Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:50 pm

Easily (and more accurately) could have been titled '15 Reasons Tim Burton’s Batman Is Different Than Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight'.

I don't like that it only compares Burton's first Batfilm to all three of Nolan's. Should have included BATMAN RETURNS.

The section saying that the first forty minutes of BATMAN BEGINS was "boring" because it focused on Bruce Wayne seems to indicate that the author didn't really understand the point of the film.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Spandau Belly on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:02 pm

caruso_stalker217 wrote:I don't like that it only compares Burton's first Batfilm to all three of Nolan's. Should have included BATMAN RETURNS.


And left out THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. That's just hitting below the belt, man. Let's have a good fair 2 on 2 fight.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Peven on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:50 pm

the article's title should have read, "15 reasons why I like Burton's Batman more than Nolan's Batman" because that is all it is, which means it is akin to what you might write on a piece of scrap paper to kill time when you are bored in study hall
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Which Jokers Best, Dozier or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:20 am

Heath Ledger’s Joker Harkens to Cesar Romero
Clayton Neuman wrote:Heath Ledger’s landmark portrayal of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s box office behemoth The Dark Knight has fanboys and film critics alike calling for a posthumous Oscar. But perhaps more disturbing than the late Ledger’s harlequin hoodlum is the fact that it has left devotees of previous iterations of the character questioning their convictions, with Cesar Romero’s portrayal in the 1966 film Batman: The Movie (and its complementary television series) derided as “campy.” The fervor is of course understandable, not only because we feel a desire to elevate Ledger’s last performance but also because it was really that good. But those that seek to denigrate Romero’s performance in order to praise Ledger’s may be surprised to find unique similarities between the two Jokers.


The Curse of the Joker

When news of Ledger’s accidental death broke, Internet conspiracy theorists began whispering about the curse laid on actors who don the Joker’s disguise. Ledger’s accidental overdose of sleeping pills was said to be the result of having gone through a bout of insomnia after living in the mindset of, as he described it, a “psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” Cesar Romero too found the role disturbing, and reportedly suffered insomnia due to his portrayal. He was so dumbfounded by the persona, in fact, the actor who was accustomed to romantic leads — as was Ledger — once said, “Why [Dozier] wanted me, I’ll never know. I haven’t the slightest idea what it was that he saw in me, because I had never done anything like it before.” Unlike Ledger, however, Romero refused to completely lose himself in the role: His trademark mustache is still visible underneath the white clown paint in the film.


The Joker‘s Motivations

“Some people just want to watch the world burn,” Michael Caine’s Alfred says of The Joker in The Dark Knight. One of the things that made Ledger’s character so enrapturing was simply the fact that he had no discernable motivations other than chaos and destruction — a departure, many people incorrectly think, from past performances. But watch Romero carefully: While Batman: The Movie has a loose plot centered around turning the members of the United Nations into powder, the Joker himself is principally entertained by his own misdeeds. He takes as much pleasure in electrocuting The Riddler and The Penguin, for instance, as he does in ordering a submarine to launch missiles at Batman and Robin. Like Ledger’s Joker, Romero’s is a “dog chasing cars,” reveling only in chaos, whether it be exacted upon his enemies or his allies.


The Joker’s Laugh

Is anything more infamous, more signature, more chilling about the Joker than his cackle? It’s one of the reasons that Mark Hamill, who never donned a dab of clown makeup, is included in the pantheon of the best Jokers of all time (he voiced the character in the Batman cartoon). But Hamill’s cackle, which almost landed him the role in Nolan’s sequel and on which Ledger based his own, was inspired by none other than Cesar Romero. Listen carefully, and you can trace the lineage of laughter all the way back to the source.
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Batman?! Batman you say?!

Postby TheButcher on Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:27 am

Batman's Joker was originally Brad Dourif, not Jack Nicholson, says Dourif
Actor, known for his supporting roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Lord of the Rings and Childs' Play, says Tim Burton was refused permission to cast him as Batman's nemesis


Tim Burton Compares His ‘Batman’ Movies to Nolan’s; Kevin Feige Praises ‘The Dark Knight’
Speaking of no one forgetting Batman, while promoting Dark Shadows, Tim Burton compared his contributions to the series (Batman, Batman Returns) to Christopher Nolan’s rebooted installments.


Tim Burton On Michelle Pfeiffer's CATWOMAN; Compares His Version Of BATMAN To Christopher Nolan's
In an interview with Cinemax magazine, the Dark Shadows director briefly addresses the differences between his version of Batman and the current Nolan incarnation, and reveals why he loved Michelle Pfeiffer's take on Catwoman so much..
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Re: 25th Anniversary Edition of Tim Burton’s BATMAN

Postby TheButcher on Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:04 pm

IGN:
Batman 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Announced
Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman is getting a new Blu-ray edition for the film's 25th anniversary
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Re: 25th Anniversary Edition of Tim Burton’s BATMAN

Postby so sorry on Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:43 am

TheButcher wrote:IGN:
Batman 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Announced
Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman is getting a new Blu-ray edition for the film's 25th anniversary



If it has Prince's Batdance video I'm so there.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheBaxter on Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:50 am

i got to see Burton's original Batman on the big screen recently, and i have to say, as fun as those Burton films were.... the Nolan films (at least the first two) are in a different league altogether. Burton's Batman still has one foot firmly planted in the Adam West/Burt Ward campy domain, whereas the Nolan films jumped a flight and flew as far away from that place as possible.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby so sorry on Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:35 am

TheBaxter wrote:i got to see Burton's original Batman on the big screen recently, and i have to say, as fun as those Burton films were.... the Nolan films (at least the first two) are in a different league altogether. Burton's Batman still has one foot firmly planted in the Adam West/Burt Ward campy domain, whereas the Nolan films jumped a flight and flew as far away from that place as possible.



Well that's an obvious observation, but are you also saying that one director's Batman universe is better than the other?

