Published at: Sept. 3, 2003, 5:32 a.m. CST by staff
Hey folks, Harry here... according to the wondrous Zorianna Kit of Hollywood Reporter fame... it seems that Warner Brothers and Christopher Nolan will be given a whole bunch of actors a peek to see if they are BATMAN/Bruce Wayne or not. The list is... well a bit odd. Personally I prefered the Guy Pearce rumors - but... ok, that's not what it is looking like. Here ya go...
First up is Jake Gyllenhaal. He's 22 years old, first came to my notice with OCTOBER SKY, then blew everyone away with DONNIE DARKO - and again I feel with THE GOOD GIRL. He's next set to be seen in Roland Emmerich's THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW in Summer 2004. He's 6 feet tall and was taught to drive by Paul Newman. He's a tremendous talent, has the ability to be charming as hell as well as scary creepy. Ultimately, we've never seen him in this type of role before and he hasn't been known as having a physique that one would associate with BATMAN, but then... neither was Michael Keaton before BATMAN or Tobey Maguire before SPIDER-MAN. He'd be interesting.
Sure to be a fan favorite, Christian Bale. He's 29 years old and about as perfect as humanly possible to play a young Bruce Wayne / Batman. He first came to sight for most of us as Jim in Spielberg's underrated masterpiece, EMPIRE OF THE SUN... nailing one of the greatest damn performances out of a munchkin ever. In recent years he has been fucking great... over and over. In VELVET GOLDMINE, AMERICAN PSYCHO (a film I don't like, but love him in), SHAFT, REIGN OF FIRE and last year I think he became a geek god playing John Preston in Kurt Wimmer's EQUILIBRIUM - a truly great geek film. Next he is set to appear in THE MACHINIST - a thriller from the director of SESSION 9... Brad Anderson. At 6'1" he would be... perfect. Absolutely gob-smackingly perfect as BATMAN and Bruce Wayne. If Bale gets this part, get set for Nick Nunziata over at CHUD to begin doing backflips of glee! And he'd be right for doing them! For an "under 30 Batman" nobody is more perfect in my opinion.
While the list should end with those two - it doesn't... next is Joshua Jackson, 25 years old, best known for playing Pacey Witter on TV's DAWSON'S CREEK. He is an actor that while being in several films I have seen, has never captured my attention or made me think... Wow, who is this guy? He's 6'2" and from Canada. Probably most hated for having dated Katie Holmes... he's asthmatic and allergic to peanuts. He's been chosen as one of Teen People's "21 Hottest Stars Under 21" back in 1999. Got zero vibe for him playing Batman. Just don't have a strong opinion about him.
Next is Cillian (pronounced KILL-ian) Murphy - 29 years old and just really became known for his wonderful work in Danny Boyle's 28 DAYS LATER. I don't know how tall he is, actually - I don't know that much about him, but he was really wonderful in 28 DAYS LATER. Apparently he was an avid Rugby player, which means he knows how to knock the shit out of people and take it in turn. Good actor... don't know if he could pull off Batman.
Then there is Henry Cavill. He's right at about 20 years old. Probably best known to American audiences as being the son of Monte Cristo's hated enemy and former lover in the Kevin Reynolds adaptation of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. He's also been in I CAPTURE THE CASTLE and will next be seen in the straight to video HELLRAISER: HELLWORLD. He's 6'1" - would love to play ALEXANDER THE GREAT - liked playing Rugby, but got injured and can't play anymore. I think he might be a bit too young for the character... he's a developing talent.
Next is Eion Bailey, man of mystery. I don't know how old he is or how tall he is. He's been in FIGHT CLUB and ALMOST FAMOUS and BAND OF BROTHERS and can't really place him off the top of my head... however, his face is very cold... Personally I like his look. If he's a really good actor, in many ways he could be a great choice simply because he would be... for most folks... seen for the first time. But does he have the acting chops of say Christian Bale or Jake? That's the key. He'll next appear in Renny Harlan's MINDHUNTERS.
Lastly - apparently Hugh Dancy, who is currently playing Galahad off in the UK in Bruckheimer's KING ARTHUR. He's 28 years old or so... 5'11" and is basically unknown to me - though is better known in the UK for his work there. His picture on IMDB is rather unfortunate.
I think the key thing to be looking at here is who isn't mentioned. I don't see Ashton listed or Josh Hartnett or Heath Ledger. The typical names that we normally hear for these age range characters seem not to be included, which I take as a very good sign. Apparently over the next 3 days, Christopher Nolan is having this group test... I believe Nolan will end up choosing between Bale or this Eion Bailey guy - just call it instinct. Warners is planning to have this officially untitled BATMAN movie shooting starting in February. Very interesting cast to choose from I think. Looks promising....
Meanwhile, I got confirmation about the Shepperton Studios story. The title of the Pre-production project is BATMAN: INTIMIDATION and it is the Christopher Nolan film. They've begun crewing up there with special effects guys, set designer and modelmakers... and the riggers and carpenters are lined up with the start of the main bulk of construction beginning around the start of October. The Art Department has been going at full swing for quite a bit now and they've been working on "quite extensive concepts" that have been shared only with personel that "need to know."