With the approach of Batman V Superman, we are preparing ourselves for the latest iteration of the Dark Knight in the form of Ben Affleck. After the backlash of hate for 'Batfleck', most seem to have been won around after seeing the trailers and his physical transformation with the studio already announcing and having him signed on for a multi-picture deal. We already know that he is playing an 'aged' Batman (with Jeremy Irons portraying Alfred) and I think it's unlikely that they will delve too far back into his solo vigilante days (as the majority of previous films have done) so I'm hoping that Warner Bros. will tap into the rich amount of source material and story lines that have developed the 'Bat Family' (particularly along the line of Batman Inc. and 'Death in the Family')
With all that in mind, here is my ideal casting for each of the other members of the family beyond the Bat…
Dick Grayson (Nightwing/Batman)
The original Robin, Dick could be either operating as Nightwing or conceivably become the Batman should Bruce decide to create Batman Inc. following the events of one of the Justice League films. He would need to be acrobatic, funny and believable as an experienced hero whilst still being relatively young.
My pick would be Jake Gyllenhaal because with his recent turn in Southpaw and Prince of Persia he has shown that he has the athletic ability, he's demonstrated great acting chops in many of his recent films and can wise crack with the best of them.
Jason Todd (Red Hood)
The second Robin, murdered at the hands of the Joker and resurrected (long story). Jason initially turned against his mentor for not putting an end to the Joker after his death, taking on the Clown Prince's former codename: the Red Hood. Now on a path to redemption, but keeping the alias and the deadly force, Jason has found his way back into the Bat Family and uses the skills Batman taught him as an anti-hero. Even before his demise, Jason was an outsider and didn't possess the same skills as his predecessor but was bold - he tried to steal the wheels off the Batmobile as a child!
My pick would be Jensen Ackles because he's already done an incredible job voicing the character on 'Under the Red Hood' and his work on Supernatural he has shown that he can be act out the whole raised by/as a warrior and merciless at times. Many people, Jensen included, have wanted this for a long time.
Tim Drake (Red Robin)
Tim was a different kind of Robin - from the same social class as Bruce and sharing in his proficiency for detective work, he deduced that Bruce and Dick were Batman and Robin at 9, and volunteered for the role after realising that Batman was becoming more violent and reckless following Todd's death (also following the death of his own mother and his father being 'crippled'). Feeling a responsibility for the legacy of the Robin role, he works hard at becoming proficient in combat and has extensive training from Batman. He is the most technologically savvy and arguably the most intelligent member of the group, taking up the mantle of Red Robin after Damian comes the new Robin (see below).
My pick would be Thomas Brodue-Sangster because he strikes me as a thinker and a determined individual. In 'Game of Thrones' his character had the ability to see the future and discern the best actions and in 'Wolf Hall' he portrayed Cromwell's secretary - acted as the second to the man in charge! His slight stature would also feed into the fact that Tim is not just a fighter or acrobat like his predecessors but uses his smarts more effectively.
Damian Wayne (Robin)
The latest in the line of Robins, Damian is the offspring of Bruce and Talia al Ghul, and was raised by the league of assassins before being taken into is father's care and training. Rash, dangerous and arrogance are key features of Damian's personality, although he does seem to possess genuine affection and passion for those he is close to and his mission.
My pick would be David Mazouz because in 'Touch' he has shown that he can pay emotionally challenged and while 'Gotham' may not be everything we hoped it would be, he has shown ability as a Wayne already!
Terry McGinnis (Batman Beyond)
This would be a different slant altogether but an interesting one nonetheless. Bruce trains, mentors and provides a college student with a new Batman suit in the future to protect the city he served for so long from the new (and some old) threats it faces.
My pick would be Alex Pettyfer because although he doesn't have a vast CV, he has shown physicality and wit in his work so far (particularly as Alex Ryder). He is a physical specimen who could pul off the different nature of the future Batman and believably portray a student.
Commissioner James Gordon
Batman's longest serving and arguably greatest ally, Jim Gordon would need to be at least a similar age or older than Affleck as Batman. Determined, honest and the character than the audience can identify with the most.
My pick would be Ted Danson. I know this will strike many as an usual choice but the more I thought of it, the more I liked Danson as Comm. Gordon. His CSI experience demonstrates detective smarts and his turn in Saving Private Ryan demonstrated that he was a believable captain figure. In all his work he is relatable and I think that his sometimes comedic presence would be useful in creating a balanced relationship to a darker, older Batman.
