Playing Batman is one of the most demanding but fulfilling roles there is. Playing Batman can either launch you to superstardom (Christian Bale) or set your career back due to bad reviews (George Clooney, who seems to be doing just fine these days).
Actors who play Batman are almost always well-recognized names. Because of this, a few of them have appeared (or are set to appear) in Marvel films. So how many Batman actors have also appeared in Marvel movies, exactly?
Actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Marvel’s vast catalog of characters means there’s no shortage of roles for actors to accept. Combine this with the fact that the MCU is the most popular movie franchise in the world today, and it leads to a nearly endless array of casting possibilities. That translates to two realities:
- Marvel has the cache to grab well-established, A-list actors to appear in many of its roles.
- The popularity of the franchise allows Marvel to cast younger talent and turn them into stars.
This has led to a mixture of seasoned and fresh talent, and the results have been clear. Marvel’s box office receipts are proof positive that they’ve done a good job building chemistry between its actors. They’re also not afraid to experiment with non-traditional actors in these roles.
For example, Paul Rudd is known as a comedic actor but not as much for his appearances in action films. But because the Ant-Man franchise is a bit lighter and funnier than the rest of the MCU, he was a perfect fit for that part.
In short, Marvel has the ability to cast a lot of people, meaning they can choose basically whoever they want when a role pops up. That’s why you’ve seen so many actors from other franchises appear.
The actors who have played Batman
Throughout the years, there have been multiple actors who have taken on the role of the Caped Crusader. Since the comic began, there have been numerous iterations of the character. In the modern era, here’s who has played Batman onscreen:
- Michael Keaton starred in 1989’s Batman, a movie that ushered in a new era of superhero movies.
- Val Kilmer was in Batman Forever, the critical flop directed by Joel Schumacher.
- George Clooney took even more of a battering from critics when he starred in the widely panned Batman and Robin.
- Christian Bale made things right again by starring in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
- Ben Affleck was the first Batman in the DC Expanded Universe.
- Robert Pattinson will star as Bruce Wayne in next year’s The Batman.
That’s a lot of talent on display. Batman is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after roles, but it also is one of its most difficult. Playing Batman often means the lead actor plays second fiddle to the compelling villains.
That said, each of those performers were elite actors at the time of their casting in their own right. So how many of them made the crossover to Marvel roles?
How many Batman actors have also appeared in Marvel movies?
According to Screen Rant, there are three Batman actors who have appeared (or who will appear) in both DC and Marvel films.
- Michael Keaton starred as the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- Ben Affleck portrayed Daredevil in Marvel’s pre-MCU days.
- Christian Bale will appear in Thor: Love and Thunder. The studio has not yet announced who he will be playing.
It’s no wonder why these actors have played in both the DC and Marvel sandboxes. All three have a lot of versatility. Each one brought their own distinctive spin to Batman just as each one did a great job (or likely will do a great job) with their Marvel roles.