If you asked me to rank the 6 batman films, I think my order would be:
Batman (1989)
Batman Begins
Batman Forever
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
Batman and Robin

The campy batman isn't necessary more my taste, but I thought Nolan's two follow ups were subpar.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Spandau Belly on Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:15 am

sosorry wrote:If you asked me to rank the 6 batman films, I think my order would be:
Batman (1989)
Batman Begins
Batman Forever
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
Batman and Robin


BATMAN RETURNS doesn't even rank???
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheBaxter on Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:25 am

i probably hadn't seen Batman '89 in at least a decade... maybe two decades? so i remembered it was more campy than the Nolan batmans, but i was still surprised at just how campy it really was. it wasn't just Nicholson's performance (though that was a big part of it) but the entire tone of the film. probably also having seen the Nolan reinvention of the series made it seem campier in contrast as well.

i suppose my rankings would go in this order:

1. The Dark Knight
2. Batman Begins
3. Batman Returns
4. Batman '89
5. The Dark Knight Rises
negative infinity: (tie) Batman Forever/Batman & Robin
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheBaxter on Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:27 am

Spandau Belly wrote:
sosorry wrote:If you asked me to rank the 6 batman films, I think my order would be:
Batman (1989)
Batman Begins
Batman Forever
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
Batman and Robin


BATMAN RETURNS doesn't even rank???


i'm going to just assume, for the sake of all that is good and right in this world, that he confused BATMAN RETURNS and BATMAN FOREVER.
because if anyone could ever rank BATMAN FOREVER above the THE DARK KNIGHT in any capacity whatsoever, then this world simply does not make any sense to me anymore.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby so sorry on Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:58 am

TheBaxter wrote:
Spandau Belly wrote:
sosorry wrote:If you asked me to rank the 6 batman films, I think my order would be:
Batman (1989)
Batman Begins
Batman Forever
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
Batman and Robin


BATMAN RETURNS doesn't even rank???


i'm going to just assume, for the sake of all that is good and right in this world, that he confused BATMAN RETURNS and BATMAN FOREVER.
because if anyone could ever rank BATMAN FOREVER above the THE DARK KNIGHT in any capacity whatsoever, then this world simply does not make any sense to me anymore.



Hmm, what did I do there? Ok, welll let me re do my list:
Batman '89
Batman Begins
Nothing else (I didn't like any of the other offerings any more or less than the others)
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Spandau Belly on Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:05 pm

I never really got a lot out of Burton's first Batman movie, it's okay, just didn't do big things for me, even as a kid. I never read the comics, so I think for kids who read the comics, Burton really brought it to life the way they imagined it.

I did really like BATMAN RETURNS, that would probably be my favourite Batman movie and my favourite Tim Burton movie.

I saw each of Schumacher's films once upon their initial release as a teenager. I remember FOREVER being passable blockbuster fare for its time. It probably hasn't aged well. It's prettymuch what I think of as the prime example of what studios (even today) want from a superhero movie (bright colours, kid-friendly, big stars, lotsa action, formula story, light tone, leaves things open for more sequels).

I liked Nolan's first two Batman films, but I think THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is pretty bad. I think if you gave me a choice of having to watch BATMAN & ROBIN or THE DARK KNIGHT RISES again, I would probably go with B&R because the monumental embarassment of it would probably hold more entertainment value than Nolan's misguided, boring finale.

Also, BATMAN '66 is pretty amusing. It's camp done right.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheBaxter on Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:39 pm

so sorry wrote:Hmm, what did I do there? Ok, welll let me re do my list:
Batman '89
Batman Begins
Nothing else (I didn't like any of the other offerings any more or less than the others)


Michelle Pfeiffer? Catwoman? does this mean NOTHING to you!?!?

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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:24 pm

TheBaxter wrote:
so sorry wrote:Hmm, what did I do there? Ok, welll let me re do my list:
Batman '89
Batman Begins
Nothing else (I didn't like any of the other offerings any more or less than the others)


Michelle Pfeiffer? Catwoman? does this mean NOTHING to you!?!?


IT MEANS NOTHING TO ME!
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Al Shut on Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:41 am

When ranked separately it's Batman Returns all the way. Dark Knight coming in second.

Comparing Burton to Nolan is inconclusive. Both are a bit mixed but I also feel like the Burton films are tonally differing a bit tro much to lump them together like this.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:50 am

The Pen Is Truly Mightier Than The Sword: Screenwriter Sam Hamm Talks Batman ’89 [Interview]
Patrick A. Reed wrote:Twenty five years ago, in 1989, there was nothing bigger than Tim Burton’s Batman. The movie was a box-office smash, and was accompanied by an unprecedented merchandising blitz. Bat-trading cards, Bat-shirts, Bat-soundtracks, Bat-toys, Bat-meals, Bat-hats, Bat-candy, Bat-books – the logo and likenesses were everywhere you looked. And the film’s impact is still being felt today. It was a big-budget production with proper movie stars that changed the way the world thought about comic book movies evermore.

Earlier this summer, ComicsAlliance published a series of pieces reflecting on the importance of Batman ’89 – and now, as the summer of 2014 winds to a close, we spoke to screenwriter Sam Hamm about his work on the landmark film and his thoughts on its legacy, as a perfect postscript to our 25th anniversary Bat-celebration.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:15 am

Tim Burton talks 'Batman' & Joker
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:21 am

Why Tim Burton's Batman 3 Never Happened
Despite directing the still beloved Batman and Batman Returns, Tim Burton (and Michael Keaton) did not return for Batman 3. Here's why...
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:07 am

'Prestige' Author Slams Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight' Trilogy As "Shallow" And "Badly Written"
"To me, that's a real, major lack of judgement in Nolan, to go for superhero films. I feel this very strongly"
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Ribbons on Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:39 am

My gut reaction is to call him a dick, but he makes a couple good points about Nolan's career. I think his attitude towards superhero films is condescending and dickish, though. I feel this very strongly.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Peven on Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:19 pm

:lol:
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:10 pm

Michael Keaton Isn’t Jealous of Ben Affleck:
‘I’m Batman, I’m Very Secure in That’
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:30 am

I find it odd for a guy to criticize what superhero movies are like these days when he's only seen one superhero film in the last 20 years. It actually sounds, for lack of a better word, insecure.

