The real-life billionaires most likely to be Bruce Wayne

We all know Batman is a brilliant work of imaginative fiction… or is he? Who's to say Bruce Wayne isn't walking among us at this very moment, just biding his time before making the caped crusader a real-life hero rather than a comic book icon? If someone out there really is Bruce Wayne, then we think these are the most likely candidates.

Elon Musk

Charismatic, wealthy, handsome… it seems like Elon Musk has just about everything going for him. His various companies and projects cover electric cars, space rockets, high-speed transportation, and digital payments, and of course he's a keen inventor and scientist as well as a shrewd businessman (qualities that come in handy when trying to repair the Batmobile). His philanthropic efforts have focused around the need to find clean energy alternatives to fossil fuels, and he's also donated millions of dollars to organizations working to ensure that AI remains beneficial rather than harmful to humanity. In short, he's got everything a real-life Bruce Wayne needs — all he lacks is an elderly butler called Alfred.

James Packer

Australian media mogul James Packer is one of the few billionaires with the youth, vitality, and physique to be able to pull off Bruce Wayne — he actually looks like he could go a few rounds with Bane or the Joker, unlike many of the other people of similar wealth in the world. As long as we can live with Gotham relocating to Australia, Packer could be the real-life Bruce Wayne that we've been looking for. His money was made in entertainment but he's since made the move to casinos, the kind of glitzy environment you'd expect Bruce Wayne to thrive in. He's a dedicated philanthropist too, and has set up several charitable organizations that the fictional Batman would no doubt approve of.

Sergey Brin

The Google co-founder is perhaps most like Bruce Wayne in the way he embraces gadgets and technology, always useful tools for Batman in his fight against crime. Google Glass might not have taken off in the consumer marketplace yet, but Brin has often worn it proudly, and the Dark Night would no doubt be able to adapt it to work with his cowl. Aside from that, Brin might seem too geeky to be much of a billionaire playboy, but he's interested in industrial development (just like Bruce Wayne) and likes to give away large chunks of his money to further good causes (again, just like Bruce Wayne). Plus Google and Wayne Enterprises have more in common than you might think, including electronics and biotech development.

Richard Branson

Branson might not have the debonair looks or chiseled chin of a classic Bruce Wayne, but he keeps himself in good shape and ticks a lot of the other boxes: He's very wealthy, he's interested in the advancement of humankind, he supports a lot of various charitable efforts, and he has just the right amount of technical know-how to be able to fly a Batwing. You can't really question his daring attitude, either. This is a man who has crossed the Atlantic Ocean in both a boat and a hot air balloon, and in staying on his private Necker Island he's used to the kind of isolation he would find in the Batcave (albeit in a warmer and sunnier environment).

Sean Parker

Having made his money from Napster and Facebook, Sean Parker has turned his attention towards politics and community issues in recent years, areas that are much closer to Bruce Wayne's heart. His keen interest in technology, his massive wealth (estimated at around $2.5 billion), and his rugged good looks make him an exceedingly suitable candidate for being Batman's alter-ego. There's also a little bit of vulnerability in Parker, though rather than the grisly death of his parents it's allergies that are his biggest weakness: The billionaire has been in hospital several times after allergic reactions and has donated much of his fortune towards allergy research. Rich, handsome, charitable, and vulnerable? Sounds like Bruce Wayne to us.