Batman — Tim Burton’s 1989 cinematic version — was largely considered groundbreaking at the time of its release. For an easy decade prior to the film’s release, Batman fans had been clamoring for a darker, grittier version of their beloved hero from the comics. The Caped Crusader had long taken on a darker role in comic books and graphic novels, such as Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s Arkham Asylum, and Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke. Gone was the silly Batman pastiche from the 60s TV show. Fans were ready for a much darker Batman on the big-screen, and Tim Burton gave it to them.
Batman: The Making of a Hero, is a documentary that recently surfaced on the internet, almost out of nowhere. The 25-minute documentary has reportedly never been featured on a VHS or DVD version of Tim Burton’s 1989 release, according to CBM. There’s little information about where the new Batman documentary came from, but YouTube reports that it was produced by MindsEye Films in the UK.
The Batman documentary is hosted by Robert Wuhl, who plays Knox the reporter in the film. The documentary includes interviews with Batman creator Bob Kane, who cites an unlikely source as his inspiration for Batman.
“I saw this book by Leonardo Da Vinci when I was 13. And Da Vinci had a quote, ‘Your bird shall have no other wings but that of a bat.’ And actually there it was for me… a Bat Man.”
The documentary also includes interviews with a very young Tim Burton, the Batman film’s producers, Peter Gruber and John Peters, behind-the-scenes footage of Tim Burton directing Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, and interviews with Kim Basinger.
Director Tim Burton talks about the choice of picking Jack Nicholson to play the Joker in the Batman film.
“I guess if there’s any fear, and I haven’t talked to him about it, and he might feel the same, is that the fear is that it’s such an obvious choice, is it too obvious? And the fact is he’s so good, you know, it doesn’t matter.”
Take a look at Batman: The Making of a Hero.
Both Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns were made available last month on Netflix.
Do you have fond memories of Tim Burton’s Batman? Have you seen the movie recently? Does it still hold up after all these years? Sound off in the the comments below.
[Image via NatedSanders.com]