How Tall Is Batman? Here’s His Height in the Comics vs The Live-Action Movies
Tall, dark, and batty.
With the March 4th release of Matt Reeves’s The Batman, the caped crusader has jumped back into the pop culture limelight. Playing the titular character this time around is Robert Pattinson, who becomes the seventh actor to portray Batman in a live-action movie. These actors vary in age, build, and height, creating many unique looks for the same character through the years. But how do all the actors measure up, literally, to the original comic book character?
Batman, the O.G
Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27, way back in May 1939. Since then, he has used his mixed martial arts training and gadgetry to take out the criminals of Gotham City. A lot of Batman’s appeal is, unlike the powered-up Superman or Wonder Woman, he is just a physically fit guy in a suit. Technically, anyone could be Batman. Well, anyone with the free time to become ripped and stalk criminals. Not to mention a large cash flow to fund all his techy gadgets.
DC officially lists Batman as being 6 feet, 2 inches tall. The average height for an adult man is about 5’10,” making Batman taller than average. With the additional height of the costume’s hallmark pointy bat ears, Batman’s size could look pretty intimidating in a dark alley.
Bat Men from 1966 – 1997
Adam West – For many, their first introduction to Batman was through Adam West. West played the character on the popular 1960s television show. In addition, in 1966 he played Batman in the first live-action movie about the character. Coincidently, Adam West matched the comic Batman’s height of 6’2″.
Michael Keaton – Babies of the 1980s, like myself, usually think of Michael Keaton when someone mentions the Batman films. Keaton played Batman for two films, 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns. Although Keaton is iconic in the role, he is slightly shorter than comic Batman at 5’9″. Keaton will reprise the role in future DCEU projects.
Val Kilmer – Val Kilmer appeared as Batman in Batman Forever (1995). The movie departed from the dark tones used in the Keaton films and became more colorful and comic book-y. Even the actor’s size changed the appearance of the films. Kilmer himself is taller at 6′.
George Clooney – The next movie, Batman & Robin (1997), took the vibe from not as dark to full-on camp. This time around, George Clooney stepped into the role of Batman. Not known at the time for action roles, Clooney brought his salt and pepper charm to the character, even if it felt like he didn’t really want to be there. At 5’11”, Clooney lands between Keaton and Kilmer on the Batman height scale.
Bat Men of the New Millenium
Christian Bale – With the new millennia came a new Batman movie series. This time Christian Bale would play the role in three films – Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Considered a shift back to the dramatic and dark Batman, Bale became a new milestone for Batman. Bale also is closer to the comic Batman at 6′.
Ben Affleck – In 2016, yet another new Batman premiered in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This time Ben Affleck donned the cape and cowl. Reprising the role for Justice League and a brief cameo in Suicide Squad, Affleck—erm, Batfleck—met with mixed reviews. Yet Affleck is the only actor that is taller than comic Batman. Affleck is a towering 6’4″.
Robert Pattinson – The latest iteration of Batman comes in the form of beloved eccentric Robert Pattinson. The gritty version of the character brings viewers back to an early vision of Batman. It leans heavily on some of the most dramatic Batman comics. Pattinson himself is close to the comics at 6’1″.
Batman may be drawn at 6’2″, but the variety of men playing Batman shows that isn’t as important to the character as other things. A flair for drama, the ability to tap into Batman’s internal pain and turmoil, and a growly voice at the right moment seem to make the performances enduring or not. Having the look is nice but for Batman to be real, we need the right amount of brooding.
(feature image: Warner Bros.)
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