“Did You Know” – Some Facts and Trivia on Famous Batman Actors
2019 is Batman’s 80th year in existence. Albeit fictional, Batman has stood as a beacon of justice, courage, and human determination for many of his followers and fans across many generations. We know the age-old origin story – young scion Bruce Wayne decided to do whatever it takes to bring justice and order to Gotham City after witnessing the death of his parents in a dark alley. When he grew up, he became the legendary masked vigilante, Batman!
The funny thing about Batman (oh well, this applies to other superheroes too) is that, although the label “Batman” is a codename in itself, people also call him by other aliases such as Caped Crusader, Dark Knight, World’s Greatest Detective, Batsy, Flying Rodent, and The Bat (sounds like this is another topic we will list down in a separate blog post).
Whatever it is you call him, no one can deny his place as being one of the most iconic and legendary characters in modern mythology and pop culture. We can expect “The Batman” will span many generations after our time.
One reason why a comicbook hero becomes so popular among the masses is because they are adapted into movies and/or television shows. Many people know Batman because his story has been made and re-made into various films, TV shows, and animated series all throughout.
So in honour of Batsy’s 80th anniversary, we are listing down some “did you know” facts and trivia about the famous actors who portrayed Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman in the recent years and decades. Take note, though, this list is not arranged by order of popularity.
Ben Affleck donned the cinematic cape and cowl for the first time in Zack Snyder’s "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" (BvS) and appeared in a cameo in "Suicide Squad." After being cast for the BvS movie, did you know that a lot of his fans were sceptic about him portraying Batman? However, a number of communities on the Internet were warm to the idea during the film's promotional period – perhaps thanks to Affleck’s unpredictable turn in David Fincher’s movie adaptation of Gone Girl, as well as his impressive trailer brooding.
Did you know that Christian Bale got generally favourable reviews for 2005’s Batman Begins, with several critics saying it reminded them of his brilliant turn in American Psycho? There was a notable duskiness (it seemed) with his upper-husky Bat-voice.
Did you know that George Clooney’s movie career was just taking off when he was cast in 1997’s Batman & Robin, with his breakthrough performance coming just the year before the vampire movie "From Dusk Till Dawn"?
Did you know that Adam West was the Batman who had the most hours logging in the Batcave? You would either love him for his goofy charm or hate him for blemishing the Bat’s serious image. His campy and over-the-top portrayal of Gotham’s Guardian infiltrated nearly every medium, including a 1966 movie and several animated series.
Did you know that Vat Kilmer was probably the most forgettable of the modern Batmen? Kilmer’s performance got mixed reviews. As The New York Times put it, “The prime costume is now worn by Val Kilmer, who makes a good Batman, but not a better one than Michael Keaton.” Bob Kane, creator of Batman, felt otherwise; he thought Kilmer did the best job of all the actors that had played the Caped Crusader up to that point.
Although his performance has only been extended to Batman's voice, did you know that Kevin Conroy's take on both Bruce Wayne and his masked alter-ego in "Batman: The Animated Series" remains to be the definitive take on the Dark Knight? Imagine voicing the character consistently in the animated series, movies, and video games for almost 25 years.
Did you know that when Michael Keaton was announced to play Batman in 1989, Batfans went Bat crazy, thinking their beloved superhero was going to get the Adam West treatment again? Keaton's casting caused such controversy that 50,000 protest letters were sent to Warner Bros’ offices. In an effort to appease the naysayers, Batman’s creator Bob Kane was hired as the film’s creative consultant.
Will Arnett brought some comedic magic to the role of Batman in the LEGO Movie. He eventually landed his own spin-off movie as a result. However, did you know that he was not the only one who voiced Batman in the LEGO Movie? Together with Phil Lord and Chris Miller, they made the portrayal a quick favourite for many. Arnett reprised the role in the LEGO Batman Movie, to an equally impressive effect.
Young American actor, David Mazouz, had several guest roles on TV before landing on major castings. Yet, did you know that he was nominated for Young Artist Award for his role as a mute boy in the Fox’s TV series, Touch (2012-2013)? Mazouz portrayed the young Bruce Wayne in Fox’s Gotham, which had its final season early this year.
The name of this actor is a Bat trivia in itself! Did you know that Lewis Wilson was the first person to play Batman in live-action (not Adam West)? Wilson’s fame was mainly due to the 1943 Batman film serial.
Here’s another name with a Bat trivia attached to it. After Lewis Wilson, did you know that Robert Lowery was the second actor to don the cape and cowl with the movie serial “Batman and Robin” in 1949? Before that, however, he was already famous for his other films like Dangerous Passage, The Mummy’s Ghost, and The Mark of Zorro (Hmm, what a coincidence! If you are a solid Batman fan, the movie’s title would definitely ring a bell).
As a final news trivia: Did you know that Robert Pattinson from the Twilight movie series has been cast as Bruce Wayne in the supposed upcoming film entitled "The Batman"? It is still being scripted though, and fans are hoping he will do justice to the role. Good luck, Warner Bros!