However, I recently saw NEED FOR SPEED, in which Michael Keaton seemed pretty secure that he was Clevon Little.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheBaxter on Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:03 pm

it's kind of a stupid question. why would keaton be any more jealous of affleck than bale or kilmer? if anything he should be jealous of clooney. his batsuit had nipples!
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:09 am

Tim Burton on Today's Comic Book Movies: "Maybe We Need to See a Happy Superhero"
"Yes, we all know that superheroes are damaged individuals"
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:47 am

'Batman Forever': The Story Behind the Surprise Hit "Nobody Really Wanted"
Robin Williams as the Riddler?
Seventy-five costumes (Batnipples and all)?
Joel Schumacher and his team reveal the hard-fought road to reinventing the Dark Knight: "It was not expected to be the success it was."
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:47 pm

Batmanjuice
Sue Martin and Pat H. Broeske wrote:OUTTAKES
Batmanjuice
September 11, 1988|Sue Martin and Pat H. Broeske

Holy controversy! Ever since he was named to the role of the Caped Crusader--aka Bruce Wayne, aka Batman--Michael Keaton's been the subject of some severe snickering from comic book buffs and sci fi/fantasy enthusiasts.

The reason: The new Batman, as revitalized in print by Frank Miller, is one no-nonsense dude. And his crime-busting saga, which begins with the brutal murder of his parents, is nothing to laugh about.

By the same token, "Batman the Movie"--from Warners, based on a film noirish script by Sam Hamm --is reportedly serious stuff.

But Keaton's mostly known for funny stuff. As is director Tim Burton, who just had him very funny in "Beetlejuice."

And so, the movie, due to begin production in October in London, has got to win over skeptics.

Some of whom have been voicing their disapproval with hisses and boos at the various sci fi/fantasy/comic fan gatherings around the country. Including those who let loose groans at the 46th annual World Science Fiction fest on the weekend in New Orleans. (See next item.)

No matter that Jeff Walker--Warners' specialty press publicist who delivered the "Batman" presentation for the fans--cited Keaton's nifty critical notices for the grim "Clean and Sober," in which he's a addict-alcoholic.

As some fans pointed out, Keaton doesn't have the physical stature of Batman. (Turns out there are plans to have Batman wear a kind of body armor beneath that black and blue-gray caped outfit--the better to add some musculature.)

No less winning was the pre-production drawing of the Batmobile--which sported a sinister, smooth, vaguely-reptilian look. More groans. But, the fans applauded the Batwing--Batman's plane.

In case you're wondering if die-hard fans matter in terms of ticket sales . . .

Fact is, it's the die-hard fans who can help turn an otherwise-obscure movie into a cult title (see "Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai"). And, largely during repeat viewings, they've been known to help turn hit pics into phenomenons (see the earlier films of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg). And to turn some TV series (see "Star Trek") into hit pics (see "Star Trek" and its sequels).

Little wonder that a studio rep was pleased to report that the mood of the fans was very upbeat during last month's Comic Con held in San Diego. In fact, said our source, none other than Batman creator Bob Kane was on hand to talk Batman and field questions--and to applaud the casting of Keaton. (Kane will have a cameo in the upcoming pic, as a newspaper cartoonist.)

The Warners spokesman pointed out that Batman isn't a super hero with super powers: "He's more real man than super-man."

And he promised, "Those people questioning Keaton as Batman are going to be surprised."

Meanwhile, the buzz over Batman continues. "It's the talk of the comic world," said Maggie Thompson, co-editor of the industry trade journal, Comics Buyers Guide.

Ever since the casting announcement, the letters column has been dominated by anti-Keaton sentiments: "And some fans have even taken ads out, directing letter-writing campaigns to D.C. (Comics, "literary" home of Batman) and Warner Bros."

Said Thompson: "If you've followed the new Batman comics, you know that his is a dark and brooding tale, with hints that he may even be psychotic.

"So the question is, can Keaton do this?"
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:03 pm

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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Spandau Belly on Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:43 am

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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby Ribbons on Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:15 pm

Boom! Although Scott Pilgrim is still lamentably absent from that list. :(

Much as I love The Dark Knight, it is indeed hard to imagine "critics" naming it one of the 10 best movies of all-time (the 100 movies here are compiled from top-ten lists). Although superhero movies are so omnipresent these days that they may have figured they had to throw one of them on there.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby so sorry on Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:28 pm

Ribbons wrote:...superhero movies are so omnipresent these days that they may have figured they had to throw one of them on there.


Exactly. And The Dark Knight was a "safe" choice out of the superhero genre (although if I had to pick ONE, I'd go with Ironman).
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Re: Burton v Schumacher v Nolan v Snyder!

Postby TheButcher on Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:58 am

THR:
It's Obvious Who Should Replace Ben Affleck as Batman Director
Taking over the Dark Knight is Zack Snyder's cinematic destiny.

Variety:
Michael Keaton Answers Your Questions About Trump, ‘Batman,’ and ‘Mr. Mom’
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:04 pm

THR:
All the Ways 'The Dark Knight' Borrowed from 'Heat' Revealed
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Re: Burton v Schumacher v Nolan v Snyder!

Postby TheButcher on Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:32 am

THR:
Coolio Was Courted to Play Scarecrow in Scrapped 'Batman & Robin' Sequel
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:24 am

#TheBatman: Michael Keaton is ready to suit back up, if needed.
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Val Kilmer Pitches Michael Keaton The Best Batman Idea Ever
Val Kilme Has A Batplan
Val Kilmer, the star of 1995's Batman Forever, came up with a cool idea to have himself, Michael Keaton, Christian Bale and George Clooney all in the same Batman movie together along with Ben Affleck.

Earlier Kilmer tweeted, "It's important to be yourself. If you can't be yourself, be Batman," which saw Michael Keaton, who plays the bad guy for Marvel in Spider-Man: Homecoming, tweet out an animted GIF of himself that says, "I'm Batman."

Val Kilmer responded with the following idea:

"You're my secret VALentine Batman. I've got a pitch- u, me, Clooney and Bale all do bad guy cameos in the next one and Affleck kills us all," Kilmer tweeted to Michael Keaton.

Batman: Val Kilmer Would ‘Love To’ Play the Character Again
Michael Kennedy wrote:Batman. The name alone is likely to immediately conjure up images of the caped and cowled crusader grappling across the rooftops of Gotham City, or feeding criminals knuckle sandwiches in a dark Gotham back alley. He’s one of the most iconic characters in the entirety of pop culture, but has to date only been played on-screen in a live-action setting by a mere six actors: Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and most recently, Ben Affleck.

