Floss Magazine has confirmed the rumor swirling around the Internets that Adam West, the original TV Batman, was spotted on the set of The Dark Knight Rises and will make a cameo in the movie. If this is true, it raises a big question about the tone of the Batman franchise and whether Christopher Nolan is just throwing West a bone.
Batman being one of the more fucked-up masked heroes, there isn’t room for a lot of humor in his movies — unlike the very campy persona West played in the TV show. West has carried that cheekiness to later roles, especially playing himself as the mayor of Quahog on Family Guy, while subsequent Batman movies have lost it with each iteration. He would’ve fit better into any of Joel Schumacher‘s rubber-nippled versions than Nolan’s reboot.
Still, as the wizened old man, West could be for DC what Stan Lee is for the Marvel superhero movies: A living Easter egg, playing cameos both obvious (Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner) and subtle (a security guard at the facility from which the Hulk escapes). He’d be the tie to the franchise’s origins, a reminder of how the story has evolved.
And it’s worth pointing out that not every minute of Batman Begins or The Dark Knight is rooted in gravitas: Heath Ledger as the Joker infused wonderful grim humor into the sequel, and there’s something unintentionally hilarious about Christian Bale‘s gravelly delivery. Maybe Adam West has a place after all.