All 13 Batman Movies & Appearances in Order 

All Batman Movies Appearances in Order
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Batman has a longer cinematic history than most other iconic superheroes. The stories related to Caped Crusader have been adapted for decades until he has become a pop culture icon in its own right, and nowadays, most Batman fans know him as a movie character only, separate from his comic book identity. 

Many directors dared to adapt the source material, and many actors carried the mantle of Batman over the years, creating their own separate film universes. This is why we decided to present you with a full & comprehensive guide for all Batman movies & appearances in order. 

How many ‘Batman’ movies are there? 

There are 10 Batman stand-alone movies released so far, with three cinematic appearances generally in the DCEU, as Batman appeared in both Justice League versions & Suicide Squad. This brings the number of Batman movies & appearances up to 13, with plenty of other projects on the way. If you count the serials from 40′, the number goes up to 15. 

‘Batman’ movies in order at a glance

  1. ‘Batman: The Movie’ (1966)
  2. ‘Batman’ (1989)
  3. ‘Batman Returns’ (1992)
  4. ‘Batman Forever’ (1995)
  5. ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997)
  6. ‘Batman Begins’ (2005)
  7. ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)
  8. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (2012)
  9. ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016)
  10. ‘Suicide Squad’ (2016)
  11. ‘Justice League’ (2017)
  12. ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ (2021)
  13. ‘The Batman’ (2022)

Are Batman movies connected? Do you need to watch them in a specific order? 

Not all Batman movies are connected, and this is a complicated matter since the character has been adapted to the big screens for several decades. I guess you could say that Batman movies are connected through the fact that Batman is the central character in all of them (save for appearances), but not all Batman movies are set in the same universe and do not share common themes. Batman films can be categorized into different series or stand-alone movies, each with its own distinct storylines and interpretations of the character.

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The ‘Batman’ film series created by Tim Burton in 1989, which includes films like “Batman Returns” (1992), exists within its own universe. 

The subsequent ‘Batman’ series, directed by Joel Schumacher, comprising ‘Batman Forever’ (1995) and “Batman & Robin” (1997), are considered to be stand-alone sequels to Burton’s Batman. 

In more recent years, a new Batman series began with ‘Batman Begins’ (2005), directed by Christopher Nolan, followed by ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008) and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (2012). These films share continuity and are set in the same universe. 

Nolan’s Batman was followed by the DCEU Batman, which was, in turn, followed by Matt Reeves’ Batman.

As you can see, there are plenty of directors, plenty of different actors, and plenty of separated universes. This is why you need our guide. But to answer the original connection, it’s not important to watch the Batman movies in order, as long as you watch the separate Batman series in order. 

What is the best way to watch Batman movies?

Considering everything, the best way to watch Batman movies is in their release date order. Since not all Batman movie franchises are connected, watching the movies in release date order ensures that you will watch the movies inside their respective in-universe chronology. 

The following watch order allows you to follow Batman’s journey through different interpretations, from the darker Tim Burton films to the grounded Christopher Nolan trilogy, the most recent DCEU entries, and Matt Reeves’ movies. 

Batman movies in order by release date

1 ‘Batman: The Movie’ (1966)

Batman The Movie 1966

Director: Leslie H. Martinson
Batman portrayed by: Adam West 

‘Batman: The Movie’ is the first full-length adaptation of the Batman. The movie was based on television series.

Batman and Robin receive a tip about Commodore Schmidlapp’s distress on his yacht, but it is a trap set by the United Underworld—a coalition of Gotham City’s most powerful villains. Armed with a dehydrator and a penguin-themed submarine, the villains capture Bruce Wayne and plan to eliminate Batman. However, Batman and Robin manage to escape and thwart their adversaries, ultimately rescuing the kidnapped Security Council members. Despite their success, Batman reflects on the world’s ongoing conflicts, hoping for a peaceful future where people can coexist.

2. ‘Batman’ (1989)

Batman 1989

Director: Tim Burton 
Batman portrayed by: Michael Keaton

Reporter Alexander Knox and photojournalist Vicki Vale investigate the mysterious Batman in Gotham City. They uncover the identity of Batman as billionaire Bruce Wayne, who witnessed his parents’ murder as a child and became a vigilante to fight crime. Meanwhile, a mob boss’s second-in-command, Jack Napier, becomes the Joker after a chemical accident.

The Joker terrorizes Gotham with deadly products, and with Vicki’s help, Batman aims to stop him, ultimately defeating the Joker and promising to protect Gotham from future threats as its guardian.

