The Good, the Bad, and the Campy: Supercut of the Evolution of Batman in Cinema
An amazing new supercut from video editor Jacob T. Swinney charts the evolution of Batman in cinema, from the 1940's Columbia Pictures serials to the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy:
The major beats of the Batman adaptation saga over the last half-century has been well-documented, with Tim Burton's films considered to be classics, the Adam West series a masters course in campiness, Joel Schumacher's take universally panned, and the Dark Knight trilogy revolutionizing the superhero film genre. But the supercut not only demonstrates that there's been a cyclical nature to the character's level of seriousness, but that the serious side of the straight vs campy debate is probably winning in the big picture. The most popular and critically acclaimed adaptations are definitely Tim Burton/Michael Keaton's take on the material and Christopher Nolan's reimagining, which was nothing if not self-serious. The Adam West series was a pop culture phenomenon in its own right, but is mocked as much as it is admired, and the disastrously silly Batman Forever/Batman and Robin one-two punch really hurt anyone's argument for a light-hearted take on the character. This explains why, even though we're due for a slightly lighter Batman character according to the pattern, Ben Affleck's version in Batman v Superman looks almost as hefty as Christian Bale's.