Christian Bale was voted as the best Batman in a new poll conducted by RadioTimes, and by an extremely large margin.
The 46-year-old Bale received 42 percent of the vote, which was well ahead of Adam West, who finished second at 14 percent. Michael Keaton was just behind West, finishing third with 13 percent of the votes. Those three alone made up for over two-thirds of the total votes.
So far, six different actors have suited up as Batman in a live action film.
West, who starred as the Dark Knight in the iconic ’60s Batman television series, reprised his role in the 1966 film, Batman.
Keaton took on the role in Tim Burton’s two blockbusters, Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). After Keaton turned down the opportunity for a third film, The Doors and Tombstone star Val Kilmer was cast as the Caped Crusader in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever (1995).
Kilmer decided against doing a sequel, so George Clooney was cast as his replacement in the universally panned Batman & Robin (1997).
Following the disappointment of Batman & Robin, the decision was made to reboot the franchise. Christopher Nolan took over the series, with Bale being cast as the World’s Greatest Detective for the trilogy: Batman Begin (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Ben Affleck was cast as the sixth Batman actor for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), before stepping down from the franchise. Twilight star Robert Pattinson was announced as the replacement for The Batman, with Matt Reeves serving as the director.
West, Keaton and Bale received mainly favorable and strong reviews for their portrayals of Batman, whereas Clooney and Affleck received strongly negative reviews. Kilmer’s was more of a mixed reception, and he recently admitted that the role wasn’t exactly as exciting as he thought it would be.
Only time will tell which category Pattinson’s Batman portrayal will fall under.
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