The casting of Michael Keaton as Batman was a highly controversial one due to Keaton’s previous track record with comedy roles. However, the movie turned out to be highly successful, mostly due to Burton’s style of directing. The movie was so successful it was the fifth-highest-grossing film in history at the time of its release.

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3. ‘Batman Returns’ (1992)

Batman Returns 1992

Director: Tim Burton 
Batman portrayed by: Michael Keaton

In Gotham City, a wealthy couple discards their deformed son Oswald, who is raised by penguins in the sewers. Years later, Oswald, now known as the Penguin, blackmails a corrupt businessman and plots to take over Gotham. A vengeful secretary, Catwoman joins forces with the Penguin but ultimately turns against him. Batman thwarts their plans, and while the Penguin dies, Catwoman’s fate remains uncertain as the Bat-Signal illuminates the city. 

‘Batman Returns’ is a sequel to 1989 ‘Batman,’ and despite the success of the first movie in the series, the studio had trouble getting Burton to direct this film. Compared to the first installment, ‘Batman Returns’ was met with poor performance, and the studio decided to orient the rest of the series more family-friendly. Burton was replaced as a director, and Keaton departed from the role of Batman. 

4. ‘Batman Forever’ (1995)

Batman Forever 1995

Director: Joel Schumacher
Batman portrayed by: Val Kilmer

Batman faces the dual threat of Two-Face and the Riddler in Gotham City. Fueled by his invention that steals information from minds, the Riddler allies with Two-Face to create chaos all over Gotham. With the help of his newly adopted side-kick, Robin, Batman messes with their plans, saves his love, and continues his crusade as the protector of Gotham.

Schumacher aimed to avoid Burton’s dark atmosphere, and the movie was met with success, at least when it comes to the box office. The reviews from critics were mixed. 

5. ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997)

Batman Robin 1997

Director: Joel Schumacher
Batman portrayed by: George Clooney

‘Batman & Robin’ is the fourth and final installment in the ‘Batman’ film series and the only movie that had no creative input from Tim Burton whatsoever. It’s generally considered to be among the worst superhero movies ever made. 

Batman and Robin face off against their newest enemy, Mr. Freeze, who seeks diamonds to power his cryogenic suit and save his terminally ill wife. Meanwhile, the twisted botanist Dr. Pamela Isley transforms into Poison Ivy and teams up with the brute Bane to create chaos in Gotham City. With the help of Batgirl, the dynamic trio must stop Freeze’s plan to freeze the city and find a cure for his wife while defeating Ivy and Bane.

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6. ‘Batman Begins’ (2005)

Batman Begins 2005

Director: Christopher Nolan
Batman portrayed by: Christian Bale

The first entry in the ‘The Dark Knight’ Trilogy and the first Batman movie to be directed by Nolan with Bale in the role of Bruce Wayne. The movie was both critical and commercial success, being the second highest-grossing Batman movie of all time, only behind Burton’s original movie. It’s general regard as the movie that returned Batman to pop culture and is considered among the most successful reboots in cinema history. 

A young Bruce Wayne witnesses the murder of his parents and is raised by his butler, Alfred. After years of training and traveling the world, Bruce becomes Batman to fight crime in Gotham City, taking on powerful figures like mafia boss Carmine Falcone and corrupt psychologist Jonathan Crane. With the help of allies like Rachel Dawes and Sergeant James Gordon, Batman confronts the League of Shadows and its leader, Ra’s al Ghul, ultimately saving Gotham from destruction and becoming a symbol of hope for the city.

7. ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)

The Dark Knight 2008

Director: Christopher Nolan
Batman portrayed by: Christian Bale

The second installment in the ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy is known to be among the best superhero movies ever created and is nowadays used as a blueprint for many superhero movies. 

A gang of criminals led by the Joker robs a bank in Gotham City, causing chaos and prompting Batman, Harvey Dent, and Jim Gordon to join forces against organized crime. The Joker offers to kill Batman in exchange for the mafia bosses’ cooperation, leading to a series of deadly attacks and escalating tensions. As the Joker’s actions push Gotham into chaos, Batman takes the blame for the crimes committed by Dent, who descends into madness, while the city mourns its fallen heroes and hunts for Batman.

8. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises 2012

Director: Christopher Nolan
Batman portrayed by: Christian Bale

Eight years after the death of Harvey Dent, Bane, a former League of Shadows member, plans to destroy Gotham City. Bruce Wayne, now an exile, must become Batman again with the help of Officer John Blake. Together, they face Bane, revealing the true identity of Miranda Tate as Talia al Ghul and successfully stopping the detonation of a neutron bomb, but sacrificing Batman in the process. However, Bruce survives and finds a new life with Selina Kyle, while John Blake takes up the mantle as the new protector of Gotham.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was the last installment in the ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy and was mostly considered to be a success both critically and commercially.

