The Dark Knight is here! Ok, no he won’t be here for a while thanks to the prolonged delaying in the release of the next Batman movie. Meanwhile, you can revisit some of the popular actors who have played Batman in this popular franchise. No matter what the critics or the box office collection say everyone has a favorite Batman. What is yours?
Batman is the creation of Bob Kane and Bill Finger, some of the most revered talents in the creativity industry. It was created for the DC Comics and first appeared in 1939. The Batman character has appeared in several movies, radio and TV shows and has a huge variety of merchandise popular all over the world. You can easily find t-shirts with your favorite Batman designs on it.
Here is quick introduction to how Batman came to be:
The story of Batman takes place in the fictional place Gotham City and Batman is a secret identity of wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne, who is also a philanthropist and one of the most eligible bachelors in the city. After witnessing the murder of his parents at the hands of a mugger when he was young, Bruce Wayne decides to become a detective and a superhero to fight against the crimes in the city. Unlike his counterparts Superman and Spiderman, Batman does not have special powers. He uses his intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical competence, and fear to fight the bad guys. His all black ensemble and mask is the trademark attire of Batman.
Here is a list of some of the most popular Batman portrayed by famous actors, some of which became popular after playing the character in the movies:
- George Clooney
The Hollywood heartthrob played Batman in the 1997’s Batman & Robin movie. The movie was a huge disaster - both Clooney as Batman and the movie box office collection. The move received negative reviews especially for its batman costume, unbelievable and oftentimes hilarious characters (Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy. Nevertheless, George Clooney went on to become one of the prominent Hollywood actors.
- Adam West
Adam West’s portrayal of the flamboyant Batman in the 1996 TV Show Batman remained with many people who grew up watching the series. He brought both bad and good to the Batman image. Physical appearance wise he was lovable and had everything you would imagine the powerful Batman to look like. But, his Batman character miserably failed when it came to action scenes. Nevertheless, many liked Adam West as Batman and he is one of the strongest contenders for the best Batman ever trophy.
- Michael Keaton
If there was anyone who could surpass the popularity of the unforgettable portrayal of Batman by Adam West, it was Michael Keaton in 1989 movie Batman. He had most of the Batman qualities expected from him like the physical build, combination of funny and scary character traits, impeccable fighting skills and the voice of course. He returned again to reprise the role of powerful and formidable Batman in the movie Batman Returns.
- Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer played Batman in the 1995 movie Batman Forever. He garnered mixed reviews for this role. While some praised him for his resemblance to the basic Batman description, others believed that his portrayal was not good enough. He only played Batman once, but many think he was one of the best Batman actors.
- Ben Affleck
Many remember Ben Affleck for the movie Goodwill Hunting for which he and actor Matt Damon won an Oscar, and subsequently his other great roles in movies like Argo. In 2016 movie Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, he played the popular Batman. The jury is still out. After initial reluctance people did warm up to his Batman portrayal and only time will tell where he stands.
- Christian Bale
Christian Bale’s name is often contested with other actors who played Batman when it comes to “Who was the best Batman Ever”. His portrayal of Batman in the Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Night (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) has earned him some great reviews. His Batman character perfectly brings out the dark and light side of the character. Except for the voice, he has been considered as the one the best Batman in the history. Heath Ledger of course stole the show as Joker and won an Oscar for it posthumously.
There have been others who played the Batman but they are quite forgettable. Some of the famous actors who played the Batman are remembered for their different portrayal of the character showing a new side of him every time. There is no unanimous opinion on who was the best because everyone seems to have a favorite.