3. Bill Murray
Ok, maybe not so much now, but he had been a major contender for the role in the 80’s back when it was somehow ok for Batman to be played by comedians and “Made-for-Nickelodeon” (That was never ok, by the way). The only difference between Tim Burton’s Batman movies and Beetlejuice was the fact that one was made for little kids and starred Michael Keaton, while the other was made for little kids and starred Michael Keaton.
2. Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher, or “Chris” (his real first name), as he’s now being called, not only pursued the role of Batman in 2005, but was the front-runner for the role. For a time, he was Warner Brothers’ first choice, but never Nolan’s. When it became clear that there could be no common ground, the studio execs shelved the Ashton idea. Now that the landscape in Hollywood has changed, Kutcher could have resurfaced as top pick for Batman. In fact, what fans may or may not realize is that Kutcher is secretly being groomed to play Batman once Affleck’s inevitable dropout is announced. In his recent film, “jOBS”, Kutcher plays an ultra-billionaire CEO of a massive company who wears mostly black, has access to some of the coolest gadgets around, and (while not specifically addressed in the film or confirmed in any way elsewhere) may or may not be a secret crime-fighter at night under an alter-ego. The writing on the wall couldn’t be any more clear; “jOBS” was actually a Batman reboot. Just wait for the sequel. Spoiler alert: Steve Wozniak becomes the Riddler.
1. Keanu Reeves
Since “Batman vs. Superman” wasn’t supposed to occur immediately after the the Nolan trilogy, the fact that Keanu is pushing 50 would have been a non-issue (Yes, “The Matrix” is almost old enough for a 15 year anniversary edition). It wouldn’t have been the first time Reeves was offered a role in a Batman movie. He was considered for the role of Scarecrow in what would have been the sequel to “Batman & Robin”, but, due to its epic failure at the box office, the sequel was never made. He also nearly entered superhero movie stardom in 2000 after being considered for the role of Logan in the original “X-Men”. He was also offered the role of Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen, but turned it down. The fact that he’s never played a superhero, but has been considered in several such films means producers definitely have him on at least some radar.
Would he have been in consideration for Batman? It’s hard to say, but after his success with “The Matrix” trilogy, which wrapped in 2003, he was one of the most bankable names in the industry at the time “Batman Begins” would have been casting. He most likely lost out due to type casting, since his likable hacker-turned savior of the digital and real world character, Neo, was still fresh on audience’s minds. In casting “Batman vs. Superman”, however, enough time has passed that he could have been considered. Potentially negative fan reception aside, perhaps the biggest reason we didn’t see his name come up now is due to the 4th Matrix film supposedly in the works.
“Batman vs. Superman” won’t be without its fair share of Matrix actors though. Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus) is slated to reprise his “Man of Steel” role of Perry White. Fishburne also nearly found himself in Nolan’s Batman trilogy as Lucious Fox, which, of course, would have caused the DC universe to explode. And who better to save the universe than a Neo himself, who in a strange twist, never died at the end of the third Matrix, but instead found himself in a brand new Matrix world where superheroes exist. “Batman vs. Superman” could have secretly been the fourth Matrix movie. Oh, Warner Brothers, what could have been…