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Batman in film

Batman has appeared in various forms of media since 1943. These have ranged from Live-Action serials in the 1940s to theatrical films, cartoons series, and video games. The following is a list of Batman's various appearances and the actors who have portrayed him.

Live-Action

Early Appearances

Columbia Serials

Columbia Serials' Batman from The Batman

Batman first appeared in Columbia's 1943 serial titled The Batman. The serial starred Lewis Wilson as the title character, following him and Robin (played by Douglas Croft) as the fought against the evil Prince Daka.

The serial was followed up by 1949's Batman and Robin, which followed the caped crusader as they fought against the Wizard. The serial starred Robert Lowery and Johnny Duncan in Wilson and Croft's places, respectively.

Though controversial and poorly received in modern times, they were popular until the 1960s and even resulted in the commissioning of the later 1960s Batman series.

1966 TV series and film

Adam West as 1960s Batman

In 1966, ABC broadcast a 1960s Batman series starring Adam West as Batman. The series followed him and Robin (played by Burt Ward), later also joined by Batgirl (Yvonne Craig), as they fought against costume criminals in Gotham City, including the Joker (Cesar Romero), Catwoman (Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt), the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), and Riddler (Frank Gorshin and John Astin).

The series ran for three seasons and was incredibly popular throughout the 1960s and 1970s. A feature film was also released in 1966, featuring the series' most often recurring villains. Both of these would influence public perception of Batman until the 1980s.

Legends of the Superheroes

Both Adam West and Burt Ward reprised their roles in the live-action specials Legends of the Superheroes. The features have them work with other superheroes, including the Flash (Rod Haase), Green Lantern (Howard Murphy), Captain Marvel (Garrett Craig), Black Canary (Danuta Wesley) and Huntress (Barbara Joyce) to take on various supervillains, including the Riddler (once again played by Gorshin). The specials have fallen into obscurity, though were a partial reunion for the 1960s Batman series.

Theatrical Film Franchise

Burton Films

Michael Keaton as Batman

A theatrically released Batman film was released in 1989 under the direction of Tim Burton. The film starred Michael Keaton as Batman, who was controversially chosen at the time. Batman follows the title character as he attempts to stop the Joker (played by Jack Nicholson), a deranged criminal who's history he is intertwined with. The film was the highest grossing of that year, and eventually one of highest grossing films of time after playing intentionally.

A sequel, Batman Returns, was released in 1992. Keaton reprised the role to battle against both the Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). The follow up was controversially received due to its darker tone, leading to lower ticket sales though the opening weekend broke records.

Keaton is currently expected to return as his version of Batman in 2022's The Flash. The film will have him work with both the Flash (Ezra Miller) and another version of his character (Ben Affleck). The film will also introduce the concept of a multiverse for future DC Films to use.

Schumacher Films

When Joel Schumacher took over directing duties in Burton's place, a third Batman film titled Batman Forever was released in 1995. Keaton would step away from the role due to the changes in direction and tone. When Val Kilmer was chosen to replace him, it was decided to be "less guided by the past." Batman took on Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey). The film also introduced Robin (Chris O'Donnell). Though mixed-reviewed at the time, the film was more successful than Returns.

A fourth film titled Batman & Robin was released two years later in 1997. Kilmer dropped out of the role, leading George Clooney to be recast in the role. The film followed him and Robin as the took on both Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), with the help of Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone). The film was negatively received and is widely considered one of the worst films of all-time. Proposed follow-ups were eventually abandoned in favor of rebooting the entire franchise.

The Dark Knight Trilogy

Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight

In Christopher Nolan's reboot of the Batman film franchise, the character is portrayed by Christian Bale in all three entries. The series began in 2005 with Batman Begins, which follows Bruce from his childhood to becoming the Batman. The film also pits him against the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) and Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson). Though not as successful as 1989's Batman, Begins out-grossed many of its follow-ups and restarted interest in a Batman film franchise.

2008 saw the release of The Dark Knight, which sees Batman pitted up against a new criminal called the Joker (Heath Ledger). The character also works with Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to bring down the Gotham City mob, led by Sal Maroni (Eric Roberts). The Dark Knight was critically acclaimed and commercially successful, becoming the first superhero film to gross over $1 billion. It has moved more tickets than any other film, surpassing the 1989 record.

