In September of last year when Ben Affleck was announced as the next actor to don the cape and cowl, the web nearly imploded on itself. Naysayers came out of the woodwork to express their disapproval. But this isn’t the first time fans have gotten up in arms about the casting of the caped crusader. Because of his comedic acting background, fans were equally upset when Michael Keaton was cast to play Batman. Now he is considered a fan favorite. But, why so serious? Why do fans get so worked up about who plays Batman when other super heroes like Spider-Man or even Superman are cast, the reaction isn’t nearly as strong. Simply put: People love Batman. Audiences – young and adult – have become so invested in billionaire Bruce Wayne’s dark alter ego (in no small part thanks to Adam West‘s portrayal in the 1960s television series) that when fans hear the news, they seem to take it personally. Even Ben Affleck mentioned in an interview with Playboy that that he was intimidated when first approached with the role. Which is understandable considering the amount of pressure that goes along with playing one of the most recognizable characters in literary history that has now morphed into a cinematic icon. Bruce Wayne has, in a sense, become America’s James Bond. And like 007, there is a lot of responsibility that both the fans and the production company give to the actor who plays the Batman. With grand responsibility comes a grand paycheck. Here’s a list of the actors who played the Dark Knight Detective and how much cash they made.
Val Kilmer – Batman Forever (1995) – $3 million
Val Kilmer starred in director Joel Schumacher ‘s first stab at caped crusader’s franchise, Batman Forever. Tim Burton (director of the first to films of the franchise) chose not to direct, but stayed attached as a producer so the helm fell to Schumacher. Michael Keaton was offered $15 million to reprise his role as Batman in the third installment, but after Tim Burton backed out of directing the film, Keaton chose to opt out and the role eventually went to Val Kilmer who was paid $3 million for the role.
Though Val Kilmer was paid the least to play the world’s greatest detective, Batman Forever performed superbly at the box office. The film raked in over 180 million dollars at the box office — $20 million more than it’s predecessor, Batman Returns. There were many rumors of animosity between Schumacher and the leading man, but the director said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that he thought Kilmer was the best Batman. “I thought he brought a depth to the role.”Next: George Clooney – Batman & Robin (1997): $10 million