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The Many Batmen of Batman

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Source: Columbia Pictures

1. Lewis Wilson

Batman comes to the screen! 15 serial chapters of comic book action! The first Batman film was not a sit-for-two-hours, get-a-complete-story kind of film, it was a serial. A serial was a film done in chapters and shown over several weeks in the theaters, usually before the main feature. This one featured the Dynamic Duo battling the evil Japanese villain, Dr. Daka, played by Caucasian actor J. Carrol Naish. It was WW2, and it was pretty racist. When issued in VHS during the Michael Keaton Batman film build up, it was dubbed to rid it of the most racist dialog. It was still pretty racist.

According to IMDB, Batman was only Lewis Wilson’s 3rd Hollywood role. He was 23 at the time, and played Batman with something of a sense of humor, allowing himself to smile upon occasion. Sacrilege! Wilson went on to make a few more B movies, and television appearances before leaving show business in 1954. His son Michael Wilson is the producer of the James Bond films.

 

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