The Batman: Blade Star Mahershala Ali Was Previously in Talks to Play Jim Gordon

The Batman appeared to get some pretty major updates today, with news that Jonah Hill and Jeffrey Wright are in talks to join the cast. Wright, whose filmography includes Westworld and the Hunger Games franchise, is in talks to play the film's version of Jim Gordon, but it sounds like another actor was almost in line for the role. Following the news of Wright's involvement with the film, Collider's Jeff Sneider tweeted that the original choice to play Jim Gordon was Mahershala Ali, but that opportunity fell through when he signed on for Marvel's reboot of Blade.

This echoes comments that Sneider previously made, which suggested that the Blade reboot would get in the way of Ali playing Gordon.

“Now that he’s got his own Marvel movie, I don’t know that he’s looking to do yet another comic book movie,” Sneider said earlier this month. “But I’m pretty sure he was Matt Reeves’ first choice for Commissioner Gordon in The Batman.”

Ironically, Wright also has a role in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as he's set to voice The Watcher in Disney+'s What If...? animated series. But it certainly seems that the animated role doesn't conflict with him appearing in The Batman.

The Batman will star Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, in a film that is set to present an entirely new take on the Caped Crusader. Hill is in talks to join in a currently-unknown villain role.

"It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional," writer-director Matt Reeves said in an interview earlier this year. "It's more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He's supposed to be the world's greatest detective, and that's not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I'd love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it's going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation."

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Upcoming DC movies include Joker on October 4th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.