As soon as Warner Bros. announced Saturday at Comic-Con that their follow up to Man of Steel would be a Superman and Batman collaboration, some (very loud) fans have been lobbying for Ryan Gosling to get the part. But — and we hate to play spoil sport — there are a number of reasons why Gosling won't be the caped crusader.
Why Gosling? Well, we know Warners is going to need a new Batman since Christian Bale has said he's not going to be Batman in a Justice League movie and seems to be done with the role. So, besides the general Internet adoration for all things Gosling, Jeff Labrecque at Entertainment Weekly makes a compelling case for the actor to star in what might be titled Batman vs. Superman. The new Batman, he argues, has to be an already established star in order to stand up to what Marvel's franchise which boasts the star power of Robert Downey Jr. "The new Batman not only has to fill Bale’s shoes, but he has to go toe-to-toe with Downey in the cool department," Labrecque writes. "The list of actors who could do both is pretty short, and it basically starts and ends with Ryan Gosling." Elsewhere, Julie Miller at Vanity Fair explains, there have been various other showings of support for Gosling in the role from listicles to polls, even as she points out some important caveats that we will elaborate on below.
So, even though Gosling might make an excellent Batman, casting does not always go the way of the Internet, and there are a number of factors—excluding complicated behind the scenes deal-making—that may crush Gosling-in-a-cape dreams.
Ryan Gosling is reluctant to appear in moneymaking franchises
In a profile from March by Jordan Zakarin in The Hollywood Reporter, Gosling—while not explicit—didn't sound too keen on superhero flicks. He comments that signing onto a franchise means "that’s your life for a long time," and Zakarin explains that Gosling "also seems to hint that the drive for massive box office saps creativity." (As for the question of Batman himself, Gosling said: "They already have a great Batman.") It's actually been a refreshing part of Gosling's career that he's mostly eschewed commercial sure-things—and with his wide appeal and good looks, he has plenty of opportunities—for more artistic production. Unless he's really sold on the Snyder/Goyer vision, why would he change his mind?
Ryan Gosling is going on a break
We've been skeptical of how much of a "break" Gosling is really taking from acting—or for exactly how long it will last—but if he really has his mind set on staying out of the spotlight, this movie wouldn't really work timing wise. Gosling is currently working on his directorial debut, and he would likely have to quickly jump into the Batsuit for a 2015 release. And with ambitions of launching an entire cycle of films based on DC Comics characters, it's likely that whoever gets the part will be appearing in a several more movies over the next few years.
It might just be Joseph Gordon-Levitt
What we don't exactly know is how much continuity this film will have with the recent Dark Knight films. Goyer has said that the Man of Steel universe does not exist in the Dark Knight universe. That would rule out Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who seemed poised to take on the role based on the ending of the The Dark Knight Rises. But if you go by the bookies, Gordon-Levitt has the best odds. (Or maybe—as Labrecque points out—Bale will just return to the role, despite previous comments.)
Ryan Gosling may want to play the Flash
Okay, so his response was kind of lackluster, but when an interviewer asked Gosling in January about playing a superhero, suggesting that the Flash was still up for grabs, he didn't say no. A Flash movie is slated for 2016. That might give Gosling enough of a break.
There are other actors you're probably forgetting
You may not always agree with them, but casting directors have a job for a reason and look at a variety of options for a role. Perhaps the role will go to a relative unknown, a lá Cavill, with the team relying on the strength of character recognition to draw audiences. Or maybe it's someone you're not considering. This mockup of Jon Hamm in the part looks pretty good.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.