Josh Brolin has played more comic book characters than the average square-jawed marquee idol. He has already played the Marvel Cinematic Universe Big Bad Thanos. He has been Deadpool’s frenemy (and canonical son of Cyclops and Jean Grey) Cable. Regrettably, he was even DC Old West antihero Jonah Hex in the much-maligned 2010 adaption (also featuring Megan Fox and John Malkovich). According to a recent interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Brolin is up for playing at least one more as long as it is an 80-year version of the character. Specifically, Josh Brolin would like to play Batman as an even older, grizzled version of the Dark Knight, and it sounds like he almost got the chance to do so once before. The Men in Black 3 actor said that he and Zack Snyder had dallied with the thought of Brolin playing Bruce Wayne in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but that the director had ultimately decided to go with the Ben Affleck version of the character.
Honestly, an elderly version of the Batman played by a grizzled, raspy Josh Brolin is pretty intriguing. We are currently living with a surplus of Batmans (Batmen?). Robert Pattinson is playing the relatively inexperienced, goth-eyed version of the character in Matt Reeves’ The Batman (and the presumably forthcoming sequel), while Ben Affleck is going to take one last crack at the role in the often-delayed feature film The Flash (which also stars the much-embattled Ezra Miller). We will also get a bonus Batman in Michael Keaton returning to the role for the first time since Tim Burton’s 1992 film Batman Returns; he will appear in both The Flash and the upcoming HBO Max film Batgirl (featuring Leslie Grace in the DCEU debut of the character). That’s not even counting Diedrich Bader as the voice of Batman in the Harley Quinn cartoon. Josh Brolin as old Batman in some live-action version of The Dark Knight Returns would be pretty awesome (as long as someone can figure out a way to keep Frank Miller distracted during production).
This would also not be the first time we have seen an elderly version of Batman in the last few years. The CW crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths featured the long-time voice actor for Batman, Kevin Conroy, as an embittered, ruthless version of the character, which would be a pretty good template for Josh Brolin. Of course, he is not short of work as of late. Brolin is starring in the upcoming Amazon Prime Video streaming show Outer Range, which seems like a creepy, possibly supernatural take on the “Western ranchers in danger” genre of television that is currently sweeping writers’ rooms. He is also in production on Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to the hit science fiction adaption of Dune, where he will reprise the character of Atreides loyalist Gurney Halleck. Josh Brolin is also heavily rumored to be popping back up in the MCU in some capacity soon, either in his previous role as Thanos or crossing over from X-Men properties as Cable. We’ll just have to wait and see which comic book adaptation grabs him first.