Actor Alec Baldwin. Picture: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

First Alex Baldwin was aboard Todd Phillips' forthcoming Joker project, then the actor denied playing a "Trump manque" of a mogul before he bowed out of the film completely this week, citing the old scheduling issues. Said the Oscar-nominated actor to USA Today: "I'm sure there are 25 guys who can play that part."

Which naturally prompts the question: Who are some of the top 25 guys that Phillips might turn to that could play Batman's dad, Thomas Wayne?

Phillips is assembling a fascinating array of names for his cast, with Robert De Niro, Marc Maron and Zazie Beetz starring alongside Joaquin Phoenix's Joker. So the one-time Baldwin role could be an A-lister or a hip-pick wild card. Let's consider just a few such options:

1. Kevin Costner: Amid his TV Westerns and leading big-screen turns, Costner carved out a few days to play Superman's spectral Midwestern pop. Since Phillips's Joker movie lives in a different world than the formal DCEU, why not let Costner do double daddy duty, allowing him to bring some sly side-grin to Phillips' brand of comedy?

2. Jon Hamm: If John Slattery can play a striking father to Tony Stark for Marvel, why not age up fellow "Mad Men" alum Hamm a bit to play in DC's world? Hamm has said he has been offered multiple superhero roles and rejected such franchise-costume commitments - but a short-term turn might entice if he's allowed to inject some smirking wit.

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3. Al Pacino: You want intense from your Bat-Daddy? Let the former "Dick Tracy" actor dial it up - if only to see him in another scene opposite De Niro, a la "Heat."

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4. Matt Walsh: As busy as this Phillips film veteran is, the "Veep" comedian could readily deliver a gravitas-with-a-wink performance to lend the role an offbeat twist.

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5. Christopher Plummer: He's as smooth as such Bat-film veterans as Jeremy Irons and Michael Caine. Plus, he's acting's greatest "in case of emergency" fill-in.

6. Jack Nicholson: Who better to tweak the Joker three decades later?