The final film, The Dark Knight Rises, was released in 2012. The film follows Batman as he returns after an eight year exile to stop the remnants of Ra's al Ghul's League of Shadows. During it, he is forced to confront Bane (Tom Hardy) and comes into contact with a morally gray thief called the Cat (Anne Hathaway). Although not as highly regarded as its predecessors, the film was the highest grossing Batman film of all time due to inflation. It moved significantly less tickets than the 1989 film, which their 2008 outing managed to outdo.[1] Both Bale and Nolan left the franchise, having vowed their third Batman film would be their last.

The Batman (2022 film)

Matt Reeves' The Batman is planned to be another full reboot of the franchise. Batman will be portrayed by Robert Pattinson, the film being set in his early years in Gotham. The film will pit the character against the Riddler (Paul Dano), the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) and Carmine Falcone (John Turturro). The film is intended to start a new Batman trilogy.

Non-Batman Focused Films

Justice League film universe

Ben Affleck as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Another reboot of the Batman franchise took place in the 2016 crossover film titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, under the direction of Zack Snyder. Set in the same continuity as the director's Man of Steel, Ben Affleck portrayed the character, with the incarnation based on the character version seen in Batman: The Dark Knight. The film follows Batman as he comes into conflict with Superman due to the machinations of Lex Luthor. Though successful, the film was received negatively and under grossed the expected revenue.

Affleck's version of the character also appears in flashbacks in the 2016 film Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer. The film also features members of his rogue gallery as members of the titular team and his arch-nemesis Joker (Jared Leto) as one of its secondary antagonists. Bruce Wayne also appears in a post-credits scene, setting up his next appearance in the follow up. Like Batman v Superman, the film received critical responses but was successful.

Batman appears a third time portrayed by Affleck in the 2017 film Justice League, with Snyder returning but with Joss Whedon overseeing post-production and re-shoots due to a family tragedy. The film follows Batman as he assembles a team to take on Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) and the forces of Apokolyps. Not only was the film mixed-to-negatively received, it failed to gross the needed amount to break-even and dashed plans for any proposed follow-ups. A director's cut was released in March 2021 to a more positive reception, after fan campaigns to get it released.

Affleck will appear a fourth time in 2022's The Flash, directed by Andy Muschietti. Though the film focuses on the Flash, he will appear as a supporting character alongside Michael Keaton's Batman. The film is to be Affleck's final appearance as Batman.

Joker

A young Bruce Wayne appears briefly in the 2019 film, played by Dante Pereira-Olson. Unlike other theatrical efforts, the film follows struggling comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), who briefly comes into contact with Bruce mid-way through the film. Joker also portrays his parents' murder as a result of riots started by Fleck. Director Todd Phillips has expressed interest in a spinoff focusing on Bruce as Batman.

Television Series

Birds Of Prey

Uncredited actor as Batman in Birds of Prey

Batman appears briefly in the pilot episode for the WB's short-lived Birds of Prey series. Taking place in his exile, the show follows his daughter Huntress and former sidekick Barbara Gordon as they take over crimefighting in his exile. Batman is frequently mentioned in the series, though most notably makes a phone call with Alfred in the final moments of series finale "Devil's Eyes". It is possible that this version of Batman was meant to appear at some point later in the series, however Birds of Prey was cancelled before he could be fully introduced.

Gotham

A young Bruce Wayne is one of the leading characters in the Fox TV Gotham, played by David Mazouz. The series follows both his training to become Gotham's protector and investigation into his parents' murder. The series also shows his first attempts of crime-fighting during his teenage years, working alongside Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). The series lasted five seasons, airing between 2014 and 2019. Bruce finally dons the cowl in the final episode titled "The Beginning", with Mikhail Mudrik providing the body double for the character. Due to clause agreed between Fox and WB, the show was not allowed to refer to Bruce as "Batman".

Titans

Though not the main focus of the series, Batman makes recurring guest appearances in the show Titans played by Iain Glen. The series follows Dick Grayson and his own team as the face greater threats. Other Batman characters, such as Jason Todd, Barbara Gordon, Tim Drake and Scarecrow, appear in the series as either main characters or enemies. Characters like the Joker, Two-Face, and Alfred are also mentioned in episodes.

