To the surprise of many, Robert Pattinson was cast to play the Gotham City-based hero back in May of 2019. The sentiment of the average comic book movie viewer was, “What? The guy from Twilight?” However, the mindset of fans who had seen him in later roles in movies such as 2017’s Good Time knew many casual fans were underestimating his acting prowess.
Finally, after three delays for the same reason everything has been delayed, fans got to see Pattinson’s take on the fan-favorite crime-fighter this past weekend and it’s safe to say, he completely delivered!
With Battinson taking up the mantle, it’s time we take a look back at the previous actors who have graced the screen as The Caped Crusader and see how he stacked up!
7a/7b. Val Kilmer and George Clooney
To no fault of their own, Val Kilmer and George Clooney probably aren’t going to be remembered as anyone’s favorite Batman of all-time. Although their appearances in the respective movies Batman Forever and Batman & Robin have reached “so bad they’re good” terrority with fans, they did also aid in killing comic book movies for a few years.
In their defense, Kilmer and Clooney both had to follow up another entry on our list, who completely knocked the role out of the park, both in acting and film quality, in his two appearances.
5. Ben Affleck
Batfleck will likely go down as one of the biggest what-ifs in comic book movie history. On paper, he was the perfect Batman. He was a physical specimen that brutalized henchmen, he had absurdly cool technology, and we actually saw him doing detective work on screen.
Unfortunately for him, all three movies he appeared in, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League were all stinkers as a result of Warner Bros trying to quickly replicate the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe within a fraction of the movies. Although Zack Snyder’s Justice League was a massive improvement!
4. Adam West
Contrary to Ben Affleck, Adam West was not a physical specimen that brutalized henchmen. He didn’t have absurdly cool technology unless you were watching when the show originally aired. He wasn’t exactly challenged enough by his foes to earn the title, The World’s Greatest Detective. Honestly, the first adaption of Batman most fans are familiar with was downright goofy. The villains were more comedic than menacing and his sidekick fought alongside him in two-inch inseam shorts.
Although the tone is completely different, Adam West was the first live-action Batman many fans had experienced and he left many of them comic book fans for life! 1967’s Batman series is delightful to watch and I would highly recommend any fan to give them a viewing. Especially if you like bat puns!
3. Micheal Keaton
In addition to working with an extremely talented director, Keaton had the benefit of working with an unreal ensemble of villains. Keaton starred alongside Jack Nicholson as the Joker in his debut as Batman. To follow it up, he squared off against Danny DeVito as the Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in the sequel, Batman Returns.
Micheal Keaton brought the Caped Crusader to the big screen after a nearly thirty-year layoff in 1989 and he completely knocked it out of the park!
2. Robert Pattinson
Without giving away too much for those who didn’t make it to the theater over the weekend, Battinson completely killed it! It was definitely the darkest interpretation we’ve seen of Batman, which makes sense given the character watched his parents get murdered at a young age and grew up as an orphan. “Bruce! Wayne!”
He seems about as torn up as someone would probably be in his situation rather than the stereotypical billionaire we’ve seen with previous takes on the character, who you would never guess had seen the things he had seen. Although we might see this change with future installments in the Battinson universe!
As Batman, he definitely brings a vulnerability to the character we haven’t seen on-screen before. No one in their right mind would think becoming The Batman was an easy task and this take on the character completely confirms it. Even after two years of crime-fighting, you can see he has a lot to learn but it’s never a question for the audience of whether or not he will eventually rise to his potential.
If done right, Robert Pattinson’s Batman could take the number one spot on our list and if so, fans are in our a treat!
1. Christian Bale
Our number one entry on this list probably isn’t going to surprise people. To many people who grew up on the Dark Knight Trilogy, myself included, Christian Bale will always be their Batman. Although, in the defense of everyone else on this list, if they had had Christopher Nolan directing their movies they might be in this top spot as well.
Micheal Keaton’s Batman had the advantage of squaring off against an unreal cast of villains and Christian Bale’s Batman turned things up an even greater notch. The trilogy started off with Bale squaring off against Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow and Ken Watanabe as Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins. Followed by potentially the greatest villain performance we will ever see from Heath Ledger as the Joker accompanied by Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face in The Dark Knight. Then in the third installment of the trilogy, he faced off against Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
Combine that with the acting prowess of Bale and the storytelling ability of Nolan and you have an easy number one entry on our list!