Richard Armitage and Joe Manganiello also appear on an early shortlist for the role, a report says

Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and The Hobbit‘s Richard Armitage are reportedly on an early shortlist of actors being considered for the role of Batman.

Man Of Steel director Zack Snyder revealed at San Diego Comic-Con last month (July) that Batman will join Superman in his forthcoming sequel – and dropped a heavy hint that the two won’t see eye to eye.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the sequel’s script remains a work in progress and Snyder has only recently started to think about casting Batman. However, “numerous sources” have apparently let slip that Warner Bros are envisioning a “rugged” take on the Bruce Wayne character, who’ll be aged in his late thirties.

Brolin, 46, is reportedly “top name” at the moment, followed by the younger Gosling, 32. Other rumoured contenders include Armitage, True Blood‘s Joe Manganiello, Saving Private Ryan‘s Max Martini and British actor Matthew Goode, who’s worked with Snyder before on 2009’s Watchmen.

Production on the sequel is expected to begin next year and Warner Bros are targeting a summer 2015 release date. Since its release on June 14, Man Of Steel has taken over $630 million (£410 million) at the box office worldwide.