Arrowverse Shows

Batman is alluded to on multiple occasions in the CW's DC Comics television series, including Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl. The character also appears in flashbacks in the series Batwoman, which depicts his cousin Kate Kane and Ryan Wilder taking over crime-fighting in his absence as "Batwoman". Another version of the character from "Earth-99" also appears in the show, played by Kevin Conroy. Actor Warren Christie also appears in the show playing the Earth-Prime version of Bruce Wayne/Batman, first playing the villain Hush impersonating Bruce Wayne, and later appearing in a coma to Luke Fox. In Batwoman, Bruce has left Gotham after killing Joker, with his current whereabouts being currently unknown. Conroy's Batman died during Crisis on Infinite Earths, electrocuting himself to death.

Animation

Early Appearances

  • Batman appeared in Filmination's The Adventures of Batman cartoon series, voiced by Olan Soule. The show featured Batman and Robin facing off against members of the rogue gallery, including the Joker, Catwoman, the Penguin, Mr. Freeze and the Riddler. Batgirl also featured as an occasional guest.
  • Batman features in several animated shorts on Sesame Street, with Soule reprising the role.
  • Batman appears in two-episodes of Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies, also voiced by Olan Soule. Both appearances also featured Robin, the Joker and Penguin. The two featurettes have been released in the modern day, titled Scooby-Doo Meets Batman.
  • Batman appear in Hanna-Barbera's The New Adventures of Batman, with Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles from the 1960s series. The series features a similar format as Filmination's Adventures of Batman, though with the inclusion of Bat-Mite.
  • Batman appears in the various Super Friends cartoon series. Soule voices the character in most the series, with West voicing the character in the later two series.

TV Series

DC Animated Universe

Batman appears in most series in the DC Animated Universe. In all appearances, the character is voiced by Kevin Conroy. The character stars in Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. Batman also frequently appears in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, and makes guest appearances episodes of Superman: The Animated Series and Static Shock. A future Batman, Terry McGinnis, stars in the series Batman Beyond, which also features elderly Bruce Wayne as a supporting character.

The Batman (2004 series)

Batman stars in The Batman animated series, voiced by Rino Romano. The series follows a younger Batman operating in Gotham City, coming into contact with various super-villains. Initially focusing on his strained relationship with the GCPD, Batman begins to work with them and sidekicks (Batgirl and Robin) from the third season onwards. The fifth and final season also features members of the Justice League as supporting characters.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Batman serves as the main protagonist of the series, voiced by Diedrich Bader. Heavily inspired by both the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, the series focuses on Batman in various situations, traditionally team ups with various superheroes, including Superman, Green Arrow, and Bat-Mite.

Young Justice

Batman appears in Young Justice voiced by Bruce Greenwood. He features as a member of the Justice League and a mentor of Dick Grayson, Tim Drake and Barbara Gordon. The series also features several of his rogues gallery as enemies, including the Joker, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Bane, Clayface, and Ra's al Ghul.

Beware the Batman

Batman serves as the main character in the CGI series Beware the Batman, voiced by Anthony Ruivivar. Like The Batman, the series focuses on Batman's early encounters with various supervillains, though lesser known ones such as Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad, Magpie and Humpty Dumpty. The series also features the foundation of the Outsiders.

Harley Quinn

  • See: Batman (Quinnverse)

Batman appears as a recurring character in the adult-animated series Harley Quinn, voiced by Diedrich Bader. Though the series often focuses on the titular character and her crew, Batman appears as a supporting character in various episodes, often attempting to guide or apprehend them. Batman also serves as the main focus of the episode "Batman's Back".

Batman: Caped Crusader

Batman will star in an upcoming animated series title Batman: Caped Crusader. Little is known about the series, though it is set to be inspired by film noir from the 1930s and 1940s.

Other DC Animated Series

  • Though he does not appear in the series, Batman is often referenced in the 2004 series Teen Titans. The character also briefly cameos in the episode "Haunted".
  • Batman is alluded to several times in the Krypto the Superdog TV series. The show also features Ace the Bat-Hound as a recurring character, with several of his villains pets, including Bud and Lou, featuring as villains.
  • Batman appears in the New Teen Titans short "Red X Unmasked" as one of the faces behind the titular identity, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • Batman often makes cameo appearances in the Teen Titans Go!. The character also appeared in non-voiced cameos, often in the background or via mention by Robin. Batman only makes a voiced appearance in the episode "Real Orangins", with Kevin Conroy reprising the role.
  • Batman frequently appears in the Justice League Action series, once again voiced by Conroy. Batman features as one of the lead characters, alongside Superman and Wonder Woman.
  • Batman frequently appears in the DC Super Hero Girls series, voiced by Keith Ferguson. Batgirl often features as a member of the titular team.

