Before Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, before the overcast Ben Affleck version, and long before the remake, which is in post-production, starring Robert Pattison (Twilight, Tenet) and directed by Matt Reeves, we had the version of Tim Burton, starring Micheal Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger, a dark version, as it should be, knowing the vision of the director.
The studio’s first choice to put on the mask and cape was Mel Gibson, but he turned it down because he was about to start filming Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), but when Keaton was confirmed in the role, the fans They exploded and filled with letters (there were no social networks at the time), some 50,000 protesting the choice of the protagonist. But Michael Keaton became a great Batman.
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Jack Nicholson rejected the role of Jocker in the first place, and the studio to tempt him, made an offer to the great Robin Williams, but what the actor did not know is that it was a false proposal to pressure Nicholson to accept the role. Jack Nicholson ended up accepting and playing a memorable role. But this does not end here, when Robin Wiliams found out about this move by Warner Bros. he took this situation so badly that he refused, years later, to play The Riddler in Batman Forever (Batman Forever, 1995), and refused to work with the studio until Warner apologized for putting him in that situation.
Now when we see the film, we see a great adaptation of the character, but as we read, it was always surrounded by controversy, from the choice of the protagonist to the choice of the director. Warner Bros. had to advance the scheduled dates to launch the trailer and thus silence the masses who are not happy. With the trailer already in theaters, it was all good news for the film, the fans were freaked out, some fans paid 100% admission just to see the trailer, and once it passed they got up and left.
As we have spoken in another column, there are directors who let improvise and Burton is, there are two scenes that were improvised, one by Keaton, the famous phrase: “I am Batman”, in the script it was written as: “I am the night ”, But Burton, upon hearing the change in the actor’s line, decided to keep that change, and today it is a phrase that has become part of popular culture. And the other scene was improvised by Nicholson, the scene where the Jocker dances at Vikcy Vale’s (Kim Basinger) house, was inspired by a friend of the actor who suggested it to him and it wasn’t in the script.
Despite being surrounded by controversy, the production was able to overcome all these obstacles and reached theaters in mid-1989, Tim Burton’s Batman, and was an instant success, grossing 400 million dollars, out of an investment of 34 million. As a curious fact, the first 100 million, the film collected in its first ten days. He won several international awards and the Oscar for best Art Direction.
It is clear that Batman was the kickoff for the launch of superheroes as we all know them today, but at that time it was a risky move that went perfectly and marked the way forward, when there are people as talented as Burton behind them. projects you can only expect one thing: fascination in every frame.
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Film column by Ariel Dadante: “I am Batman”