When Batman came out on June 1989, it took the world by storm. Anticipation for the release of the first serious attempt to bring the Dark Knight to the big screen had been building up for months. It could be said that this movie had the most effective, and massive marketing campaign ever done for a movie. People were really pumped to see what the filmmakers at Warner Bros. had been cooking up in the UK for months. Secrecy surrounding the movie got people even more excited, and by the time the first box office figures started coming in, all those who had poured their heart, time, artistry, and money into the movie, knew they had a hit in their hands. One for the ages. Getting there though, had not been easy. It was a long, winding road that took 10 long years to finally produce what Michael Uslan, one of the chief architects behind it all, described as the definitive big screen version of the character as both Bob Kane and Bill Finger had envisioned it all those years ago.
To say that making Batman was a difficult and arduous process would be a bit of an understatement. When Michael Uslan, a self-confessed Batman fan, and teacher at the University of Indiana, (the first ever in the US to teach a course about comic books), was approached, first by DC comics, where he spent a few years writing comic books, and later on by United Artists; he set himself the goal of making the first serious Batman movie for the big screen. Uslan felt that the character wasn’t taken seriously because of the 1960s Batman TV show (1966-1968), and that the campy nature of that show had tainted the legacy of the character in subsequent years. The Caped Crusader created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1939 for issue number 27 of Detective Comics, had been envisioned as a myterious and brooding character, that had been diluted in subsequent years in an attempt to appeal to wider readership and TV audiences alike, in its numerous comic book runs and TV iterations. At the time, Superman: The Movie (Richard Donner, 1978), had been a massive success at the box office, and Uslan felt that the time was right to get a Batman movie off the ground. Along his associate Benjamin Melniker, whom Uslan had met at UA, and who found Uslan’s ideas very compelling, he optioned the rights to adapt the character for both cinema and animation, but not TV. They also contacted Tom Mankiewicz, who’d been responsible in large part for restructuring Superman’s script into a cohesive whole. Mankiewicz wrote two drafts, and his script was the one Uslan and Melniker used to shop around the project. Even though the deal had been made to hire Mankiewicz to write the movie, and some conceptual art sketches had been drawn; Uslan and Melniker failed to capture the interest of any of the Studios. It is fair to say that, although Mankiewicz’s efforts were worthy at the time, the writing style he applied to the Caped Crusader was not dissimilar to the one he’d used for the Man of Steel a few years earlier, a mistake he admitted to have made, as both characters are quite different from one another, and should be approached in a different manner. Mankiewicz’s script does have some interesting elements to it. It does go deep into exploring Batman’s origin story; the murder of his parents, his training, the discovery of the Batcave, and the setting up of the Batman persona. On the other hand, it lacks action, and some of the side plots are redundant, or aren’t explored enough. He does introduce the Joker as a fully formed character, as the main villain of the piece, and as in later drafts, he has a hand in Thomas and Martha Wayne’s demise. Bruce’s love interest, Silver St Cloud, plays a similar role to the one that Vicki Vale in Sam Hamm’s draft plays for what would eventually become Tim Burton’s Batman, with a different fate for her character at the end of the story, depending on which draft you happen to come across. The first of Mankiewicz’s drafts is too stuffed with characters, and silly concepts that don’t go anywhere; like Penguin’s small cameo in the story, whom the Joker makes a deal with to get rid of Batman. And in both drafts, Robin is worked into the plot, and plays an integral part in the finale. Now, the finale in whatever draft you read, is nothing short of fantastic. It takes place in Gotham’s museum, during a writing exhibit, which includes giant type writers, pencils, and pencil sharpeners. It is in fact, by way of getting pushed into a huge pencil sharpener, that the main villain meets his demise. The script is quirky in places, has some very nice dialogue (Mankiewicz’s stronger suit), but it lacks the action and dramatic drive necessary to push the story, and characters along; something that I feel could’ve been improved upon with subsequent rewrites. In order for the property not to languish in development hell, Uslan and Melniker made a deal with producers Peter Gruber and Jon Peters. Gruber was part of Casablanca Records, a musical label that had recently created a movie division. Gruber was sold on the idea of making a serious Batman movie, and together with Uslan and Melniker, kept on trying to shop around the project. It wasn’t actually until Frank Miller’s four-issue miniseries The Dark Knight Returns came out in 1986, that the Caped Crusader was validated in the big Studio heads’ eyes, as a hot property to be taken seriously. After Universal’s refusal to back the project, Warner Bros. started to take an interest in it. Warner felt that, as a DC comic character, like Superman, Batman should stay under their roof.
