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Comparing Every Live Action Batman: 5 Major Differences

From voice to physique, every Batman in the movies has brought something different.

Over the years we’ve seen a wide array of different Batmen on film. From the wacky, over-the-top 60s Adam West Batman or the brooding more grounded Robert Pattinson Batman we have now. Each Batman franchise has given us something different.

I thought we could go back and take a look at some of their differences and what made them unique, so here goes:



20th Century Fox, Warner Bros.

In the decades we’ve seen Bruce Wayne become the Caped Crusader, we’ve enjoyed many versions of the suit.

In the early days of Adam West it almost had a cosplay feel to it, where the times they did their movie the batsuit wasn’t like armor or something that seemed to protect him from harm or danger but just something something to hide his identity. The utility belt and its gadgets have always been the things that got Batman out of a jam and honestly, this thing was sweet. Whatever you might think, he probably had it. In later versions of the suit, it was not just the utility belt that protected him, but the suit itself that could withstand multiple rounds of fire and face explosions and other serious dangers.

Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s version of the suit differs in that Schumacher added the infamous nipples, but both were trying to accentuate the physique and give it a more armored look that could actually protect our beloved Batman.

Warner Bros.

At Chris Nolan’s batman begins we finally got to see how the battle suit was created showing a military prototype Lucious had made that he knew would suit his life as a crime fighter.

It was amazing to watch Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne pulverize the combination that would instill fear in Gotham’s criminals. They also deepened the functionality of the costume and cape while reducing clutter for a sleeker version in The black Knight which Lucious explains will allow more mobility but be more vulnerable to knife attacks.

Warner Bros.

Then we came to what I consider to be the most comedic version of a costume on film, with Ben Affleck’s main batsuit from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice influenced by Frank Miller Return of the Dark Knight graphic novel where we also saw Batman take on the Man of Steel. He later dons a more militaristic suit for Justice League, which makes sense to protect him against Parademons, but aesthetically he looked odd in my opinion.

Finally, we Mr. Pattinsons batsuit from The Batman it gives him the most grounded costume of all. It’s something you might see a billionaire unravel where even the cowl seams are exposed showing where he put the pieces together and showing off the realism of his costume with the armor plating and raw bat symbol in his chest lend Batman the most grounded. we saw.


Physics and global physics

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I always thought Batman’s physique was never really portrayed as the tall, fearsome Batman I would see in the comics until Ben Affleck was cast, Ben Affleck being over 6ft tall really became the frame Batman’s most movie-accurate physics I’d seen. Although we really haven’t seen a movie about Bruce Wayne’s physical strength and training before Nolan’s trilogy. We not only saw the origin of his martial arts training with the League of Shadows, but we saw how he maintained his physical training with morning push-ups which made me laugh at the time but which eventually led to being able to lift a wooden beam. beside himself, with Alfred’s help of course. I always liked that we got to see that part of his origin because only the anime series really dipped into his training and how he became the hand-to-hand fighter that he was.

All of the Batman movies before Bale never really took the time to venture into this side of the Dark Knight. We knew in those moments that he was a badass and never cared how he acquired certain skills or strengths. To me that’s part of what makes him the great hero he is, he’s not superpowered so for him to physically do the things he does like a normal human being is all the more impressive . He not only uses his intellect, but also his brawn to tactfully solve crimes and take down the villainous gallery of thugs he has to deal with.

Warner Bros. / via

Ben Affleck’s Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice showed us the brutality of his fights more than Christian Bale ever did with his Batman being a more jaded Caped Crusader who was tired of being the Batman of old and ready to mark and scare people with a way we haven’t seen to put fear into Gotham’s criminals. We also got a montage of him training and getting stronger to finally take on Superman, which was a little cringe-worthy, but whatever, Affleck’s props for getting as hyped as he was for the movie.

Recently we have Robert Pattinson’s Batman who isn’t as physically bulky as Affleck or even Bale but carries the height and presence of physicality when he fights. He didn’t specifically bulk up to give his Batman the speed that Matt Reeves wanted to portray. This will always be a point of contention for Batman fans as it’s just a point of preference as to who best represents the Batman we like to see and I’m sure the debate will always be alive as long as there are Batman fans.


The voice

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Each actor who has portrayed the Dark Knight has brought their own style to the iconic hero’s voice. From the hoarse growl of Christian Bale to the more whispery tone of Michael Keaton. We’ve heard some great and possibly laughable performances from Batman’s voice, but all unique in their own way.

I thought Ben Affleck’s Batman took a nice approach with the voice changer, even if it gave a bit of an auto-tune vibe. I would say the general tone of Batman’s voice is to approach him with a bit of a whisper that each actor has made his own.

I think Michael Keaton and Robert Pattinson were my favorites because they both took a less-is-more approach to their voice and delivered it in a way that’s supposed to strike fear into the hearts of criminals than they capture.


The character of Bruce Wayne

Warner Bros.

For anyone who knows Batman, it’s Bruce Wayne who really is the mask he wears to not only keep people from realizing he’s the masked vigilante, but also to give hope to the people of Gotham in doing good deeds like a philanthropist. It’s this character that we’ve seen in different versions over the years that gave us more depth in Batman.

Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne had a crazy side, just look at his scene with Jack Nicholson’s Joker, firing a poker and smashing pottery to get shot so as not to let the bad guys know his fighting acumen.

Val Kilmer and George Clooney played it more like themselves, which didn’t deviate enough from Michael Keaton’s previous iteration, although I thought Christian Bale’s take was probably the quirkiest and most just playing the playboy we know and love, then playing the introverted recluse in the final film in his trilogy. It was this general arc that really brought out all the sides of Bruce.

Ben Affleck and Robert Pattinson’s Bruce, though at different times in their lives, best represented their broken parts. You can see the trauma they went through and how it affected their outlook on life and Gotham as a whole.


The detective

Warner Bros.

Finally, what I felt was always the most important aspect of the character of Batman, being the greatest detective in the world. Early adaptations of Batman didn’t really delve too deeply into his detective skills. He always had some gadget or other that helped him decipher evidence, but we never really saw him at a crime scene until the Black Knight even then we found out who his next victim was supposed to be and he once again took a piece of brick and although there was some trial and error to figure out the bullet so he could get a print it is more forensic than direct detective work. This has been my biggest gripe with the movies, as many of them focused on big action set pieces rather than the intimate little noir sleuthing stories that made me such a fan.

The Batman took a fresh approach to this as we see Pattinson’s Batman actively working with Jeffrey Wrights’ Detective Gordon throughout the movie instead of just a scene or two trying to solve the Riddlers’ clues and being a bit of a rookie since this version of Batman has only been fighting crime for 2 years. That’s why this new Batman movie has been my favorite out of all the movies. It’s this approach to the dark detective genre that some of the best Batman comics have been influenced by and made their stories so compelling.

Did you enjoy all the different versions of Batman? Let us know in the comments below which was your favorite and why.