It's 1965 you're producing a new BATMAN series and your number one pick Ty Hardin has turned down the role, and your second pick Adam West, who has done some TV and commercials has backed out-- who do you get?
It has to be someone working in TV at the time-- so we can't cast Cary Grant-- he wouldn't have "lowered" himself to do TV-- and it doesn't matter if they were committed to another show-- let's assume they were available, so who is Batman?
Lyle Waggoner? It's very likely he would have gotten it. How about Bill Shatner or William Conrad? Either would have meant recasting the rest of the show because they were much shorter than Ty, Adam and Lyle.
Me? I think I would have gone with James Garner-- he had the right look (in fact he might even have MORE of the look of the comics than either Ty or Adam) then and he was pretty adept at doing comedy.
Lost in Space's Guy Williams might have worked, I'm not so sure he had the right comedy aspect to him, but he did make for an impressive Zorro.
If it had been William Conrad, Batman's alter ego wouldn't have been Bruce Wayne, it would have been King Tut.Beepo wrote:I am assuming you meant to say Robert Conrad from The Wild Wild West as opposed to William Conrad of Cannon fame. I agree that James Garner would have been an interesting choice.
Me too. I actually have a hard time picturing anyone else as Batman. And the big four villains were all great. And at least half of the other villains were so well done I wouldn't consider anyone else for them either.elmrgraham wrote:Nothing different:Adam West nailed Batman for me.
I like the idea of Robert Fuller, who looked great and had a great voice. I saw him recently on an old Big Valley and he was less stiff than I remember him being on Emergency, so maybe...
Or if we're allowing movie stars, maybe John Gavin? Jeff Hunter?
I've heard of Bob Kanes's preference for Robert Wagner before. Honestly the longer I live, the more convinced I am no one in history understood Batman less than Bob Kane.
Annette O'Toole played Lana Lang in Superman III and then Martha kent in Smallville
Dean Cain played Clark Kent/Superman in Lois and Clark and then Curtis Knox in Smallville and Jeremiah Danvers in Supergirl
Justin hartley played oliver Queen/Green arrow in Smallville and Arthur Curry in the Aquaman/Mercy reef pilot
John Wesley Shipp played Barry Allen/ the Flash in the 1990 flash and then played Henry Allen and now Jay garrick in the current Flash
I've never seen a full episode of 'Maverick', and don't plan to, but I think that even his co-star Jack Kelly, who was terrible in a Catwoman two-parter would make a better Batman.
James Garner was fantastic, but he would have been a TERRIBLE Batman. Way too laid back. I just cannot see him doing it. It's said that in 1965 or so, DC comics hired Tarzan Mike Henry to tour the country in a Batman suit to try & drum up support for a Batman series. True or not, the muscular, hairy Mike Henry, who looked a lot like Neal Adams 1970's interpretation of the character was not actor enough to carry a Batman series.
Then there's Lyle Waggoner. Although screen tested for the part, and on youtube many fanboys say he was not chosen because he was more serious and less "campy" than Adam West. Actually, the reverse is true! Physically more similar to Bruce Wayne than Adam West, I found his take on the character, and his high voice, pretty silly. He didn't do a very good read. West, a more experienced performer, was head & shoulders above him. Next I'll put up Dick Gautier!
(Not Gautier. Heh, heh.)
He was actually quite good in the Batgirl PSA.
But he was aping Adam West! Without the West example, how would he have played Batman? He was a comedian, and I doubt Dozier would have ever considered him.
My pick? Jack Lord!
Not as silly as it sounds. At the time of Batman he was in serious contention for the part of "Captain Kirk" in Star Trek. But being a bit of a prima donna he asked for the moon, and Gene Roddenberry looked elsewhere. Yes, he was a bit old for Batman. He'd have been 46 in 1966. But Ben Affleck is 44 and will probably be 45 or 46 by the time the next Batman project comes out. Unless the produces wisely decide not to use him again. I think Lord was fit enough to pull it off in 1966. And he'd have been cool in the part.
If he HAD signed on, its a cinch it would've been a completely different show, with none of the humor, and arguably might've vanished without making much of an impression on popular culture. Plus if you want to talk accents, I don't know if I could've adjusted to a Batman from Brooklyn.