Batman through the years

Caped Crusader gets his latest portrayal in upcoming film

One of the most iconic superheroes of all time will be receiving a new film on March 4.

Batman has made a cultural impact on the big screen over the years, being portrayed by six different actors in nine films and a hit TV show.

As fans wait for the release of the next installment, it’s appropriate to look back on the previous films, the different portrayal of actors who portrayed the masked vigilante, and the different directions that were taken in each story.

From 1966 to 1968 the TV show “Batman,” starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, followed the dynamic duo defending Gotham City from a variety of super-villains.

The series was known for its silly, campy style, hit theme song, and humorous simplistic morality. Its trademark comedic style aided in its success and its popularity has continued for decades.

West continued to reprise this role in several animated films and shows of the hero. He also did multiple guest appearances as side characters.

From 1989 to 1992, the Dark Knight was played by Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s “Batman,” and “Batman Returns”.

Burton’s films broke numerous box office records and received multiple Academy Award nominations. Despite Burton’s success, Warner Bros. was disappointed with “Batman Returns” box office performance, as it earned less than its predecessor. 

Many believed that this was to be Keaton’s last performance as Batman, but it was recently announced he would be reprising his role in DC’s upcoming film “The Flash’’ in 2022.

In 1995,  a new era spawned for the hero with the release of “Batman Forever”. Joel Schumacher replaced Burton as director and Val Kilmer replaced Keaton. The movie received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised it for the action, and visuals, while others criticizing the CGI, costume designs, and the decision to go beyond the dark tone presented in previous films. 

Kilmer’s performance was considered mediocre, and it would be his only film as the character.

Unfortunately in 1997, came the abomination known as “Batman and Robin,” once again directed by Schumacher. George Clooney replaced Kilmer and his performance was an absolute trainwreck.

Upon release, it was met with polarizing reviews for bad writing, over the top action, and the campy approach that was similar to the ’60s series.

“Batman and Robin”received numerous Razzies, a parody award honoring the worst in movies, and it’s ranked as one of the worst superhero films.

Thankfully from 2005 to 2012, Batman would return to the big screen with The Dark Knight trilogy: “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012). 

All were directed by Christopher Nolan and starred Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. Combined, all three films made $2.4 billion. 

The trilogy has been considered to be one of the greatest of all time.

After The Dark Knight trilogy, Ben Affleck was cast to play Batman in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016), “Justice League” (2017) and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” (2021), the director’s original cut. 

Originally set to star and direct his own standalone movie, Affleck decided to hang up the cape and cowl because of concerns of his alcohol addiction, and the poor performance of “Justice League”. 

Similar to Keaton, Affleck will reprise his role one last time for “The Flash”. 

In 2022, a new era of Batman will begin with actor Robert Pattinson playing a younger version of the character in the upcoming “The Batman”, directed by Matt Reeves.

Upon the trailer’s release, it became clear that fans are eagerly awaiting the movie’s release in the spring.

“The Batman” trailer became the No. 1 trending video on YouTube after it was posted in August. The film will provide fans with the 10th appearance of the iconic hero on the big screen.