With Robert Pattinson currently in the (delayed) process of bringing a new Batman to the screen in The Batman, fans are desperate to see how he’ll bring Bruce Wayne to life – but when he does finally arrive in cinemas, he’ll have a job to supplant previous actors who’ve played the role, with one ex-Caped Crusader in particular leaving pretty big Bat-boots to fill.
You see, despite leaving the role behind in 2012, it’s been revealed that Christian Bale is still the UK’s favourite Batman, with RadioTimes.com readers voting in their thousands to name the British star the number one Dark Knight in a new poll that featured the most notable actors to play the role.
“The Dark Knight rises! After starring in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed bat-trilogy and reinventing the character for a new generation, it’s no surprise that Christian Bale is still fans’ favourite version of the Caped Crusader eight years after he left the role,” RadioTimes.com Sci-Fi and Fantasy Editor Huw Fullerton said of the result.
“He might not have shark-repellant bat-spray or a loyal boy sidekick, but after capturing over 40 per cent of the vote it’s clear to see that this particular Batman’s popularity is still not on the (Bruce) wane.”
First appearing as the iconic superhero in 2005’s Batman Begins, Bale’s turn as Batman/Bruce Wayne was a key part of director Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, with the actor winning plaudits for his performance across sequels The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises before departing the role in 2012.
But eight years on, he’s still the Batman to beat. Scoring 42 per cent of the total vote in our poll Bale was far ahead of his nearest competitors, with 1960s Batman Adam West coming in second with 14 per cent, quickly followed by Michael Keaton’s version of the character with 13 per cent of the vote.
Batman Begins – Wide shot of Christian Bale as Batman walking down corridor followed by colony of bats. (WB)
They in turn were followed by Ben Affleck’s most recent version of Batman and animated voice actors Kevin Conroy and Will Arnett, with Val Kilmer and George Clooney trailing at the bottom of the leaderboard.
In other words, new Batman Robert Pattinson has a challenge ahead to put his stamp on the role when Bale is clearly still fondly remembered by so many. How to do it? This sounds like a job for the World’s Greatest Detective…
The Batman is released in October 2021. Want something to watch today? Check out our full TV Guide.