Batman 1989 Director Tim Burton has reflected on the fact that the new movies with the caped crusader have become much darker and grittier. Burton, who was then fresh off his success with the 1988 horror comedy beetle juice, teamed up again with that film’s title star, Michael Keaton, for a fresh take on the iconic DC Comics hero. That film acted as a new origin story for the character, following him as he battled The Joker (Jack Nicholson), who used the chemical agent Smylex to make Gotham citizens die of laughter. The film also featured Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale, Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon, and Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent.
Back then, the 1989 Batman was a surprisingly dark turn for the character, best known to most audiences as the campy hero played by Adam West in the late 1960s. Tim Burton followed that film up with the one from 1992 Batman returnsand while Joel Schumacher stepped in with the slightly camper Batman forever in 1995 and Batman & Robin in 1997, the disappointing box office of the last film left the franchise inactive until Christopher Nolan revived with Batman Beginsstarring Christian Bale, in 2005. From then on, every subsequent movie featuring a new Batman took on more spice, ranging from Zack Snyder’s filthy Batman vs Superman in 2016, with Ben Affleck, to the positive emo the batterearlier this year, starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne.
Per DeadlineBurton spoke about the Batman franchise during a masterclass in Lyon, the French Lumière Festival. He says a lot of people ask him what he thinks of the new one Batman movies when they come out, making him laugh and cry. He says the studio resisted how dark its view of Batman was in the 1980s, but “now it looks like a light rompRead his full quote below:
Now what’s funny about it is people say, “What do you think of the new Batman?” and I start laughing and crying because I’m going back to a time capsule, where pretty much every day the studios said, “It’s too dark, it’s too dark.” Now it looks like a light-hearted romp.
Why Batman Movies Got Darker Over Time
It is true that modern live-action Batman movies have gotten darker and darker in tone. There are probably several reasons for this. First up, Nolan’s gritty reinterpretation of the Batman mythos that the… Dark Knight trilogy was such a blockbuster that the Batman filmmakers who followed him probably used his project more as a yardstick to measure their success than the comics themselves, or at least made sure to pick comics to adapt that were more in line. were with that darker, more realistic tone.
The getting darker Batman movies also highlight the way DC Films tries to differentiate itself from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Those movies are more realistic than older Marvel comics, but they still have a lively and sardonic sense of humor. Though DC has had their share of more funny outings – in particular Shazam! and The Suicide Squad – their attempt to counter-program Marvel’s sarcasm has probably been a key factor leading to Batman’s progression to more stern and dark material.
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