Who owned the role more? Downey as Stark/Bale as Wayne.

Who nailed the tortured (well, in Bale’s case) billionaire playboy/vigilante better in you opinion?

I have to give it to Bale personally.

I say this with the utmost respect to what Downey Jr accomplished as Stark. But in my mind Bale edged out due to the fact that the way he plays Bruce Wayne (though you can see aspects of the “Wayne Wade” character from Shaft, the “smugness” of the American Psycho character and the stone face approach of the character he played in that movie that had Taye Diggs in it too {the name of which I’m totally spazzing on right now) as it had beats that seemed to stray from what he usually does. With Downey Starks seemed to be in line with characters he has played before (as if the cameras stepped back and simply let Robert be Robert). That said, Downey did put it down and set a precedent that it will be difficult for anyone that plays Stark after him to match (or want to match).

Where’s the poll?

I think Downey as Stark.

Thing is, I love the new Batman movies, but I don’t think the essential ingredient has been Christian Bale. I can easily envision it being played by other people who could/would do equally well with it.

Downey, however, really captured the character of the arrogant Stark. He really brought something to the role that was special and I think a re-casting would destroy it.

Downey by a long shot. Bale as Bruce Wayne, he came across like a poor street kid playing the part of someone rich and handsome, rather than as someone who actually grew up rich and handsome. Technically, one could say that Bruce Wayne is supposed to seem like a role, but I’m not sure I’d credit Bale with that level of multi-layered depth. And yes, I do see Batman playing Bruce Wayne as an unlikable, smarmy, sort of oafish character for the sake of making it seem unlikely that there could be any link between the two. But, seeing as he really is Bruce Wayne, you’d still expect to see some amount of wealthy upbringing in him, oafish bastard or not.

Downey. The movie would have been unwatchable with any other actor.

Also, Bale wasn’t all that impressive. He did what was necessary, but nothing more and was overshadowed by the villains.

Bale’s problem is the same one that Michael Keaton had: Bruce Wayne has no personality. He’s one-dimensional, and he gives an actor nothing to do.

ditto on it being easy to envision someone else as Batman but not Ironman.

Not only could somebody else take the role of Batman in the future, but if they put out another movie tomorrow with somebody else in the role it wouldn’t make any difference at all except for the improvement.

Bale isn’t Batman. Michael Keaton is Batman. Downey, on the other hand, IS Ironman!

It’s tough to own the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. No matter what you do, you’re always behind a mask, literal or metaphorical, which makes it hard to get the actual acting through. Downey, however, managed to leave an imprint on Stark/Iron Man both in the suit and out of it (it helped that there was a lot of time in the suit with the visor open, but there’s also a real character in the business suit).


Downy has the advantage of being Robert Downey jr cast as Tony Stark.

Charming, intelligent, and good looking, but somewhat self-centred with a wreck of a personal life.

You couldn’t get more on-the-nose casting than that.

The basic problem is that Iron Man is an extension of the character Stark, but Bruce Wayne is an extension of the character Batman. And anyone can play Batman. Hell, I could play Batman.

That’s not to say Bale didn’t do a good job, but he had an uphill battle from the start. Stark is already better fleshed out as a person than Wayne is, and Downey made that person come alive.

Is the vote so much in Downey’s favor, because of Bale’s very public latest outbursts?

No, it’s more that Tony Stark would get picked up for having a tranny hooker in his car.
Robert Downey Jr. has been a horrible wreck of a man. But that’s what made him a perfect Tony Stark.

And there is a way to play a suave, but slightly clumsy Bruce Wayne. God knows someone did it for a number of years. You know, Kevin Conroy. Who could have done it in real life.
Watch his face, watch his hands. That’s near note-perfect Bruce Wayne.

I don’t have any hate for Bale - I like him as Batman. I just think that Downey did Stark better.

Exactly. You mean Robert Downey Jr has to pay a handsome, rich guy who drinks a lot and is kind of a smarmy prick? How will he ever pull that off?!

Until you wrote that I had no memories at all of that incident. Didn’t affect my vote any, not even subconsciously. That voice is what did me in.

I didn’t even know anything about any public outbursts by Bale. And like Khadaji, I don’t have anything against him or his performance. He just didn’t own it the same way Downey did.

Downey. Of course, he has the advantage of playing a character whose secret identity is (by far) more interesting than the superhero.