10 live-action Batman roles ranked from worst to best
The latest Batman movie, The Batman, is out in cinemas now – read our review here.
Many actors have played the role of Batman — but who is truly the best one out there? Here's a list of actors who've played Batman, ranked. Can you guess who's at the top of the list?
10. Warren Christie (2019's Batwoman series)
Batwoman's set-up is that there is (was) a Batman, but he's been missing for a while now. However, his equipment, gear, and rogues gallery are still around, which is how another character can pick up the mantle of Batwoman.
Warren Christie plays Bruce Wayne (and some other characters) in the series, but we never really see him as Batman. Actually, we don't really get to see him at all. That's why he occupies the bottom spot — largely because Bruce Wayne isn't around in the show.
9. George Clooney (1997's Batman & Robin)
George Clooney's infamously bad performance in Batman & Robin is perhaps one of the lowest points of his career. The movie is colourful and campy, but tries to take itself seriously — which isn't a crime, since there have been campy interpretations of Batman.
But the worst part is how George Clooney has this hint of a smirk whenever the camera is on his reaction, as if he's faintly amused that he's playing Bruce Wayne/Batman. Well, at least we got Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze...
8. Ben Affleck (2016's Batman v Superman)
It's a little sad how Affleck's Batman didn't debut in his own movie, but in a (sort of) team-up film with other superheroes. He's presented as an older, grizzled Batman who's been through many hardships — which accounts for his grumpy demeanour and general sourness. But since this is his first movie, he hasn't quite earned the right to be so annoyed with everything, making him seem more bad-tempered than jaded.
7. Val Kilmer (1995's Batman Forever)
Val Kilmer was all right in Batman Forever, which was technically a sequel to 1992's Batman Returns — but with a different treatment. It was still serious, but colourful, and Joel Schumacher had replaced Tim Burton as the director because the studios felt that Burton had made Batman Returns too dark. Kilmer isn't memorable as Batman, but then again, he isn't terrible either.
6. Robert Pattinson (2022's The Batman)
The latest actor to literally take up the mantle (and cowl) of Batman is Robert Pattinson, who plays a less experienced Batman who's in his second year of crimefighting. He plays the role well as written, which is that Bruce Wayne is at a point in his life which is a little more gothic in nature. Whether you like this portrayal or not is up to you, but Pattinson does a serviceable job of it.
5. David Mazouz (2014's Gotham)
Gotham actually revolves around James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), but it also stars David Mazouz as a young Bruce Wayne. The first episode depicts the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents, and the rest of the series shows how this young boy eventually grows up and becomes Batman. Most other series or movies generally start with Bruce Wayne as an adult, so it's quite an interesting ride to see how Bruce Wayne is affected by his parents' death as a child.
4. Adam West (1966's Batman)
Who can forget the theme song of 1966's Batman? Sure, he isn't the tortured avenger that lurks in the shadows, but he's also the embodiment of a different age, one that's more hopeful and optimistic. Like George Clooney, Adam West often had this slight smirk on his face — but it was warranted, given the tone and direction of the series. The third season added Batgirl (Yvonne Craig), giving our heroes a much needed ally.
3. Michael Keaton (1989's Batman)
For many, Michael Keaton is the "original" Batman, although he's not the first to play the Caped Crusader on screen. He was an unorthodox choice at the time, but more than 30 years later, we can safely say that it was one of the best casting decisions ever. It was a time when he was known as "Batman", rather than "the Batman".
2. Christian Bale (2005's Batman Begins)
The gravelly, raspy voice of Christian Bale's Batman is perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of this iteration of the character. It also helped that Christopher Nolan's signature style made the trio of films (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises) very stylised. While Keaton may be the "original" Batman, Bale is the definitive Batman for an entire generation — and more.
1. Kevin Conroy (2019's Batwoman series)
Wait, is this a mistake? Kevin Conroy only voices Batman in the animated series — and didn't we already establish that Warren Christie plays Bruce Wayne in Batwoman? It's a long story, but here goes.
Batwoman is part of a series of DC Universe shows, affectionately known as the Arrowverse. In an epic 2019-2020 crossover across five of the shows in this shared universe, the heroes met an alternate version of Batman, played by Conroy. Conroy's voice is already the one that most people acknowledge as being the best one in animated series — so to see him finally play the character cements him as the best Batman actor there is.
Who do you think is the best Batman actor?
The Batman review: Not just Batman, but Bruce Wayne is gothic in the film
Review: 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" is grand but forced
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