Retroplex Cinema: Batman (1989)
Batman (1989)As today's audiences marvel at Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, 25 years ago a movie hit theaters that would change the way comic book film's were looked at. Almost everything you see in movie theaters today that is comic book related owes it to this film that hit multiplexes on June 23, 1989. That film is of course, Batman. Directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson the film was a much darker take on the Caped Crusader than visual audiences were use to. Comic readers had been treated to a darker vision of Batman through Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and the work of artist Neal Adams, but people that didn't read funny books were last familiar with the 1960's Adam West lead Batman television show, along with numerous animated versions that were just as goofy. On top of how the public perceived Batman, audiences looked at Michael Keaton as a comedic actor and wondered if he could portray a serious role such as the duel identities of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Along with a director who made quirky film's such as Beetlejuice to this point, people wondered would Batman be a success. Comic books weren't exactly all that mainstream but Warner Brothers was willing to take a gamble on one of their biggest properties after huge success in the late 70's and early 80's with their Superman films. The Superman franchise had fizzled out with the horrible Superman IV The Quest For Peace, and Warner Brothers needed another hero to take the place of that franchise lose. Batman was put into production after Burton's Bettlejuice became a hit at the box office. Despite the controversial casting of Keaton and the ridiculous demands of Nicholson to play the Joker, the movie was being made, and Batman was coming to the big screen like never before.
- Mark Neiser, TMIAJ Editor In Chief
MerchandiseBatman spawned lots of merchandise from toys, to cereal, to tortilla chips and more. It also had some great commercials including a very popular video release campaign for that Christmas of 1989. Take a look back at some of the things the film inspired during it's release.
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