Richard Armitage Was Once Up For Batman Role

Portraying Batman in a live-action film can help establish an actor's career, though, in the case of the most recent performer, Ben Affleck, it was merely another role in a long list of impressive credits. Star of The Hobbit trilogy and Hannibal Richard Armitage recently confirmed that, while it wasn't a sure thing, he got pretty close to snagging the role of the Caped Crusader before Affleck cinched the coveted character.

"There was a little flurry once upon a time just after I'd come out of The Hobbit where I auditioned for Batman," Armitage shared with Digital Spy. "It was at the same time that Christian Bale was leaving, there were about five or six actors that were in line for that character, so I went through quite a process with that."

One reason why the Batman character has remained so exciting to fans for the better part of the century is the hero's many complex emotions and motivations, something which appeals to many performers. While Armitage might not have scored the role this time around, he expressed his fascination with the character that could lead to a new opportunity down the road.

"The sort of darker side of a man, and the desire to right some wrongs... I think it's really interesting, that character Bruce Wayne," the actor pointed out.

Prior to Affleck joining the DC Extended Universe, he had previously played the titular hero in 2003's Daredevil. That film was mostly an attempt to cash in on the superhero successes of films like X-Men and Spider-Man, though it didn't connect as strong with fans and prevented Affleck from reprising the role in a follow-up film. Much like Affleck, Armitage made his comic book movie debut in a Marvel film, starring as a spy in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger.

More recently, Armitage voiced Wolverine for the podcast series Wolverine: The Long Night. With Hugh Jackman having retired from the role in Logan, Armitage wouldn't rule out taking on the character in a film, despite Jackman being a tough act to follow.

"It would be a tall order, wouldn't it, to follow Hugh Jackman's performance? We look a little bit alike, which I think would be a bit weird..." Armitage admitted. "But of course it would be amazing. It's a great character, a really great character."

The actor could have another opportunity to show Warner Bros. he's got what it takes to play the Dark Knight, as recent reports suggest that Matt Reeves' script for The Batman focuses on a younger Bruce Wayne than depicted by Affleck, likely necessitating a new actor. Affleck himself has yet to confirm his departure from the DCEU, leaving fans to wait patiently for updates about the iconic character.

You can currently see Armitage in Ocean's 8, in theaters now. The next film in the DCEU, Aquaman, lands in theaters on December 21.

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[H/T Digital Spy]