Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What if Batman was a BBC series?

Not being one to shy away from the “what if?” question (obviously) when it comes to hypothetical casting, I’ve come up with this one: What if Batman was a BBC TV series? Fair warning, there might be a few Doctor Who alumni in this list. But then again, there is the old joke that the BBC only uses the same ten actors for everything. Okay, so maybe this started off closer to what if the cast of Doctor Who were Batman characters. But I’ve diversified a little for this final version. You may not know all these people and suggestions would be welcomed.
Batman / Bruce Wayne – David Tennant
If you have only seen Tennant in Doctor Who and more recently Broadchurch, you could picture him be the dark and brooding Batman as well as the playboy Wayne. Playing the tortured hero would also come easy to Tennant after being the 10th Doctor.

Robin / Jason Todd – Asa Butterfiled
 The young Robin was difficult to figure out until my wife reminded me of Asa Butterfield. Enders Game proved that Butterfield can handle physical situations and he is a good and experienced young actor. I’m not versed in young actors in general and even less versed in the teen acting pool of Britain, but based on Enders Game, I am confident Asa can handle Robin. 

Nightwing / Dick Grayson – Aidan Turner
He is currently Fili, the dwarf in love with an elf in The Hobbit, and he was the vampire roommate of a ghost and a werewolf in the original Being Human series on the BBC. Why not Batman’s former sidekick all grown up and crime fighting on his own?

Alfred Pennyworth – Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy has played roles across the spectrum; Jane Austen adaptations, sci-fi, comedies, sci-fi comedies... He can be funny and scary. He could be the fatherly figure in Bruce Wayne’s life who also has a brilliant sense of humor and charm.

Commissioner Gordon – Alan Rickman
Commissioner Gorgon was the last character I fictionally cast. And I go with Rickman for two reasons. Well three really. Alan Rickman is a great actor. But mostly I would cast him because I think he and my pic for Barbara Gordon would play off each other really well, and the inevitable epic eye rolls and sighs would be… epic.

Batgirl / Oracle / Barbara Gordon – Karen Gillan
Gillan would be most recognizable as Amy Pond, companion to the 11th Doctor. But she is taking on a more physical and menacing role as Nebula in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. Dial it down somewhere in between, but more on the Amy Pond side, any you might find Barbara Gordon.

 Azrael / Jean-Paul Valley – Arthur Darvill
Arthur Darvill played another Doctor Who companion who grew through going through a lot. But even though he played Amy Pond’s bumbling husband, he has moments of darkness and instability. He has the ability to be a much darker character than what we have seen.

And what would the Batman be without his villains?

Joker – Matt Smith
Matt Smith was funny and at times menacing as the 11th Doctor. Now imagine pushing that to even further and darker extremes and he would make one hell of a Joker. The raggedy man, in an alternate dimension, could have been one of the best Jokers ever.

Harley Quinn / Dr. Harleen Quinzel – Ruth Wilson
You may have seen her in the Lone Ranger movie, but I won’t hold that against her. But she is my pick for Harley Quinn because Ruth Wilson was great as a genius level serial killer in Luther. Youe should Check out Luther by the way. Alice Morgan was funny and brilliantly psychotic. Wilson could bring that to the Joker’s side.

The Riddler / Edward Nygma – Simon Pegg
There is a morbid kind of humor that can go with the Riddler. Simon Pegg can fit that bill very easily. He played villainous briefly on Doctor Who once. And really, you know he'd do the Riddler justice.

The Penguin / Oswald Cobblepot – Martin Freeman
He is usually the everyman type person in TV and film, and he does a great job. But Martin Freeman is my choice here because I want to see him explore a darker character and not necessarily play a comical version of the Penguin.

Two-Face / Harvey Dent – Benedict Cumberbatch
Most of you would see Benedict Cumberbatch in anyhintg. But here specifically he could play up Harvey’s intelligence and bring the Smaug and Khan ruthlessness and intensity to Two Face.

Poison Ivy / Dr. Pamela Isley – Billie Piper
I had to put Billie Piper somewhere. And her recent Bad Wolf girl (the self-aware weapon of mass destruction) appearance in Doctor Who showed that she can go darker (yet still funny) then what most Who fans remember.
Bane / Antonio Diego – Idris Elba
Bane needs someone that can play intelligent with a powerful and dangerous presence at the same time. Idris Alba can nail that. Imagine him playing the brilliant criminal who is the product of a harsh prison upbringing. He can most definitely bring that confident intimidating presence to Bane.

Ra’s Al Ghul – Alexander Siddig
Most people (me included) still think of Siddig as Doctor Julian Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. But that was only one role. He has has more in film and TV series. I think he could be a proper villain that is immortal.

Please comment and add suggestions. I'd love to have your thoughts on these.

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