BATMANS? BATMEN? Whatever! With every day that passes I grow sadder and sadder realizing that I now live in a post Christopher Nolan/Batman world. Especially since The Dark Knight Rises left me wanting just a little bit more! Though I do hold out hope that Nolan will consider a fourth installment considering the film sets up perfectly for a sequel… or a possible spin-off. Alas, a Fanboy can dream.
In the meantime, I do what I can to get by. Like revisit this list I wrote a little over a year ago, just before the site launched. I’ve updated it and reposted it for anyone that missed it the first time around. I’ve also tweaked it based on my ever changing tastes. Enjoy:
HONORABLE MENTION: KEVIN CONROY.
For those of you that don’t know Conroy, he has voiced Batman in countless video games and movies but is probably best know for Fox’s Batman: THe Animated Series which aired in the 90s. This list is focused on men who have donned the bat-tights for film so, unfortunately, he is not in contention. However, he is arguably the most iconic Batman since Adam West so I had to give him a tip of the cap.
5. GEORGE CLOONEY.
This production was doomed from the start but it’s for reasons beyond just nipples on the bat suit. Even Clooney agrees he was easily the worst person to play the part. Amazing too since he’s one of the best actors in the game these days. Unfortunately, his turn as Batman is comical at best. At least it’s good for a chuckle every now and then.
4. VAL KILMER.
Batman Forever is the most under-appreciated of all the Batman films. In fact, it’s actually a pretty good mash-up managing to retain some of Tim Burton’s sensibilities while also paying homage to the campy Batman of the 1960s. I actually get a kick out watching it but one thing always goes overlooked. That being, while Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey bring over the top performances to their roles, Kilmer actually turned in a solid performance as both Bruce Wayne and Batman.
3. CHRISTIAN BALE.
Bale is a great Bruce Wayne! However, he’s the freshest in mind and gets a lot of credit that should probably go to Christopher Nolan for creating some amazing films. Arguably, and probably, the best this young genre has to offer. Hell, my favorite Batman films. Look, Bale is an insanely good actor and a damn fine Batman… gravelly voice aside. Unfortunately, after considering all that, #3 is the best I can do for Mr. Bale. Gooood for yooooou!
2. ADAM WEST.
While some of you younger folks may disagree, those of us who grew up watching reruns of the campy 60’s Batman series have a special place in our hearts for this man. Since he did actually make a feature-length movie, he has to be considered amongst these other men and makes my #2 for nostalgic reasons alone. Adam West will ALWAYS be Batman. Everyone else is just taking a turn.
1. MICHAEL KEATON.
The 1989 version of Batman was everything a 10 year old Fanboy could have dreamed of. Unfortunately, Burton’s fingerprints are all over it. In a way, it’s kind of the opposite of the Nolan/Bale situation in that I think Keaton saves this movie from being an average and eccentric take on the Caped Crusader. Well, Nicholson helped too! I’d even go so far as to say that Keaton is one of the most underrated, underused actors in all of Hollywood. Maybe it’s just a product of my youth but Keaton will always be my favorite. He turned in a great Batman and a spot on Bruce Wayne earning him the greatest honor of his career: #1 on my list!