While we’re waiting for the next installment in the Batman trilogy, let’s look back at the last one and how it’s changed the careers of its star and director. After the massive success of Batman, Batman Returns, and The Dark Knight, it seemed only natural that Warner Bros. would want to retool their Batman franchise yet again. This time, in a desperate cry for inspiration, they turned to the one place that can always be relied upon for amazing costumes and amazing makeup: Cosplay.com! The result is arguably the greatest Batman movie ever made, The Dark Knight Rises, which has completely revitalized the franchise (if we do say so ourselves). It turns out that the most ingenious people in the world are Polish cosplayers, who created an entire line of Dark Knight costumes that would make Heath Ledger proud.

The Return Of The Native

Let’s take a step back for a moment and examine how Robert Pattinson came to be the definitive Batman of the modern era. First off, he’s British, which gives him that whole cool accent thing that everybody loves. In addition to being the spitting image of one of the world’s greatest fictional characters, he’s also blessed with an amazing body, which has resulted in a fairly successful career in fitness modeling. Unfortunately, like the rest of us, he’s also got his share of insecurities, which he’s been diligently working through (with the help of professional counselors, I hope). So it was only a matter of time before he started showing up on our screens in costume, looking dashing as usual.

Heath Ledger’s Joker

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a decade since Heath Ledger’s Joker turned our world on its head with its unique brand of crazy comedy and bizarre scenarios. For those lucky enough to have seen it, the film’s shocking ending will always remain among the most memorable scenes in cinematic history.

In keeping with a decades-long tradition, the Joker’s insane antics continued with the 2008 sequel, The Joker. While Ledger’s performance was certainly unforgettable, the sheer volume of Joker scenes required a great deal of stamina, especially for an actor who is now 52 years old. Suffice it to say, the odds against him staying alive were not in his favor.

Thankfully, there have been no official reports of Ledger’s passing (unlike the Michael Jackson saga), and it appears that his hectic schedule gave him the energy to continue working while battling his own health issues. As we saw in 2014’s The Lego Movie, Heath Ledger still had plenty to give even now that his career was waning. In the final year of his life, the actor appeared in one last role before his untimely death: an eccentric billionaire named Willy Wonka, who is hosting a contest for teenage girls to become his new grand-daughter’s guardians. Just as we were about to witness his last performance, Ledger had the audacity to ask for a standing ovation. It would be his swan song.

The Amazing Transforming Batwoman

While we’re on the subject of Heath Ledger, it’s only fair to discuss the sheer will and determination that it took for him to transform his body into that of the Joker. Aside from studying his methods, we can learn a lot about losing weight, getting in shape, and being an extraordinary performer from this renowned movie icon. If you’ve ever thought about trying something new with your body, you can always look to Ledger’s inspiring example.

It wasn’t until 2014 that we saw the next live-action adaptation of a superhero, when Warner Bros. finally brought Batman back to the big screen with the surprisingly good Ben Affleck in the director’s chair. Though he doesn’t possess the same distinctive acerbic voice as Ledger, Affleck has definitely got the acting chops to pull off the world’s greatest detective. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Batman, it’s that no man is an island. With his own personal trainer and a team of nutritionists, psychologists, and chefs, Affleck shed off the excess pounds needed to fit the part.

Though he’s not as well known for his comedic abilities as Heath Ledger, Sacha Baron Cohen is certainly no stranger to brilliant costumes and amazing makeups. As mentioned above, we’re only recently returned to the world of the living dead with the release of his comedy horror, The New Mutants. In the film, Sacha Baron Cohen transforms himself into the iconic character, Dr. Gregor Richter.

Sacha Baron Cohen has been making headlines for the right reasons over the past year, as he continues to satirize world leaders and celebrities. Aside from this, however, he’s been working hard to shed off the pounds he put on for his role as Dr. Richter, which he did for the better part of a year. Not only that, but he started a workout routine and changed his eating habits, which he detailed in an interview with Vogue.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the success of Deadpool and its ability to carve a niche for itself in the marketplace has a great deal to do with its incredible ensemble cast and the fact that it was directed by Tim Miller, an actor who seems to have a knack for putting together great ensemble casts. One of his previous films, Saving Mr. Wong, also starred some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Alec Baldwin, Donnie Yen, and Bill Murray. This was arguably one of the best ensemble casts we’ve seen in recent memory, and it’s largely due to Miller’s ability to corral talented individuals.

Among the many talented individuals who had a hand in creating Deadpool, the makeup artist who did the most work was none other than Mr. Miller’s wife, Rose. Not only that, but Deadpool is one of the rare Marvel Cinematic Universe movies where the makeup was as good as the special effects, which is definitely saying something. If you’ve never heard of Rose Miller, now might be a good time to check out her website, as she’s opened up a whole new world of possibilities for women in the beauty industry.

Though it didn’t perform well at the box office, there’s still a lot to be said for Marvel’s Black Widow, which marked an important step forward for women in superhero movies. The fact that it was a commercial and critical success means that audiences are ready and willing to see strong, independent, and beautiful women in leadership positions. On a more serious note, Black Widow also marked the first time that we saw Natasha Romanov, the daughter of the Russian President, walk the red carpet. We can only hope that this was a sign of things to come.

From Body Horror To Bikinis

Though it hasn’t received nearly as much praise as its Marvel rival (mostly because it came out a few years before), John Wick stands as one of the best pure action films of all time. Directed by and starring Keanu Reeves (yes, that Keanu Reeves), the film focuses on the main character, John Wick, as he ruthlessly eliminates his enemies, one by one.

Though it’s not entirely accurate, Keanu Reeves’ character was based on a real-life hitman named Johnnie Wick, who was portrayed by action star, Richard Armitage, in the 1999 film, The Hand. As a result of Reeves’ film adaptation, the entire world has learned about John Wick and his unrivaled arsenal of weapons, which he uses with uncanny precision and an unerring instinct for self-defense.

If you’re unfamiliar, Richard Armitage is a well-known face in British acting circles. Having appeared in numerous TV shows and films, including Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and the award-winning Sundance feature, The Hand, it should come as no surprise that he was chosen to portray Johnnie Wick. Though Richard Armitage is still alive, he never acted with Keanu Reeves and, for that matter, he’s never even spoken to him. Despite this, Reeves did meet with Armitage prior to filming and did explain to him that he was going to be loosely based on him in the movie.