The DC universe may be playing catch up with Marvel on the big screen, an oversight they are trying to fix with the recent release of Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and the upcoming Wonder Woman and Justice League movies. However, on the small screen, DC has been thriving for some time now. Although they’re not as integrated with the big screen universe like Marvel’s MCU, DC decided to go a different way and separated the small screen from the big.
In a TV universe that is commonly dubbed the “Arrowverse,” The Flash, Green Arrow, and Supergirl have been making their TV mark in their own universe. With some other DC heroes and villains showing up in The Legends of Tomorrow, the Arrowverse is thriving. With the inclusion of big hitters such as The Martian Manhunter and even Superman, it’s time now for the Arrowverse to include its most iconic character of all: Batman.
Here are 15 actors that we think could play The Dark Knight on the small screen.
15. Nathan Fillion
OK, so we know that this entry may well be a fan boy’s wet dream, but we can still hope. If the Arrowverse is looking for a big name with a big fanbase, then who would be better to take on The Dark Knight mantle than Nathan Fillion?
The cult actor has been involved in some of the biggest TV shows of the last decade or so. With big parts in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Castle, and of course Firefly, there’s no denying that Fillion would make the perfect Bruce Wayne. He can be suave, charming, funny, and he always steals any scene that he’s in, which is exactly what we want from Bruce Wayne. There may be some that would argue Fillion doesn’t have the physicality or dark edge to be Batman, and they could be right! But as this is the Arrowverse, it’s very unlikely that Batman will get his own TV show, so the character would only be a supporting character at best, just like Superman in Supergirl. So Fillion could easily pull it off.
14. Nick Jonas
Before everyone starts shouting at the screen and asking us what were are thinking with this entry, this could be a very interesting choice! Obviously Nick Jonas is known more for his pop star status than his serious acting abilities, but Jonas has surprised us recently. With star turns in the likes of Scream Queens, Jonas has showed us that, not only can he act, but he can also be funny, which is a quality that Bruce Wayne needs.
The only thing that could hamper Jonas’ chances of being Batman is his age. Even in the countless reboots and remakes of DC characters in most mediums Batman is seen as an older figure than the rest of the DC heroes. However, if the Arrowverse wanted to go down a different route with Batman, they could introduce the character in the early stage of his hero days to match the youth of The Flash in the Arrowverse. If that’s the case, then Jonas would be a great person for the role.
13. Wes Bentley
If rumors and reports are to be believed then Wes Bentley has come close to playing The Dark Knight on the big screen. When DC wanted to reboot Batman, and indeed their whole on-screen universe, the search for a new Batman was on. Obviously the role went to Ben Affleck, but before that Christopher Nolan apparently put Bentley’s name forward to play Batman. Unfortunately Bentley lost out that time and then his off-screen antics and battles with drugs seemed to put an end to his chances.
However, his career is back on track and his personal problems seem to be behind him, so now could be his chance to reclaim the Batman dream. Although Bentley is more of a movie star than a TV star, he has been known to turn up on TV shows, like American Horror Story, so he might be able to be enticed onto the small screen with an iconic role as Batman. There’s no denying that Bentley would look the part.
12. Dylan Bruce
An underrated actor here with our next entry, and an actor that has been slowly building up some great parts in some great shows. Being Paul in the critically acclaimed “clone drama” Orphan Black, Dylan Bruce has already shown he can play mysterious, dark, and dangerous which are all the qualities you need to play Batman. Bruce also showed up in the rebooted series Heroes: Reborn. Not only that but Bruce has also appeared within the Arrowverse itself. He didn’t play a major character so his reintroduction as The Dark Knight wouldn’t course any fan or continuity confusion.
With his character’s death in Orphan Black and the end of Heroes: Reborn, Bruce would be available to take on the next big challenge. Although Batman would most likely be a supporting character within the Arrowverse, playing The Dark Knight in any form would be a big career move for any actor and Bruce could definitely pull it off.
11. Alex O’ Loughlin
Alex O’Loughlin has had quite the career already, especially on the small screen. This Australian born actor is currently the star of the hit Hawaii Five-0 remake. His character on the show is edgy, dark and no stranger to some serious action sequences. Which make him a perfect candidate for The Dark Knight. Not only could O’Loughlin handle playing a big character with a lot of expectation, after all he did help to make the Hawaii Five-0 remake even more successful and popular than its original, but O’Loughlin is also no stranger to the cult fanbase, particularly when he starred as vampire turned detective on the cult show Moonlight.
