The last few weeks have seen a torrent of rumours flood out about who may be cast as Batman in the follow-up to Man of Steel, currently known as Batman vs Superman.
Dark Knight trilogy star Christian Bale remains in the discussions, but he's repeatedly said he's done with the character. And even with the recent rumour that he's been offered $50 million to return to Batman, I'm struggling to picture Bale ever putting on the cowl again.
Plus even though Man of Steel director Zack Snyder took much tonal inspiration from the Dark Knight trilogy, I think bringing a character in from the earlier films would undermine the universe Snyder created with the new film.
So while we can't 100 per cent rule out Bale at this stage, it's looking far more likely that someone new will take on the character.
I have a theory that the studio leaks these potential castings to gauge public reaction. Working on this presumption, I am now going to assess the pros and cons of each rumoured Batman contender. Their names link to the most Batman-ish photo I could find for each guy.
Who? Rising English actor who plays the "main" dwarf Thorin Oakenshield in the ongoing Hobbit trilogy. Had a small role in Captain America: The First Avenger.
For: Has the darkly handsome, upper-class look that would suit Bruce Wayne. Significant lack of movie baggage in that he's not particularly recognisable as Thorin when not in Hobbit make-up.
Against: He would be an interesting choice, but probably too much of an unknown quanity at this stage in his career.
Who? The pretty-faced actor best known for playing Legolas in the Lord of the Rings and Will Turner on the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
For: Um, people have heard of him. Established blockbuster presence.
Against: Can't act to save himself, far too boyish. Undoubtedly the worst selection of all rumoured contenders.
Who? Former Goonie now best known for No Country for Old Men and his remarkable performance as George Bush in Oliver Stone's W, a role Christian Bale was originally set to play
For: It's important for Batman to project a degree of authority over Superman, and the weathered Brolin could pull this off opposite Henry Cavill I think. He has the right kind of face for a mask.
Against: I'm struggling to think of an argument against Brolin playing Batman. He is definitely my pick for the role out of this bunch.
Who? English actor lacking much public awareness despite high-profile roles in films like Watchmen, Brideshead Revisited and Match Point. Can be currently seen on New Zealand cinemas screens doing an amazing job in the fantastic Stoker.
For: A very fine actor with considerable poise. Played a debonair multi-millionaire superhero with considerable aplomb in Watchmen.
Against: Maybe his Watchmen role was too similar to Bruce Wayne. Too much of an unknown. Not masculine enough.
Who? Former child actor who mixes challenging indie fare (Drive, Only God Forgives) with big studio roles (Gangster Squad). Object of desire all around the world.
For: Would probably draw a larger female audience to the movie. Proven swagger.
Against: Too young and too willowy. I'm struggling to picture the Gos' working as Batman in any context. He seems like he would be more at home in a Marvel superhero movie.
Who? Be-muscled star of True Blood, where he plays werewolf Alcide. Had a small role in the first Spider-Man. Caused faintings during his stripping scenes in Magic Mike.
For: Definitely has the look of a superhero. Probably wouldn't need rubber muscle padding.
Against: Comes across a touch too blue collar maybe? Too much of an unknown? Can he act without the beard?
Who? American actor previously best known for his role in TV action drama The Unit, currently on cinema screens doing a terrible Australian accent in Pacific Rim.
For: Umm, he's old enough? I'm not sure how this guy ended up in the mix.
Against: That accent in Pacfic Rim. Watching that film, I thought they should've cast the New Zealand-born Grant Bowler (Wolf from Outrageous Fortune) in the role. I would take Bowler over Martini as Batman too.
As mentioned above, my pick among these potentials is Josh Brolin - I can picture him having chemistry with Cavill, and he has enough years on the Brit to come across a bit with a bit more authority.
There are plenty of other viable candidates floating around who haven't been linked to the new film. Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, Watchmen) and Jason Patric (Solarbabies, Speed 2: Cruise Control) have both been mentioned as candidates for past Batman films, and I think either would do a decent job. They've both got proven "brooding" skills, and it's easy to imagine them playing well againgst Cavill.
I always thought Aaron Eckhart had a great face for a mask, but it's hard to picture him being a viable contender having played Two-Face in The Dark Knight.
* Agree? Disagree? Who do you think should play Batman? Comment Below!