With the first images of Robert Pattinson in the newest version of the Batsuit surfacing this past week and the footage of a teaser being leaked.
We are all anxiously awaiting the newest actor to don the mantle of the Dark Knight.
Pattinson is the next in a long line of actors who have portrayed the Caped Crusader throughout the years. The list includes a lot of notable actors and iconic portrayals, some of which are iconic for the wrong reasons.
Everyone has their favorite and least favorite, and everyone has a good reason for their choices. But since our opinion is the best, here is our rankings of all the portrayals of Batman in movies:
6. Val Kilmer
Now, don’t worry, this placement on the list is not because we think the movie that Val Kilmer put on the mask and cape was the worst of the series.
Batman Forever is a stupid movie, but it is stupid in the most charming, late-90’s kind of way. We love it, and for a lot of us, it was the Batman movie to watch as kids.
However Val Kilmer’s portrayal was just not very memorable. He wasn’t necessarily bad, but he just kind of brought in a boring portrayal of Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter ego.
Kilmer is a skilled actor and we don’t dislike watching him in this movie, but he just didn’t do enough to really set himself apart.
5. George Clooney
Batman and Robin is a bad movie. Like, really really bad. Not a charming kind of bad like Batman Forever. Just… bad.
The thing is, for all the worst parts of the movie, Clooney wasn’t a bad hero. We all know that Clooney can act and he is truly a lone bright spot in an otherwise dark moment for comic book movies.
Clooney brought the handsome charm for Bruce Wayne, and a stoic strength to Batman. Was it the best? Not at all, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.
It’s just hard to know how good Clooney could have been since his lone portrayal was in such a terrible film. He could have been a great addition to the franchise had he not coming at the lowest point.
Even still, he stands out above Kilmer, at least to us for his ability to make at least something out of nothing.
4. Adam West
We have no grudges against Adam West or his portrayal of Batman, we promise, but his turn under the mask was, without a doubt, unbelievably campy.
I mean, Bat-Shark Repellent? The graphics of “POW!” popping up whenever they punched someone? It was charming, absolutely, but it was still a far cry from the best of Batman.
Adam West’s portrayal was a celebration of the cheesier parts of comic books and that’s okay. It was iconic and was the definitive portrayal for decades.
If we didn’t have the later films to show us what the best could look like, West might be the top. His Batman was fun as anything out there, but we can’t help but look at it in hindsight with a little more skepticism.
3. Michael Keaton
This will probably be the most controversial entry to this list (along with the next one), but this is how we feel.
Look, Keaton is a fantastic actor, we will not dispute that. He was a really great Batman/Bruce Wayne, and he was the first of all the actors to appear in more than one film.
There was absolutely nothing that he took away from those movies, at all, and we loved the original 1989 film by Tim Burton. Even the sequel, while a little more weird than we would like, is still enjoyable, and that’s largely due to Keaton.
Again, just like West, we know what was to come now, and what was to come is just better. Keaton just doesn’t have that handsome stoicism that later additions do.
He could pull off a billionaire playboy just fine, but once Wayne put on the mask, it wasn’t quite as believable.
We know, a lot of people think he is the definitive Batman and maybe we are just some clueless millennials, but Keaton didn’t make our top spot.
That doesn’t mean we don’t like his portrayal – he is really good – but the top two are just more of what we need in a Batman.
2. Ben Affleck
Okay, bring it on. We know there will be people who are mad about this. We know you all hate Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the hero, but we don’t.
In fact, a lot of us will defend one of his films, and at least one of us will defend both (sorry snobs, Justice League isn’t as bad as you want to complain it is).
Affleck brought an older, more tortured portrayal of Batman. His turn in the costume was heavily-inspired by the character from Frank Miller’s legendary The Dark Knight Returns, arguably the most influential graphic novel of all-time.
Affleck’s Batman was a man on the brink of insanity, someone who had lost everything and was willing to go to any means for “justice”. That’s what we liked about his character: his sense of justice was a little off.
Batman doesn’t need to be the perfect hero with the perfect moral code. And as much as people want to whine about his killing in Batman v. Superman, the character breaks from his code quite a bit in the comics.
But most of all, Affleck did something that only the top choice on our list did as well, and that was being convincing as both Bruce Wayne and Batman.
He was able to weave between the two and showed that while both were the same person, they were still very different from one another; one of the key components of Batman.
Affleck showed the mental and emotional depravity that a character like Batman should have. He really proved a lot of people wrong about his ability to play the character, at least in our eyes.
1. Christian Bale
Wow, didn’t see this coming, right? It’s not like a lot of other people would choose the same person!
All joking aside, there is a reason why Bale makes the top of so many peoples’ lists; his Batman is still THE Batman.
Yes, he benefited from starring in the trilogy made by Christopher Nolan, one of the greatest directors of our time. But he still brought his A-game to the role.
Just like Affleck, he was able to be convincing as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, and we even dug his gravelly voice.
His turn was grounded in reality, and he showed the emotional baggage that Bruce Wayne carries with him.
He also had a complete arc and the audience was able to see his changes throughout all three films.
From his grief-turned-to-anger in Batman Begins to his letting go of his self-imposed responsibility in The Dark Knight Rises. Bale embodied everything that makes Batman such a fantastic character.
Even though he was often overshadowed by the villains of his films and the actors who played them. He was never forgotten and still left an impact on the audience. His acting was truly superb in the Nolan trilogy.
There it is, that’s our list! We know all of you will disagree and have some things to say. Let us know in the comments what your list would be, just please. Be nice about it.
Do you think Robert Pattinson will join the top of the list once The Batman is released? Or will he fall to the bottom parts along with the other forgotten ones? Who knows, but we know we will be there opening night to see.
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