In the hierarchy of cinematic Batmen, there are camps who commonly make the case for either West, Keaton, or Bale as the best on-screen Dark Knight, with Affleck’s current portrayal in Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad also earning some good reviews so far. The two odd men out in the group tend to be Kilmer and Clooney, who both only played Batman a single time, and are generally regarded as the least memorable actors to portray the iconic hero.

Still, the thought of what Kilmer might have done with the role going forward is fun to think about, especially had he been placed within the insanity that was Batman & Robin. While it’s now been over 20 years since Kilmer donned the Batsuit, during a Reddit AMA session yesterday, the actor was asked whether he would be willing to return to the role if it was offered to him. The answer Kilmer gave?

“love to.”


On one level, it makes sense that Kilmer would want to reprise the Batman role, despite him opting out of participation in Batman & Robin. More than one reason has been given publicly over the years for why he turned that film down, but one of the most likely of them posits that Kilmer and director Joel Schumacher clashed creatively on the set of Batman Forever, enough that they didn’t want to work together again. Kilmer has expressed fondness for the experience of playing Batman itself in the past, and one wonders if he would have stayed on had Schumacher left. For what it’s worth Schumacher, would refer to Kilmer as “the best Batman” years later.
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:36 am

'Batman & Robin' at 20: Joel Schumacher and More Reveal What Really Happened
Nine people behind the most infamous comic book movie of all time look back at the good (pickup basketball games with George Clooney), the bad (battery acid leaking into Arnold Schwarzenegger's mouth) and the ugly (those reviews).
Aaron Couch wrote:It's the most infamous comic book movie of all time, a movie so divisive that Warner Bros. sent the Dark Knight to movie jail for eight long years. Yet, Batman & Robin seemed poised to be a home run when it was released 20 years ago on June 20, 1997.

Director Joel Schumacher was fresh off a surprise hit with 1995's Batman Forever, and most of his team was returning. Though Schumacher lost star Val Kilmer as Batman, George Clooney, the promising star of TV's ER, quickly stepped in to don the cape and cowl. Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the world's top box-office draws, came aboard as the villainous Mr. Freeze. And talents like Batman Forever's Chris O'Donnell (Robin), Clueless breakout Alicia Silverstone (Batgirl) and Oscar nominee Uma Thurman (Poison Ivy) rounded out a star-packed cast.

What could go wrong?

To find out what did go wrong, Heat Vision caught up with Schumacher and eight other people who labored over the film.

It's hard to pinpoint why the movie didn't shape up as hoped. What's clear: the film was a victim of franchise-mania. Competing corporate interests helped push Batman & Robin to becoming a very, very expensive toy commercial rather than a movie in its own right. At the same time, there's plenty of good in Batman & Robin, and that's covered here too.

Some of the tidbits you'll find below include a look at Schwarzenegger's larger-than-life presence on set (complete with Cuban cigars hand-delivered by Jon Bon Jovi), the double standard Alicia Silverstone faced after accepting the role (including an insensitive drawing that circulated during preproduction); and a look at some of Batman & Robin's most enduring rumors (including the one Star Trek fans will be crushed to learn isn't true).

Arnold signed on for a cool $25 million — and no, Patrick Stewart was not up for Mr. Freeze.

Those who worked on Batman Forever weren't particularly surprised that Kilmer opted not to return, as he and Schumacher didn't quite get along.

"Batman Forever, when we were on the world tour, it just really went to his head," says Schumacher or Kilmer's exit, before stopping himself. "I'm not going to get into that. He wanted to do Island of Doctor Moreau because Marlon Brando was going to be in it. So he dropped us at the eleventh hour."

Warner Bros. exec Bob Daly suggested a handsome rising star from the TV world to step in.

"I went to the Valley, where George lived with his pig and his great friends, and we said, 'Let's do it,'" recalls Schumacher.

One of the most enduring myths about Batman & Robin is that Patrick Stewart was up for Mr. Freeze. Not so, says Schumacher.

"It's a wonderful idea. But no one ever suggested him," he says. "I had met with Arnold several times, because he was always interested in working together."

(Here's something extra for all of you Batman & Robin conspiracy theorists out there. Storyboard artist Tim Burgard remembers working from an earlier script in which Mr. Freeze's lines were written for someone more like Stewart than Schwarzenegger: "All the dialogue was for Mr. Freeze, you could tell it was meant for somebody who would deliver it in a Shakespearean fashion. It was hysterical; in my head, I was reading Freeze's dialogue as Schwarzenegger." As Burgard recounts it, subsequent versions of the script swapped out Freeze's original lines for the puns that made it into the film.)

Schwarzenegger received top billing, and a hefty $25 million payday (about $1 million per day he spent on set).

"The cast ate the money up," says producer Peter MacGregor-Scott. "It's tough when you wake up in the morning and just spent $25 million! Oh dear. But he was great."

Luckily for the bottom line, Clooney wasn't commanding the salary one would need to cough up to land him today. ("He was a bargain," says MacGregor-Scott.)

As for Poison Ivy, Julia Roberts is often rumored among the actresses who were up for the role. Nope, though Schumacher says a number of other actresses' reps did reach out.

"Julia and I did two movies together back to back. We're friends. She would have picked up the phone and called me," says Schumacher, who decided to cast Thurman after seeing a Vanity Fair photo shoot by Annie Leibovitz while he was flying back from Mississippi after shooting the John Grisham adaptation A Time to Kill.

Weightlifter Jeep Swenson was enlisted as Bane after one of the stuntmen on Batman Forever suggested him.

"I think he had the biggest biceps on record at that time. He was a sweet guy with a young family," says Schumacher of the actor, who died shortly after the film opened. "He was a dream to work with, and I think we were all crushed by that."

Paparazzi photos of Schwarzenegger in costume were going for $10,000.

The production of Batman & Robin inspired a type of hysteria that's common today, but was quite unusual 20 years ago. Media and fan interest was intense throughout its production, leading to a security issue.

"I had the security people all over the stage. Clearing people who out who had cameras on them, " says MacGregor-Scott. "They were getting $10,000 for a picture of Arnold. And we had a fabric tent around him, when he would walk from his trailer to the stage."

Access Hollywood aired audition tapes of men vying to play the small role of Antonio Diego, aka Bane before he's bulked up. "I just threw myself against the wall and screamed, the top of my lungs," recalls Michael Reid MacKay, who won the part.

