Not sure if Batman Returns comes after Batman? Unclear if Batman & Robin is a sequel to Batman Forever? Don’t worry, you are not alone.
Working your way through the Batman Anthology can be a little confusing at times. The series featured three different actors in the role of Batman (Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney) and has a varying aesthetic across the course of the four films.
So, what is the best order to watch the Batman Anthology? In this post, I will answer that question.
The viewing order of the Batman Anthology
The first entry in the Batman Anthology is Batman (1989). The film features Michael Keaton in the title role, opposite Jack Nicholson as the Joker.
Directed by Tim Burton, Batman is an origin story which explores Bruce Wayne’s backstory. It also focuses on the Joker’s emergence in Gotham City, providing an origin tale for the Clown Prince of Crime too.
The second entry in the Batman Anthology is Batman Returns (1992). Michael Keaton reprises the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, alongside Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Danny DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, and Christopher Walken as Max Shreck.
Tim Burton is the director behind Batman Returns, so the film shares the same look and feel as Batman. The movie is set a short while after the events of Batman.
The third film in this Batman film series is Batman Forever (1995). For this feature-length tale, Val Kilmer takes on the role of the Caped Crusader, opposite Chris O’Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin. The film introduces the Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) as the villains.
Joel Schumacher is the director behind Batman Forever, and so the film makes different stylistic choices than its predecessors. It is a continuation of the series, but tonally does differ from what has come before.
The fourth and final entry in the Batman Anthology is Batman & Robin (1997). George Clooney takes on the part of Bruce Wayne/Batman, while Chris O’Donnell reprises his part as Robin.
The villains this time are Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and Bane (Jeep Swenson). Joel Schumacher is the director of Batman & Robin, which is tonally the lightest of all the films in this particular series.
The viewing order for the Batman Anthology is as follows:
- Batman (1989)
- Batman Returns (1992)
- Batman Forever (1995)
- Batman & Robin (1997)
Should you wish to learn more about the Batman movie series, please take a look around this blog, where you will find a great deal of information about the Batman films – both live-action and animated. Alternatively, take a look at one of the highlighted links below for recommended reads that you may find useful.