Michael Keaton, Batman (1989)
Comic-book fans wrote to Warner Bros. by the thousands, arguing that an actor like Keaton, then best known for comedies like Night Shift and Mr. Mom, was unfit to play Batman.
Val Kilmer, Batman Forever (1995)
With white-hot Jim Carrey cast as the Riddler, some predicted Kilmer would be upstaged. In the end, Kilmer left the franchise after one film, reportedly fearing marginalization.
George Clooney, Batman & Robin (1997)
Some wondered whether Clooney, known mainly as a TV actor, had sufficient star power for the role. Plus, it was a little hard to picture ER‘s charming Dr. Ross cracking bad guys’ heads.
Christian Bale, Batman Begins (2005)
No one questioned Bale’s acting chops, but he was widely seen as more of a character actor than a star and had never carried a big-budget movie. Not to mention he’s from Britain, not Gotham.