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25 Year Anniversary of BATMAN (1989): Tim Burton Film BTS Featurette

Michael Keaton Batman Returns

The 25h Anniversary of Tim Burton‘s Batman Featurette. The promo for Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) gives the viewer a look at the linage of Batman through the years all the way up to Burton’s seminal superhero film. I saw this film in theater multiple times and loved (and still love) every second of it. Many aspects of the film still make no sense e.g. where were the police for the parade that The Joker announced hours before it launched but then again aspects of The Dark Knight make no sense e.g. how did The Joker get out of a locked interrogation room with a glass shard to a Detective’s throat? Films like these are not reality obsessed so much as they are realistic and gritty. The real world, practicality, and authenticity are what Tim Burton’s film brought to the superhero film genre. It created and jump-started these trends in my opinion.

On the purpose of the featurette:

Not only was the mainstream public not all that interested in what was still believed to be a campy superhero, but the [1989] film industry itself needed to be sold on The Dark Knight’s marketability and appeal to audiences. And that’s why the following 20-minute promo for the film was put together [by Andrew Gillman].

From Andrew Gillman on the video:

Warner Brothers had found themselves in a very difficult situation at the time. The marketing director at Warner told me that Adam West had been going to various media outlets stating that he should be Batman, that his Batman was the only true Batman, and that this dark thing that Warner was doing had nothing to do with Batman at all.

Since the longer lead time involved in both merchandise production and film distribution requires a gamble on how a film will look in its finished form, Warner needed to create something to reassure these investors that Tim Burton’s vision for movie was going to work, that this movie was going to be successful. They needed to show them that Adam West’s statements were inaccurate, and that the film would present a version of Batman truer to the comic than the campy, comedic TV show of the 60’s. The opening sequence of the preview film has very specific references to clue-in these investors that the film was returning to Batman’s true heritage, with the West TV show being addressed as merely a footnote in the overall history.

One critic crystallized most of my sentiments on Tim Burton’s Batman and it’s lineage within Batman on the big and small screen:

In retrospect, Burton’s Batman is still goofy when compared to Christopher Nolan’s latest trilogy, but it also seems to be the perfect bridge between the campy, silliness of Adam West’s funny take on the hero, and the darker hero we’ve come to love.

Watch the Batman ‘Making of’ featurette and leave your thoughts on it below in the comments section. For more Batman photos, videos, and information, visit our Batman Page, subscribe to us by Email, follow us on TwitterTumblr, or “like us” on Facebook.

Source:  Firstshowing, 1989batman

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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