Every Movie Version Of Batman Ranked From Worst To Best

As mentioned before, “Supernatural” actor Jensen Ackles did a bang-up job as Jason Todd in 2010’s animated adaptation of “Under the Red Hood” — so good, in fact, that he seemed like a natural for Bruce Wayne. Compared to Bruce Greenwood’s Dark Knight in that film, the Ackles performance wielded an emotional charisma that seemed ideal for bringing humanity to such chronically-tortured characters. 

With a pair of “Long Halloween” adaptations in 2021, the “Supernatural” star got his chance, elevated to the starring role. Unfortunately, it was a swing-and-a-miss, as Ackles showed his talents weren’t quite the fit for Batman that many had anticipated.

Jeph Loeb’s 1996/1997 “Long Halloween” story is a beloved series and one whose elements have been co-opted many times over the years (most recently in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman”), but while this animated movie aimed for loyalty to the source material, it never quite soared. As for Ackles, he delivers a stock standard Wayne and slightly gruffer Dark Knight; Troy Baker, ironically enough, becomes the hero of this adaptation by giving an excellent Hamill impersonation as the Joker. David Dastmalchian, who lived his comic book nerd dreams in 2021 by playing “Polka Dot Man” in James Gunn’s “Suicide Squad”), continued that fine work with a genuinely chilling performance here as Calendar Man.

This classic Loeb story arc is adapted fairly faithfully, given three hours to breathe and go into nuanced detail, with some great actors putting in the work. This arc features most of Batman’s rogues gallery appearing in one way or another, each character playing their own small role. If you’re a Batman fan, it’s a must-watch; just don’t expect Ackles’ work here to give you any new insight or nuance into the character.

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