When we first launched the SNDBLOG, I started with an article ranking the Spider-Man’s. With everything going on in this world right now, I decided that it was time to rank my all-time Batman favorites. Batman is and will always be my favorite comic hero. The reason is simple, Batman, The animated series. I would come home from school in the early 90s and want to watch power rangers and Batman. With that being said, this blog has nothing to do with any of the Batman animated series, which by the way, Kevin Conroy will always be the best animated Batman.
Please note that I am not placing them in order yet, just order of appearance as Batman, the ranking will be at the end.
- Michael Keaton – In 1989, Tim Burton released Batman with Michael Keaton taking on the role. This has been the first movie since the 1966 classic with Adam West. Michael Keaton was absolutely amazing as Batman. He has the poise to play a rich playboy billionaire. Tim Burton couldn’t have found a better on-screen actor at this time to be the cape crusader. Working with a great cast in both movies, really helped out Keaton. Keaton has also been heard saying how he would love to put the cape back on, under the condition that Burton was to direct it again. In all honesty, for those legit Batman fans, they will know about Batman Beyond. If Keaton would return, I would love to see a Batman Beyond movie storyline with Keaton playing the mentor Bruce Wayne, not plays Batman himself.
- Val Kilmer – In 1995, Batman would return to theaters with a new Bruce Wayne. This time, Val Kilmer was selected to be the caped crusader. Now, keep in mind, if you were to watch these early 90 movies now, the lack of CGI and the use of makeup will make you laugh a lot. However, look the other way on that stuff. I think Kilmer tried way too hard to stay in the Batman role. Bruce Wayne is known as playboy millionaire, loves to have his voice out heard. Batman, on the other hand, likes to be quiet, not be heard or seen unless needed to be. Kilmer used the same voice for both roles. He tried too hard to be kept in the same style the entire movie. It’s also been said that the cast of this star-studded movie didn’t get along. Which turned the movie into a pretty bad feature film.
- George Clooney- Batman and Robin was released into theaters in 1997 with a change at the top. With another star-studded cast, that included Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, however, George Clooney just wasn’t the right fit. Just like I mentioned with Kilmer, Clooney took the be the same person for both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Once again, that just doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, George Clooney is one of my favorite actors. I do believe he’d make a great just plan Bruce Wayne; however, he was not made for the Batman role.
- Christian Bale – In 2003, Warner Brothers hired director Christopher Nolan to direct the new Batman franchise. Nolan hits the jackpot by selecting Christian Bale to plays the Batman. If you look back on Bale’s career, he is willing to everything and anything he can to make the role that he needs to play is the best that he can. He was hands down, an amazing choice by Nolan. They would go on to produce 3 movies together in which just about everyone wishes they did more. From the release of Batman Begins in 2008 all the way to Dark Knight Rises in 2012, Bale took on the role. He was able to be a millionaire playboy by day, and the cape crusader by night. Unlike Kilmer and Clooney, Bale was able to play 2 different roles. Starting off as a young Bruce Wayne in batman begins all the way to old man Bruce in Dark Knight Rises, Bale is arguable the best Batman/Bruce Wayne since Adam West in the 1966 classic batman.
(Please note that Adam West is not a part of this list. I love watching the old batman episodes from the late 60s and the movie, and I HIGHLY recommend you watch them also He was also honored with the cover photo for this article)
- Ben Affleck- Ben Affleck is one of my top favorite actors of all time. He has been a part of classics such as Dazed and Confused, Mallrats, Good Will Hunting, Armageddon all the way to his role in the movie The Town, all highly recommend films. However, for Batman, he wasn’t bad, but he also just wasn’t good. I think the real issue with Affleck taking on the role isn’t that he couldn’t play it. It was more of people have been wanting another Christian Bale/Christopher Nolan Batman film for a while. I personally didn’t hate the 2 movies that Affleck would be Batman. I thought he did a great job with the split personalities between Bruce Wayne and Batman. He helped portray both the dark side of the cape crusader and the billionaire playboy.
Wow, I’m not going to lie, it took me a little while to finalize this list. A lot of going back and forth over the top 3. The bottom 2 was easy, it came down to Clooney and Kilmer just a matter of which one I didn’t like more. So here you go, my official personal ranking of Batman actors;
- Christian Bale
- Michael Keaton
- Ben Affleck
- Val Kilmer
- George Clooney
I am looking forward to looking back on this article when The Batman with Robert Pattinson wearing the cowl in 2021!