Spawn vs. Batman, and other Dark Knight casting updates

Some new names have been added to the cast of next summer’s Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight.

A while back, MTV posted this video in which rapper David Banner revealed that he’d auditioned for the role of Gamble, one of the many thugs who tries to get a bigger piece of the action in Gotham City after the fall of Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins. In the video, he asks his fans to pray for him to help him get the part. Then he makes a promise “to the hood” that if he gets the part he’ll smack Batman in the face, even if it isn’t in the script, so that all the kids in the hood will know that “Batman got smacked by David Banner.” Then he smacks the camera. Hard.

I liked Banner opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan, but his Bat-smacking comments might have lost him the part.

The good folks over at MTV’s movie blog have posted a new story in which they reveal that the part of Gamble has definitely gone to Michael Jai White.

White is no stranger to comic book movies, having played Spawn in the 1997 adaptation of that character. (He also voiced the monstrous Doomsday for the Justice League cartoons and Green Lantern in a recent Justice League video game.)

And according to his IMDb page, he’s got black belts in seven martial arts and holds 26 competitive titles. So I guess that if Gamble does indeed smack Batman in the face, White is certainly qualified to do it.

Meanwhile, Batman on Film’s Jett Ramey has posted some other casting updates naming, among others, beautiful Monique Curnen as a Gotham City detective named Ramirez. (You might remember Monique as one of the pretty Perez de la Torre sisters in M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water.)

Ramirez is apparently a new character; when a casting notice was sent out a while ago for a female cop, I assumed it would either be Rene Montoya from the comics and cartoons or Lopez from Gordon’s task force in the Dark Victory graphic novel.

Jett’s page also says we’ve got Vincenzo Nicoli as a mob boss and Nydia Melroy as a judge.

Let’s take a moment to run through the cast again:

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman

Heath Ledger as The Joker

Gary Oldman as honest cop Lt. Jim Gordon

Michael Caine as Bruce’s trusted butler, Alfred Pennyworth

Morgan Freeman as Wayne Enterprises CEO — didn’t you get the memo? — and Batman’s gadget man, Lucius Fox

Maggie Gyllenhaal as Assistant District Attorney Rachel Dawes

Aaron Eckhart as Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent

Eric Roberts as mob boss Sal Maroni

Anthony Michael Hall as someone yet to be revealed

Michael Jai White as Gamble

Monique Curnen as Detective Ramirez

Melissa McCarthy and Nathan Gamble as Gordon’s wife and son

Nestor Carbonell as the mayor of Gotham City

Vincenzo Nicoli as a mob boss

Nydia Melroy as a judge

William Fichtner as Potentially Very Unlucky Bank Manager

We’ll probably see Cillian Murphy in a cameo as The Scarecrow, and Tim Booth apparently told a radio show that he’d cameo as Mr. Zsasz again.

(For more news and photos from The Dark Knight, please click here.)

The Dark Knight begins its mission to take back the streets of Gotham City on July 18, 2008!