The men behind the batsuit

13 March 2023
Taking a look at the Batmans that graced the big screen over the years.

He’s the Dark Knight, a charming billionaire, the Joker’s biggest nemesis, and Gotham City's biggest hero. Over the past decades, Batman has become a movie icon played by a range of different actors, each bringing their own spin to this beloved DC superhero. Let's take a look at the men behind the batsuit.

The first actor to play Batman on screen was Lewis Wilson, who portrayed him in a 15-chapter theatrical serial in 1943. This was followed by the 13-part serial Batman and Robin, in 1949, in which Robert Lowery played Batman. Then came a live-action TV series in 1966 with actor Adam West playing the superhero, resulting in the 1966 movie, Batman: The Movie. The series came to an end in 1968.

Twenty-one years later, Micheal Keaton picked up the batsuit and took on the role of the Dark Knight in the 1989 movie Batman. He reprised the role in Batman Returns in 1992. Keaton's turns in the batsuit are still considered classics and fans love them to this day, which must be especially gratifying since, initially, fans were in an uproar about his casting.

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Val Kilmer confidently wore the bat mask and batsuit when he was cast in Batman Forever in 1995. In this instalment, our hero had to stop Two-Face and The Riddler. Kilmer gave fans loads of great action while lots of the comedic moments came from Jim Carrey as The Riddler. Also, who could forget Kilmer's luscious lips behind the mask?

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George Clooney brought charm, cheesy '90s action, and light-hearted humour as he took on the role of the superhero in the 1997 film, Batman and Robin alongside Chris O’Donnell. The two made a great duo with their banter.

The film franchise was rebooted in 2005 with Batman Begins starring Christian Bale. Bale brought back the darker side of Batman and went on to star in two sequels, The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Fans loved his signature deep Batman voice and he is still considered the best Batman by many avid fans of the franchise.

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After Bale hung up the batsuit, Ben Affleck embraced the role in 2016 and took on another popular superhero in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. His iteration eventually became beloved by many bat fans and he went on to appear as the character in Suicide Squad and Justice League.

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A new Batman emerged with Robert Pattinson in The Batman. Watch Pattinson in action on Sunday at 20:05 on M-Net 101.

Watch the trailer here:

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