When Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman last year it looked like the internet might actually melt. Fan boys were up in arms that Affleck just wasn’t up to the task. Of course if the internet had existed in 1989, who knows what might have happened when Michael Keaton was given the cowl by Tim Burton.
So far five men have put on the bat suit and played Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman on the big screen. Below we examine the five candidates and ask you to vote Who Was The Best Batman?
Batman: TV series (1966-1968), Batman: The Movie (1966)
For a generation of fans born before the mid 80′s Adam West was Batman, there was simply no competition. Of course looking back now Adam West’s Batman seems tame compared to modern interpretations of the character. But let’s not forget just how much fun West brought to the character. Remember that long before Fonzie jumped the shark, Adam West’s Batman punched one.
Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992)
Michael Keaton was best known as a comedic actor from movie’s such as Beetlejuice and Mr. Mom before he was cast in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989). This was the first time audiences got a glimpse into the darker interpretation of Batman. Keaton’s background meant that he was able to bring a dark comedic touch to his performance as Bruce Wayne and he also carried an intimating presence as The Dark Knight that few thought he could pull off. Keaton’s restrained performance allowed Jack Nicholson’s Joker to seem even more extravagant. Not many other actors would have been willing to allow his co-star steel so much of the limelight. One thing Keaton got across in his performance that no other actor has managed is that if a man is going to dress up as a giant bat to fight crime at night he must be a little bit unhinged. He pulled on the cowl once more in Batman Returns (1992) to prove he really could inhabit the character.
Batman Forever (1995)
When Tim Burton left the Batman franchise, Michael Keaton also jumped ship requiring a new actor to take the part. Val Kilmer won the role and starred in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever. A change in tone was required as Batman Returns had drawn criticism for being too bleak. A lighter camper tone was introduced by Schumacher and Kilmer’s legacy in the role has largely been tainted by the Schumacher bashers. However Batman Forever is probably the most fun of all the Batman movies, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and while it often goes too far in its quest to be fun (Tommy Lee-Jones, I’m looking at you) Kilmer can hardly take the blame. It could be argued that Val Kilmer was actually the most human of all the interpretations of Bruce Wayne / Batman. He showed a more vulnerable and less ruthless side to the character which other versions have tended to shy away from.
Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman & Robin is without question the worst Batman Movie. So bad was it that it was voted the worst movie of all time in a poll carried out by Empire Magazine in 2010. However when you are listing off the worst things about Batman & Robin one of the last things you think of naming is George Clooney. This isn’t because of the strength of his performance but purely because everything else is so much worse. If Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns was to be made into a movie and Batman & Robin had never existed, it’s highly likely that George Clooney would be one of the first names mentioned for the lead role.
Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Christian Bale is the most recent actor to have played the part. So popular and loved are his three movies that he is probably a shoe in to win your vote of who is the best Batman. Bale got three movies to build a more layered character and has left a dark shadow for everyone who follows after him. He portrayed Batman as a man with the means to save his dying city, but also as someone who was willing to make the personal sacrifices required to do so.
So that’s the five candidates. Cast your vote below to determine just ‘Who Was The Best Batman’.
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a contributor to PulpInterest.com and does not represent the views of PulpInterest.com. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited on this article. PulpInterest.com does not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors. PulpInterest.com claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this site are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this site that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.