The new kid on the block
This is the moment in which Tim Burton came into the picture. The director caught the attention of the hire ups at Warner when they saw the two shorts he’d directed for Disney (Vincent, 1982), and ( Frankenweenie, 1984). He’d also directed his first feature film (Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, 1985), and (Beetlejuice, 1988), both for Warner Bros. The director felt he was languishing at Disney, without nothing much to do, and so he jumped at the opportunity to work with Warner Bros. His first two feature movies were also kind of a test by Warner to see if the filmmaker could handle both the pressure of a big budget movie, and generate a box office hit at the same time. Even though Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure hadn’t been a massive success, Beetlejuice was; which gave Warner the confidence to hand over the reins of the Batman production over to him. These were uncharted waters for Burton, but for a filmmaker used to dealing with small, relatively low budget movies, he demonstrated to have a great resolve, and character to push through the whole production.
Redrawing the character
With so many failed attempts to get the character right on the page, and the revolving-door of directors who’d been at one time or another attached to the project, Joe Dante and Ivan Reitman chief among them, it was time to bring the character up to date under one unified vision. Sam Hamm was a contract writer at Warner who’d been asked personally by Burton to write the script for Batman. Hamm was very excited by the prospect, and immediately started working on a first draft which would end up being the blueprint for what would end up on the big screen. Many of the elements of Hamm’s draft would be used for the movie, especially for the first two acts. There were important omissions, characters and situations that would be changed altogether, or flipped around in subsequent drafts though. On the first draft, the character of Robin was worked into the story, as part of a daytime chase sequence throughout the city at the end of the second act, in which Bruce Wayne has to give chase to the Joker, who’s kidnapped Vicki Vale. Bruce has to resort to wearing a stocking on his head to conceal his identity, and comandeers a police horse to go after the Joker, who’s escaped with his goons in a van. The Joker breaks into a Circus performance that is part of Gotham’s 200th year Anniversay celebrations, and provokes an accident that causes The Flying Graysons, Dick Grayson’s family of acrobats, to fall to their deaths while performing an aerial stunt. Grayson goes after the Joker, and almost gets killed, but is saved by Bruce at the last minute. The placement of this sequence, the fact that it took place during the daytime, and the introduction of the character of Robin so early in the precedings felt too forced, and was ultimately dropped. The relationship between important characters like Vicki Vale, Alexander Knox and Bruce Wayne was also altered during subsequent drafts. Vicki Vale is a stronger character in Hamm’s first draft, she has a strong friendship with Knox, whom she’s known for years, and Knox has strong feelings for her, which drive him to threaten Bruce Wayne to expose him as The Batman unless he agrees to end his affair with Vale. He then redeems himself when he dies at the end of the movie while trying to help Batman fight the Joker. The ending was also much darker. It also takes places at the top of Gotham’s Cathedral, like in the movie, with a battered and bruised Batman climbing to the top of the tower to confront Joker, with the distinct difference that he’s attached a bomb to his Batsuit to take both him and The Joker out. In the end, it is a horde of flying bats that causes the Joker to fall to his death. Warts and all, this was basically the script Tim Burton and his crew were using when they started shooting the movie at Pinewood Studios, in the UK. Being prevented to work on the movie while it was in production because of a Writers Guild strike, the producers hired another writer, Warren Skaaren to do on-set rewrites on the fly. Skaaren dramatically altered the structure of the script’s third act, getting rid of most of the side plots, changing dialogue, characters’ motivations, and adding a couple of changes to the storyline that, still to this day, annoy the fans; Vicki Vale being let into the Batcave by Alfred, and The Joker being the murderer of Bruce Wayne’s parents. This last change was one that drastically altered the origin story as written in the comic books, in which Joe Chill, a common thug, had been the one responsible. A fact that had been respected even by Tom Mankiewicz in his early 80s drafts. Both changes had been suggested by Tim Burton on-set, but it wouldn’t be the last minute script change in the movie. After Jack Nicholson and producer Jon Peters had gone out to see The Phantom of the Opera on stage, they came back with the suggestion that the Joker takes Vicki Vale at gun point to the top of Gotham’s cathedral, and they have a dance while waiting for Batman to show up. Peters had also made suggestions regarding some of the fight scenes, which Burton used as, by his own admission, he wasn’t a action director.
