Bam! Zap! Biff! Pow! Crash! Splat!
Those are the distinct sounds of the dark knight, the caped crusader, the crime-fighting bat. Created by artist Bob Kane, Batman made his first appearance in 1939 in a DC comic book. By the time he made it to the silver screen, the superhero without superhuman powers — he instead makes use of his intellect, intimidation skills and nifty gadgets — he’d already gotten a comic all his own and a TV series with his sidekick Robin and butler Alfred.
The 1966 movie saw Adam West as the title character, and in 1989, Michael Keaton began a new wave of the Batman franchise by playing the alter ego of Bruce Wayne, the wealthy industrialist who witnessed the murder of his parents as a child and hasn’t been quite right since. Both films include the clownish villain Joker, all against the backdrop of Gotham — a cityscape that set designer Anton Furst deliberately made look like the bleakest metropolis imaginable by mixing clashing architectural styles. But, just who is Batman?
Keep reading to find out 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Caped Crusader.
Click here to find out about Mike Uslan, the godfather of the Batman franchise.
Click here to find out how they reinvented the batsuit for the modern era.
Check out the Catwoman photo gallery, to see who played catwoman best.
Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Caped Crusader
1. Originally planned as the pilot for the Batman TV series,
the 1966 movie was instead produced between the show’s first and second
seasons. The producers took advantage of the larger budget to have a
number of new Bat-gadgets constructed, such as the BatBoat.
2. Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray, Mel Gibson and Pierce Brosnan were all considered for the role of Batman.
3. In the 1989 film, Jack Napier — also known as The Joker — is
the murder of Batman’s parents, but in the comic strip, the killer is a
character named Joe Chill.
4. The original film includes all four supervillains — Catwoman,
Joker, Penguin and Riddler — outlining their plans to take down the
hero. Only The Joker, played by Jack Nicholson, appeared in the 1989
5. The Batman costume weighed 70 pounds.
6. West — the star of the TV series and the 1966 movie —
purportedly wanted to play Batman in the follow-up, but Keaton was
given the role after getting the nod from Kane, the creator of the
7. The Batman symbol on the costume Keaton wears is slightly
different than the version seen in the 1966 film and earlier comic
books. It has two extra "points" on the bottom of the black bat emblem.
The poster and other promotional materials for the film, however,
depict the logo just as it appears in the comics, for copyright
8. The Batmobile was built on the chassis of a Chevy Impala.
9. Batman’s sidekick appeared as part of the Dynamic Duo in the 1966
film, but Ricky Addison Reed — who was cast as Robin, a former member
of a family trapeze team in which his brother and sister die at the
hands of Joker — lost the role when that story treatment was nixed.
10. The 1989 Batman made an estimated additional $750 million in merchandising alone.Read More