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9. ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016)

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice 2016

Director: Zack Snyder (DCEU)
Batman portrayed by: Ben Affleck

One more reboot for the character, this time inside the newly created DCEU. The movie opened strongly in terms of box office but experienced a sharp decline in revenue during its second week. It was heavily criticized for its plot and received generally bad reviews. 

Bruce Wayne, who has operated as Batman in Gotham City for two decades, sees Superman as a threat and plans to obtain kryptonite to take him down. Lex Luthor manipulates Batman and Superman into a confrontation, but they eventually unite to fight against a genetically engineered monster – Doomsday. Superman sacrifices himself to defeat Doomsday, and Bruce, realizing his mistake, seeks to form a team of metahumans to protect the world in Superman’s absence.

10 ‘Suicide Squad‘ (2016)

Suicide Squad Logo

Director: James Gunn (DCEU)
Batman portrayed by: Ben Affleck

A minor appearance of Affleck’s Batman. The movie takes place one year after ‘Batman v Superman,’ and Batman, through flashbacks scenes, is rounding up several villains. 

11. ‘Justice League’ (2017)

Justice League 2017

Director: Joss Whedon (DCEU)
Batman portrayed by: Ben Affleck

‘Justice League’ was a sequel to ‘Batman v Superman,’ and due to terrible personal tragedy, Snyder was unable to direct the movie in its entirety. This led to a strong fan backlash, and the movie was generally considered to be a disaster. 

Thousands of years ago, Steppenwolf and his forces failed to conquer Earth using the power of the Mother Boxes. In the present, after Superman’s death, the Mother Boxes reactivate, and Steppenwolf returns to gather them to reshape Earth. Batman, Wonder Woman, and other metahumans unite to stop him, resurrecting Superman in the process. They defeat Steppenwolf and decide to form a team to protect the world, with each member resuming their role as heroes.

12 ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ (2021)

Zack Snyder Justice League

Director: Zack Snyder (DCEU)
Batman portrayed by: Ben Affleck

Zack Synder’s vision for Justice League was different than what Joss Whedon delivered. Due to that, fans generated a lot of interest in seeing the movie Zack Snyder envisioned. Warner Bros. decided to shell out some extra money on CGI and reshoot some scenes. The product was a highly successful movie that explores the stories of other characters like Aquaman and the Flash in greater detail. 

No material shot by Joss Whedon was used in this release, and Snyder himself stated that Whedon’s version is canonical. This was met by a protest by both Momoa and Patty Jenkins, who feel that Snyder’s movie better matches the continuity of their own stand-alone movies than Whedon’s version.

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13. ‘The Batman’ (2022)

The Batman 2022

Director: Matt Reeves
Batman portrayed by: Robert Pattinson

‘The Batman’ began development in 2013 with Ben Affleck attached as the director, producer, co-writer, and star. However, he eventually dropped out, and Matt Reeves took over the project. Reeves reworked the story, distancing it from the DCEU and focusing more on Batman’s detective skills.

On Halloween, the Riddler murders Gotham City mayor Don Mitchell Jr., prompting Batman and the GCPD to investigate. They uncover connections between Mitchell, Annika Kosolov, and the Penguin, leading them to discover corrupt officials and a historic drug operation. The Riddler holds a grudge against the Wayne family and orchestrates a series of attacks, revealing a dark secret about Bruce’s parents. Batman and Selina Kyle stop the Riddler’s plans to destroy Gotham, but Selina decides to leave the city, while Batman remains committed to inspiring hope.

Where to watch Batman movies? 

The first Batman movie, released in 1966, can be watched on Hulu with an active subscription. Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ movies can be watched on HBO Max. The same goes for Joel Schumacher’s ‘Batman’ movies. 

‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ can be streamed both on Hulu and HBO Max. Similarly, all DCEU movies featuring Batman and without him can be streamed via HBO Max, considering it’s currently the home for DC’s cinematics projects. Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ is likewise available at HBO Max. 

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Will there be more Batman movies?

The next few years are bound to be great for Batman fans as there will be more Batman movies. The first movie to look forward to is ‘The Flash’ bound to be released on June 23, 2023, featuring both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck in the roles of Caped Crusader. Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman: Part II’ also has a set release date on October 3, 2025, and sees Robert Pattinson reprising his role. 

Lastly, Batman will appear in the newly rebooted DCU, with the project ‘The Brave and the Bold,’ sadly, we don’t know who will direct the movie and who will take on the mantle of Batman for the role. 

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