As seen in the movie, the story goes like this. The criminal element in Gotham City are scared witless because of the constant sightings of a black figure that looks like a giant bat. Gotham Globe news reporter Alexander Knox is chasing the story, but neither the police, nor his colleagues will believe him. Newly elected District Attorney Harvey Dent, along with Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, has vowed to rid the city of the crime and corruption that has plagued it for years, especially going up against the major crime figure in the city; Mob boss Carl Grissom. Grissom feels threatened, and so he sends his second in command, Jack Napier, to get rid of some compromising files stored in one of Grissom’s businesses, Axis Chemical. Unbeknownst to Napier, Grissom has already taken care of it, and the raid is just an excuse to get rid of Napier, as he knows that Jack is having an affair with his kept woman, Alicia Hunt. It is also unknown to Grissom that Jack has ambitions of his own to become the next crime boss in Gotham. Meanwhile Alexander Knox runs into photojournalist Vicki Vale, who seems to be the only one interested in his Batman story. Vicki Vale has secured invitations to a Gala organised by Bruce Wayne, millionaire and philanthropist, to promote Dent and Gordon’s fight against crime. Knox and Vale are hoping to run into Commisioner Gordon at the Gala, who’s rumoured to have a file on The Batman. They both fail to get answers from Gordon, but end up meeting the elusive Bruce Wayne, who’s immediately taken by Vale’s charms. Wayne is then called aside by his butler, Alfred, to inform him that Commissioner Gordon has had to leave the party unexpectedly. Bruce leaves in a hurry, and after studying the footage from his security cameras in the Batcave, he discovers that Jack Napier and his men are raiding Axis Chemicals at that very moment. He then assumes the identity of his alter ego, The Batman, and goes to the factory. During the police raid at Axis Chemicals, Batman dispatches Napier’s goons in short order, and is in the process of apprehending Jack, when he’s interrupted by Bob The Goon, who threatens to kill Gordon, unless Batman let go of Jack. Jack takes the opportunity to try and shoot Batman, but Batman uses his reinforced gauntlet to deflect the bullet, which ricochets, and hits Napier in the face. Napier stumbles and falls into a vat of acid, in spite of Batman’s efforts to save him. When he re-emerges to the surface, he’s badly disfigured, and has a constant grin on his face as a consequence of his exposure to the acid. He’s become the Joker. And he vows to destroy The Batman. Bruce Wayne invites Vicki Vale out on a date at Wayne Manor, and the two of them hit it off. Bruce is afraid that his ever growing romantic feelings for Vale will get in the way of his crusade against crime, and tries to push her away. In the meantime, the Joker has assumed control of Gotham’s criminal underworld after killing Carl Grissom, and the rest of the criminal heads of the city. He’s also fully embraced his new identity as the Joker, taken Axis Chemicals as his headquarters, and used an old chemical formula development by the CIA back in the day as part of their abandoned chemical warfare program to create Smylex. This poison provokes the victim to die of uncontrollable laughing fits, leaving a gruesome grin on the victim’s faces as a byproduct. He manages to hold the city at ransom, by mixing lots of cosmetic products at the source, thus rendering the citizens of Gotham City susceptible to die by Smylex. Now is up to The Dark Knight to rise up to the challenge, and stop the Joker before it’s too late.
