How Many Different Actors Have Played Batman?

Meet the new Batman. Robert Pattinson, best known for playing vampire Edward Cullen in Twilight, will portray the Caped Crusader in the upcoming movie The Batman, Deadline reported.

Matt Reeves will direct Pattinson in the movie, which will focus on the formative years of Bruce Wayne. The movie will start pre-production this summer and is supposed to hit theaters on June 25, 2021.  

Pattinson is taking over the part from Ben Affleck

Robert Pattinson | Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Ben Affleck is the most recent actor to play Batman on the big screen, in 2017’s Justice League. Initially, he was also going to star in and direct The Batman. But after playing the character in three films, he decided to exit the superhero franchise. (Affleck also appeared in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.)

“I tried to direct a version of it and worked with a really good screenwriter, but just couldn’t come up with a version, I couldn’t crack it,” he said on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this year. “So I thought it was time to let someone else take a shot at it. They got some really good people so I’m excited.”

Pattinson will be the ninth actor to play Batman in a live-action movie

Lewis Wilson as Batman
Lewis Wilson as Batman and Douglas Croft as Robin in the 1943 movie Batman. | Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

Batman made his comic book debut in 1939, and it didn’t take long for him to make the jump from print to movies. Pattinson is actually the ninth actors to portray the character in a live-action film.

The first of many Batman movies arrived in 1943, with Lewis G. Wilson starring as the millionaire turned crime fighter in a 15-part serial.

Robert Lowery was the second actor to respond to the Bat Signal. He starred in the 1949 serial Batman & Robin. After that, there was a nearly two-decade gap before audiences saw Bruce Wayne again in theaters.

In 1966, Adam West made Batman his own when he started playing the character on the classic Batman TV series. He also put on his tights in the same year for Batman: The Movie.

Batman since the 1960s

Michael Keaton as Batman
Michael Keaton as Batman | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

After West’s turn as the Caped Crusader, there was another two-decade stretch where Batman was absent from the movies. But he returned in a big way in 1989 in Tim Burton’s Batman, with Michael Keaton as the title character. Keaton reprised the role in the 1992 sequel Batman Returns.

When Joel Schumacher took over the franchise in 1995, audiences got a new Batman as well, with Val Kilmer suiting up for Batman Forever. But his time in Gotham City was short, and when 1997’s Batman & Robin was released, George Clooney had taken on the role. That widely reviled movie was a box-office bomb, and plans for a sequel were canceled.

Thankfully, the series got a reboot in 2005 with Batman Begins. Christian Bale played Bruce Wayne the hit movie and then returned for The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

Four years after Bale hung up his cape, Affleck made his DC Universe debut in Batman v. Superman. Now, Pattinson is set to play the part.

But before The Batman arrives in theaters, one more actor will play the Bruce Wayne character. Dante Pereira-Olson has been cast as a young Bruce Wayne in Joker (which stars Joaquin Phoenix in the title role). It comes on October 4, 2019.

Other Batman actors

Bale, Keaton, and Affleck are just a few of the many men who’ve brought Batman to life. Several other actors have played the character in animated movies, TV series, and video games.

Will Arnett played Batman in The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie, and The LEGO Movie 2. Kevin Conroy voiced the character in Batman: The Animated Series in the mid-1990s and Rino Romano in The Batman, another animated series. David Mazouz plays a young Bruce Wayne in the live-action series Gotham. And additional actors have played the character in additional cartoons and video games.