Richard Armitage and Batman?

Far be it from me to not jump into the Batman mania.  There has been a ton of buzz about Richard Armitage being amongst the pool of actors in consideration for the role of Batman in an upcoming Superman/Batman effort.  If he were so inclined, I’m sure Mr. Armitage could nail that part.  Batman is in his wheelhouse – a flawed, but heroic character.  It’s all speculation at this point, I suppose.  As I understand it, there is not even a script for the film as yet.  Reading the comments on some of the reports has been extremely interesting. One particularly struck me in it’s reference to Richard Armitage as possessing the gravitas to do justice to the character of Batman.  “Yes!” I thought, that is the perfect term.


Latin authors, of both prose and verse, often refer to the mos maiorum (“the customs of the ancestors”) as models of correct Roman behavior.   According to the poet Ennius:

Moribus antiquis res stat Romana virisque.” (“The Roman state stands on ancient customs and heroes.”)

The Romans measured their Romanitas or “Roman-ness” via a series of qualities known jointly as The Roman Virtues.  Gravitas was one of these virtues.  Translated literally it means gravity or seriousness, but in the context of a personal trait, sums it up really nicely as:

“A sense of the importance of the matter at hand, responsibility and earnestness.”

I also find it interesting that secondary definitions of the term refer to heaviness or dullness – things that Richard Armitage has accused himself of on more than one occasion.   (He’s a bit hard on himself if you ask me…)

Richard Armitage reacts and responds to a question with gravitas

Richard Armitage reacts and responds to a question with gravitas

Gravitas is certainly a quality Richard Armitage possesses in his approach to his work.  His seriousness, responsibility and earnestness would all contribute beautifully to his characterization of Batman should he inhabit the role one day.

Incidentally, there are 14 other Roman Virtues, so we may just revisit this topic in the future 🙂

36 comments on “Richard Armitage and Batman?

  1. fedoralady says:

    Gravitas is a quality he possesses in spades–he brought it to Thorin (and I am sure that portrayal is one of the reasons there is this buzz going on). I personally love and admire his dedication to his craft and to each role and that earnest quality he possesses–and Richard, the last thing I find you is “dull.” Definitely too hard on yourself, old boy. As I said at my own blog, yes, it’s all very early days yet, and we don’t know if he’s remotely interested. But I have absolutely NO doubt he COULD do it and a fine job of it, too. 😀 (and he’d have fun with the cape . . .;) )

  2. Leigh says:

    What Fedoralady said…

    • fedoralady says:

      See, I think that’s part of the possible appeal, to the geeky fanboy that lurks inside that beautiful man—the Batmobile! The cape! The mask! The tool belt! *giggle*

      • obscura says:

        LOL…honestly, whether he’s offered and/or takes the role or not, the “what if” speculation is wildly fun 🙂

        I agree – it has to be a huge enticement to any actor who was a comic book or Justice League cartoon fan as a kid. (I was just watching an episode of American Pickers where they were totally geeking out over the replica of the original Batmobile – it is infectious to watch grown men squee!)

        • fedoralady says:

          Boys never outgrow their toys. And yes, it really is fun. Actually, Guy is over here sniffing disdainfully at the idea of the CReAtor bringing another “dark knight” to life. As if! . . .

  3. Perry says:

    I wonder whether he was such a fan? I’m not up on all his interviews, but I don’t recall whether he ever said anything about comic books or any of the ComicCon type movies.

    • obscura says:

      I was wondering that too…I don’t know of anything offhand, but then was he ever asked the question? I wouldn’t be surprised – he’s about the same “vintage” as my husband and Batman and Superman were pretty influential with that generation – even I (comic challenged according to said husband) remember watching The Justice League as a kid – admittedly, I was more interested in Wonder Woman and pondering how that invisible jet worked!

