The Many Faces of Batman
Lewis Wilson was a fresh-faced 23-year-old when he portrayed the caped crusader in the 1943 movie serial Batman. Well spoken and blandly handsome, Wilson lacked a dangerous edge.
A former baseball player, Robert Lowery was chosen to play Batman in the 1949 movie serial Batman and Robin. He was more believable than his predecessor in the action scenes, but wasn't much of an actor otherwise.
Adam West (right) played his 1960s Batman with an ironic wink. When Robin is about to dispose of a bomb by throwing it into a bar, Batman stops him, saying: "They may be drinkers, Robin, but they're still human beings."
When Keaton was cast in Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman, Warners fielded letters complaining he was too short and not handsome enough. But Burton felt he could best express Bruce Wayne's tortured personality, and he acquitted himself well.
In Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever, Val Kilmer was a memorably grumpy Batman, and his performance may not have been helped by on-set tensions. Schumacher later described his behaviour on set as "childish and impossible".
George Clooney might have been the greatest Batman had he not played him in perhaps the worst film. He floundered in Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin.
There was no doubt that Christian Bale had the acting chops to play a darker Batman in Christopher Nolan's 2005 Batman Begins, but his physique seemed insufficiently heroic. He put on almost 100lbs of muscle in preparation.