And celebrities were coming in and out of the set, mostly to visit Schwarzenegger.

"Jon Bon Jovi came by and he brought Cuban cigars for Arnold. So Arnold had them color it white so he could smoke it in the scenes," says Stogie Kenyatta, who played a thug working for Mr. Freeze.

"Jesse Ventura had a cameo as well," says composer Elliot Goldenthal of the future Minnesota Governor. "You can run government, you can have a dramatic career, but no one is too high and mighty to do just goofy comic characters."

Clooney was the lead, but he didn't quite yet have the star wattage of Schwarzenegger on set. While the small-time character actors were wowed to see the Terminator in person, Clooney didn't loom as large, though he did enjoy humorously talking about his uncomfortable costume.

"He definitely has a great game of basketball. Because they would always be playing pickup basketball games," recalls Joe Sabatino, who played Frosty, another Mr. Freeze thug.

Clooney wasn't the only one whose costume put a cramp in his style. Sabatino once walked out on to the Warner Bros. lot during his lunch break to hit the gym for a light workout, only to notice the woman working out next to him was Cindy Crawford.

"At the time she was single, and was like, 'I'd really like to talk to you, but I look like a monster!' " he says. "She laughed and was really nice. I was like, when you get to meet Cindy Crawford, and you're looking like a monster, not that great a thing."

Schwarzenegger suffered to play Freeze — and even had battery acid leak in his mouth.

Schwarzenegger was filming the Sinbad comedy Jingle All the Way when he informed Jeff Dawn, his longtime makeup artist, that he would be starring in Batman & Robin. Just a few years earlier, Dawn had won an Oscar for Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where he'd worked on the frozen T-1000 (Robert Patrick), which involved spraying the star with a can of Christmas tree flocking.

"This is back in the days when you kind of look at the can and there's no major skull and crossbones on it. So you think, 'This is OK to spray on someone's face.' Nowadays it's a whole different ballgame when it comes to safety and safety data sheets and all that. But back then, you'd smell it and go, 'It's extremely flammable, and there's some smoke skull and crossbones down here, but I think we'll be OK.' "

After months of work (and testing some perhaps unsafe materials on extras), the Mr. Freeze look was perfected, with safe-for-humans acrylic paint applied to Schwarzenegger. Mr. Freeze had an entire 11-person unit dedicated just to him for a prep that took four hours in the morning.

That long makeup time limited how much the production could shoot with Schwarzenegger, whose contract had a strict 12-hour policy.

"He'd always have tons of people around him," says Dawn of those long makeup sessions. "One person would be massaging his hand. He'd have an assistant there talking, he would be eating. I would have one or two people assisting me. It's a lot of bodies in a very small area around a big guy."

Dawn had convinced Schwarzenegger to shave his head for the role, telling his star that wearing a bald cap would add an extra hour and 45 minutes to his day in the chair and wouldn't look as good. Schwarzenegger agreed to go bald, and even booked an EPK crew to film his head getting shaved.

But on the appointed day, the star balked.

"He goes, 'I changed my mind. I want to wear a bald cap for the film,' " recalls Dawn, who reacted with horror. "Oh my God! That's a big deal."

Dawn reached over to his electric hair trimmer anyway, and turned it on. The trimmer buzzed. The men stared at each other.

"I'm looking at Arnold. He's looking at me with this big shit-grin smile, like, 'Jeff, go ahead! I dare you,' " says Dawn. "And I turned it off and put the shaver back, thinking, OK, I'm not going to go this route. I'm glad I didn't to this day."

The bald cap it was.

The final touch for close-ups was an LED light for Mr. Freeze's mouth. It made delivering lines a challenge, but even worse, it proved to be a serious danger.

"When you put it in Arnold's mouth, Arnold's saliva would creep into the seams of this thing and attack the batteries. The batteries would immediately start disintegrating and start putting out battery acid into Arnold's mouth," says Dawn.

The actor was not happy, shouting, "It tastes like shit! What's in my mouth?"

Dawn created a workaround, packing the whole device into a tiny balloon. But another problem emerged: the light only lasted about 20 minutes before the batteries died, prompting frequent stops during a production already pressed for Schwarzenegger's time by the makeup demands.

"Arnold is sitting there in this incredibly uncomfortable suit and it's costing us $5,000 a minute to wait," says Dawn.

The costume was so convincing that even his young son didn't recognize him.

"The nanny brought him in, and Arnold, dressed as Mr. Freeze walked over to his son, and his son started crying," recalls production supervisor Jacqueline George. "He was smoking a cigar after we cut. He's like, 'It's daddy!' And [his son is] like, 'No it's not!' And it was so cute, because he was just a little boy. I thought how strange that must be to see your dad in a Mr. Freeze costume."

Silverstone was the victim of body shaming in the press, and even got grief from the production office.

Silverstone's character was introduced as a way to bring in a younger, female audience to the franchise, but the actress faced intense media scrutiny after being cast that her male co-stars never did.

Silverstone, then just a teenager, was criticized by fashion commentators after presenting at that year's Oscars. (Those critics "thought she looked more Babe than babe," read an April 1996 EW article). Schumacher and Silverstone’s spokesperson issued a statement in her defense and to assure the press she was training hard for the role of Batgirl.

In the production office, she also became the target of a joke after rumors circulated that Silverstone was having trouble in costume fittings. Storyboard artist Burgard drew a cartoon of Batgirl that nearly got him in trouble (though he notes, it was of the comic book character and was not meant to look like Silverstone).

"I heard that she was in the costume department being synched into a corset to fit into what they were going to try to do the costume," says Burgard. "So I did a cartoon of what I thought that looked like. … I did it as a movie poster, Clueless 2: The Casting of Batgirl. It was a private joke, just the guys in the art department."

But the joke got out when a production assistant made a copy.

"He put it up by his station, whereof course Bob Ringwood, the costume designer saw it — and had a shit fit. I think the quote was, 'She is trying so hard!' Luckily for me, I never signed it. So I got to keep working."

For Schumacher, his goal with Silverstone's Barbara was to make her more than "just this little blond girl in a boarding school costume."

