The ability to take a beloved, iconic role and reinvent it is a hallmark of a great performance. Actors have been doing it for centuries with classic stage parts like Macbeth, Oedipus and Hedda Gabler, but it’s even more impressive in the age of on-screen adaptations when a definitive performance can burn into the minds of audiences for decades. Indeed, Jared Leto recently commented that playing The Joker in Suicide Squad was akin to taking on a role like Hamlet, where so many iconic interpretations of the character proceed you, but perhaps no other modern role has been so often reimagined than that of The Joker’s sworn-nemesis, Batman.
Batman was not only one of the earliest comic book characters to get an on-screen adaptation in Columbia’s 1943 Batman serial, but he’s remained one of the most popular superhero headliners ever since, racking up countless film franchises, animated features and videogames over the decades. In the process, an unusually large amount of actors have tried their hand at The Caped Crusader.
Now that we’ve all had a chance to catch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s time to take a look back at the actors who’ve picked up the cape and cowl over the years and pick a favorite. Do you prefer the jauntier bam-pow days of Adam West or Ben Affleck‘s pitch dark spin on the character? Can either of them compete with MVPs like Kevin Conroy and Christian Bale? Or maybe you like your Bruce Wayne with a little nipple action, a la George Clooney. Place your vote in the poll below (and vote on your favorite live-action Batman costume while your at it). May the Darkest Knight win.
(Note: Given the huge amount of actors that have voiced Batman in the animated films, we stuck with the most influential repeat actors, but if your fave isn’t on the list, represent them in the comments!)
Click here for all the latest Batman news, and check out some of our most recent coverage in the links below.
- Do You Want Ben Affleck to Direct a Solo Batman Film? Zack Snyder Does
- ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ Teaser Reveals First Footage of Mark Hamill’s Return as The Joker
- Ben Affleck Has Written a ‘Batman’ Solo Movie
- ‘The LEGO Batman Movie': New Trailer Features a Batfleck Cameo
- Soundtrack Saturday: Iconic Batman Themes from Danny Elfman to Hans Zimmer