Summer Knights: Behind The Cowl
By Geeky Gem
As Summer Knights is here, I have finally been given permission to write about my favourite Superhero again. Now if you missed any of My Geeky Obsession stuff then you may not know who this is, but if you did read it then you already know what Superhero this will be. That’s right folks Hmsbeefnuts has said I am now alowed to talk about the Dark Knight again. YAY!!! its been so hard not to talk about him, my ban has finally been lifted.
As I said Summer Knights is here and I am free to talk about Batman again. I thought long and hard about what I could talk to you about, but as I sit here looking at the cover of my Batman box set and the shiny copy of Knightfall: Broken Bat it can only be about one thing, the man or men, who have been inhabited the cowl. Shall we begin?
If you are of a certain age you may well recall Batman was once a camp, cheesy television show starring none other than Adam West. This show was light hearted in its portrial of the Bat. However Adam West made the show, well for me anyway. Producer William Dozier cast West as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, Batman, partly because he saw West perform as the James Bond-like spy Captain Q in a Nestle Quck television ad. The show ran from 1966 to 1968; a movie version was released in 1966.
Back in 1989 Tim Burton took on the task of directing the big screen version of the Bat. The question then was who shall play The Batman. The answer came in the from of Michael Keaton. Whose career was given a major boost when he landed the role of The Bat. Burton cast him because he thought that Keaton was the only actor who could believably portray someone who has the kind of darkly obsessive personality that the character demands.Warner Bros. received thousands of letters of complaint by fans commenting that Keaton was the wrong choice to portray Batman, given his prior work in comedies and the fact that he lacked the suave, handsome features and tall, muscular physicality often attributed to the character in the comic books. However, Keaton’s dramatic performance earned widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, and Batman became one of the most successful films of the 80’s.
Now out of the men that played Batman on this list Kilmer is one of the ones that I am not a huge fan of. Never the less I have to include him on this list. In December 1993, Batman Forever director Joel Schmacherazsw had seen Tombstone and was most impressed with Kilmer’s performance as Doc Holliday. Schumacher felt him to be perfect for the role of the Caped Crusader, though at the time, the role was still Michael Keaton’s. In July 1994, Michael Keaton decided not to return for a third Batman film after 1992’s Batman Return’s due to “creative differences.” this lead to Kilmer landing the role without even knowing who the new director was and without reading the script. However the movie received mixed reviews from critics.
Another of my other, why was he Batman actors. This was one I could never figure out but again he has to be on this list. In 1997 Batman and Robin hit the world’s cinema’s with a pretty big list of A list names including Arnold Schwarzeneger and Uma Thurman. With Chris O’Donnell returning as Robin, and newcomer to the franchise Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. This movie is the fourth and final installment in theBurton/Schumacher Batman series.Development for Batman and Robin started immediately after Batman Forever, and Warner Bros. commissioned the film for a June 1997 release.
As The Dark Knight rises gets ever closer we have to look at the man that brought Nolan’s Batman back to screen and put Batman back in our lives and on the map again. Christian Bale, In 2004, after completing filming for The Machinist, Bale won the coveted role of Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, a reboot the series.Still fresh off The Machinist, it became necessary for Bale to bulk up to match Batman’s muscular physique. He was given a deadline of six months to do this. Bale had initial concerns about playing Batman, as he felt more ridiculous than intimidating in the Batsuit. He dealt with this by depicting Batman as a savage beast. To attain a deeper understanding of the character, Bale read various Batman comic books. He wanted Batman to be filled with a hidden demonic rage-filled side. The creature Batman creates is an absolutely sincere creature and one that he has to control but does so in a very haphazard way. Now that Dark Knight is just around the corner it will mark Bale as the actor who has played Batman in the most movies.
Now for those who know me, you will know that Kevin Conroy is my favourite actor to play Batman and he never actually appears on screen. Kevin Conroy has been voicing Batman for many years. He voiced Batman in the animated show form1992 to 1995. Back in 1991 when Conroy was told that Warner Bros was producing a new animated TV series his agent asked him if he would like to try out for the voice of Batman. Believing it would be like the 1960s Batman TV series, Conroy went in to audition. He was one of 150 actors who auditioned for the role. When asked about the character, the series producer Bruce Timm explained to Conroy that this interpretation of Batman would not be like the 1960s TV version, but rather based on a much more gothic story line similar to Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film. Conroy walked into the booth and ultimately won the audition. As I have mentioned before in another article Conroy has played Batman for the longest time of any actor.
There we have it folks, the men behind the cowl, the dark kinghts of Gotham. I hope you enjoy this and will return for more fun during Summer Knights.