Over the years, we’ve seen many famous faces play the role of Batman. Whether it’s been played by Adam West, Michael Keaton or most recently, Ben Affleck, the Gotham city streets have been home to some of the most iconic characters ever.
But now that Batman is back, how is he being portrayed? Is he the same as he was in the past? Or has a new generation risen to portray the dark knight? We took a look at the differences between the movies and the TV show to see if and how Robert Pattinson’s Batman has evolved over the years.
While we’re used to seeing Batman on the big screen, it wasn’t always the case. The character first appeared in a comic book in 1941 and since then, he’s appeared in many different genres; from animated movies to live-action films. But what’s fascinating about the character is that he’s never really changed. In many of the films, the director or screenwriter would try and update the character for contemporary times, yet he always comes back to his original roots.
This is largely thanks to his creator, Batman co-creator and writer Bill Finger. Finger understood the value of playing to an audience’s imagination and didn’t want to change what made Batman so appealing in the first place. So, even today, the character’s outfits and gadgets still have a retro feel to them.
Changes In Appearance
Since his introduction in the 1940s, Batman has undergone many changes. But perhaps the most striking difference is in his appearance. As mentioned, the character has never really changed, so when we compare contemporary pictures of him to his original costume (he used to wear a cape and a cowl), it’s easy to see how much he’s evolved.
In modern times, he’s mostly been portrayed as a tall, dark and handsome man with an elegant sense of style. While it would be easy to just copy what’s in front of us, filmmakers have always tried to find a way to improve on the traditional Batman look. So, as part of the ’70s revival of the character, directors decided to give Batman a more modern makeover. They took inspiration from the stylish men of the time and gave the character bespoke suits, sunglasses and a motorcycle.
The next big change to the Batman costume came when Tim Burton took the helm of the Batman franchise in 1989. Burton, a renowned fashion designer, paid particular attention to the suit and made many subtle but noticeable alterations. First, he shortened the cape so it matched the length of his hair. He also removed the shirt and tie from the overalls to show off his muscles. And last but not least, he gave the bat emblem a more refined, sculptural look and updated the overalls to make them look less like Halloween Costumes and more like sophisticated business attire.
Since then, the character’s look has barely changed. In fact, many of these alterations were so successful that nowadays, it’s hard to tell whether or not you’re looking at a comic book character or a film star. The one thing that has changed most significantly is the character’s demeanor. In most of the old movies, Batman was portrayed as a brooding intellectual with a deep-seated hatred for criminals and a love for silent movies. While this brooding persona remains, the new films give us a more confident and assured Batman.
Evolution Of The Role
If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’ll know that we’re huge fans of Batman. We often sing his praises, especially given the enduring popularity of the character. So we were incredibly excited when we heard that he was returning to the big screen. We’re even more thrilled to see that the character has evolved a little bit over the years. But even if the character hasn’t changed at all, it would be hard to imagine a scenario where he wouldn’t be popular.
To start with, let’s compare Batman as he was in the Tim Burton era to how he is now. Back in 1989, Batman was a dark, moody character with a brooding appearance. He was always prepared to fight crime and criminals seemed scared of him. But perhaps the biggest difference between the two Bats was his attitude. In the Burton films, the character was always shown as confident and assertive. If you compare this to the earlier version, you’ll notice a marked difference in how the character acts. Just look at how differently he addresses Barbara Gordon in the two movies. In the older film, he doesn’t even bother to hide his disdain for her. While in the new one, he makes a point to say hello and to keep her in the loop about the progress of his investigation.
Then, of course, there’s the matter of Burton’s Dark Knight vs. the Nolan Batman. While we love both characters and believe that they’re both perfectly suited for the silver screen, the contrast in styles and the overall cinematic feel is night and day. The Burton films are often characterized by their rich use of colors and heightened contrasts. In stark contrast, the Dark Knight films are often more subdued, using limited colors and a more subtle contrast in lighting.
Changes In Detective Style
Even if you don’t follow Batman comics, you may be familiar with the character’s famous detective style. Over the years, we’ve seen many different detectives try their hand at catching criminals. But as the name would suggest, Batman’s detective style has always been characterized by a flair for fashion and an elegant approach to crime-solving. In many of the old films, he would often comb through the crime scene and dress the part of the character he’s playing. In some of the later films, he would bring a suit along for the ride. So while the character hasn’t changed at all, we’ve seen a change in how he approaches his work. In many of the older films, he would stand out against the scenery, while in the new ones, he’s more of an enigma, blending into the background, much like Robert Pattinson himself.
A More Sophisticated Look
In general, we’d say that from an esthetic point of view, the newer Batman films are just a tad more tasteful than the older ones. While it’s not exactly a case of movie-star cravings, the stylish and modern look of the films is matched only by the fashionable, yet deadly, gentlemen of the time. And if we’re nitpicking, it’s not hard to find fault in the older films. Take the 1966 Batman TV show. The costumes were terrible, but the sets and props were amazing! It’s clear that the budget just wasn’t there to go the extra mile.
But these are very minor quibbles. Overall, the character just keeps getting better and better with age. And even if he doesn’t, fashion always finds a way.