Batman has been a pop culture icon for decades, and his popularity has led to numerous portrayals on both the big and small screens. From the 1960s to the present day, various actors have taken on the mantle of the Dark Knight, each bringing their unique interpretation to the role. From Adam West in the 1960s to Robert Pattinson in 2022, several actors have donned the cape and cowl of Batman on the big screen.
Starting with the classic black-and-white series and heading into the modern day, here is a look at all the actors who have played Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne throughout history.
Actors Who Played Batman: A Comprehensive List
The list covers the entire spectrum of actors who have brought the Dark Knight to life. Each portrayal of the beloved superhero has left a unique imprint on the character, making this list a must-read for any fan of the Caped Crusader.
Robert Pattinson | The Batman (2022)
Robert Pattinson is an English actor who first gained fame as a teen idol, appearing in films such as “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and the “Twilight” series. He has since transitioned into more adult roles, earning praise for performances in films such as “Good Time,” “The Lighthouse,” and “The King.”
Robert Pattinson starred as Batman in the highly anticipated film released in 2022. Pattinson’s portrayal of the caped crusader was an intriguing departure from previous iterations of the character. Despite initial skepticism, Pattinson’s performance was widely praised by critics and audiences alike. His brooding, intense portrayal of the Dark Knight showcased his range as an actor and demonstrated his commitment to the role.
Pattinson approached the character with a fresh perspective, bringing his unique take on the iconic superhero to the screen. His physicality and athleticism brought a sense of realism to the action scenes, while his emotional depth gave weight to the character’s more introspective moments.
Looking to see more of Robert Pattinson? Watch him as the newest Batman to bring Dark Knight to life! As if that wasn’t enough reason to love him, Pattinson also recently collaborated with Dior for their fragrance campaign.
Don’t miss out on this stylish superhero – stay tuned for updates on his latest projects!
Ben Affleck | Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016-2019)
Ben Affleck played Batman in the DC Extended Universe films “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016), “Suicide Squad” (2016), and Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” (2017). Affleck’s portrayal of Batman was characterized by a more jaded and world-weary take on the character, having already been active as the Dark Knight for many years. He wore a bulky, heavily-armored Batsuit with glowing white eyes, further emphasizing the character’s intimidating presence.
Ben Affleck is an actor, filmmaker, and screenwriter who has had a successful career in the entertainment industry since the 1990s. Some of his notable roles include appearances in films such as “Good Will Hunting,” “Argo,” and “Gone Girl.” In addition, Affleck has worked behind the camera as a director, winning an Academy Award for his film “Argo.”
While his portrayal of Batman was met with mixed reviews, Affleck’s commitment to the character and his notable presence on screen has been appreciated by fans of the franchise.
Christian Bale | Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012)
Christian Bale played Batman in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed “Dark Knight” trilogy, which consisted of “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008), and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012).
Bale’s portrayal of Batman was characterized by a deep, gravelly voice and a brooding intensity that made him an intimidating presence on screen. He wore a heavily-armored Batsuit with a stylized version of the Bat-symbol on his chest.
Christian Bale is a highly-respected actor with numerous accolades throughout his career, including an Oscar for his role in the film “The Fighter.” Some of his other notable roles include appearances in “American Psycho,” “The Machinist,” and “Vice.” Bale’s portrayal of Batman is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the character’s history and has set a high bar for future actors taking on the role.
George Clooney | Batman and Robin (1997)
George Clooney played the role of Batman in the 1997 film “Batman & Robin”, directed by Joel Schumacher. Clooney portrayed Batman with a more sophisticated and charming demeanor, playing up the character’s billionaire playboy persona as Bruce Wayne.
However, the film was heavily criticized for its campy and over-the-top style, and Clooney’s performance as Batman was not well-received.
George Clooney rose to fame on television with his role on the show “ER”, before transitioning to film with roles in movies like “Out of Sight” and “Ocean’s Eleven”.
Despite the hostile reception of “Batman & Robin,” Clooney has continued to have a successful career as an actor and filmmaker. While his portrayal of Batman is often regarded as one of the weaker ventures from the franchise, it remains an exciting and notable piece of Batman history.
Val Kilmer | Batman Forever (1995)
Val Kilmer played the role of Batman in the 1995 film “Batman Forever”, directed by Joel Schumacher.
Kilmer’s portrayal of the character differed from Michael Keaton’s darker version, presenting a more lighthearted and humorous take on the Dark Knight. He wore a more sculpted and athletic Batsuit featuring a sleek black and silver design with a prominent Bat-symbol on his chest.
Val Kilmer rose to fame in the 1980s with a breakout role in the film “Top Gun”. Since then, he has acted in various films, from action movies like “Heat” to comedies like “Real Genius”.
Kilmer’s portrayal of Batman was generally well-received by audiences. Although he only played the character once, his performance remains a notable chapter in the history of the beloved superhero.
Michael Keaton | Tim Burton’s Batman Duology (1989-1992)
Michael Keaton played the role of Batman in the 1989 Tim Burton film “Batman” and its 1992 sequel “Batman Returns”. Keaton’s portrayal of the character was a departure from the lighthearted approach of the 1960s television series, presenting a darker, brooding version.
He wore a sleek, heavily-armored black and gray Batsuit with a prominent Bat-symbol on his chest.
In addition to his work as Batman, Michael Keaton is a prolific actor with a career spanning decades across stage and screen. He has starred in iconic films such as “Beetlejuice”, “Birdman”, and “Spotlight”, and has received numerous accolades for his performances.
Keaton’s take on Batman remains a fan favorite, and he is often cited as one of the best actors to play the character.
Adam West | Batman TV Series (1966-1968)
Adam West portrayed the role of Batman in the television series that aired from 1966-1968. Known for his distinct delivery of lines and his charismatic portrayal of the Caped Crusader, West’s performance as Batman remains iconic even to this day.
The Batman TV series was a cultural phenomenon during its time, and West’s portrayal of the Dark Knight was one of the highlights of the show. With his chiseled chin and impeccable style, West’s Batman was a hero that fans around the world could look up to.
One of the most memorable aspects of West’s performance was his chemistry with co-star Burt Ward, who played Robin. The duo’s banter and camaraderie onscreen were a delight to watch and helped to solidify Batman and Robin as one of the most beloved partnerships in comic book history.
Despite the campy nature of the show, West never let the silliness detract from the importance of being a hero. His portrayal of Batman was one of honor and valor, and he always made it clear that justice would always prevail.
Adam West’s legacy as Batman lives on to this day. His portrayal of the Dark Knight paved the way for future actors to don the cape and cowl, and his impact can be felt in the countless adaptations and iterations of the character that have followed in the decades since.
Over the years, many talented actors have taken on the iconic role of Batman, bringing the beloved comic book character to life on the big and small screen.
From Adam West’s campy portrayal in the classic 1960s television series to Christian Bale’s intense and brooding Dark Knight, each iteration of Batman has brought something unique to the franchise. Not to mention, actors such as Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Will Arnett, and the highly anticipated Robert Pattinson have added their personal touch to the character over the years.
Regardless of which actor you prefer, the complete list of actors who’ve played Batman onscreen remains an impressive and fascinating history of one of the most beloved superheroes ever.
And don’t forget to check out Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Batman in 2022, along with his stylish pairing with Dior that has been making headlines. The world of Batman is waiting for you!