Batman has gone through some many different interpretations and iterations that it’s kind of bizarre that we’re talking about the same superhero. And the development of Batman, I believe, reflects the trends in the superhero movie genre as a whole. Thus, the 70s had the campy, crazy adventures of a shallow, yet entertaining Batman (at least compared to the Dark Knight we have today). And in the 2000s, we got the other end of the spectrum: the brooding, moody, and serious Batman.
Moreso than anything, the next casting choice for Batman may be more influenced by Marvel’s The Avengers. For those not in the know, or those who are returning from an eighty year trip from Pluto, The Avengers film was super successful, breaking many box office records (according to the IMDB trivia page, it’s the highest grossing comic book movie of all time) and probably marked the new era of comic book movies. Ironically, the Dark Night Rises is aptly named. The age of brooding, dark, fallen heroes might be at its end; the era of Super Legends may follow. Of course, this is all conjecture based off of a casting choice. What would a cartoonist know?
The best Batman, by the way, will always be the one from Batman: The Animated Series.