Comparing Batman: How Different and Similar are Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson’s Versions of Batman?

As the new movie is closing in, we might just be witnessing one of the best adaptations of Batman

2022 is a great year for Batman fans. We will be getting Matt Reeves’ The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, and in November, we will get Andy Muschietti’s Flashpoint, which stars Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton reprising their roles as Batman.

But this article will be about the past two iterations we have seen and the one we are about to see. I know its too soon to add Pattinson into the list, but he does look very promising. So let me try a brief comparison between the three.

Bale and Affleck’s characters

Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson
Warner Bros.

Bruce Wayne is described, and depicted, as a very charismatic personality, and is often titled “The Prince of Gotham.” But very few know about the golden boy’s obsession with dealing out justice in violent methods and his nightly escapades in a bat suit.

Perhaps Christian Bale was the one who showed the playboy side the most, in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. We see him continuously fool the public by travelling around in Lamborghinis and with pretty supermodels or ballerinas in his arms. And while he displayed anger at times, it was nowhere close what we got to see later on. But one thing that was present in all three of Nolan’s movies were hope.

We see Bruce being stretched to his limits, we see him losing loved ones, but he continued to stay on the righteous path, even when he took the fall for Harvey Dent’s murder.

But seeing Affleck was something entirely different. In fact, many still hate Zack Snyder’s vision for the DCEU’s Batman. They couldn’t stand a Batman who is killing criminals in cold blood. But that was his entire arc, and Snyder showed us snippets all along the movie. In a scene, we see Bruce Wayne waking up and swallowing antidepressants or painkillers with wine. Now, a doctor will tell you how fatal that could be. But this is a Batman who is more comic accurate, and is at his peak even in his forties. And yet, he must’ve done that because he simply wanted to stop existing. Nolan’s Batman didn’t take in sidekicks, and Officer Blake, or Robin, took the mantle after Bruce’s “death.”

But Ben Affleck‘s Batman had lost his Robin to the Joker, and still has his suit to remind him of his biggest failure. A Batman who is on the verge of losing hope realizes that otherworldly beings like Superman exists, and also got to see his company’s Metropolis branch get wrecked, along with the employees. We hear the Kryptonian World Engine’s sound in his dreams. And his dreams are of his parents dying, or blood leaking out of his mother’s grave.

Getting attacked by a giant bat also shows how the different entity called Batman is taking over his humanity. He was willing to give up on everything in his fight against Superman, but instead his faith in humanity was restored due to Superman’s sacrifice. So we got to see that this Batman’s arc was redemption, to overcome his killing nature.

Pattinson’s version

Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson
Warner Bros.

We have seen Bale, the realistic Batman, and Affleck’s version of a more comic-accurate brawler Batman. And with Pattinson, we see a combination of the two, with an added characteristic we haven’t seen properly – his detective side. We see Batman use his tech for all sorts of things, but not in solving mysteries.

While we haven’t seen him solving crimes in the trailer, we know a big part of the movie will be that. But we did see his rage. Both Bale and Affleck had moments of rage, and using brutal intimidation methods, but here is a man who doesn’t yet know how to hold back on his punches, who doesn’t care if the missions he embarks on takes his life or not. But we can expect Pattinson’s Batman to slowly become the hero he was meant to be. But here, he isn’t a hero.

He is a rich kid with a trust fund and too much anger. He is going to get into the wrong side of the law, and many will hate him, even the people he’s supposed to be helping. But such is Batman’s journey.

In conclusion, Pattinson looks very promising, and he is capable of bringing the best versions of both Bale and Affleck, and add his own uniqueness to it. What do you think?