Like how all the super-heroes in comics and on the big screen end up, their physical and behavioural peculiarities don’t stay the same over time but in fact undergo a series of alterations and sometimes distortions, according to the ages and the minds of their creators, in order to make the character more interesting, surprising and in line with the needs of the public.
Batman, the masked hero, is perhaps the character who has undergone the most changes on the big screen. The people behind these changes are the directors of the various films who are entrusted with the appearance and nuances of Batman.
Tim Burton’s Batman: a noir and colourful comic strip
The one entrusted to Tim Burton is still perhaps the film adaptation of Batman which is most faithful to DC’s comic strip. In a colourful and comic-book like Gotham City, with gothic and stifling atmospheres enhanced by a setting as surreal as impeccable, the interpretation of Michael Keaton in the shoes of Bruce Wayne is spot-on: charismatic but melancholic, cold but at the same time passionate and determined, the rich businessman turns into a masked hero who becomes a champion of justice, but is still tormented by the anguish of a stolen childhood that forced him to grow up perhaps too quickly. Between the light, the shadows, action and irony, Tim Burton’s Batman worthily opens the way to the rebirth of the hero masquerading on the big screen.
Christopher Nolan creates an introspective and tormented Batman
It’s called Batman Begins, the first episode of the film trilogy with which Nolan decided to give a new face to Batman. In this case the director focuses on the origins, while investigating the personality of Bruce Wayne as his alter ego, he focuses his attention on fear, the real spark from which the whole film comes to life. Christian Bale is the perfect actor for the new Batman: thanks to his versatility, he manages to perfectly summarize the duality of this new character, in which the light and the shadows coexist and alternate continuously. The themes dealt with in the first film will have a full follow-up in the following two as well, in particular in The Dark Knight where a Gotham invaded by an ever increasing number of fools and criminals will shine light upon a more and more tormented Bruce Wayne, so much so that his moral ethics and actions of a ‘Good Superhero’ will be doubted.
With Zack Snyder, Batman becomes wiser
The cinecomic Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice created by Zack Snyder, boasts a team consisting of Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and finally Batman played by Ben Affleck. The new Batman harvests the legacy of The Dark Knight but is dressed in a darker and more reflective aura. Although Affleck’s performance is not Oscar-worthy, he still manages to pull away from his predecessors, showing us a wiser and older Batman, compared to a younger and more active Superman.
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