Even though Moonlight seemed to be a fan favorite, the show was cancelled after just one season. Much to the fans’ disappointment, to which some of them even held blood drives to promote their outrage at the shows cancellation. All of that just adds to potential that O’Loughlin has to portray Batman on the small screen.
10. Tom Welling
If the creators and writers of the Arrowverse wanted to really do something surprising then they could call upon former Clark Kent/Superman actor Tom Welling. Let’s not forget that former heroes have been reintroduced as other heroes throughout both the Marvel and DC universe on both the small and big screen. With Ben Affleck being both Daredevil and Batman, Chris Evans as The Human Torch and Captain America and Brandon Routh being Superman on the big screen and currently playing The Atom on the small screen, there’s no reason that Welling couldn’t be Batman.
The star of Smallville certainly has the acting credentials to take on such a role as Batman, as Smallville is still regarded as one of the biggest comic book shows there has been, and probably set the standards and paved the way for the Arrowverse itself. With Welling being a lot older now, he can shake off his Clark Kent persona and step nicely into the playboy Bruce Wayne.
9. David Giuntoli
David Giuntoli is a man who is no stranger to playing the action hero, since he’s currently playing detective Nick Burkhardt in the supernatural thriller Grimm. The show is dark, edgy, and has Giuntoli battling monsters on a weekly basis, plus using his detective skills, sound familiar? With the 6th season of Grimm currently on our screens, it is reportedly the last, so David Giuntoli may well be looking for work soon.
As far as Batman goes, Giuntoli certainly has the acting credentials needed to take on such a big character and there’s no denying that he certainly has a look of Bruce Wayne about him. If Giuntoli did step into the Arrowverse then it wouldn’t be his first attempt at being a superhero, as he was in line to play the revamped Superman in Man of Steel. He may have lost out to Henry Cavill that time, but a TV version of Batman could be just his thing.
8. David Boreanaz
The next entry on our list is a man that has been the face of a dark and tortured hero for many years. David Boreanaz shot to fame playing Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a centuries old vampire that had a soul cursed upon him as punishment for all the horrible things he did. Being the male hero in Buffy, Boreanaz would take the character of Angel to his own show and create a cult character that fans still love today.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, no one did dark and broody better than Boreanaz, a skill which would be a great asset stepping into Batman’s cape. Since his days as The Vampire with a Soul, Boreanaz stepped into another big TV show with Bones. Playing a brash and cocky detective, Boreanaz showed us that he has the arrogance and confidence that is needed for Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne. If we are honest, Boreanaz ticks all the boxes for a TV version of The Dark Knight, so if anyone out there likes to have a little bet on these things, then David Boreanaz would be where our money goes. The only thing that might go against him is himself. Having been involved in several big hit TV shows back to back, he may not want to take on another huge character straight away.
7. Michael C Hall
Our next entry is an interesting choice that could cause a bit of controversy but we feel Michael C Hall would do amazing things if he got hold of the character of Bruce Wayne and Batman. There’s no denying that Hall can a play dark, mysterious character that borders on good and pure evil. Ok, so Dexter may be a little too dark for Batman, as the Bat tends to not kill people, but the potential for a truly great interpretation of The Dark Knight could be there from Hall.
Even though The Dark Knight would only be a supporting character within the Arrowverse, if indeed it is involved at all, Hall wouldn’t have the time and scope to truly flesh out the character of Batman and put his take on it, but he would still impress as Gotham’s billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Physically, Hall has the stature and build to don the Batsuit and now that Dexter is all done, Hall would be free for the job. For a truly “outside the box” casting choice, we think that Michael C Hall would be a great choice for Batman.
6. Enver Gjokaj
Now for a man that did a great job in the Marvel TV show Agent Carter. Playing agent Sousa in the show, Gjokaj showed us his skills at being a good guy and even a bit of a hero without the use of superpowers. Being a love interest to main character Peggy Carter, Gjokaj’s character showed himself to be strong, noble, and having some great detective skills. He also did all of this with a limp, which never seemed to stop his combat skills.
