Geek Dave offers up some trivia on the various actors who have portrayed the Dark Knight on screen.
1. The first person to play Batman on film was an unknown actor called Lewis Wilson. He starred in the 1943 fifteen episode chapter-play The Batman. Although Wilson never really made it big as an actor, his son Michael G Wilson found fame as an executive producer on the James Bond movies.
2. Robert Lowery played the second on-screen Batman, appearing in the 1949 series Batman and Robin. In 1956 he gave the world the first on-screen meeting of a Batman and a Superman, sort off. That is to say he appeared in an episode of The Adventures Of Superman opposite George Reeves, although not as Batman/Bruce Wayne.
3. Adam West, famous for the 1960s Batman TV show, turned down the role of James Bond. In 1970 he was sought as Sean Connery's replacement, but West claimed that he felt Bond should never be played by anyone other than a British actor. The Bond producers cast Australian George Lazenby instead!
4. Adam West had a
cosmetic dentist put a little Batman logo in one of his molars!
5. Although he was always Tim Burton's first choice, Michael Keaton beat Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Charlie Sheen, Tom Selleck, Bill Murray and future Bond Pierce Brosnan to the part of Batman in the 1989 big screen movie.
6. When Tim Burton dropped out of Batman Forever, Keaton followed too. Desperate to keep their star Warner Bros. offered him $15million, which was a huge payday for 1995. Keaton met with Joel Schumacher but was unhappy with the screenplay, he felt it was too
lighthearted - so no matter the check, Keaton wasn't playing.
7. When Val Kilmer donned the cowl in 1995 his main competition for the role was William Baldwin. But the producers also considered big brother Alec Baldwin, Kurt Russell, Ethan Hawke, Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Day-Lewis and Johnny Depp. However, top of their wishlist (and never gonna have happened) was Tom Hanks.
8. Our next Batman, George Clooney, starred in Empire magazine's "Worst Movie Ever" (February 2010) aka Batman & Robin. Clooney beat David Duchovny to the part, I bet he wish he'd lost! It's sad to think that this was the last Batman movie viewed by Batman creator Bob Kane. He died in 1998, one year after the release of Batman & Robin.
9. Christian Bale took up the mantle of the Dark Knight in Christopher Nolan's trilogy. For 2005s Batman Begins he performed many of his own stunts, however for insurance reasons he was not allowed to drive the Batmobile!
10. Ben Affleck is due to make his Batman debut in 2016s Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Affleck will become the first actor to have played both of the iconic DC Comics roles, kind of. Back in 2006 Affleck portrayed George Reeves (the 1950s Superman) in the movie Hollywoodland.
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