The universe owes Armie Hammer a superhero franchise. A few years ago, when Warner Bros. was working with Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller on a Justice League movie, Hammer was signed, sealed, and delivered to play a young Bruce Wayne in the film. Hammer would’ve been an interesting choice for the role; he’s funnier and has more range as an actor than most people might expect, suggesting that Hammer could’ve bridged the gap between Christian Bale’s brooding dark knight and Adam West’s silly caped crusader. For my money, Hammer could’ve been the best Batman yet.

Of course, Miller’s Justice League movie fell through, and Hammer has struggled a bit since then to find a summer movie franchise to call his own. When he’s been good in a blockbuster   —  such as Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger or Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. — the movie itself has been a flop, leading him down a road of fitful starts and stops. Still, as recently as January, Hammer was rumored to be on the shortlist for Green Lantern, a rumor that he fully leaned into by messing with his fans. Here’s Hammer discussing the process with Collider:

Man, jeez… It was fun for a while and now I’m convinced that everyone’s gonna turn on me so I’m like ‘Oh s --- , slowly backing away’ … I have nothing to confirm nor deny. The only talk of me being Green Lantern that I have heard in my life has only come from social media.

Need a reminder of Hammer’s pranks? Here you go:

Yeah, that’s how you mess with a fanbase. These days, fans will use every piece of evidence they can to prove that an actor is going to be joining a superhero franchise, including going through their ‘likes’ for evidence that they’re following conversations pertinent to the movie. This isn’t the first time that Hammer has gotten playful with his Twitter account  —  I’ll leave you to find that particular series of articles on your own  —  suggesting that the man just can’t help himself when it comes to toying with his fans. Whether Hammer ends up playing Hal Jordan in Green Lantern or not, here’s to one of the great superhero actors, the franchise itself be damned.

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