On this edition of NerdyPOC’s fancast we decided to focus our attention on the Batman franchise. Batman is perhaps the most recognizable superhero in pop culture. Even people who have never picked up a comic before in their life know who he is. If by some cosmic event you do not know who Batman is, he’s a fairly simple character. After his parents were killed in front of him, Bruce Wayne travelled the world to train and become the guardian of Gotham. After a decade, he returned to his city to become Batman. Batman is a rich vigilante with the detective skills of Sherlock Holmes. Our version of Batman, however, will be different from most fancast as we try to add more diversity to the Batfamily.
- Daniel Wu as Batman(Bruce Wayne).
Reasons: If you watch, Into the Badlands, then he’s likely one of your favorite actors on the show. Daniel Wu is a veteran of Hong Kong cinema. He has starred in a number of roles and alongside a number of actors such as Jackie Chan and Kevin Spacey. Wu is one of the most underrated actors alive and his role on Into the Badlands is mainly why he is my choice for Batman. On the show, Wu plays the deadliest assassin and kung fu master in the land. This role is usually cringe worthy but Wu gives it depth and makes it interesting. His charisma makes us care about the character. There’s no doubt that he could portray the brooding and obsessive Batman too.
2. Charles Dance as Alfred Pennyworth.
Reasons: When Charles Dance left Game of Thrones, it felt like a wide void was left on the show. Dance was one of the best actors on the show, earning credentials in a number of movies and TV show over the years. He’s proven his worth: he’s strong enough actor to grab an audience’s attention and leave them captivated. The two pictures above? You can not tell me that Dance doesn’t look like Alfred.
3. Jesse L. Martin as Jim Gordan.
Reasons: Jesse L. Martin is perhaps one of the most underrated actors active in Hollywood right now. His performance in Law and Order and the Flash have proved just how much he would make a fantastic Jim Gordon. In Law and Order, he showed that he could play an experienced cop. In fact, Martin shined in the role. A police officer is the type of role that can be very boring to watch but Martin’s charisma and charm made his character fun and interesting. In The Flash Martin plays Joe West, a seasoned detective and adoptive father to Barry Allen. This role has obvious parallels to Gordon who is also a seasoned cop and father. Martin straight up out-acts the entire cast of the show when he plays West, and his strength in a role with such likeness to Gordon leads me to believe that Martin would be excellent as him.
4. Jesus Castro as Dick Grayson.
easons: Unless you watch Spanish movies you have likely never heard of Jesus Castro. Castro made his film debut in 2014 and since then has starred in a number of Spanish films and been nominated for a number of awards. He is one of the most popular actors in the Spanish film industry and for good reason too: Castro has demonstrated the ability to portray a wide array of emotions in the depictions of his characters. He’s a Romani actor which is important in terms of representation since Dick Grayson is also Romani. Therefore, Grayson needs to be played by a Romani actor and have his cultural heritage preserved.
5. Antoinette Robertson as Barbara Gordon.
Reasons: Barbara Gordon is a fairly complex character, a nerdy and awkward woman who has a cheery personality. However, she is also a survivor of sexual assault who constantly struggles to put it all behind her. Gordon is someone who is both strong and smart yet messy and anxious as well. Robertson has previously portrayed all these qualities on the acclaimed Netflix show Dear White People. Her character in this show, Coco, is an accomplished young woman who struggles with insecurities of her own as a dark skinned woman who comes from a rough childhood, desperate to make a good life for herself. Faced with the problem of being a dark-skinned woman in a white establishment, she experiences issues that challenge her character. Despite all odds, Coco still does best with what she can and what she has. Robertson fully immersed herself into this role and has shown that she can portray a character who is both strong yet vulnerable at the same time, perfectly matching Gordon’s characterisation.
6. Diego Boneta as Jason Todd.
Reasons: Jason Todd has a bad reputation as the angry Robin. While he does have some anger issues, he’s really just a person trying to do good while struggling from PTSD — the result of living on the streets and being killed by the Joker. This is the type of character I could see Diego Boneta playing. Though he isn’t a household name in America, he is in Mexico, starting his career with a number of Mexican films before winning the ALMA award for Favorite Movie Actor in 2012. Boneta is also known for his role in Scream Queens where his acting ability was a generation ahead of the cast. Boneta was able to portray a wide range of emotions in that role and portrayed his character well.
7. Ryan Potter as Tim Drake.
Reasons: The video below explains why anyone not Potter playing Tim Drake is cosplay.
8. Ahmed Dash as Damian Wayne.
Reasons: Ahmed Dash made his acting debut in the film Excuse My French. In an Oscar-worthy performance, this film was all he needed to prove he could make an excellent Damian Wayne. Despite his young age, he was able to encapsulate a emotions beyond his age — a feat that even adult actors struggle achieving. There is no question that he is the perfect Damian Wayne.
9. Evan Rachel Wood as Batwoman (Kate Kane).
Reasons: Kate Kane is one of the lesser known heroes of the D.C universe which is saddening since she is one of the few gay heroes in D.C. Nonetheless, her military experience makes her one of the most deadly characters even though she isn’t part of the main Batman family. Evan Rachel Wood is an actress who can siphon brilliance needed to show the excellence of Kate Kane. She has already shown that she can play multi-layer and complex characters on HBO’s Westworld and it’s important that LGBTQ actors get the chance to play LGBTQ characters.
10. Jessica Henwick as Cassandra Cain.
Reasons: Like Lewis Tan, Jessica Henwick is one of the few people that made Iron Fist bearable. As a dazzling Colleen Wing, she was able to bring out the complexities of her character and if she had been the star of the show, it would have been a lot better. She has the acting ability to portray the stoic demeanor of Cassandra Cain.
11. Trevor Jackson as Batwing (Luke Fox).
Reasons: Luke Fox is a new character to the D.C Universe. He is the son of Lucius Fox, a genius in engineering and machinery, and a world class mixed martial artist. Fox is also a free spirit and knows how to play confidence to his gain–an arrogance that few master. This is someone who Trevor Jackson could play and play well. Jackson has already played a character not too dissimilar on American Crime, which demonstrated a realistic character arc. There is no doubt he would be a great Batwing.
12. Yara Shahidi as Stephanie Brown.
Reasons: Stephanie Brown is best known as “Spoiler” though she has been Batgirl before. She is a smart and quirky yet an awkward young girl who struggles with her insecurities. Yara Shahidi already plays a similar character on Blackish named Zoe. Her acting is strong enough to deserve a spinoff.
Well, there is our fancast. Let us know if you like or hate it and think that you could do much better. Either leave a comment below or send us a message on Twitter @nerdypoc
Part 2: Villains, coming soon.
Author: Jaylen Pearson
Editor: Khadija Ahmed