From Adam West to Ben Affleck to a largely unknown Robert Lowrey, the list of actors who have played the legendary Batman is growing longer and more distinguished. With a new reboot in development set to hit theaters in 2021, here is a look back at five of the most famous actors to don the infamous Batsuit.
1. Adam West
While Adam West is not the only actor to portray Batman on the small screen, he is by far the most successful. In fact, it is questionable whether fans would be as obsessed with the large screen Batman, if it were not for West’s long-running success in the 1960’s.
2. George Clooney
George Clooney may have actually given one of the best and most nuanced performances of Batman, but it was sadly overshadowed by an overwhelming cast of characters and an underwhelming script. In fact, not only did Clooney’s Batman have to share top billing in the film’s title with Chris O’Donnell’s Robin, but Arnold Schwarzenegger actually enjoyed the film’s top billing as Mr. Freeze.
3. Ben Affleck
There is no doubt that Affleck’s Batman embraced the darker aspects of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego. Whereas other actors have focused on the somewhat bon-vivant aspect of Wayne, Affleck focused largely on the deeper, more brooding nature of the Batman himself. In addition, Affleck also had the opportunity to develop Wayne’s character as a part of an ensemble cast in 2017’s Justice League without the chaotic storyline of Clooney’s Batman & Robin.
4. Christian Bale
Star of one of the most successful Batman franchised, Bale starred in the action-packed trilogy directed by superstar director Christopher Nolan. Unlike most other actors who have only had the opportunity to develop their character over the course of a single film or as part of an ensemble cast, Bale got top billing and center stage in an entire trilogy that was both publicly and critically acclaimed.
5. Micheal Keaton
The casting of Michael Keaton as Batman took many by surprise. Best known for playing goofy, loveable or somewhat quirky characters, it was difficult for the public to get behind seeing him in such a dark, brooding, complex role. Keaton performed admirably, however, and won the public over with his portrayal.