Names of actors who have played Batman from the first film to the present day

Launched with red carpet premieres around the world, The Batman, the last of eleven chapters starring a Man-Bat inspired by Kurt Cobain, finally landed in theaters last March 3. Playing him this time around is Robert Pattinson, the actor who achieved planetary success thanks to the Twilight saga in which he plays the vampire in love with the human Bella (Kristen Stewart).

Many, however, have been the faces that have come and gone over the years: below is the list of all the actors who have put on the face of Batman since the first film dedicated to the character who will soon be 80 years old.

Lewis Wilson, Batman, 1943

The superhero’s first historic appearance was in a fifteen-chapter film serial called simply Batman, produced by Columbia Pictures and directed by Lambert Hillyer. In these, those who donned the costumes of the protagonist was Lewis Wilson accompanied by Douglas Croft (Robin), while the villain to fight-the Japanese Dr. Daka-was J. Carrol Naish.

Robert Lowery, Batman and Robin, 1949

Six years later, the Man-Bat returned to the movies with director Spencer Gordon Bennett’s Batman and Robin. Here, the superhero is brought to life by Robert Lowery’s performance, while sidekick Robin is Johnny Duncan and Vicki Vale is Jane Adams. All are busy fighting Wizard (Leonard Penn).

Adam West, Batman: The Movie, 1966

In 1966 the first full-color feature film based on the television series of the same year was released. It was directed by Leslie H. Martinson, who chose Adam West as the lead actor, Burt Ward as Robin, and Cesar Romero for the role of the Joker. Fun fact: The lead actor, mainly known for this acting test, will return in the future to the role of Batman by lending his voice and dubbing both the TV series and the cartoon.

Michael Keaton, Batman (1989) and Batman – The Return (1992)

The next two superhero films are the work of Tim Burton and feature Michael Keaton in the lead role. In the 1989 Batman, the actor is accompanied by Jack Nicholson (Joker) and Kim Basinger (Vicki Vale); in Batman – The Return, however, the co-stars are Danny DeVito, who plays Penguin, and Michelle Pfeiffer, who brings Catwoman to life.

Val Kilmer, Batman Forever, 1995

Three years later, the Batman films changed direction again, and Joel Schumacher was chosen to replace Tim Burton. Completely renewed is also the cast: the superhero is in fact Val Kilmer, the criminal Two-Face is Tommy Lee Jones, Riddler is Jim Carrey, Robin is Chris O’Donnell while Dr. Chase Meridian is played by Nicole Kidman.

George Clooney, Batman & Robin, 1997

In 1997 Batman returned to the movies with a new chapter again directed by Joel Schumacher. The cast features George Clooney as the lead actor, Robin is again Chris O’Donnell, and Alicia Silverston is Batgirl. The enemies to be defeated are Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Scourge (Jeep Swenson) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman). Batman & Robin, moreover, is the last chapter in which Michael Gough appears as a butler: the actor, in fact, has played Alfred Pennyworth since 1989.

Christian Bale, Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight – Rises (2012)

Batman fans had to wait almost eight years to see another episode of their favorite superhero on the big screen. From 2005 to 2012, however, three films were produced, all directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight – Rises.

Throughout the trilogy, the role of Alfred Pennyworth went to Michael Caine, while James Gordon was personified by Gary Oldman. Then there were also several female roles: Anne Hathaway played Catwoman; Katie Holmes was Rachel Dawes. However, in The Dark Knight Rises one of the most unforgettable performances is Heath Ledger’s Joker, which earned him an Oscar and a Golden Globe, unfortunately awarded posthumously due to his untimely death.

Ben Affleck, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Justice League (2017)

Batman’s last film appearances before Robert Pattinson’s 2022 version were given to Ben Affleck in films directed by Zack Snyder (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League) and David Ayer (Suicide Squad). Joining him are such actors as Will Smith (Deadshot), Jared Leto (Joker), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent), and Henry Cavill (Superman).