In 1989, when the Caped Crusader took to the big screen for the live-action comic book movie, Batman, he did so with a number of key characters in tow. The Joker, Vicki Vale, Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth all leapt from the printed page to the silver screen, to provide a strong selection of supporting characters.
But in addition to background players from established Batman mythology, the film also introduced new players. One of these new players was Alexander Knox – but who is he?
In this post, I am taking a look at Alexander Knox to explain who the character is, who played him, and what happened after he appeared in Batman. Read on for details.
Who is Alexander Knox?
In Batman ‘89, Alexander Knox is a reporter for the Gotham Globe. When he is first introduced, it is clear that Knox has worked for the paper for some time and is classed as a seasoned reporter – not afraid to chase a story, even if it appears unorthodox.
Knox’s big case is the city’s mysterious Batman. There are various reports of a ‘bat’ stalking the streets of Gotham and Knox wants to get to the bottom of the story.
Despite a wall of silence from the Gotham City Police Department, Knox is convinced there is some truth in the ‘bat’ rumours. And it doesn’t matter that he is ridiculed by his own colleagues at the paper, he remains committed to the story.
Early into the movie he teams with photographer, Vicki Vale – one of the few people to believe in him. Working with Vale he continues to investigate the story, hoping to bring the facts to light about the Batman.
Who plays Alexander Knox?
In Batman ‘89, Alexander Knox is played by actor, Robert Wuhl. Born in New Union, Jersey, Wuhl received his big acting break in 1980, via the movie The Hollywood Knights, before going on to appear in various movies including Batman.
Outside of the Batman movie series, Wuhl is known for appearing in films such as Good Morning Vietnam (1987), Bull Durham (1988) and Cobb (1994). He also had a small role in the music video for Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’.
Did Alexander Knox die in Batman?
Towards the end of the movie, Knox and Vicki Vale are in central Gotham, where the Joker is leading a parade through the city. The Joker hands out money to Gothamites, but it is a ploy so that he can bring a large proportion of citizens together to infect them with Smilex gas.
Vale and Knox see what the Joker is doing, so Knox attempts to reduce the infections. Grabbing a face mask and a baseball bat he begins to attack the Joker’s goons, to get them off the streets.
But Knox is unable to make much of a difference and when he sees Vale driving away to safety, he jumps on the bonnet of her car to hitch a ride to safety. Once clear of the gas, Vale brings the car to a stop, which throws Knox into a pile of discarded trash, where he is knocked out – but safe.
At the conclusion of the movie, he has recovered and is present at a press conference about Batman. Knox witnesses the unveiling of the Bat-signal – the city’s way of calling on Batman for assistance – and continues his work as a reporter.
Does Alexander Knox appear in many Batman movies?
Alexander Knox only appears in one Batman movie. The character was created specifically for inclusion in Batman ‘89 and was not brought back for the sequels.
None of the follow-up movies – Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) or Batman & Robin (1997) – make any reference to Knox. There was no part for him in the sequels, so the character was simply ignored.
But despite his absence from the sequels, Wuhl was very appreciative of his involvement in Batman ‘89. Speaking on the documentary Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight – The Legend Reborn, Wuhl said: “When you’re involved with a success of that magnitude, it rubs off on everybody – I mean, you know, you’re part of the towering effect.
“In your life, you’re lucky in a career, to get a hold of one of these type of things and those don’t come around too often. They just don’t come around too often. And you do appreciate every second. My only disappointment was that I wasn’t in the second one or any of the other ones.”
Has Alexander Knox appeared in anything other than Batman?
Batman ‘89 was not mark the only onscreen appearance of Alexander Knox. In a 2019 episode of TV show, Supergirl, Alexander Knox was given a small cameo role. In the episode, Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One, Wuhl reprised the role of Knox for a brief scene, to establish Batman ‘89 as being part of a wider DC Multiverse.
I hope this information on Alexander Knox has proved useful. Should you wish to know more about characters featured in the Batman movie series, please take a look at one of the recommended reads below.
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- How many Batman movies feature Cillian Murphy?