The casting of Batman wasn’t without its problems. For the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, Burton decided to go with an unusual choice; that of character actor Michael Keaton. Keaton was best known for his roles in Clean & Sober (Glenn Gordon Caroll, 1988), and especially his comedic role in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988). It was actually this role that actually made the public panic, as everybody thought that the movie would eventually go into campy territory. The reasoning behind having Keaton don the Batsuit was that Burton couldn’t think of a single serious actor who could wear the outfit without eliciting a laugh from the audience. He thought that a semi-unknown actor like Keaton, who didn’t especially look physically imposing, but had that inner determination that he’d shown to have in his more dramatic roles, could pull it off, and make it believable. Burton also thought that it was perfect in the sense that Keaton as Bruce Wayne really did need to wear the suit to transform him into Batman, and make him more menacing; so there would be a clear divide between the Bruce Wayne persona and the Batman persona. But what really gave the production its momentum, and turn him into the biggest commercial draw and marketing tool of the movie, was the casting of Jack Nicholson as Jack Napier/The Joker. The tremendously charismatic actor was the first and only choice to play the role. The producers thought that if they could nab him, they could ensure the financial success of the movie. Nicholson accepted in exchange for a sizable fee, and a good chunk of the box office profits. The astute deal made Nicholson a very wealthy man, much in the same way that it had made Marlon Brando very wealthy, when he signed on to play Jor-El in Superman: The Movie (Richard Donner, 1978). The marketing strategy employed wasn’t dissimilar to what the Salkinds had done when they wanted to get their Superman movie off the ground. Get a big name on the marquee, and the rest of the pieces would fall into place.
For the part of Bruce Wayne’s love interest, photojournalist Vicki Vale, the producers had already hired Sean Young. She was already four weeks into Pre-production when she fell off a horse while training for the sequence in which Vale is invited by Bruce Wayne on a date to Wayne Manor, and they end up riding horses around the state. The severe injuries the actress suffered prevented her from taking on the role, and had to be substituted at the last minute by Kim Basinger, who was faxed the entire script overnight, accepted the role, and was on a plane on her way to England the next day.
For the role of Bruce Wayne’s faithful servant Alfred, Burton wanted classic British actor Michael Gough. Burton was a fan of the actor and especially his multiple participations in the Hammer movies. Pat Hingle played the role of Commisioner Gordon, and would actually go on to reprise his role, just like Michael Gough, in the subsequent Batman sequels, Batman Returns (Tim Burton, 1992), Batman Forever (Joel Schumacher, 1995), and Batman & Robin (Joel Schumacher, 1997). Two actors who would sadly never get to appear on subsequent movies, or reprise their roles were Robert Wuhl as Journalist Alexander Knox, and especially Billy Dee Williams as District Attorney Harvey Dent. Williams accepted the role in the hopes that he’d be asked to come back in future sequels to reprise his role as Harvey Dent’s villainous alter ego, Two Face.
Other important screen contributions were those of Walter Tracey as Bob the Goon, the Joker’s faithful lieutenant (Tracey was good a good friend of Jack Nicholson, and was cast as a personal favour to him), model and actress Jerry Hall, who was dating musician Mick Jagger at the time, plays the part of the Joker’s ill-fated girlfriend Alicia Hunt, and last, but not least, Jack Palance as Mob boss Carl Grissom. Jack Palance was ostensibly chosen because Burton needed someone with as much a big screen presence as Nicholson to play his boss.
Creating the world of Batman
The decision was made to shoot the movie in the backlot at Pinewood Studios due to the unavailability of sound stages big enough in the US to accommodate the sets the production team wanted to build. Production Design was done by Anton Furst, who designed Gotham using a mixture of Industrial and Art Deco architecture. The idea was to place the action of the movie in an undefined time period, to give the whole movie a 40s Noir style, but mixed in with modern elements. This notion comes to the fore in the design of some of the buildings facades, like the City Hall, The Monarch Theater, the interior of the Gotham Globe, or Alicia Hunt’s penthouse. All of this in direct contrast to the dirt, grime, and rundown aspect of downtown Gotham. The Gotham skyline would be further extended by the use of matte paintings. Another element that helps the movie further that 40s look is the choice of wardrobe for some of the characters, especially Jack Napier’s and the rest of the gang members suits throughout the movie. Jack Nicholson’s suits were especially tailored for him by Savile Row. Of course, all that aspect of the design is thrown out the window once Jack Napier becomes The Joker, and his outfits get more colourful and outrageous until the end of the movie. Bob Ringwood was the costume designer for the movie, but the single most difficult and striking costume in the whole movie, and one that in my opinion has never been recreated to quite the same degree of intricacy, and faithfulness to the design in the comic books in subsequent movies, is the Batsuit. The whole concept and design, with the