‘Batman’: Can You List All 10 Actors Who Played the Dark Knight in Movies Ahead of Robert Pattinson?
DC FanDome 2021 sparked buzz about Robert Pattinson’s The Batman. While fans know that Batman has seen several actors over the years, they may not know that Pattison plays the 10th official live-action Batman in film. Keeping track of every version proves a challenging task for the biggest fans. Do you know them all?
The first Batman actors; Lewis Wilson (1943), Robert Lowery (1949), and Adam West (1966)
You read that right. The first live-action Batman actors came more than 20 years before Adam West’s campy take on the Dark Knight. The first Batman movie split into 15 chapters as a serial, making the whole ‘movie’ over 4 hours long.
Lewis Wilson’s Batman appeared in black-and-white alongside Douglas Croft as Robin. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Batman and Robin raced to rescue a scientist from the Axis Powers in World War II.
Robert Lowery became the next Batman in Batman and Robin. This Dark Knight came as a sort of sequel to Wilson’s version of the character. However, one notable change came in the iconic cowl’s “ears” sticking out more than most live-action versions.
If you thought waiting a decade from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy for Robert Pattinson to helm Batman’s next solo outing, imagine waiting almost 20 years. The next Batman actor was none other than Adam West.
West played one of the most famous (or infamous) versions of the character. West’s legendary depiction took advantage of Batman’s jump from black-and-white. Batman and Robin popped with bright colors. Even punching bad guys came with a colorful BAM! visual sound effect.
While Wilson’s and Lowery’s serials feel more like TV shows, West received a proper movie. It featured a team-up of the Penguin, Joker, Catwoman, and the Riddler.
Then, Batman saw a 23-year hiatus from any other actor or the big screen.
80s and 90s Batman actors; Michael Keaton (1989), Val Kilmer (1995), George Clooney (1997), and Christian Bale’s ‘Dark Knight’
Tim Burton and actor Michael Keaton teamed up to bring a much darker version of Batman to the big screen. Pattinson’s The Batman would likely look very different if it weren’t for the tonal shift Keaton brought to the Bat.
Keaton brought a much more serious tone to the hero. Jack Nicholson made such a powerful performance as Joker that some fans still consider him the best.
Unfortunately, the darker take on the character only lasted a few years.
While Val Kilmer and George Clooney have their fans, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin were not received very well.
The franchise needed a revitalization. And Nolan was happy to oblige.
Christain Bale took on a dark, gritty voice, and the grounded, realistic take resonated with fans. Bale set a new gold standard. He was not the hero audiences deserved, but the one the franchise needed.
Ben Affleck (2016), Dante Pereira-Olson (2019), and Pattinson’s ‘The Batman’ (2022)
Ben Affleck took a healthy dose of inspiration from Bale’s portrayal of the Dark Knight. However, a few lines hinted at some more West-era adventures. Jeremy Irons’ Alfred mentioned fighting some “exploding wind-up penguins” in Justice League, an obvious nod to the Penguin’s sillier schemes, WhatCulture notes.
While Batman would not see another solo adventure until Pattinson’s The Batman, one overlooked actor appeared in Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. Dante Pereira-Olson played a young Bruce Wayne from before that fateful night in Crime Alley.
Pattinson marks number 10 as the current Batman actor. He looks to turn the character even more brutal in The Batman trailers.
Dozens of other actors have played Bruce Wayne in video games, animated shows, movies, and even spin-offs like Gotham and Batwoman.
As for live-action Batman movie actors, the actor count finally reached 10. Did you remember them all?