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Batman Film Franchise

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The Batman film franchise consists of a total of nine theatrical live-action films and two live-action serials featuring the DC Comics superhero Batman.

1940s Serials


Main article: Batman (1943 Movie)

Batman is a 1943 15-chapter serial starring Lewis Wilson as Batman and Douglas Croft as Robin produced by Columbia pictures. The serial depicted the dynamic duo as US Government spies apprehending a Japanese agent named Dr. Daka (J. Carrol Naish) during World War II.

Batman and Robin

Main article: Batman and Robin (1949 Movie)

Columbia Pictures produced another 15-chapter serial with Batman and Robin this time going after a mysterious villain named The Wizard whose identity wasn't revealed until the end. Batman was played by Robert Lowery with Robin played by Johnny Duncan.

1966 Film


Main article: Batman (1966 Movie)

Batman (also known as Batman: The Movie) is the film adaptation of the highly popular 1960's Batman TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin, respectively. The film also featured Cesar Romero as The Joker, Burgess Meredith as Penguin, Lee Meriwether as Catwoman and Frank Gorshin as The Riddler.

Tim Burton / Joel Schumacher Films

  • Batman (1989)
  • Batman Returns (1992)
  • Batman Forever (1995)
  • Batman & Robin (1997)


Main article: Batman (1989 Movie)

Tim Burton released the motion picture Batman on June 23, 1989, a month after Batman's 50th anniversary of his comic debut and featured The Joker as the main villain. Michael Keaton was cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jack Nicholson was chosen to portray Jack Napier/The Joker.

The film would go on to inspire a DC cartoon series and change how people looked at superhero movies and film.

Batman Returns

Main article: Batman Returns

After the success of Batman, Tim Burton released the sequel Batman Returns on June 19, 1992 with Michael Keaton returning in his starring role with two main adversaries: The Penguin (portrayed by Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer).

With this movie and its predecessor, it marked the debut of Batman: The Animated Series.

Batman Forever

Main article: Batman Forever

Batman Forever was released on June 16, 1995 with many changes, Joel Schumacher was the main lead director with Tim Burton as a producer. Val Kilmer took over the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne from Michael Keaton and it had a more family-friendly tone. It introduced Batman's faithful sidekick Robin (portrayed by Chris O'Donnell) and two more main villains: Two-Face (portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (portrayed by Jim Carrey).

Batman & Robin

Main article: Batman & Robin

Batman & Robin was released on June 20, 1997. Joel Schumacher was on his own with this film as Tim Burton was no longer part of the franchise. George Clooney took over the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne while Chris O'Donnell reprized his role as Robin/Dick Grayson. The film also introduced new team member Batgirl (portrayed by Alicia Silverstone) and three villains: Mr. Freeze (portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger), Poison Ivy (portrayed by Uma Thurman) and Bane (portrayed by Jeep Swenson).

Burton/Schumacher Film Series
Films:   Batman  • Batman Returns  • Batman Forever  • Batman & Robin

Christopher Nolan Films

Chris Nolan Triology

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises

The films produced by filmmaker Christopher Nolan, known collectively as The Dark Knight Trilogy, were released between 2005 and 2012 and substantially rebooted the franchise aiming for a darker, more realistic tone.

Batman Begins

Main article: Batman Begins

In 2003, Christopher Nolan and co-writer David S. Goyer outlined a draft of a Batman origin story. Christian Bale was cast in the title role along with Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon and  Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox . The film introduced a new character, Rachel Dawes played by Katie Holmes and the main villains were Ra's Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy). Batman Begins was opened on June 17, 2005 to critical and commercial success.

Batman: Gotham Knight

Main article: Batman: Gotham Knight

Gotham Knight is a 2008  direct-to-DVD animated anthology series consisting of six animated short films set between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Each film is presented with its own unique art style and is not meant to be canon with the other Nolan films.

The Dark Knight

Main article: The Dark Knight

Plans for a sequel were already in the works around the time of Begins when Goyer outlined a story featuring the Joker. Robin Williams and Steve Carrell were big contenders for the role which ultimately went to Heath Ledger. The film featured Harvey Dent/Two-Face in prominent role and was played by Aaron Eckhart while Maggie Gyllenhaal replaced Katie Holmes as Rachel. The film opened on July 18, 2008 to massive critical acclaim with Heath Ledger, who died during production, being posthumously awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.

The Dark Knight Rises

Main article: The Dark Knight Rises

The third and final installment of the Nolan series was released on July 20, 2012 and featured Bane as the main villain played by Tom Hardy with Anne Hathaway playing Selina Kyle. The film also introduced characters of John Blake played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Miranda Tate played by Marion Cotillard.

Nolan Film Series
Films:   Batman Begins  • The Dark Knight  • The Dark Knight Rises

DC Cinematic Universe

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Main article: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Batman v Superman - Dawn of Justice (official logo)
At the 2013 Comic-Con, director Zack Snyder announced he and Warner Bros are planning to produce a sequel to Man of Steel which will feature a crossover with DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. As of now it is tentatively titled Batman Vs. Superman and is aiming for a 2016 release. On August 22, 2013, it was announced that Warner Bros. that Academy-Award winning actor/director Ben Affleck will play Batman in the film.

Template:DC Cinematic Universe films

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