Nothing gets a conversation and/or debate going faster than an alternate casting. Everyone has their own opinion about what actor should play which role and more importantly, nobody can ever agree with anyone else’s picks. If it’s even slightly different than what you pictured in your head, you will immediately disregard it and ridicule the person who suggested it. The aim of the FanCast is to inspire conversation, create debate and provide ammo for the bloodthirsty nerds who can’t ever be wrong.
For those who may not be knee deep in Batman lore, the Bat Family is what we call the people who fight alongside Bruce Wayne and don a bat-centric costume. With the announcement of Gotham Knights last year at DC Fandome, on top of rumors and speculation about Batman’s sidekicks in future DCEU films, we started to think… What would a Bat Family movie look like? For me, ideally I’d like to keep Ben Affleck involved. I’ll die on this hill. I’m fancasting a Bat Family movie that would take place in the main DCEU canon (the Batman v Superman timeline if you will). This isn’t the article to necessarily debate who your Dark Knight is though. But I guess if you want you can sound off in the comments. We’re going to focus on his compadres. Past Robins, fellow leaders, and anyone that could have put on a cowl.
With that all said, I humbly present my FanCast for the Bat Family of the DC Extended Universe.
Ben Affleck | Bruce Wayne/Batman
What you might have seen him in: Daredevil, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League
Why he’d be perfect for the role: As I stated above, I ride and die with Batfleck. I think depending on the Batman one grew up with determines greatly with who they like as the live-action Bat. I loved Batman: The Animated Series growing up. Affleck, to me, is the closest thing I’ve seen to any version of Batman that Kevin Conroy portrayed. He’s smart and witty, but also brutal. So brutal. He may not “kill” in the animated series or movies, but he absolutely hospitalizes goons with no remorse. Not to mention he’s built like a tank! Bats should be intimidating and Ben took that very seriously from the looks of it. If there was one thing he lacks in the current canon, it’s the playboy status. They definitely poured the brooding on quite a bit. Nothing a little prequel can’t handle! A happier time! Where Bruce has a full fledged team. Or even a sequel with a family reunion of sorts to put him back in the spirit. Either way, if I’m fancasting a Bat Family movie, I’m keeping Batfleck and as many established characters around him. So that also means I’m keeping Jim Gordon as J.K. Simmons and Alfred Pennyworth as Jeremy Irons for Bat’s main points of contact.
Zac Efron | Dick Grayson/Nightwing
What you might have seen him in: High School Musical, Dirty Grandpa, The Greatest Showman
Why he’d be perfect for the role: We’ve officially come to peace with the fact that this dude, despite signing and dancing his way to Hollywood fame in a Disney Original movie, is actually super legit, right? He is very good in everything he’s in. I’m actually surprised that one of the major studios already hasn’t thrown a massive contract his way to be a superhero. I mentioned Ben bulking up, Efron has had the superhero physique since birth it feels like. Nightwing deserves someone that would take the role seriously. Someone that can pull off being both a badass and a natural leader. Not to mention Zac has similar experiences as Dick with circus performances from his time doing his own stunts on The Greatest Showman. Zac would be a natural fit for Nightwing in my book.
Jensen Ackles | Jason Todd/Red Hood
What you might have seen him in: Smallville, Supernatural, My Bloody Valentine 3D,
Why he’d be perfect for the role: Give the people what they want. I’m convinced more people know about Jason Todd because of the many pieces of fan-art portraying Ackles as the character than people who have read Death in the Family at this point. Which is fine. Whatever gets people into comics. Maybe the first movie of my fantasy Bat Family movie is everyone going against Red Hood. That is, until they discover who is behind the hood and then the mission changes to bring Jason home. We saw the burnt suit in BvS. The story writes itself.
Timothée Chalamet | Tim Drake/Red Robin
What you might have seen him in: Call Me by Your Name, Lady Bird, Little Women
Why he’d be perfect for the role: Not all former Robins are equal. Tim is pretty consistently at the bottom of the rankings of past Robins. For me the most interesting thing that happens to Tim is in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. If you haven’t seen it, do so now because I’m about to spoil the ending. Joker kidnaps Tim and turns him into his protege. The heir of the title Joker. Chalamet is a brilliant young actor. I think eventually we could travel down that road. Maybe have him, as Red Robin, always being overshadowed by other members of the Family before a run in with the Clown Prince of Crime goes sideways and let the cards fall as they may. This isn’t secretly a Chalamet for Joker campaign. It’s more of a plea to let him show off his range in a mainstream billion dollar movie. Also, like Efron, he’s getting super famous and it’s only a matter of time before a major studio signs him to be a major player in a franchise. He doesn’t seem like the “multi-movie deal” kinda actor to me. I’m thinking three movies tops with Chalamet and let him go do more Wes Anderson movies.
