10 best Batman portrayals in film

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2. Christian Bale

I already know this ranking might be controversial (as he could easily have been number one). For many of us, Christian Bale embodied the Dark Knight in a way that is beyond iconic. He is the reason that many of us have such a hard time looking at Ben Affleck as Batman.

Bale took the character we all know and love from the comics and made him edgy, realistic, dark, and human. He was a perfect playboy businessman, while also embodying the role of masked vigilante. Watching the trilogy starring Bale as Batman made it feel like we really were watching a real life Caped Crusader on-screen.

It is nearly impossible to think of anyone else giving us a dark and edgy version of Batman in a way that comes close to what Bale did.

1. Michael Keaton

In first place, I have to choose Michael Keaton. Without Keaton, there is no Christian Bale and The Dark Knight. Before Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and even our animated actors, there was Michael Keaton.

He was the first Caped Crusader to give us a true feel for a serious Batman, and he did it with a flair that inspired everyone who came after him. Keaton reintroduced the world to a cinematic version of the DC hero. For that alone, he has to be at the top of the list, because without him, we probably don’t have The Dark Knight Trilogy or the DC Extended Universe (for good or for bad).

Keaton is our childhood Batman and will always be iconic for that reason alone.

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When it comes to the actors who have portrayed Batman, there have been plenty of people willing to don the mantle. And while we don’t know what the future holds, we can’t wait to see who gets to wear the cape next.