The Dark Knight – Bruce Wayne to a select few – is perhaps one of the best-known and best-loved superhero vigilantes of all time. Batman’s humble beginnings in DC Comics has seen him become a shadowy presence all over the media, with decades of TV shows, movies, video games and more dedicated to his vigilante feats and amazing billionaire gadgetry. In fact, his bizarre arch-villains have become just as popular as the bat himself in years gone by.
You might think you already know plenty about this superhero – but here are a few fun facts about Batman that might just surprise you. Looking forward to the next Batman movie? There’s plenty for fans of the Dark Knight to be excited about in the years to come.
The name Bruce Wayne is actually an amalgam of sorts. It’s thought to pay homage to both Robert the Bruce, the famous Scottish warrior, and Mad Anthony Wayne, the US revolutionary figure.
Batman has had all kinds of villains to deal with over the years, though it seems he’s only ever been joined by one sidekick – Robin. That’s not entirely true, of course, as fans of the comics will soon tell you that there have been more than a few Robins over the years, including Bruce Wayne’s son!
In fact, taking into account multiple timelines, reboots and universes, Wayne is thought to have around three children, though none have appeared in the current timeline of movies – even in the Lego Batman spinoff.
Robin was actually written out of the movie franchise for a time once Christopher Nolan took over directorial duties from Batman Begins. This reboot’s lack of a Boy Wonder took shape thanks to requests from star Christian Bale, who only agreed to step into the batsuit providing Robin was nowhere in sight.
Bruce Wayne isn’t just rich, super-powerful and replete with enough gadgets to make James Bond’s eyes water – he’s actually thought to be able to speak up to 40 different languages.
The original spelling for the superhero was ‘Bat-Man’ – not Batman. Quite why the change occurred is a matter for the comics buffs – though this is at odds with the Marvel equivalent, ‘Spider-Man’, who has almost always carried a hyphen.
Batman’s secondary nickname of ‘the Dark Knight’ didn’t become commonly used until 1989, when ‘Legends of the Dark Knight’ hit comic bookstores. It’s from here on that the caped crusader became darker and grittier, as he was largely known for his colourful TV escapades starring Adam West in the 1960s.
Batman has been rebooted multiple times. From the 1960s series and movie onwards, the dark knight has been portrayed most famously by Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck and – in the near future – Robert Pattinson.
The role of Batman for the 1989 movie reboot was actually offered to future James Bond Pierce Brosnan before Michael Keaton took the role.
It’s thought that Batman’s mask design has changed over the years as a result of being able to fit him into the Batmobile. The traditional mask has an impressive set of ears – and recent Batman adaptations have shown that the ears have been scaled down by quite a lot!
Batman Returns, directed by Tim Burton, famously offered us The Penguin, played by Danny DeVito, as a central villain. In fact, around $1 million was spent on hiring the safe use of real penguins during the filming of the movie. This bill is said to have covered everything from general care to food!
Believe it or not, pop art legend Andy Warhol directed the first Batman movie – though it wasn’t endorsed by DC. The movie was ‘Batman Dracula’, and it was released in 1964.
It’s thought that Ben Affleck nearly didn’t take the role of Batman on advice he received from ex caped crusader George Clooney.
There is a course you can take in the science of Batman at the University of Victoria in Canada. Specifically, the course takes a close look at Batman’s adventures and looks at how people can adapt and apply the figure to their everyday life. Short of designing a multi-million dollar batsuit, we’d imagine!
Have you got any interesting or fun facts about Batman that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!