Jacob Tremblay | Damian Wayne/Robin
What you might have seen him in: Room, Wonder, Good Boys
Why he’d be perfect for the role: Listen. I don’t know many kid actors. We don’t have to include EVERY iteration of Robin, I just like my options. Damian is the long lost son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. Raised by his mother, Ra’s al Ghul, and the League of Shadows, Damian might be the most deadly Robin, even at around 11-15 years old. Jacob has already gone toe-to-toe with massive names in the industry at a young age. Let him do something fun like beat up goons. He’s earned it.
Sadie Sink | Barbara Gordon/Batgirl
What you might have seen her in: American Odyssey, Stranger Things, Eli
Why she’d be perfect for the role: Barbara Gordon’s history with Batman is wild. At best, depending on the story you’re reading, she could be Oracle; she could just be Jim Gordon’s daughter; or, she could be Batgirl. Like I said, I love options. Sadie Sink from Stranger Things is young enough to go through the entire evolution of Barbara. That means spin-offs, baby! I’m four moves ahead, keep up.
Ella Jay Basco | Cassandra Cain/Batgirl II
What you might have seen her in: Happyland, Veep, Birds of Prey
Why she’d be perfect for the role: Cassandra Cain is a curve ball in my current plan to keep the canon as intact as possible. Basco played Cassandra in the recent Birds of Prey movie. I think she was one of the highlights of the film! I want to keep her in. It’d be interesting to see her leave Harley and join the Bat Family. Have her get some sweet tech and learn how to fight with those pick-pocket skills. Perhaps she could take the mantle of Batgirl from Barbara after she has had one bad day. See this, DC? This is how you lay groundwork for future projects. This is how people become invested and watch 23 movies in a franchise.
Rose Leslie | Kate Kane/Batwoman
What you might have seen her in: Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, The Good Fight
Why she’d be perfect for the role: The cousin of Bruce Wayne that ensures he’s not the only one having all the fun. Kate is a take no BS type of person, much like her cousin. And with her tragic origin story, who can blame her. If you’re not familiar, take the time to do a quick Google search (it’s pretty wild). When I think of someone that perhaps has experience with fight choreography and portraying someone who has seen too much in their lives, I thought of Rose Leslie as Ygritte in Game of Thrones. One of the most ruthless killers in the show but also had the most heart. I think that’s what it takes for a perfect Kate Kane.
John Boyega | Luke Fox/Batwing
What you might have seen him in: Attack the Block, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Pacific Rim: Uprising
Why he’d be perfect for the role: Perhaps my longest of longshots. After John Boyega’s recent comments about his time in Star Wars, I’m not sure if he would ever want to be in a franchise again. If I was in charge and lucky enough to get Boyega as Luke Fox, I’d promise three solo movies right then. As the son of Lucius Fox, Luke could have lived a comfortable life as the son of a billionaire or by putting his genius level intellect to work at Wayne Enterprises. Instead, he decided to make it on his own by enlisting in the armed forces where he honed his skills as a tactical analyst. While in the military, Luke was a world class boxer and learned martial arts from Bruce later. Unlike all the past Robins, Luke has his head on straight. No baggage. A clear choice to take the mantle of the Bat once Bruce decides to step down. Hence my offer of at least three solo movies.
Giancarlo Esposito | Lucius Fox
What you might have seen him in: Malcolm X, Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian
Why he’d be perfect for the role: If we were to get Luke involved, Lucius needs to be there as well. We know Esposito’s menacing turns from cultural phenomenons like Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian. Just once I think we should see him as a caring, loving father. The dynamic would be so good. His son is finally working for Bruce Wayne like he’s always wanted. Except not really. The pressure to make sure the tech is perfect (not like it wasn’t before). But now his son is in the suit. I fully believe Esposito can play just about any character because his talent is immeasurable. I would love to see him take a crack at the concerned father role.
My Bat Family movie is crowded, I know. I could pick out any of the above and make a team of 4-6 and be perfectly happy. We could start small and just grow. Keeping this fictional FanCast in the confines of the Snyderverse actually made it a bit more difficult that I thought. The actors for me needed to be able to find that tone that is so prevalent in his films.
What is your ideal Bat Family team and who would you like to see portray them? Sound off in the comments and let us know!