Non-DC Series

Films and Movies

Comic Adaptations

Batman appears in several animated adaptations of Batman comics. Some stick to their source material loyally, whilst others make changes to the plot and characters.

DC Animated Universe Films

The Batman from the DCAU features in several films released between 1993-2003, voiced by Conroy. The character stars in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman and Batman and Harley Quinn. Both McGinnis and Wayne also feature in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, which sees the former face off against the Joker. Batman also features in Justice League vs. the Fatal Five.

The LEGO Movie Series

Batman features in The LEGO Movie franchise under Warner Bros. production, voiced by Will Arnett. The character serves as a supporting character in both The Lego Movie and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. Batman also stars in The Lego Batman Movie, which features him fighting against the Joker and the largest on-screen collection of his rogues gallery alongside Robin, Batgirl and Alfred.

Lego DC Comics Super-Heroes Movies

A LEGO version of Batman appears in various direct-to-video Lego films based on DC Comic properties, voiced by Troy Baker. The character features prominently in the series as a main or supporting character, often alongside the Justice League. Batman also stars in LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters, which is loosely based on Under the Hood.

DC Animated Movie Universe

Batman features in various the DC Animated Movie Universe, voiced by Jason O'Mara. The character stars in the films Son of Batman, Batman vs. Robin, Batman: Bad Blood and Batman: Hush. The character also features in Justice League: War, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Justice League vs. Teen Titans, Justice League Dark, The Death of Superman, The Reign of Superman, and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.

Batman Unlimited

Batman appears in various tie-in films to the Batman Unlimited toyline, once again voiced by Troy Baker. The character features in Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts, Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem and Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants.

Other DC Animated Films

Video Games

Batman Games

Early Appearances

  • Batman appears in the 1986 Batman game as a playable character. The player must navigate the Batcave to locate piece of the "Batcraft" and rescue Robin.
  • Batman also appears as the main playable character in 1988's Batman: The Caped Crusader for home computers. The game pits Batman against the Joker and the Penguin in two different scenarios.
  • Batman also appears as the playable character in Sunsoft's Batman: Return of the Joker. The game has Batman, equipped with various wrist-mounted projectile weapons, navigate various locations to stop a plot organized by the Joker.
  • Batman stars in the critically-panned Batman: Dark Tomorrow as the main character. The game focuses on Batman as he takes on various schemes organized by Ra's al Ghul, including an attempt to wipe out humanity.
  • Batman serves as the playable character in the Learning Company's educational games Batman: Justice Unbalanced and Batman: Toxic Chill. The games mainly consist of Batman and the Batman Family working to stop schemes perpetuated by Penguin, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze and Riddler.

Film Tie-Ins

DCAU Tie-Ins

  • The DCAU Batman serves as the main playable character in Batman: The Animated Series Gameboy game.
  • Batman also serves as the playable character in the game tie-in to The Adventures of Batman & Robin. The SNES version has Batman deal with various situations around Gotham City, whilst the Genesis version has him and Robin battling a plot organized by Mr. Freeze.
  • Terry McGinnis' Batman serves as the playable character in the PS1 tie-in to Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
  • Batman serves as the playable character of Batman: Gotham in Chaos for the Gameboy Color, based on The New Batman Adventures and developed by Ubisoft. The game focus on Batman's attempts to stop various criminals in a plot organized by Two-Face.
  • Batman appears in several clips in the game Batman: Gotham City Racer taken from The New Batman Adventures. The player mainly takes control of the Batmobile in various missions against Gotham's criminals.
  • Batman serves as the playable character in Ubisoft's adventure game Batman: Vengeance, voiced by Kevin Conroy. Taking place within the time gap between The Adventures of Batman & Robin and The New Batman Adventures, the game sees Batman and Batgirl investigating several seemingly-unrelated schemes organized by The Joker, Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy.
  • Batman also serves as a playable character in the beat 'em up game Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, again voiced by Conroy. The game features him, Robin, Batgirl and Nightwing coming into conflict with the crime-master Sin Tzu.

