top of page

The Almost Batmen

In another universe, this summer’s Flash could have featured Josh Brolin’s DCEU Batman and the return of Willem Dafoe’s Batman?! We dive into all of the actors who confirmed that they almost played Batman and what roles in the Batman universe they ended up playing…THE most accurate list, with ALL sources cited in our Show Notes and common rumors called out!


0:15 Episode Introduction

1:41 The 1940s Serials

This is the post from Andy Fish claiming that Kirk Alyn was meant to be Batman in the 1949 Batman and Robin serial:

If anyone can find the interview with Johnny Duncan that Andy's referring to, we'd appreciate it!

3:39 Batman 66

You can check out our $10 tier episode where we live reacted to these here:

You can check out Lyle Waggoner's screen test here:

6:26 Ivan Reitman’s Comedic Batman, Starring Bill Murray

Michael Uslan brought up that the idea of a Batman comedy with Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy as the Dynamic Duo was NOT something he was involved in, during this discussion with Yahoo here:

Uslan confirmed that this project was separate from the Tom Mankiewicz script for The Batman, as mentioned in our episode here:

9:32 Batman 89

Willem Dafoe confirmed he was in talks for Batman in this article:

Ray Liotta shared his brush with the role here:

These articles show that both Dafoe and Liotta were screenwriter Sam Hamm's choices for the Joker before Jack Nicholson got the part:

Pierce Brosnan talked about nearly being Batman here:

The only citation of the magazine article where Bruce Payne talked about Batman comes from here, but the article itself seems to be offline:

If anyone finds a separate copy to confirm, let us know!

In the meantime, here is Payne in the Ripper fan film that we mentioned:

In his interview with SuperHeroHype ( )and his book The Boy Who Loved Batman, Michael Uslan brought up that the major stars that the studio considered for the role of Batman were Kevin Costner (34), Dennis Quaid (35), and Harrison Ford (47). He also acknowledged an interviewer’s mention of Mel Gibson (33) and Tom Selleck (44) in an interview with Back Issue No. 113.

A Cinefatastique article by Alan Jones (as seen here cited an LA Times Article (likely this one- that stated Gibson, Bill Murray (39), Charlie Sheen (24- supposedly Harlan Ellison mentioned Sheen- , but I can’t find the specific article where Ellison said it), and Pierce Brosnan (36) were in consideration as well by the studio. This all seems like WB’s brainstorming more than actual discussions with the actors, with the exception of Brosnan, who confirmed that he met with Burton.

20:00 Batman Forever

The article mentioning Kurt Russell comes from here:

Billy Baldwin's interview, where he name dropped Daniel Day-Lewis and Ralph Fiennes, comes from here:

Ethan Hawke's comments about Batman come from here:

The article about Johnny Depp being up for Batman comes from here, though we're skeptical of its validity:

26:44 Batman & Robin

The article about David Duchovny and what he actually said about Batman can be read here:

33:11 The Unmade Batman Beyond Movie

The talk of Clint Eastwood being in Batman Beyond came from Paul Dini's discussion with Kevin Smith on the Fat Man on Batman podcast, though we admittedly haven't double checked the episode itself to verify that Dini for sure dropped Eastwood's name as an actual candidate:

39:29 Break

Ben Wan's "Shortcut to Happily Ever After" available on the Metaphorosis website here:

Check out our friends at Neuverse Creative, who will be producing Ben's adaptations of the Batman 89: Shadows comic and Batman 3, based on the early drafts of Batman Forever:

Check out our link for Barkbox here.

Derrick Magnum, written & directed by Jeffrey Scott Richards, featuring us playing ourselves:

52:20 Return from Break: The Great Bat Hiatus Castings

The actors for the unmade Bruce Wayne show come from this:

You can check out our coverage of this unmade pilot here:

Darren Aronofsky was quoted as saying that he wanted Joaquin Phoenix and the studio wanted Freddie Prinze Jr. here:

You can check out our coverage of Aronofsky's Year One here:

Akiva Goldsman himself said that Colin Farrell was cast in Batman Vs Superman here:

You can check out our coverage of that script here:

57:50 Batman Begins & Justice League Mortal

You can watch Cillian Murphy and Eion Bailey's screen tests here, along with Christian Bale's:

Chris Nolan talked about meeting with Heath Ledger for the part of Batman here:

Jake Gyllenhaal discussed being up for Batman on The Howard Stern Show here:

Josh Hartnett discussed being up for it here:

Orlando Bloom discussed being up for the role here:

Joshua Jackson shared about being in the role here:

Hugh Dancy talked about being up for the part of Batman here:

Henry Cavill's quote about how he didn't audition for Batman comes from here:

We discussed Justice League Mortal here:

1:21:27 Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Josh Brolin talked about being up for Batman here:

Richard Armitage talked about auditioning here:

Gabriel Macht tweeted about pulling out of the Batman running here:

You can watch Scott Adkins's audition here:

You can watch an excerpt of Momoa's Batman audition here:

The quote from Momoa comes from here:

Snyder citing Matthias Schoenaerts as his second choice for Batman comes from here:

1:32:51 The Batman

The Hollywood Reporter article that mentioned Armie Hammer and Aaron Taylor-Johnson comes from here:

Nicolas Hoult recently praised Pattinson's casting here:

Verifying what Andrew was referencing, Hoult is 6'3", making him taller than most of the Batman actors, including Pattinson.

1:35:19 Gotham Knights & Favorites

Jensen Ackles almost being in Gotham Knights comes from here:

1:40:08 Closing: Fan Comments & Shoutouts

Big thanks to our research assistant Dan Yamat for providing the visuals for this YouTube experience, as well as the usual QC and chapter time codes.

Thumbnail by Dan as well

Please record us a “bumper” saying “You’re listening to Superhero Stuff You Should Know” and send it over to superhousepodcast@gmail.comAlso to any animators- we’d love to see our sketches animated. Please include #SuperheroStuffYouShould Know IN the video

Become a part of the Shasta Army on our Patreon page:

SuperHouse on iTunes:

Please leave us a review in iTunes!

SuperHouse on Spotify:

Please email us at:



My Cat’s IG: AlfiePennyworthCat

36 views0 comments


bottom of page