Batman: The Movie Was Released 50 Years Ago Today


Fifty years ago today, Adam West and Burt Ward starred as Batman and Robin in the first full-length theatrical feature to star either character.

While there were a number of theatrical serials released about Batman in the character's early days, Batman: The Movie came out in July of 1966, bridging the first and second seasons of the classic TV series in which West and Ward starred.

20th Century Fox, who distributed the film, tweeted out a celebration of it today:

The film stars most members of the original TV cast, including Caesar Romero as The Joker and Burgess Meredith as The Penguin. It would mark the first appearance of Lee Meriweather as Catwoman, replacing Julie Newmar, who had played the role in the first season of the TV show.

To up the ante from a regular episode of the show, the plot of the movie centered on a number of Batman's rogues gallery teaming up and forming essentially a supervillain team in hopes of defeating him. Of course, many fans mostly remember it for the scene in which it originated the concept of Bat-Shark Repellent.

The movie would be the only theatrical outing for the Bat-crew, in large part because the wave of Bat-mania that accompanied the show's first season wouldn't last and it wouldn't be long before the series was off the air. West and Ward, however, would continue to be associated with the characters for decades, occasionally playing them in animated form and the like.

Not long ago, West and Ward claimed that they would be starring in a pair of animated productions as Batman and Robin, and many fans at the time assumed that such an event would be timed to the fiftieth anniversary of the series, often affectionately referred to as Batman '66. Nothing has yet been officially announced.