Back in 1989, the superhero movie wasn’t exactly a thing like it is now, many of today’s ardent Batman fans were much too young to see Tim Burton’s movie, and most people’s Batman knowledge was dominated by Adam West. So, Warner Bros. needed a way to prove to investors that Burton’s darker take on Batman could sell tickets, and they created this fascinating video to explain what went into creating the movie and why it was the right direction for Batman.
If you were looking for the perfect way to celebrate the 25th anniversary (which was yesterday, June 23) of the movie we should all probably thank for the modern superhero film, this short documentary is it.
1989Batman.com spoke to Andrew Gillman, who directed the documentary, about the problems the movie was facing, and he said:
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. This caused a problem for Warner Brothers because it created doubts in the minds of the film distributors and merchandisers around the world. 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.
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