Luke Fox (Batwing)
The second Batwing, serving as primarily as Batman's African envoy but also operating in Gotham, Lucas Fox is the son of the Wayne Enterprises CEO and Batman ally, Lucius Fox. Trained in the MMA, particularly adept at boxing, and possessing an exoskeleton to enhance his combat abilities and fly.
Anthony Mackie was my first thought, but this part could be considered to similar due to the suit to his role as Falcon in the MCU. Therefore, my pick would be Donald Glover because it's his time! Glover is tremendous in EVERYTHING he does and I've got no doubt that he would own this role and steal the show from the bigger names and roles in fact.
Helena Bertinelli (Huntress)
I'd avoid the Helena Wayne approach (and the same with Cassandra below) and stick to just Damian as Robin being Bruce's offspring. Helena is the daughter of Italian mobsters and in the past has taken a more ruthless and deadly approach to vigilante justice in Gotham but under Batman's tutelage comes to develop a more measured style.
My pick would be Mila Kunis because she has the sassy attitude to pull off the independence of the Huntress whilst also maintaining that vulnerability she has to want to be part of the Bat Family.
Cassandra Cain (Blackbat / Batgirl)
Cassandra is the daughter of two assassins; David Cain and Lady Shiva and was conditioned from a young age to become the world's greatest assassin. She was denied human contact and speech, resulting in a tremendous fighter but a limited social range! She differs from the other members of the Bat Family in that she fights and protects human life to atone for the life that she took as a child assassin in her past. She has served as Batgirl in the past but now operates for Batman under the moniker of Blackbat.
My pick would be Alexandra Daddario because she would be very interesting to watch in Cassandra's early development as a mute, through her face and eyes. Also, her action and fight pedigree from Percy Jackson and San Andreas would be useful.
Katherine/Kate Kane (Batwoman)
Kate is a complex and engaging character. She is an 'army brat' who witnessed the death of her mother and sister whilst young, and after encountering a mugging in Gotham and meeting Batman, was inspired to become a vigilante. She trained extensively for 3 years under her father's watch before becoming Batwoman. She is Jewish and an out Lesbian, playing socialite by day and vigilante by night - much like Bruce.
My pick would be Bryce Dallas Howard because in films such as The Help she demonstrated the acting ability required to convey the emotional and social turmoil that Kate has endured, and also in Twilight she demonstrated the seductive and powerful side to her character.
Stephanie Brown (Spoiler / Robin / Batgirl)
Stephanie has filled many roles in the Bat family, but Spoiler would make the most sense cinematically to fit with the variety of characters. She becomes a crime fighter in rebellion to her criminal father and seeks to 'spoil' his plots, hence the name! She has close ties with Tim Drake in particular but Batman is distrustful of her from her time as Robin in Tim's absence when she disobeyed his orders (twice!). She later becomes Batgirl and this could be another way to go should Barbara Gordon be used as Oracle instead.
My pick would be Chloe Grace Moretz because … well have you seen Kick Ass!? Moretz has the martial arts skills down already but also the troubled background and rebellious side which defines Stephanie.
Barbara Gordon (Batgirl / Oracle)
Daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon, there are two main roots that could be taken with this character on film with an older Batman. Firstly, she could be 'Oracle' acting as the hub for all operations for the Bat Family following her paralysis following being shot by the Joker or secondly, she could be Batgirl making use of athletic skills and martial arts. Her character would be an opportunity to explore the presentation of disability in films or from a more feminist slant.
Personally, I'd be in favour of having her as Oracle and that acting another 'failure' for Batman to deal with, hence his dedication to assembling Batman Inc. My pick would be Emma Stone as she has shown time after time that she can handle the big roles with social commentary with class and style!
Bonus… Talia al Ghul
Daughter of long time antagonist to Batman, Ra's al Ghul, Talia is the beautiful, intelligent and deadly sometime lover of the Batman and mother to his son, Damian.
My pick would be Monica Bellucci because as femme fatales go, they don't come much better! She is exotic, beautiful and around the same sort of age as Affleck (actually slightly older, which could suggest a graduate-style seduction of a younger Bruce?)