Before Ben Affleck scored the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. was looking at several actors to take over for Christian Bale as the newest iteration of The Dark Knight. One of the men they considered was Scott Adkins, the martial artist and star of down and dirty direct-to-video action films like Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.
Years later, the actor’s Batman audition tape has made its way online, and you can watch it below to get a glimpse into an alternate reality in which Adkins ended up wearing the cape and cowl in Batman v Superman.
Scott Adkins Batman Audition
ScreenRant pointed us to this video from the YouTube channel Fortress of Solitude, and it’s kind of amazing how much the 42-year-old Adkins looks like a younger version of Affleck here. (It’s the goatee and hair that really does it, recalling Affleck’s look in 1997’s Chasing Amy.) He’s reading a pivotal scene from The Dark Knight Rises, and you can judge for yourselves whether he would have been the right fit for Snyder’s older, unstable version of the Caped Crusader.
You can see some of Adkins’ action moves at the tail end of that video, but even if you’ve never dipped your toe into the direct-to-video action movie world, you’ve still likely already seen some of his work on the big screen. He’s appeared in The Bourne Ultimatum, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Expendables 2, Zero Dark Thirty, and perhaps most famously, he played a henchman in Doctor Strange who had a fight scene with Strange’s cape.
But if you’d like to see Adkins take the spotlight instead of just coming in for small supporting roles, I’d encourage you to check out Ninja: Shadow of a Tear. You don’t need to have seen the first Ninja movie to follow the plot, and it’s a tremendous showcase for Adkins’ brand of hard-hitting choreographed fight scenes. If you don’t have time to check out the whole movie, here are some of the best fights:
He certainly would have been the most purely skilled fighter to ever play Batman, and while he has the look and that audition tape is fine, I’m still not fully convinced Adkins has the acting chops to be able to flesh out such an iconic character. And since the studio is now reportedly looking for a younger actor to take over the mantle from Ben Affleck, Adkins may have missed his chance. Still, it’s an interesting thought experiment to wonder how some of the DCEU might be different if he was chosen to play Batman instead.
Think he could have pulled it off?
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