    • LostinaGoodbook says:

      Well, he appeared in Captain America as Heinz Kruger, so clearly a comic book based character isn’t out of the question. I wasn’t too fussed about seeing that role at first (ten minutes as a comic book spy? No thanks!) but as usual with RA, when I did see it I was tremendously impressed by the thought and detail he brought to the character. And of course he has appeared at San Diego Comic Con with the Hobbit cast.

      • obscura says:

        I think that is one of the things I admire most about Richard Armitage as an actor…he has this desire and ability to bring so many facets to the characters that he plays – which leads me to watch and connect to things I never thought I’d enjoy.

        Welcome, and thanks for commenting!

  4. kelbel75 says:

    I’m sure he has been told at one time or another in his life that his dedication and passion are “boring”, or that he’s too serious and needs to “lighten up”. you only need to hear that negativity once, for it to stick with you forever 😦

    • obscura says:

      I’ve thought that too…that someone, somewhere said something like that and it stuck.

      I do think a lot of actors say something similar though. (I just saw a related quote from Jennifer Lawrence) I suppose to dispel notions that life is all glitz, glamor and excitement for them.

  5. katie70 says:

    What ever happens and the next roles he has, he will give his all. I can’t ever see him not giving everything, it don’t seem to be something he can do. A detailed person, something that I admire in him.

    • obscura says:

      Most definitely. I find it kind of interesting that he seems to think that these are the types of qualities people (especially women) would find boring or in any way undesirable. Let’s see, dedicated, hard working, earnest, gorgeous *and* can fix the kitchen sink? Meow!

    • kaprekar says:

      This is one of the things I like so much about him – his commitment to a role – and I’m positive he could do Batman justice, and bring something new to the character.

  6. KatharineD says:

    I guess this is our version of ‘nature abhors a vacuum’- in the absence of concrete casting news, we leap wildly on anything that’s going! I’m enjoying seeing RA’s name all over this Batman stuff, but at some point I’d REALLY like something locked in on that IMDB page thanks!

    • obscura says:

      I hear you – as nice as it is to see his name attached to another potentially huge project (whatever the outcome) I’d also like some, any, solid casting report 🙂 Welcome, and thanks for commenting!!

  7. […] Richard Armitage and Batman? ( […]

  8. guylty says:

    (Sorry to be late in commenting) Gravitas is a really interesting concept – Germans have it in spades, btw, haha, over-serious that we are. Joking aside – gravitas is both a God-send and a burden, I think. It is great to be able to see the importance in things, but sometimes that can lead to over-emphasising the responsibilities and duties rather than enjoy the moment… I wonder whether gravitas is also something that we tend to acquire with age. I have never met anyone under 25 who possessed gravitas…
    Please make this a regular series on ancientarmitage – I’d love to hear more about the other Roman virtues.

    • obscura says:

      Yeah, I think the real trick, as with so many things is maintaining balance (sophrosyne). I have known a few people who seemed to possess a seriousness beyond their years, but then I have travelled in some serious circles – Classicists can be really intense from a relatively early age.

      Future installments…oh, I think so – although they may become *excusitas oglere* as is seek illustrate said virtues 😀

  9. fitzg says:

    Gravitas is a term which has been attached to the actor. I don’t recall whether it was introduced by “fans” initially. What he has brought to acting (however anodyne the plot/scripts – and I loved RH, for what it was!) has embedded a gravitas of approach (work effort and research), which has been evident in the resulting characterisations. IF he’s offered and accepts Bat ears on J. Thornton, will grit teeth and buy ticket…. who knows? Could be fun?

    • obscura says:

      This is the first time I’ve seen it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was used before, it really does fit. I totally agree that his work reflects the quintessence of the term.

      Batman wouldn’t be on my list of must sees without Richard Armitage, but if it comes to pass, I have no doubt he’ll bring something special to role.

  10. […] really fall under the Virtutes Romanae of GRAVITAS, but I already talked about that one here, and this topic has been weighing on my mind.  Richard Armitage certainly embodies the qualities […]

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