Joe Manganiello

Joe Manganiello

Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Joe Manganiello have been tipped as the frontrunners in the race to land the coveted role of Batman in a new superhero movie.

Director Zack Snyder recently revealed the Caped Crusader will appear opposite Superman in his follow-up to this summer's (13) blockbuster Man of Steel, sparking a flurry of speculation over who will be given the chance to take over from British actor Christian Bale.

Bale, who played Batman in Christoper Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, has stepped down, and The Hollywood Reporter suggests No Country for Old Men star Brolin is the favourite to take his place.

The publication reports producers are considering casting an older actor, and they are also looking at True Blood's Joe Manganiello and Brolin's Gangster Squad co-star Gosling.

British actor Richard Armitage, who stars in The Hobbit, is also said to be in contention, along with Matthew Goode, who worked with Snyder on 2009 superhero film Watchmen.

The new blockbuster, which will feature Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman, will reportedly be shot next year (14) ahead of a 2015 release.