Marvel Star Wants To Be James Gunn’s Batman And He’s Already Played The Part

By Douglas Helm | Published

batman batsignal

James Gunn’s DCU has a lot of different iconic superheroes to cast, and Winston Duke is throwing his hat in the ring for Batman. The versatile actor certainly looks like he could fill out the suit, and Duke is more than ready to take on the role, as he recently talked to /Film about the possibility, saying, “I’d love any opportunity to explore new characters, to change narratives around some of these entrenched ideas of how these characters are supposed to look, sound, and perform.” Along with his enthusiasm for the potential opportunity, it helps that Duke has already voiced the character in the Batman Unburied podcast, so the resume is there.

Winston Duke Wants To Be The Dark Knight

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Winston Duke also has plenty of superhero experience outside of his Batman Unburied performance, as his breakthrough role was in the massive 2018 hit Black Panther as the imposing M’Baku. Since then, Duke has reprised the role multiple times in Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and, most recently, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Many people thought M’Baku would take on the mantle of Black Panther after the passing of Chadwick Boseman.

M’Baku Was Robbed

Letitia Wright’s Shuri ended up in the Black Panther suit instead, so Duke still has yet to nab the lead role in a superhero flick. If Winston Duke takes on the Batman cowl, then he could take his magnetic presence over to DC.  Duke certainly has the stature for Batman, and he’s shown he can be an intimidating presence on screen if need be, which is a basic requirement for any Batman actor.

Duke Pointed Out The Obvious

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Of course, as Winston Duke pointed out, his casting as the traditionally white character of Batman/Bruce Wayne would likely ruffle the feathers of certain abrasive sides of the Internet. With that being said, James Gunn doesn’t seem like the type of creative who cares about all that noise and has historically been more than happy to do things the way he sees fit. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Gunn could land on Duke and change up the entrenched ideas of who could play the Batman role in his new DCU.

The Brave And The Bold Is A New Batman

If Winston Duke did end up nabbing the role of Batman, his first appearance would likely be in the planned film The Brave and the Bold, which will explore the relationship between Bruce Wayne and his son, Damian. Right now, there is little known about the film outside of that brief plot synopsis and the fact that Andy Muschietti is directing. The film is also at least a couple of years away, so there’s plenty of time for big casting decisions. 

DC Elseworlds


And for those who are wondering about Robert Pattinson as Batman, his character falls under the DC Elseworlds banner of films, which occur outside of the interconnected timeline of DCU films and projects. This allows projects like The Batman and Joker: Folie a Deux to exist without messing with Gunn’s ongoing DCU storyline. In other words, there’s room for two Batmans in the film universe right now, and it’s certainly possible that Winston Duke could be one of them.

Winston Duke Is In Theaters Now

In the meantime, James Gunn is kicking off the DCU in 2025 with Superman. We don’t know if Winston Duke will be Batman or some other DCU character, but he has at least thrown his hat in the ring. You can see Duke’s latest role in Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt’s The Fall Guy, which hits theaters today.

Source: /Film