The Batman poll reveals…
It seems like every generation since the creation of Batman has had its own live-action representation. It seems that way because, in reality, they have. Since his introduction in 1939, Bill Finger and Bob Kane’s Batman has appeared dozens of times on film in as many different iterations. First appearing on film in Batman (1943), played by Lewis Wilson, generations of Batman fans have been able to see the Dark Knight fighting evildoers on the big screen since the very beginning, but who has been their favorite?
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Since 1943, Bruce Wayne/Batman has been played by nine different actors in live-action, eleven if the animated films are included. This doesn’t include other versions of the character played in animation, video games, and other media either, but it’s safe to say that fans, with their demand for the character, have done a good job at keeping the character and his legacy alive for many generations. Though most fans know Adam West’s take on the character, later interpretations may be more familiar to modern audiences.
There isn’t a Batman fan alive that doesn’t know Michael Keaton from Batman (1989). The Tim Burton film brought a new, darker shade to the character and remains one of the more popular takes on Batman since the beginning. Keaton was succeeded by Val Kilmer and George Clooney, whose tenures in the cowl were very short-lived, campy, and much less popular than their predecessor. Then came the Dark Knight Trilogy and beyond!
Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson all added something new to the character. Each was dark and brooding in a new and different way, and each played Batman and Bruce Wayne completely differently. From the playboy/man on a mission of Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan to the philanthropist and team lead of Ben Affleck and Zack Synder to the most recent distraught and quiet Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves take, all have been amazing in their own way. But who takes the pointy-eared crown?
According to recent data collected by Valencia Theater Seating and reported by CBR, America has conclusively decided that the number one Caped Crusader in live-action is the king himself, Michael Keaton. While that may not come as a surprise to die-hard Batman fans, what may be surprising is the second and third-place contestants. The data pulled from tweets referencing Batman and Batman actors placed Christian Bale in a close second, winning 18 states, as opposed to Keaton’s 23, and Affleck in third with just six.
This data adds to the evidence behind why DC Studios, headed by James Gunn and Peter Safran, and Warner Bros. are still moving forward with The Flash (2023) despite the enormous amount of controversy surrounding the film’s lead. If a studio has spent that much money to bring back what is now confirmed as the most popular live-action Batman (Keaton), they do have some ground to stand on when it comes to their confidence in the film.
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Keaton returns as Batman in The Flash, which debuts in theaters June 16, 2023, and stars Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Sasha Kalle as Supergirl, and Kiersey Clemons as Iris West. One of the most controversial DC movies, The Flash, will show Barry (Miller) as he accidentally brings the Multiverse to his own timeline by traveling through time and enlists the help of the Caped Crusader to put things right.
Who is your favorite Batman? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!