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How Batman Has (Literally) Grown over Time

How tall and short has Batman been? The shortest is, surprisingly, not Michael Keaton from the 1989 movie. It was LEGO Batman--if he counts. This chart and article by The Economist describes how directors have compensated for the actors' varying heights and weights:

Mr Keaton was the most diminutive of the actors to play Batman, weighing just 159 lbs and reaching only 5”10. To compensate, the slight superhero was shot in narrow doorways (giving the illusion of breadth) or near to the camera, and other characters constantly referred to a “six-foot bat”. George Clooney was also a little short for the role, but appeared bulky and imposing in the ill-fated “Batman and Robin” (1997). He never shared screen-time with the “super soldier” Bane, and only fought the hilarious Mr Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) hand-to-hand at the film’s climax.

Later Batmen did not require such choreography. Val Kilmer’s sturdy build spoke for itself, with some help from the script: Nicole Kidman, his love interest, lasciviously implored us to gaze at his “eyes, [his] lips, [his] body”. Mr Bale trained topless in “Batman Begins” (2005) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012). Not to be outdone, Mr Affleck stars in a semi-nude and perspiration-filled training montage featuring tyres and chains.

The DC Animated Universe films are not included in this chart. But I vaguely recall Batman being mentioned as 6'4" in one of them.

-via Jonah Goldberg


Batman's size varies a lot in the DCAU. I think there is a Bruce Timm interview where he talks about how the character design had to change to fit in with the cast and the role they were expecting him to play.

Early in Batman TAS he was fairly lean. Then he gets bigger when the art style changes and Tim Drake shows up. He and Superman are essentially the same size in the Batman/Superman crossover episodes. Then in Justice League he seems to get smaller (or at least leaner) to be a better counterpoint to a big strong Superman. And Bruce is still quite stocky in Batman Beyond to contrast with a young lean Terry. It's generally hard to get a good feel for his height, because the length of the ears on the cowl change quite a bit.
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Well Adam West's tight batman pajamas made clear that very little of that "91kg" was muscle. So the supposed similarity based on weight is misleading. Affleck and Bale are de facto the closest to Batman's comic dimensions, simply because they are the only weight-trained actors to play the character.
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That graphic is a little misleading because the size of the heads is not scaled to the axis. It looks like Affleck is a head taller than Christian Bale, for example, when he is only about 10 cm/4 inches taller.
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