"So that she would have a secret life, and she and Robin would have more in common and be very competitive with each other," he says of her interest in motorcycle racing. "Then I thought, why not do a set piece and make it fun for the audience? Then we made up groups. I think there was a Clockwork Orange group and there were British dandies and powdered wigs. There were all kinds of groups of they all had their own identities."

There were a lot of Batmen, Robins and Mr. Freezes.

There was literally a Batman for every occasion — including that infamous bat ice-skating scene.

"We had to have people for the ice skating, we had to have drivers, we had to have all the guys that could do the acrobatics," says George. We had several doubles for both Batman and Robin, because each guy brought a different skill set. One guy had to do all the incredible skating, one guy had to do the areal gymnastics."

The same went for Mr. Freeze.

"We would have a couple of other Arnolds, standing around ready to get in their suits at any one time," says Dawn. "It was so easy to hide the real Arnold with all of that stuff on. It's really important to the close-ups, and that's about it. Everyone else could be a double or a stunt person. It's so time consuming and uncomfortable that we'd only use Arnold for what we needed Arnold for."

Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman expressed worries to Schumacher early on.

There were early warning signs that Batman & Robin might be in trouble. Schumacher had resisted sequel overtures from Columbia Pictures on 1985's St. Elmo's Fire ("I couldn't see a sequel"), but went against that policy in this case. He and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman went straight from Batman Forever to A Time to Kill right back to Batman & Robin.

"Akiva was very leery about Batman & Robin. We had a couple of very serious discussions about it, and he was right about it in the long run," says Schumacher.

And while toy companies and other corporate partners had wanted nothing to do with Batman Forever, everyone wanted in for the sequel. Schumacher learned what it means to make a movie toy-etic: "when you have something in the movie they can make toys out of." Perhaps the production went too heavy in that direction.

Warner Bros. was also insistent on carving out a date two years after Forever. The train was leaving the station, no matter what.

"Suddenly you're carrying what's called the tentpole movie of the year. Which means that's going to carry all the other movies," he says. "So you are going to open whether you have something or not. Because those spots in the summer are so sought-after and so juggled around that you've got to piss on your ground or you're not going to have dates in the summer. And then it's like, "Oh my God, I'm opening. But now I have to make something to open with.' "

As Goldenthal puts it: "It seems like you never have enough time, and seeing the posters all over Ventura Boulevard or Sunset Boulevard or the subways in New York, you are reminded how few days you have left to complete the project."

If there's blame to be had, Schumacher accepts it all. But he also feels bad that he may have let down his cast and crew, who he feels did strong work.

"All I'm going to say is I was a big boy. I chose to do it. I don't think I did my best job. That really bothers me," Schumacher says.

Fans have pounced on the director saying what he really wanted to do was make Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, but he says it's not like he had another movie ready to go and Warner Bros. forced him to make this one instead.

"I remember a few journalists calling me and saying, 'There's a rumor that you felt you never got to make your Batman movie and that you had a secret script. And that you were going to shoot that.' Well that's all fantasy," he says.

But there are a few hints as to other directions the movie, or perhaps at least the series, could have gone had Schumacher continued or had his drothers. A scene in which Bane and Poison Ivy break out Mr. Freeze from Arkham Asylum is one of those breadcrumbs, with the scene featuring costumes for the Riddler and other villains.

"I always wanted to do a whole Arkham movie, and did a scene at the end of Batman Forever when Jim is in a straitjacket and Nicole [Kidman] comes to see him. And it was just a nod to back to Arkham asylum which I love, and I thought it would be fun to put the other villains up there," he says.

***

At the premiere, fans were treated to icicle pops, and the cast and crew were in good spirits.

Then came the reviews.

Still, Batman & Robin opened at No. 1 on June 20, 1997, with $42 million on its way to $238 million worldwide on a $125 million budget. It ended its box office run nearly $100 million short of Batman Forever's haul.

"It was such a scandal! It was like I had murdered babies or something, and in hindsight, I'd say wasn't it an innocent world where a Batman movie, which was from comic books could be —," Schumacher says, before changing course, remembering one of the film's most controversial additions to the Batman mythos. "The nipples! That was the greatest! That was the absolute greatest. That two rubber things, the size of pencil erasers would be a big f—ing deal."

Warner Bros. scrapped plans for a third Schumacher-directed Batman, and spent years going through directors and screenwriters before finally settling on Christopher Nolan's pitch for Batman Begins.

The film has inspired an entire cottage industry of internet videos and articles pointing out its flaws. Yet in a way, it continues to entertain people through those very articles and videos. The continued interest is something that surprises Schumacher.

"Is it popular for all the wrong reasons?" he asks with a laugh.

Sometimes it's obvious why a movie didn't work. Perhaps the production was rushed, or a director wasn't up to the challenge, or the film spends too much time focusing on the franchise rather than the movie. Do any of the above apply to Batman & Robin? It was too franchise-focused and it certainly was fast-tracked too quickly for its own good, but even though for years Shumacher has taken the blame (and apologized again and again), it's hard to argue that he wasn't up for the challenge. The movie came in on time and on budget. There was no runaway production. There were no expensive reshoots.

Schumacher, now 77, says it's nice to have a career to look back on, because for so many years he spent hustling — in wardrobe departments, as a writer, as a director of TV movies — it was never apparent he would have a career.

"I think I'm one of the luckiest people that ever lived. I got my dream. I got it so much bigger than even I could have dreamed it," he says. "You know, I'm just a kid whose parents died very young who was on his own and grew up behind a movie theater before TV, and I wanted to tell those stories, and look what happened."


'Batman Forever': The Story Behind the Surprise Hit "Nobody Really Wanted"
Robin Williams as the Riddler? Seventy-five costumes (Batnipples and all)? Joel Schumacher and his team reveal the hard-fought road to reinventing the Dark Knight: "It was not expected to be the success it was."
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:44 am

'Batman Returns' at 25: Stars Reveal Script Cuts, Freezing Sets and Aggressive Penguins
Tim Burton, Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito look back on the movie that helped make franchise films the norm: "We started to get comments from McDonald's like, 'What's all that black stuff coming out of the Penguin's mouth?' "
Byron Burton wrote:Twenty-five years ago, Batman returned.