Not only does Gjokaj have the comic book credential but he was also involved in Joss Whedon‘s short lived Dollhouse. Although Dollhouse‘s was a bit of a messy TV show and didn’t really get the chance to prove itself, Gjokaj certainly stood out as he played various identities, which really stretched his acting skills. With all these shows now off the air, Gjokaj is free and would be a great choice for the role of Batman.
5. Jon Hamm
In recent years, DC have had a bit of a dilemma with Batman. Within the comic books they always seem torn about whether they want a young Batman to take him back to the beginning or an older statesman like figure. With Ben Affleck taking over the role on the big screen, the DCEU seem to have gone for the latter. If the Arrowverse wanted to go a similar way and have The Dark Knight much older and wiser, then there would be no better choice than Jon Hamm.
Hamm is certainly a big enough star and name to take on Batman and make people tune in, people may be even more excited to have him in the suit rather than Affleck! His time on the big hit Mad Men showed us all what he can do and there is no doubt that he could use that to easily step into the shoes of Bruce Wayne. Although Mad Men is finished and gone, Hamm is much in demand and we’re not sure if he could be tempted with a small role like this. But we’re keeping all our fingers crossed.
4. Eion Bailey
Eion Bailey has been slowly impressing us over the years with his roles in such shows as Once Upon A Time and Ray Donovan. However, the actor has yet to have a real breakthrough moment and land either a leading role or a role that makes him a household name. How amazing would it be if that role was Batman? From what we’ve seen of him, Bailey could definitely pull off playing the charming and sophisticated Bruce Wayne and there’s no reason why he couldn’t put on the cape and charge around the streets of Gotham too.
Not only do we think he would flourish in the role of Batman, but a certain Christopher Nolan also thinks the same. Bailey not only went for the part of Batman in Batman Begins but he got so close that he put on a batsuit for a screen test. The part obviously went to Christian Bale in the end, which many fans believe was the right choice, but it would have been interesting to see what Bailey would have done with such a big movie. Hopefully one day we get to see his interpretation of The Dark Knight on the small screen.
3. Andrew Lincoln
Now we enter our top three on our wish list to play Batman in the Arrowverse. The number three entry on our list is a real “out of the box” idea on our part but actor Andrew Lincoln may well be an incredible piece of casting. In a similar vein as previous entry Jon Hamm, Lincoln could definitely pull off the “older statesman” side to the Bruce Wayne character, and be the wise hero that could help guide the much younger Flash or Supergirl. And let’s be honest, he’s British and Brit actors are taking the lead in so many superhero movies at the moment, with Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and Superman to name just a few. Let’s keep this trend going!
There’s no denying that Lincoln also has the acting ability to take on this iconic role. His time on The Walking Dead has shown us that Lincoln can play the action hero, but he can also be dark and brooding. Not just that, but Lincoln started his acting career on British TV with a string of comedy/dramas, so he also has the wit and comic timing for the role.
2. Richard Madden
Another Brit here and an actor that seems to be very much in demand at the moment as every role that comes up seems to have his name attached to it. From possibly being the next Doctor Who and maybe even James Bond, Richard Madden is hot property at the moment and would therefore be a great pick for the role of Batman in the Arrowverse.
Madden has been slowly building his acting resume for years and none come bigger than his role in the HBO smash hit Game of Thrones. With the character of Robb Stark, Madden has shown us his acting ability as well as his physical range which would all fit in well with Batman. Also, as Batman will most likely be a supporting character within the Arrowverse, Madden could take on the role of Batman and it would still leave him room to take on the many other big projects he has been linked to.
1. Jensen Ackles
Now we come to our number one entry and a man we think is a real no brainer for the role of Batman and Bruce Wayne in the Arrowverse. Being part of the Supernatural universe for many years now, Ackles is no stranger to being an action hero and leading a popular franchise. On top of that, Ackles has the look for Bruce Wayne and the physical appearance to fit into the Batsuit as well.
Obviously Ackles is knee deep in all things Supernatural and may well be too busy to take on this role, but if the show comes to an end or he even takes a break and Ackles wants something different, then he would surely be at the top of the Arrowverse wish list to portray The Dark Knight on the small screen.
We know that all of this is just wishful thinking, but then again, we didn’t really expect Superman to show up in the Arrowverse, and yet he did! So who knows what might happen. We certainly have everything crossed and hope that The Dark Knight shows up on our TV screens soon!