Batman is one of the most recognizable characters of the 20th and 21st centuries. His stories have sold countless millions of comics and he’s been reinvented and put through the ringer more times than almost any other superhero. So why is it so hard to find a good Batman actor? Along with having an incredibly long real-life history, the mental and physical toll that even the best Batman actors have had to suffer through have made the role of the Caped Crusader very hard to accurately cast. Actors who have played Batman have been from all over the cinematic map; lifelong actors, auteurs, and straight-up goofballs have portrayed the Dark Knight, but none of them have been absolutely perfect.
Pick any Batman film - especially the most revered titles, like Tim Burton’s 1989 piece that’s held up as one of his masterworks or Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Night, considered by many to be the apex of the entire Batman franchise - and you can find issues within each performance. While Keaton and Bale each have their own strengths and weaknesses, they also don’t manage to find their way into being the perfect Batman. And no matter how Robert Pattinson plays the Caped Crusader in the upcoming The Batman, his casting alone is enough to divide fans.
This just goes to show that no matter how well you stack the deck in your favor, when it comes to Batman, you may not be able to find the diamond in the rough. Keep reading to find out why it's hard to cast a good Batman.
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Every Fan Is An Armchair Casting DirectorPhoto: Warner Bros.
Not to be rude, but you people make it impossible to cast a good Batman. It doesn't matter who's chosen to play Bats after Affleck inevitably leaves the character in a huff; you're going to eviscerate him online and say that he'll never be as good as Bale, Keaton, or Heaven forbid, George Clooney. Did you ever think that you're why it's hard to cast a good Batman? Actors don't want to deal with all the garbage that comes along with it.Agree or disagree?
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Batman Means Something Different To Each GenerationPhoto: Warner Bros.
Depending on how old you are, and when you came to the character, Batman means something different to you than what he does to someone who started reading Batman in the '80s or the '50s or someone who has never read a Batman comic and only knows him from the films. People that grew up in the '90s lucked out when it comes to representations of Batman in media because there was so much to choose from that you could cherry-pick what you liked and didn't like about the character. But that's turned into a sloppy of melange of no one being happy with the character that's being portrayed onscreen.Agree or disagree?
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Actors Feel A Constant Need To Reinvent The CharacterPhoto: Warner Bros.
This theory may be categorically untrue for all roles, but it seems to be the case with the Caped Crusader. If this were the case with every famous role then you would be constantly reading think pieces about why it's so hard to cast a good Hamlet, or "Why Michael Fassbender's Performance of Macbeth Was Problematic." Maybe there's a problem inherent in Batman that makes actors think they need to reinvent the wheel every time they take the reigns from another actor.Agree or disagree?
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Warner Bros. Won't Allow A Director To Make A Completely Artistic ChoicePhoto: Warner Bros.
When it comes down to it, Batman is a property. And even though it would be cool to see what a film about a bat-themed crime fighter could be if you really got weird with it (or you know, cast someone who isn't white), that's never going to happen. Warner Bros. isn't going allow a director to cast someone they don't think will be able to make them money, thus making their property more valuable. Batman is essentially the new Bond. It's going to be at least 20 years before you see the studio take a chance with either of these characters.Agree or disagree?