Director Tim Burton and star Michael Keaton upped the ante with the follow-up to 1989's Batman, the smash hit that single-handedly made the Dark Knight cool for a new generation and jump-started the superhero movie genre that had stalled years earlier with a disastrous string of Superman sequels.

Batman Returns, released June 19, 1992, featured less kid-friendly characters than its predecessor. Gone was Jack Nicholson's The Joker, and in his place were the grotesque Penguin (Danny DeVito) and a sexy Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), whose costume bore a striking resemblance to something that could be purchased at a BDSM shop.

These bold characters helped make the movie a classic, but also alienated corporations such as McDonald's that had a newfound interest in the movie franchise business via promotional tie-ins — and complained loudly about the film's darker tone.

Here, the film's key players — Burton, Keaton, Pfeiffer, DeVito, Christopher Walken, composer Danny Elfman and screenwriter Daniel Waters — look back on the insane sets (complete with temperamental penguins), script changes (Batman shouldn't talk so much) and a costume so hard to fit into that it was vacuum-sealed.

Michelle Pfeiffer was crushed when another star was cast as Catwoman.

Pfeiffer may be the definitive big-screen Catwoman, but it was a role she almost missed out on.

"As a young girl, I was completely obsessed with Catwoman. When I heard that Tim was making the film and Catwoman had already been cast, I was devastated," says Pfeiffer. “At the time, it was Annette Bening. Then she became pregnant. The rest is history. I remember telling Tim halfway through the script that I'd do the film, that's how excited I was."

Determined to make the most out of her time as Catwoman, Pfeiffer threw herself into mastering the whip and kickboxing.

"I trained for months with the whip master. On our first day together, I caught his face with the whip and it drew blood. It completely shattered me," she says.

Pfeiffer would go on to perform all of her own stunts with the whip, but found performing on set was infinitely more challenging than at practice.

“I was very nervous on my first day of shooting. I'd gotten pretty good with the whip, but when you show up…you don't anticipate all the lights everywhere," she says. "They were set up in places that prevented me from hitting my marks with the whip. So we had to rework the lighting again and again.”

Michael Keaton cut more than half of his Batman lines from the script.

Screenwriter Daniel Waters envisioned a chattier Batman. Keaton had other ideas.

"My version of the script had more a lot more Batman and Bruce Wayne speeches. Michael Keaton would go through the script and say, 'Hey, that's a great line, but you gotta cut it. This is a good speech, but you gotta take it out.' He wanted to have very minimal dialogue, especially in the Batsuit. When I saw the final film, I realized he was exactly right."

Keaton preferred to let the suit do most of the talking.

"Once I realized how powerful the suit was in terms of an image on screen, I just used it," says Keaton.

Keaton’s Batsuit wasn’t without its faults. His trademark full- body turns were born out of necessity, mainly the fact that he couldn’t turn his head.

“It was a practical move early on to move in a certain way because they hadn't refined the suit and it wouldn't function properly, " says Keaton. "I got around that by making bigger, bolder and stronger moves from the torso up, and it worked."

Batman Returns was a victim of franchise-mania.

When Burton made his first Batman movie, he wasn't thinking about corporate synergy or selling toys. That all changed with Returns.

"At the time with the first Batman, you'd never heard the word franchise. On the second one, you started to hear that word," says Burton. "On the second one, we started to get comments from McDonald's like, 'What's all that black stuff coming out of the Penguin's mouth?' So, people were just starting to think of these films in terms of marketing. That's the new world order."

Speaking of that black Penguin saliva, McDonald's had DeVito to thank for that.

"The black saliva was a concoction that I came up with after working with the makeup and the special effects people. Basically, it's kind of like mild mouthwash with food coloring in it. We had it in a jar with a nozzle on it. Before every scene, I'd squirt it into my mouth," says DeVito. "Luckily the taste wasn't that bad."

The Catwoman suit was unspeakably hard to work in.

"It was the most uncomfortable costume I've ever been in. They had to powder me down, help me inside and then vacuum-pack the suit," says Pfeiffer. "They'd paint it with a silicon-based finish to give it its trademark shine. I had those claws, and I was always catching them in things. The face mask was smashing my face and choking me…we had a lot of bugs to work out."

One of those bugs?

"Originally, they didn't leave me a way to use the restroom in the suit, so that also had to be remedied as well," says Pfeiffer.

DeVito didn't have it much better as he transformed into the Penguin.

"It was four-and-a-half hours of makeup and getting into the costume. We got it down to three hours by the end of the shoot," says DeVito. "I had pounds and pounds of face prosthetics and body padding, and the prosthetic hands, which were hard to use. I kept them on about half the time."

The real-life penguins had their own dressing rooms.

Working with penguins is harder than it looked, and required those sets be kept much too cold for human comfort.

"I'm the kind of guy that loves being on set, but it was cold as shit because we had real penguins and they had to keep the water really cold. They had these massive air conditioners," says DeVito. "I was the only one really comfortable, because I had pounds and pounds of face prosthetics and the body padding, not to mention the heavy coat."

But animal lovers need not worry for the well-being of DeVito's adorable co-stars.

"They had their own area on the studio lot with a swimming pool and refrigerated dressing rooms. They were very well taken care of," recalls Walken, who played sinister industrialist Max Shreck.

And like human actors, some penguins were more approachable than others.

"There were three different kinds of Penguins. There were the big ones, the Emperors. They were very docile and sweet. They would walk up to you and you could pet them like a cat. Then there was a middle size, who were a little more active. The smallest ones were very busy and aggressive, they'd give you a peck," Walken says.

DeVito was so committed to the role that he didn't break character on set.

“Once he was in that costume, he was the Penguin. He was always in character, using the menacing voice. I saw Danny after the movie, never during production," says Walken.

For DeVito, the Penguin role is something he carries with him today — quite literally.

"When I met with Tim, he gave me a painting of this little creature on a yellow ball with red and white stripes," says the star. "The caption is 'My name is Jimmy, but my friends call me the hideous penguin boy.' I'm staring at it right now. I carry it around with me wherever I go."

There was nothing fake about that memorable bird-in-mouth scene.

Viewers still speculate that movie magic aided in Catwoman holding a live bird in her mouth. Was the bird sedated? Was it CGI? Nope.