Batman: Arkham Series

Batman appears as the main playable character in the Batman: Arkham video game series. The games mainly concern his battles with various members of his rogues gallery across four different nights. Arkham Asylum follows Batman as he is caught in a takeover of Arkham Island organized by the Joker. Arkham City follows his investigations into a conspiracy revolving around Hugo Strange and the titular prison facility. Arkham Origins chronicles a bounty being placed on Batman's head and his first encounter with Joker. Arkham Knight focus on his enemies organizing a siege on Gotham with the assistance of the titular character. He also appears in various mobile and handheld games set in the universe, including Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate and Batman: Arkham Underworld. Batman is voiced by Kevin Conroy in Asylum, City and Knight, and Roger Craig Smith in Origins and Blackgate.

Telltale's Batman Series

Batman serves as the playable character in Telltale Games' Batman series. Set in their own continuity, the games are released episodically and revolve around decision-making mechanics, many of which last throughout each game. The first series, Batman: The Telltale Series, follows Batman as he attempts to stop a terrorist organization called the Children of Arkham whilst learning disturbing truths about his family. The second season, titled Batman: The Enemy Within, revolves around him investigating a criminal cabal called the Pact and his interactions with the Joker.

Other Batman Games

DC-Based Games

Media Tie-In Games

LEGO Video Games

Batman appears in various LEGO video games, including the self-title LEGO Batman series. The games feature him as either a main or supporting character, with various suits and equipment to bypass certain obstacles. Though his first game, LEGO Batman: The Videogame, focuses on him and Robin as they round up Arkham escapes, the later games feature Batman working with the Justice League to battle Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and Darkseid. Batman also appears in the crossover game LEGO Dimensions. In the games, Batman is voiced by either Steve Blum, Troy Baker or Kevin Conroy.

Injustice

Batman serves as a playable character in the Injustice fighting video game series. The games take place in a universe where Superman lost his sanity and became a dictator ruler with the backing of other Justice League members, calling themselves The Regime. In the first game Injustice: Gods Among Us, Batman recruits the League from "Prime-Earth", including his own counterpart, in a final attempt to stop the Man of Steel. The sequel, Injustice 2, features Batman reforming the Justice League in the aftermath of the first game. The story also sees him working with various allies to investigate the Society and later combat Brainiac with the Regime's help. Several other Batman mythos characters, such as the Joker, Catwoman, Damian Wayne, Harley Quinn and Bane, feature as playable characters. Some, like Batgirl and Red Hood, also features as a playable DLC character.

Other DC Games

  • Batman appears as a playable character in the fighting game Justice League Task Force. An android duplicate also serves as one of the enemies.
  • Batman serves as a playable character in beat-em-up game Justice League Heroes alongside other members of the Justice League.
  • Batman serves as a playable character in the crossover-fighting game Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, voiced by Dave Gazzana.
  • Batman serves as a supporting character in the MMORPG DC Universe Online, voiced by Kevin Conroy. The game primarily focuses on player-created characters, with Batman serving as one of the mentors of superhero characters.
  • Batman appears as a supporting character in the crossover puzzle game Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure. The game serves as part of the Scribblenauts series, with him, allies and enemies appearing as supporting characters or enemies.
  • Multiple versions of Batman from the DC Multiverse serve as playable characters in the MOBA game Infinite Crisis.

Non-DC Games

  • Batman makes an unofficial appearance in the 1989 video game The Revenge on Shinobi as one of its bosses. Some subsequent releases have removed the character due to copyright licenses.
  • The Lego Movie franchise's version of Batman also appears in tie-in games released to tie into the films. These also include a six-leveled The Lego Batman Movie tie-in pack released for LEGO Dimensions, replacing the game's version of the character. Will Arnett reprises his role for these appearances.
  • Batman appears as a playable character in the MOBA game Arena of Valor. The game also features Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and the Joker as playable characters.
  • Batman was added to the online game Fortnite in 2020. The game also features other characters from DC Comics, including Catwoman, Joker, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Batman also features in the tie-in comic book series Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point.

Other Appearances

Also See

References

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