Movie Reviews

Josh Brolin Would've Been A Great Zack Snyder Batman – But Not For BvS

Josh Brolin almost played Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the actor would have been perfect for another Zack Snyder DC movie that never happened. During an interview to promote Amazon’s Outer Range, Brolin confirmed that he was in talks to star in Batman v Superman but director Zack Snyder chose not to proceed with his casting. Instead, Ben Affleck was chosen to play Batman in the 2016 film and the rest of the DCEU to date.

Ben Affleck also reprised his role as Batman during a cameo in 2016’s Suicide Squad and later returned for 2017’s Justice League. Affleck would play Batman again during reshoots for Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League and has been confirmed to appear in The Flash. However, the actor has recently indicated that he is no longer interested in working on IPs, so The Flash could very well be his farewell to the role of the Caped Crusader.

Related: Justice League 2: How Part 1 Hinted At Lois Lane & Batman’s Deaths

Although the immensely talented Josh Brolin would likely have been great as Batman in Batman v Superman, the choice may well have turned out poorly in the long run. Ben Affleck himself was a risky pick for Batman in a cinematic universe that was supposed to last several years, given his age of 42 during the making of Batman v Superman. That would have been an even bigger issue with Josh Brolin, who was 46 at that time. In addition, despite having already borrowed heavily from Frank Miller’s Batman iconography for Batman v Superman, Zack Snyder has expressed interest in making a play-by-play adaptation of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns – a project for which Josh Brolin would be most fit given that in that story, Bruce Wayne is over 50 years old. The Dark Knight Returns is also a heavy story due to its overt themes of violence, and Brolin’s acting credits, including films like No Country For Old Men, play perfectly into this concept. Yet more than anything, having Josh Brolin as Batman in a one-off The Dark Knight Returns adaptation would mean getting the best out of this older, vengeful version of Batman without having to worry about kickstarting a cinematic universe – something that Affleck’s version of Batman had to deal with.

Brolin mentioned in the same interview that his Batman alongside Snyder would have been an “older, more raspy” one, which was what Ben Affleck also tried to accomplish during his stint as Bruce Wayne. However, for a movie that was supposed to be the beginning of DC’s shared universe and put the brand on par with the MCU, that creative choice would have been quite risky. Batman in The Dark Knight Returns is a retired vigilante who has passed the point of being a symbol of hope and for who only fear and violence remain. While these are themes that could work in an insular Batman movie, they would make much more sense in an Elseworlds-style production along the lines of Todd Phillips’ Joker. With Affleck seemingly ending his run as Batman and Brolin being at the right age for that story, the Thanos and Cable actor could make a perfect Batman for Snyder’s dream The Dark Knight Returns adaptation that was shelved years ago.

Josh Brolin as Batman currently exists as a tantalizing “what if?” scenario, but one that would be even more interesting if it were to happen in a The Dark Knight Returns adaptation rather than in a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice style movie. It is likely that Brolin does not regret not landing the role in 2012, as he later got to play not only Cable in Deadpool 2 but also Thanos in the box office juggernauts Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Yet if Snyder ever gets to make his The Dark Knight Returns movie, it will be fascinating to see what Josh Brolin’s unique Batman take would look like.

Next: How Snyder’s Robin & Batgirl Plans Could Have Saved Affleck’s Batman

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