It’s a cold night in Gotham city, and a family emerges from the opera. You know the rest.

So I’ve had this headcanon for a really cool Batman movie for a long ass time, and I recently realised I’m never gonna get the chance to write the damn thing- so hell, let’s get it down in writing. We’ll go through my dream cast and unravel the story bit-by-bit. Let’s-a-go!

Batman: Javier Bardem

I think Javier is very good at cold, calculating, but ultimately likeable characters. His performance in Skyfall was nothing short of spectacular. I’ve always said that if I wrote a Batman film, it would be about Thomas Wayne, not his son Bruce. I think Javier would do a great job with Thomas’ angry, twisted psyche. The coldness he had in ‘No country for old men’, mixed with the cunning and rage he had in ‘Skyfall’ make him my ideal Thomas Wayne.

Thomas Wayne, in the comics, appeared as Batman in the alternate universe shown in Flashpoint, a comic starring Flash after he was transported into an alternate universe in his sleep, and found that Bruce Wayne had died in this reality, not his parents. Thomas became Batman, and Martha became the Joker. It’s a wierd one- but that version of Batman, that dark and twisted murderous take on the character, is the one I’m drawing inspiration from. Not because it’s cool or edgy, but because it means we can write Batman in a redemption story.

Alfred Pennyworth: Eddie Redmayne

If we’re going with the Thomas Wayne version of Batman, then it stands to reason that Alfred would be a much younger character. I would be perfectly fine with Alfred being a rookie servant who becomes a friend or brother to Thomas, rather than a long-time family friend who acts like a Father figure to Bruce. Essentially, Alfred is there to act as someone who remains kind to Thomas – Keeping him from turning into a monster through friendship.

Riddler: Neil Patrick Harris

See this? I want this. Neil Patrick Harris is a wonderful actor who I think would really take to the wackiness of the Riddler, who I’d cast as the major villain of Thomas Wayne’s first film. Taking on the role of a kooky small-time crime boss with a stubborn ego, Riddler would be a perfectly suitable antagonist who is weak and pathetic, putting it into focus just how much of a Villain this iteration of the Batman is. In this movie, Batman is the bad guy, and it’s the brutality with which he beats down minor criminals that makes those around him realize it.

Batgirl / Oracle: Karen Gillan

I just love Karen Gillan. From her inquisitive and rebellious role as Amy Pond in Doctor Who, to her action/superhero experience in Guardians of the Galaxy, she’d be perfect for the role of a slightly older Batgirl. I even think she’d be strong enough to successfully play Oracle in the second film of my trilogy.

Remember how much the character of Atreus deconstructed Kratos? Batgirl is going to do that to Batman. By providing a mentee, Batman is given the chance to think aloud about his role in Gotham. The relationship between Batgirl and Alfred would also be a fantastic opportunity to get something rarely discussed – What do Batman’s closest allies think of him?

Detective Jim Gordon: Vincent D’onofrio.

Jim Gordon represents the failing system of justice that Batman seeks to bypass. A well-intentioned man with far too much on his plate, Jim Gordon is who Batman should be helping.

See, Batman is a character who only punishes evil – He does very little on-screen to address the greater social issues which cause so much of Gotham to turn to crime, instead choosing to beat the disenfranchised to a bloody pulp. Jim Gordon knows this, and in this film it is his job to confront the Batman, making him question his actions and eventually turn towards the side of good. He will eventually hang up the cowl and come to recognize that he does a greater service to Gotham through charity as Thomas Wayne than he ever did as Batman, letting Gordon take over with an empowered police force serving a prosperous community.

Vincent D’onofrio is one of my favorite actors in all of superhero-dom. You may know him for playing Kingpin in Netflix’s DareDevil– and, you’ll know if you’ve seen it that Kingpin is one of the best-portrayed villains in the MCU, rivalled closely by David Tennant’s Alisdair Kilgrave in Jessica Jones. Speaking of which…

Ra’s Al Ghul: David Tennant

Alisdair Kilgrave was easily the most hateable villain I’ve ever seen. Tennant played him perfectly: manipulative, angry, self-righteous, and utterly terrifying by the actor’s mannerisms alone. A perfect Ra’s Al Ghul, I think- in this iteration, simply an agent of the League of Shadows, rather than it’s leader, sent to recruit Batman and becoming a devil on his shoulder, never actually fighting him – Simply showing up to whisper sweet nothings in his ear at his darkest moments. Where Alfred is the angel, Ra’s is the devil.

As Batman gets closer and closer to the edge, Ra’s Al Ghul revels in it. He stokes the fires, and only just before it’s too late does Batman realize what he’s doing. Ra’s represents the demon Thomas Wayne is very much becoming, and that sets him up brilliantly to be the second antagonist. Not a straight-up villain, mind – Batman politely rejects Ra’s’ offer, rather than killing him. From there, Ra’s could be a figure always in the shadows of this series. The main antagonist who is finally put to rest at the end, having had a ‘Will they, won’t they’ relationship with the bat.

Bane: Dave Bautista

Image result for Dave Bautista

We all love Drax, right? Bane’s a fantastic character, right? Let’s smash them together. Give Dave Bautista a chance to do some more serious acting, and use some of that ferocity he demonstrated in ‘Spectre’.

Bane is the big time. An international and ultra-powerful boss with a small army at his control. Set him up as the Riddler’s boss at the end of the first film, and have him – not Joker – cripple Barbara in the 2nd movie, a symbol of what Batman could have become. A tyrant.