From his first TV appearance in 1943 to the latest Robert Pattinson’s The Batman, Batman has appeared in multiple live-action films and TV shows over the years. From camp to gothic, here’s a look at every actor who has ever played the live-action Batman.
1. Lewis Wilson
Lewis Wilson was the very first actor to play Batman. In 1943, a 15 chapter serial from Columbia Pictures was released with the same name. While Wilson played Batman, Douglas Croft played the role of his sidekick Robin.
2. Robert Lowery
Due to the success of the 1943’s Batman, a sequel of the serial called Batman and Robin was released in 1949. It was also a 15 chapter serial like its predecessor. In this sequel, Robert Lowery played batman while Johnny Duncan played Robin.
3. Adam West
1966 marked the year when both Batman the TV show and Batman: The Movie were released. And interestingly, both the movie and the serial, cast Adam West as the Batman and Burt Ward as Robin.
4. Michael Keaton
When the Batman franchise moved from the camp style to a more gothic style in 1989, Michael Keaton was cast to play the role of Batman while Jack Nicholson played the role of Joker. In 1992, Keaton was again cast as Batman in the movie Batman Returns.
Thanks to Michael Keaton’s versatility, these Batman movies are considered one of the best ones in the series. Keaton’s Batman will be returning to the upcoming movie The Flash and HBO Max’s Batgirl, both releasing in 2022.
5. Val Kilmer
After going gothic for a while, the Batman franchise turned to a more kid-friendly route with Val Kilmer’s Batman Forever which was released in 1995. The Riddler appeared for the second time with Batman Forever. Chris O’Donnell played the role of Batman’s sidekick Robin in this movie.
6. George Clooney
George Clooney played the role of Batman with Chris O’Donnell as his partner Robin in the 1997 movie Batman & Robin. The movie received overwhelmingly negative reviews from both the critics and the audience.
7. Christian Bale
After the failure of Batman & Robin, the franchise salvaged itself with Batman Begins, which was released in 2005. It was directed by Christopher Nolan with Christian Bale as Batman. The duo did two more Batman movies together – The Dark Knight, which was released in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises, which was released in 2012.
The Dark Knight is regarded as the best superhero movie of all time, thanks to the legendary performance of Joker portrayed by Heath Ledger. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is the most critically acclaimed and widely admired among the franchise.
8. David Mazouz And Mikhail Mudrik
With the critical acclamation received by the Dark Knight Trilogy and the audience becoming more accepting of the different interpretations, the path for more adaptations opened up. With that, TV adaptation of Batman, called Gotham, released in 2014.
David Mazouz played the role of teenage Bruce Wayne, trying to uncover his parents’ killer. Gotham had a five-season run with Bruce Wayne turning Batman in the season finale, which was played by Mikhail Mudrik.
9. Ben Affleck
Following the footsteps of Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC also launched its extended universe, DC Extended Universe, in 2013. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released in 2016 where Ben Affleck played the Dark Knight.
Affleck’s Batman also appeared in Suicide Squad (2016) and Justice League (2017). He reappeared in the director’s cut of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which was released in 2021.
10. Iain Glen
In 2018, a TV show called Titans premiered focusing on Batman’s former sidekick Dick Grayson. In the second and third season of Titans, Iain Glen, the actor who played Jorah Mormont on Game of Thrones, played the role of old Batman.
11. Kevin Conroy
CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths was released in 2019, which showcased Kevin Conroy as Batman. Conroy has voiced Batman for years in the Batman: The Animated Series and finally appeared in live-action as an alternate Bruce Wayne. In this interpretation, Wayne was bitter and twisted in his grief and was positioned as a villain, which disappointed the audience.
12. Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson is the new Batman in town with the recent release of The Batman. The Batman showcased a young and confused Bruce Wayne, which has been a huge hit among the fans who wanted to see the detective side of Batman, which was always lacking in the previous movies.
For Robert Pattinson, he has finally broken out of the indie-cinema sphere and more people will recognize him for the range he showcased as Batman.