Most fans of the Dark Knight will tell you that Christian Bale’s performance as the Caped Crusader in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy is the best representation of the character ever put to film. While it’s true that Bale’s portrayal is incredible, it’s also true that his Batman may not be the original. Could Robert Pattinson’s turn as the Dark Knight in the upcoming movie, The Batman, potentially herald the return of the Caped Crusader? Let’s take a look back at history and see if there’s any truth to this theory.

A Brief History Of Batman

Batman was created by American cartoonist Bob Kane in 1939 and started appearing in Detective Comics #27. His first movie appearance was in the 1942 film serial Batman, which was based on the character. Other famous film series based on Batman include the 1960s Batman series and the most recent Dark Knight Trilogy from Christopher Nolan. And let’s not forget about the 1989 musical drama version that starred Michael Keaton!

There have been a number of actors who have portrayed Batman on the big screen over the years, but none of them really fit the traditional definition of the character. George Clooney was actually supposed to play Batman in the 1966 Batman movie, but the role went to Michael Keaton instead. And speaking of Michael Keaton, let’s not forget about the two times he plays Batman in the Batman series: The first was in 1989’s Batman and the second was in 1992’s Batman Returns. In the 20th anniversary edition of Batman, Kevin Smith even jokingly refers to Keaton playing Batman twice.

It wasn’t until the 21st century that filmmakers really started to experiment with different types of interpretations of Batman. Danny Devito played the character with a more comedic edge in the 1997 comedy, Spawn. In the same year, Tommy Lee Jones played an aging Batman in the hit movie, The Fugitive. In the same year, Tommy Lee Jones also played a younger version of the character in the movie, Batman Forever.

A Pattinson For The Part

Many fans of the Dark Knight are curious about who will play Batman in the upcoming movie, The Batman. The film’s director, Matt Reeves, had this to say about the decision to go with an unknown actor for the part:

“It wasn’t about looking for a big name… It was really about finding [the right] person, and that’s a rare thing. We looked at a lot of people. There were a few names that came up, and there was one in particular that we really focused on… But that was pretty much it. We didn’t want to put a lot of thought into it, other than to make sure that [Robert] Pattinson could play the part.”

Reeves went on to say that he saw a lot of similarities between Batman and Pattinson:

“The way he looks, the way he acts, there’s a lot of connection there. I think it’s going to be interesting to see what people say about this Batman… I don’t know if he’s going to be compared to previous Batmen or not, but I think it’s a good fit.”

This was the first time that the public heard of Pattinson, and pretty soon after the news broke, the actor started receiving praise from fans and movie insiders alike. Although the role of the Caped Crusader is historically significant, playing Batman can be a huge challenge, especially when you consider that the character requires an actor to put his or her own spin on it.

Different Takes On The Same Character

Of course, not every film interpretation of Batman is unique and fresh, either. There have been a number of films that have either recreated or parodied the Batman mythos. Some of these films were good, like the 1998 cult classic, Batmanhalo, and the 2006 spoof, Batman vs. Robin. But others were bad, like 1998’s Batman Cafe and the 2009 horror spoof, Batman Romneysghost.

There have also been cases where a director of one of these films decides to direct a solo movie about the Caped Crusader, and in those cases, the results are usually disastrous. The 2004 film, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, is often cited as one of the worst. It’s a shame, too, because prior to this film, there was actually some pretty good Batman movies. For example, 1989’s Batman is often referred to as one of the best superhero films of all time.

For fans of the Dark Knight, it would be nice if all of these false starts and bad decisions led to some sort of a comeback. Perhaps, one day, we’ll see a truly unique and original film that explores Batman’s mythology in a fresh and exciting way.

For now, though, we have The Batman, and it looks like Robert Pattinson is going to give it his all to make it something special. With any luck, this time around, filmmakers will pay more attention to creating a quality product and less to trying to cater to mainstream audiences, and we’ll get to see what Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson would think about the character today.