Gotham City won’t be itself without its very own hero of the night, Batman. Over the years we have seen many superheroes come into existence and vanish on the big screen. But, only one hero has remained and evolved to such heights in the past 50 years that no one can compare their development to. It is none other than Batman.
Bruce Wayne, played by various actors from almost the 1960s to the 21st century made his impact as a fictional character. Let us explore the timeline of the actors who have played the Millionaire hero.
The Early Movies
The very first movie ‘Batman: The Movie’ came out in the year 1966. The first actor to ever play Batman was Adam West. The movie is very far if compared to the Batman we see now as this movie showed Batman more to be goofy and kid-oriented.
The movie had toy-like kinds of devices and vehicles and is fighting against some of his arch-enemies like the Joker, the Penguin, and Catwoman. The next batman movie was ‘Batman’ which came on June 23rd, 1989. Tim Burton’s movie which featured Michael Keaton as Batman was a super hit and successful movie.
With the change in the style of Gotham city and with the beautiful portrayal of batman by Keaton, the movie broke the records. To put it in short, the superhero epics which are out there today could not have come too far if it wasn’t for Keaton’s Batman.
With the first movie made by Burton, the second movie ‘Batman Returns’ from June 19, 1992, exploded and became a full franchise-based movie. Keaton continued to play Batman in the movie where he goes up against Catwoman and the Penguin. The movie has a really gothic and wicked charm to it. ‘Batman Forever’ which came on June 16, 1995, lost its touch when Burton departed and Joel Schumacher replaced him.
Keaton also was replaced and the cape of the hero was worn by Val Kilmer. The movie introduced us to a new face which was Two-face who turns from a lawyer to a villain. The movie had its own benefits, but it could not match with the other two.
The last movie before the 2000s was ‘Batman and Robin’ June 20, 1997, which saw George Clooney as Batman. Along with his sidekick, Robin played by Chris O’Donnell who together fought against Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze. The movie received really bad reviews which further bought the franchise to an end.
The Dark Knight Trilogy
we all know how Christopher Nolan’s movies are. Now putting that together with a superhero is going to take some dark and gritty turns. With ‘Batman Begins’ from June 25th,2005 being his first-ever movie related to this hero, he made his Batman which is played by Christian Bale, to be dark and scary. He fights against the Famous Scarecrow which is played by Cillian Murphy who you would have seen in Peaky Blinders.
The film was eclipsed by its immediate successor ‘The Dark Knight’ which came out on July 18th, 2008. This movie basically ended all the other superhero movies as Nolan’s Dark vision of Gotham bought a change in everything.
The outstanding and thrilling performance given by Heath Ledger is also what made it possible to bring out the Joker’s real performance. Christian Bale who plays Batman in this movie set out a benchmark for all the other movies.
Sadly, with the passing of Ledger, everyone was wondering how a sequel is possible for this series. Nolan this time took the whole city hostage by the inhuman villain Bane in the movie ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ which came out on July 20, 2012. With Christian Bale continuing his role as Batman, Bane was played by Tom Hardy and the movie also was had a satisfactory and logical end to his series.
We usually see batman working alone, but with the introduction of DC, we see many other superheroes working alongside the millionaire. With the events we see in ‘Man of Steel’ the film takes place as Ben Affleck who plays Batman considers Superman to be a threat to the city and thus, we get the name of the movie ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ which came out on March 25th, 2016.
Apart from the poor direction and story of the movie, the acting done by Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor makes the movie interesting. Ben Affleck will then appear as Batman in ‘Suicide Squad’ which came out on August 5th, 2016, but it was almost like a special appearance and the movie barely needed him.
‘Justice League’ which came out on November 17th, 2017 followed the events post-Batman V Superman. We see batman recruiting the other heroes who are part of the JL in the comics. The film faced many difficulties when Zack Snyder had to move down from the production due to personal reasons.
Ben Affleck will play Batman in this movie again. The ‘Snyders cut’ which all the fans wanted since the beginning also sees Ben Affleck in the role of Batman after it came out on March 18th, 2021.
Animated And the New Movies
‘The Lego Batman Movie’ from 17th February 2017 was one of its kind. It showed us how different it is from Nolan’s or the DCEUs movies. The movie came out after The Lego Movie‘ and had many references from the old Batman films. Will Arnett voiced The Lego Batman who takes on the joker, which Zack Galifianakis portrays.
‘The Batman’ will release on 4th March 2022, starring Robert Pattinson, famous for his role in the ‘Twilight’ series. The film will be rebooting the Batman movie franchise which is not set in the DCEU. Being filled with anger, the anger managing hero has to keep his city free from any form of danger against his arch-enemies. Like the Riddler, the Penguin, and many more villains, alongside his supporting associates like Catwoman and many more. The movie is said to be sensational, gripping, and euphoric according to the reviews. This makes the new movie very exciting for the viewers.