It seems hard to contemplate a world where Thanos was Batman — It sounds like a really desperate episode of What If...? in fact. But it almost happened.

While Ben Affleck was Zack Snyder’s ultimate choice to play Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, the other finalist was Josh Brolin. Since then, Brolin has played the X-Man Cable in Deadpool 2 and Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. But in an alternate corner of the multiverse, Brolin became the new DC Comics hero.

Brolin revealed how close he came to getting the role, and talked about his feelings about it on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.

Saying it would have been “interesting” if the part has worked out, he explained that he was really up for playing the part. “That was [Snyder’s] decision,” Brolin said of the fact that he didn’t play Batman. “That wasn’t my decision. That was his decision.”

22. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Warner Bros.
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As for how his Batman would have differed from Affleck’s, Brolin said “it would have been the older, more raspy [Batman], for lack of a better word ... Honestly, that would have been a fun deal, and maybe I’ll do it when I’m 80.”

Snyder’s Batman was clearly set up to an older guy nearing the end of his career; his concept of the character was heavily influenced by the famous The Dark Knight Returns miniseries by Frank Miller. Affleck isn’t that much younger than Brolin; he’s currently 49 while Brolin is 54. But he does look a little more youthful, and some of the attempts to age him in the film — like giving him graying temples — really didn’t work. Brolin might have actually been a better fit for the part. (Although Affleck wasn’t bad either.)

Of course, since then Warners has gone in two totally different directions with Batman. Now they have a young guy playing the part — Robert Pattinson in The Batman — and they brought back an even older actor to return to the role — Michael Keaton, who will reprise his role from the Tim Burton Batman movies in the upcoming The Flash and Batgirl. But like Brolin said, it’s not too late. They could always make a direct adaptation of The Dark Knight Rises down the line. If they do, he’d be perfect for the title role.

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