batman-89

After the dust settled at the box-office in 1989, nothing could touch Tim Burton’s Batman. Completely deprived of any of the campiness that was found in the 1966 film, Burton’s vision with Michael Keaton playing Bruce Wayne/The Caped Crusader and Jack Nicholson as The Joker paved the way for superhero merchandising in the ’90s, an even darker yet gorgeous sequel with The Penguin & Catwoman and set the blueprint on how to do a superhero film right. It didn’t hurt matters that Prince scored the soundtrack and as weird as it may sound — may go down as one of his top three albums ever.

Merchandising, video games, it didn’t matter, Batman was everywhere in 1989 and I as a kid got hit with all of the windfall from it. I still can remember the ’89 film almost scene for scene, that’s how good it was to me. But here’s a few things you need be made privy to – like the fact Jack Nicholson almost wasn’t The Joker.

Robin Williams Came ThisClose To Playing The Joker
Jack was always Tim Burton and Warner’s top choice to play Batman’s greatest nemesis. But, they didn’t account for Nicholson’s hesitation about the part. So Warner started discussions with Robin Williams to play the role. Robin was eager but Jack being Jack went ahead and agreed to do the movie. Williams was pissed, of course and refused to participate in any other Batman movie – including the ’95 Batman flick Batman Forever that would have casted him as The Riddler.

People Hated Michael Keaton
Look, we get there’s some seething hate about Ben Affleck donning the Batsuit in the next Batman flick. Michael Keaton knows all of that and laughs at it. Back in ’89, fanboys were so pissed they sent over 50,000 letters in disgust. The story was picked up by the WSJ but people eventually calmed down and collected their sh*t because…

They Saw The Trailer (And Skipped Out Of The Rest Of Another Movie)
Warner had no idea how the film would test so they quickly made a 90-second teaser trailer to attach to other films. The result? Standing ovations across the country and people leaving movie theaters after seeing the trailer. Could you imagine walking into a movie in 2014 pulling this off? Your wallet would probably tell you to sit through Blended, Batman/Superman trailer be damned.

Michael Jackson Was Originally Set To Write On The Soundtrack
Oh the Michael Jackson/Prince parallel just continues on. These two dominated the 80s and Tim Burton originally wanted Michael Jackson to write a few songs for the soundtrack. Jackson had to opt out of the deal due to scheduling conflicts so Prince stepped in. Prince instead of writing a few songs said eff all that and wrote an album for it.

Tim Burton Had Never (And We Mean NEVER) Read A Batman Comic
That whole mumbo jumbo about him citing Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns as inspiration? FABRICATIONS!

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