a Brit, so let's go all the way U.K. and make Batman British, too.
Josh Brolin When it comes to grizzled rough-and-tough dudes, Josh Brolin's stubble holds more manliness than most men's, well, everything else. There's a reason he's been cast as a badass cowboy time after time: He looks like he survives on whiskey and cold stares. Just try to imagine that ruggedness applied to an aging, damaged, and beaten Bruce Wayne. Step aside, Christian Bale.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt The Dark Knight Rises already set up this plotline. We get it -- JGL is pretty much Robin. Rather than going with the weird man-child lover sidekick thing, why not just assign him to a strict regiment of one-armed pull-ups and protein shakes and make him the caped crusader protégé? He's got the acting chops and he's got the introduction. Throw him in the Batmobile and see what happens.
Viggo Mortensen If Viggo can bring Aragorn, one of the most badass fictional characters of all time, then it's pretty certain this unrefined piece of man meat could easily make Batman into something special. His other roles in such movies as Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic masterpiece On the Road show his ability to effortlessly switch from angsty tough guy to gentle father and provider. In the Nolan Batman-iverse, the dark knight has a bit of a soft side. So it's important that the pick is the kind of dude who would pummel Bane's face into a pulp and also cuddle you and a puppy to safety.
Jon Hamm There's absolutely no speculation about Jon Hamm taking over as Batman, but there's no reason he couldn't be. This ridiculously handsome Mad Men star cleans up nice in a suit, making for a more perfect Bruce Wayne than any of the other guys. Plus, it'd be nice to see this hunk throw down a little more than his emotionally damaged Don Draper character allows. Plus, if Hamm's Batman, then Christina Hendricks could be Poison Ivy and January Jones could be Vicky Vale. You know what? Forget it. We'll just write our own Mad Men meets Batman fan fiction.
Three Men Who Could Never Be Batman
Tyler Hoechlin Oh, please. Teen Wolf dude as Batman? Pass. Sure he's handsome, but he was also in 7th Heaven. Also, how are they going to explain Batman de-aging? That's right. They aren't. It'll be the '90s reboot all over again, shifting from Val Kilmer to George Clooney without rhyme or reason. Now all we need is a weightlifting Austrian future-governator to spout out a bunch of ice puns and we're back to the corny stuff. Keep your pretty boys out of Gotham.
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Ryan Gosling Oh, my god, it's Ryan Gosling. We get it. Every girl ever is just smitten with this hunkzilla and his sweaters and his indie music. But before you selfishly pick Batman replacements because of your own wet dreams, think of the rest of us. While Ryan Gosling has been a rumored pick, this Notebook dreamboat will get the role over our dead body. Bat your eye lashes elsewhere, sunshine. We ain't buying.
Any Past Batman Obviously George Clooney and Val Kilmer had their chances to shine as Batman and, as far as we're concerned, royally screwed the pooch. The cheesy, goofball, manicured dudes just don't make the cut in a post-Bale-Batman world. Speaking of C-Bale, if you want to go, go. Everyone in the world wants to be Batman and if $50 million isn't enough to convince you, you best step. We believed in you, and you let us down. No one is making you stay, so don't let the batcave door hit your bum on the way out, bro.