Reports Matt Reeves wants a younger Bruce Wayne are showing more credibility. And if Affleck is indeed out it’s looking like Jack O’Connell could replace him. The 28-year-old O’Connell has been rumored to be in the running for a while but the rumors have hardly been corroborated.
We Got This Covered claims sources close to the site are saying Reeves and the studio are high on the English actor known for Angelina Jolie’s adaptation of Unbroken, the biography of WWII veteran Louis Zamperini.
Jack O’Connell hails from Derby, England, UK. He’d be the second British actor to portray the Caped Crusader behind Christian Bale. Aside from Unbroken he is known for Starred Up, Money Monster with George Clooney, and 300: Rise of an Empire.
Having worked alongside a former Batman, even if he was the worst one, and on projects inspired by Frank Miller, O’Connell sports the right credentials.
Whether O’Connell gets the part or turns it down, the story is Warner Bros. wants someone aged 25-30, and that casting will probably be finalized sometime in May or June if all goes according to plan and the story is accurate.
The feeling is Reeves is going for a younger Batman because his script involves an origin story based on or in the mode of the Batman Year One graphic novel. It either takes place in the past of the DC Extended Universe time line or in a separate continuity. Reeves is aiming for the latter; he stated once before he doesn’t want his project tied to anything that came before.
That could be hard if Warner Bros. wants to salvage any part of the DCEU like they did with Aquaman. Films in development such as Birds of Prey and James Gunn’s Suicide Squad come into question with any changes to plans without an official statement. Will they be follow-ups to anything or complete reboots?
Time will tell but between a mooted Flash Point Paradox scenario in Wonder Woman 1984 and talk of Jack O’Connell, Warner may want the best of both worlds — holding on to current DCEU continuity for as long as they can while slowly rebooting everything in the long run.