"I don't think I've ever been so impressed. She had a live bird in her mouth while the camera was rolling," says Burton. "It was four or five seconds, and then she let it fly out. It was before CG, it was before digital. It was so quick, it seems like it was an effect."

Pfeiffer says she didn't stop to ponder potential danger.

"I look back and say, 'What was I thinking? I could've gotten a disease or something from having a live bird in my mouth,'" says Pfeiffer. "It seemed fine at the time. I don't think the bird was drugged or anything. We did that scene in one take. I think Tim likes to torture me a bit, it's like a little brother [or] brat kind of thing."

Burton says part of what made her performance great was the unexpected physicality to it.

"Michelle is a great actress, but she also does these funny physical things. Almost fluttering her eyes in the scene where she comes back to life. Her eyes look like a special effects, but that was all done by her," says Burton.

Another larger-than-life aspect of Catwoman — her nine lives — is something one of the film's screenwriters says he never intended.

"To me, the whole nine lives thing was just a piece of dialogue and vague artistic license. It was never something I considered literally. In my script, and even in the movie, Selina Kyle dies at the end. She's completely dead after the electric kiss with Walken," says Waters. "The final shot of her head coming into foreground, that was literally done two weeks before the movie came out. Test screenings showed that people responded positively to the Catwoman character, so the studio wanted a more concrete glimpse that she was still alive.”

A controversial Batman kill wasn't in the screenplay, according to Waters.

"My friends always asked, 'How can you have Batman kill somebody?' To me, Batman not killing Heath Ledger at the end of The Dark Knight after proving he can get out of any prison, it's like 'Come on. Kill Heath Ledger,' " says Waters.

But he's not thrilled with how Batman Returns' Batman handled capital justice.

"Batman killing the clown by throwing his bomb back at him, that wasn't in my draft. I know how uptight people are about Batman killing people in the first place," he says. "To me, if he's going to kill somebody, it better be worth it. It should mean something. So, when he's killing people in a devil-may-care way, it's a little grating."

Burton recalls the violence this way: "At the time, it felt like we were exploring new territory and it's probably quite tame compared to now."

He doesn't recall the studio pushing back.

"I think that everybody was on board with the fact that these were going to be a different type of superhero movie. Because it felt new at the time, they really didn't know what to say about it," says Burton.

That memorable Danny Elfman score almost never happened.

After being hired for 1989's Batman, Elfman was horrified to learn the producers wanted a pop-heavy score that'd feature the music of the likes of Prince, Michael Jackson, and George Michael. He promptly quit.

"I didn't wanna end up being just an orchestrator for someone else's tunes, which is what would've happened if I went along with that," says Elfman. "That process didn't appeal to me very much. There are plenty of people more qualified to orchestrate for a pop artist than me."

But as fate would have it, he got the call to return to London just a few weeks later.

After an inspiring set visit, Elfman wrote the majority of the score on his flight back. He was desperate to record it all before the flight crew’s landing music erased the score from his brain.

"I was hearing the whole theme in my head, the A section, B section, French horns, first strings, second strings.… I was really breaking it all down on this incredibly loud 747. Since I was sitting next to somebody, I didn't want to yell into my tape recorder. So I kept running into the restroom, which was even noisier. I guess the bathrooms were close to the engines or something," he says. "It was getting weirder and weirder, because I kept going back every 10 minutes with new ideas. Every time I came out, there were more and more concerned flight attendants asking me if everything was OK. This was 'pre-heavy terrorism,' otherwise I'm sure I would've end up in some type of handcuffs or restraints. Everyone was like, 'What the f— is this guy doing every 10 minutes?!'

For Batman Returns, he used much of his same work, building on those themes, and he has fond memories of his work with the Penguin.

"There was this great sequence of the basket flowing down the river and into the sewers. That was very close to my heart," says Elfman. "The abandoned baby. The Penguin's death at the end. As silly as it is, I loved that. The Penguins carry his body into the water, I'm a huge sucker for that kind of sentimentality."

Burton's Batman team was as efficient as a NASCAR pit crew.

“When we first met, Tim showed me a photograph of Vincent Price in an older film," says Walken of creating his character. "Tim was fascinated with his costume and his hair, he wanted Max to have that kind of look.”

Walken also remembers how quickly ideas became reality when working with Burton.

"I remember in my office, I had a scene with Michael Keaton and there was a reference to the power plant I was building. I said in rehearsal one day, 'You know, it would be interesting to have some sort of blueprint or mock-up of what this power plant would look like,' " says Walken. "Within an hour, there was a model of this power plant next to my desk. I remember saying to Tim one day, 'Maybe Max should have a certain kind of cuff links,' and in an hour they had those cuff links. The people who built things on that movie were just remarkable."

That attention to detail went all the way down to the side characters in the film.

"I can't say enough for the cast, even the smaller players like Pat Hingle, who played Commissioner Gordon. Michael Gough, my Alfred, I really miss him," says Keaton, who had a special bond with the British actor, who played Alfred for nearly 10 years through 1997's Batman & Robin.

Burton says the studio pushed him out of the franchise.

Batman Returns was an undeniable hit, earning $266 million worldwide, but it fell short of the original by more than $145 million and led to Warner Bros. to push for a much more toy-friendly direction for the franchise. Director Joel Schumacher entered the franchise, with bosses at Warner Bros. telling him the studio had received thousands of letters from parents complaining the movie had scared their children. The new director put his own toyetic stamp on Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997), changing the course of the Caped Crusader's big-screen destiny.

"I don't know if any ideas made it in," says Burton of the subsequent film. "I realized halfway through my meeting with Warner Bros. that they didn't really want me to do the movie. They kept saying, ‘Don't you wanna go back and do a movie like Edward Scissorhands? Something smaller?' I said, 'You don't want me to do the movie, do you?'

Keaton exited the franchise soon after, unimpressed with the script for the follow-up. This version of Batman was done, but it remains a bright light in the history of the Dark Knight.


Before 'Batman Begins': Secret History of the Movies That Almost Got Made
Courtney Love as Harley Quinn? Bruce Wayne a married man? As Christopher Nolan's groundbreaking reboot turns 10, filmmakers from Frank Miller to Joel Schumacher reveal details of projects that nearly got off the ground in the years between 'Batman & Robin' and 'Begins.'
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Re: Which Bats Best, Burton or Nolan?

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:21 am

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