Armie Hammer as Batman? Not so fast.
The internet was set ablaze last night when a rumor began circulating that not only could the Call Me by Your Name star possibly be the next Caped Crusader, but that he was in “final negotiations” to take on the lead role in writer/director Matt Reeves’ highly anticipated upcoming film The Batman. This didn’t pass the sniff test for a couple of reasons, and indeed it was swiftly debunked by both Borys Kit from THR and Justin Kroll from Variety—who can be implicitly trusted when it comes to the veracity of scoops.
I’m not in the business of debunking bunk but considering everyone got in a tizzy over this…there is no truth to the below. Being told there haven’t even been any actor meetings for THE BATMAN. (But that doesn’t mean Reeves and WB don’t have ideas of who they would like) https://t.co/8CB8aHARID
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) February 19, 2019
Yeah, that BATMAN rumor is false. That said, potential for this week to be very interesting on a number fronts. Sleep tight. pic.twitter.com/HCHTIkLISK
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) February 19, 2019
As if that wasn’t enough, Hammer himself told Yahoo! UK no one’s even contacted him about the role:
“No one who can actually give me the job has asked me if I’m interested. I don’t even know if they’re done – I think they’re still working on a script. I don’t think that they’re close to production but I can conclusively tell you that no one has checked my availability, which is a bummer.”
Warner Bros. finally confirmed that Ben Affleck would be stepping down as Batman last month, and we finally got some clarity as to Reeves’ direction on The Batman—which WB has also finally dated for 2021. It’s going to feature a younger Batman than the one we saw in Batman v Superman and Justice League, which then will effectively reboot the standalone Batman franchise.
Armie Hammer makes sense as a possible star. He was actually set to play Batman in George Miller’s Justice League Mortal movie, which Warner Bros. infamously scrapped mere weeks before filming was due to begin. Hammer subsequently caught his big break in David Fincher’s The Social Network, and after a couple of well-meaning blockbuster roles that didn’t pan out at the box office, Hammer has been doing terrific work in the indie film world over the last few years. He’s a great actor, and I’d personally be 100% onboard with him as Batman.
But last night’s rumor, courtesy of a site called Revenge of the Fans, is another example of why—when it comes to breaking blockbuster news—it’s sometimes prudent to wait a bit rather than blindly follow whatever rumor you read, source be damned. Especially in the wake of the quickly-debunked “Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy is cancelled” rumors.
Outlets like The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Deadline are to be trusted at face value. They’re almost never wrong when running a scoop, mostly because as professional trade organizations, there’s a lot of money on the line when it comes to their reputation. Whereas with smaller fan sites, a debunked scoop won’t necessarily stop folks from returning to read the latest aggregated news story. This isn’t necessarily a dig at Revenge of the Fans, but merely an attempt to explain why we will immediately cover a scoop from THR, Variety, or Deadline, but may hold off for further corroboration if it comes from a website that’s not regularly in the scoop business or doesn’t have an established track record.
That said, with The Batman due to begin filming before the end of the year, Reeves and Warner Bros. are no doubt deep in discussions about who to cast as the next Batman, so we should be hearing casting news on that front over the next few months.
The Batman is due to hit theaters on June 25, 2021.