MTV asks for your favorite Batman

MTV might not know good music from a hole in the ground these days, but I’m a big fan of the guys over at MTV Movies Blog.

This week, they’re asking a big question:

Who Was The Ultimate ‘Dark Knight’? Christian Bale or Michael Keaton?

(And before I forget to mention it, check out this running log of MTV’s Dark Knight coverage, including excellent interviews that I’m not going to read until after I’ve seen the film next Thursday night.)

I’ll never forget the night I saw the first Burton/Keaton Batman movie.

It blew me away. Keaton owned the role. When I look back on the film now I think it’s a terrible Batman movie because of the ridiculous way they made Nicholson’s Joker the killer of Bruce Wayne’s parents (which never happened in the comics) and then killed The Joker off at the end of the movie. Not to mention the fact that Batman was killing people left and right. That being said, I still love to watch it and I enjoy it for what it is.

But Keaton? Awesome. I loved how spooky and intense his dark blue eyes looked behind the mask, and when he spoke you knew he could kick anyone’s ass. He was always “my” Batman.

Until Christian Bale came along.

Anybody can identify with Spider-Man. Sometimes your best is not enough no matter how hard you try, and sometimes your best intentions still end up hurting people you love.

It’s a lot harder to empathize with a billionaire. But Bale took us right inside of Bruce Wayne’s heart in a performance that wasn’t about money or masks.

It was about a man.

Bruce Wayne.

And even though we saw the emotions that make Bruce do what he does, none of that took away from how capable or dangerous his Batman was.

In fact, it only made us understand him even better than ever before.

So as much as I love Keaton’s work as Batman, in the end there can be only Bale.

I’m working on a big Batman Begins review that focuses on Bruce Wayne. It’ll go up a week from tomorrow, just hours before I see The Dark Knight in Los Angeles.

Who’s your favorite Batman?

And while you’re thinking about that, let’s flash back to MTV’s hilarious video interview with Aaron Eckhart, who tries to answer some questions about the movie without actually answering any questions about the movie. It’s hilarious:

Aaron Eckhart Says He Is Two-Face And That He And Ledger Are ‘D’Accord’

More to come!


  1. I have to say Bale. Because he’s awesome, and because I haven’t seen the old Batman films. Yes! That horrible fact is true, I admit it. =(

    Hahaha, that Eckhart video is hilarious!

  2. Kerstin says:

    Well, I’m going with Bale because he’s hot. Oh wait, that’s not a reason…Um, ok. I’ll go with him because he’s got the more darkly intense persona that I believe is more in line with the comic book series.

    I love Keaton though because he brought this character to life in a way we hadn’t thought of before.

    Incidentally, I started my first movie theater job the day Batman (with Keaton) opened in 1989. It was the single craziest night of my life. I didn’t even know the movie was opening, and it was probably why I was hired so quickly with little interview time. But that moment, and that job, cemented my love for all things movie and hollywood…

  3. Shevonne says:

    I have to still keep with Michael Keaton. He wasn’t as good looking as Bale, but he had the ummphh missing with the rest of the Batmans.

    Now my worse would have to be Kilmer or Clooney. -=D

  4. bluecollar49 says:

    Hey John!

    I still have to tip my hat to Keaton. I remember all the controversy at the time concerning his being given the nod to play the bat in the first place, and for my money, at the time this particular bat film was debuting, we had seen a glimpse of what the Batman could be in a future where all the other heroes were pretty much gone, except for Superman…a gritty Gotham City being pretty much run rough shod by what could only be termed as post nuclear ” Mutant Punk Gangsters “, and into this mix, a 50 something Bruce Wayne has had enough, and we know what happened next….This is when we are given this gift of Keaton and Nicholson in Batman, and I still think that for this particular bat film Keaton was the best Bat/Bruce Wayne….but, this is not to take away from what Christian Bale has done in the first new Bat Film franchise ( do I dare use the term, Franchise Re-Boot? ) and yes, I will be going to see ” The Dark Knight, and have my own review fresh from seeing the film…and I actually think at this point that we will both be turning in some great reviews on this one.


  5. Oh, and I kind of found the Jack-Napier-killed-my-parents thing kind of cool, actually. It was creepy in a twisted circle of good, evil, and masks kind of way. It’s definitely not in the comics, but still. I kind of liked it.

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