black muscle suit, the cape, the boots, the cowl, and especially the black Batshield on an oval bright yellow background is just iconic. A silicon mold of Keaton’s body was made, and then all the different rubber pieces of the suit were sculpted using the mold as a reference. The crew experimented with different kinds of materials for the cape, sometimes heavier, sometimes lighter, but the suit was extremely heavy, hot and uncomfortable to wear; to the point that different stunt people, like professional fighters, dancers and so forth, would have to perform different actions in it when required. Another issue was the limited field of vision the actor had once they put the cowl on, and the fact that the cowl/cape piece was so heavy that the actor would find it very difficult to turn the head. This resulted in what would become to be known as the Bat-turn, in which the actor had to turn his whole body around in one single movement to face a specific camera angle. Even if Jack Nicholson didn’t have to deal with the problem of wearing a heavy, uncomfortable rubber suit, he did have to contend with a more sticky issue on a daily basis. The intricate makeup design that makeup artist Nick Dudman had to create for Nicholson was a long and ardous process of trial and error, in which Dudman had to come up with a way of transforming the actor into the Joker without burying the actor’s performance in the process due to an overload of makeup. Dudman actually molded the character’s extreme grin on Nicholson’s own making a mould of the actor’s face while pulling the most extreme of grins, and another on a normal pose. He then used both molds to work around them, and try to come up with a look that, without losing the character’s iconic look, would still allow Nicholson’s performance to shine through. Another very important design element of the movie was the iconic Batmobile. Several designs had cropped up over the years in the different comic book runs, and TV shows, but this time around, the production team wanted to create a design that would make it stand apart from everything that had come before. The main body of the vehicle was moulded in polystyrene, which was then used as a guideline to finish it off in fiber glass. The whole aesthetic of the vehicle gave it a very sleek, and aerodynamic look, with batwing motifs used for the rear fenders. It is to this day, at least to me, the most iconic of all the looks the Batmobile has had over the years, with the exception perhaps of the look of the 1960’s TV show Batmobile. For the chase scenes in which the Batmobile is chased around the city by Joker’s goons, the crew had to be very careful not to run out of set. As big as the Pinewood backlot, and the Gotham street set was, it wasn’t that big that the crew could film the whole sequence in one take. In fact, given the limited road space inside the set, they had to shoot the whole sequence in several passes, and keeping the speed down, so it wouldn’t be too obvious that they were running out of road, as when the Batmobile was road tested, the crew found that it could go up to 90 mph, no problem. The Batwing too makes an appearance at the end of the movie, but the majority of the shots in which it appears were achieved through the use of model work for those long shots of the aerial vehicle zooming through the Gotham skyline, and those that show the Batwing crashing on the steps at the foot of the cathedral. All the model shots were done by model maker wizard Derek Meddings, a legend in the business who’d made a name for himself working on the James Bond movies and Richard Donner’s Superman, just to name a few. The close ups of Keaton inside the Batwing’s cockpit were done by using a mock up of the cockpit mounted on a gimbal, with a rear projection plate on the background. The Batcave was a very faithful recreation of what fans were familiar with from the comic book. There was no Tyrannosaurus Rex, or giant Penny, like in the early comic books, or the Tom Mankiewicz draft, but it was a very atmospheric piece of set decoration.
The shooting conditions were very trying on the whole cast and crew. They shot for a period of up to three months, six days a week, in freezing conditions in the middle of Winter, mostly at night, from four in the afternoon, ( when it was already dark), till six o’clock the next morning. Burton complained that he didn’t see the light of day for months. Cinematographer Roger Pratt also admitted that it was very difficult to light the immense sets, but ended up doing a remarkable job considering the circumstances.
Creating the sound of Batman’s world
For the soundtrack of the movie, Burton brought in his long-time collaborator Danny Elfman. Elfman was quite apprehensive at first about taking on the project, as he’d never worked on anything of this scale before. He had prepared several tracks for the movie for a sort of test in front of the producers. He started by playing several of the tracks at random, and after seeing that Peters wasn’t particularly impressed by what he was listening to, Burton insisted that Elfman play the Batman march, which immediately got Peters off his feet. He was in fact so impressed by the music that he told Burton that they’d commision Elfman’s music to be sold separately as another disc, which he did. This was a very uncommon practice at the time. Another Warner label artist came to work on the movie; Prince. Prince came to visit the set while they were shooting, and was so inspired by what he saw that he came up with a whole album comprised of nine songs in total, when he was only asked to compose two, with the most prevalent being Partyman, Trust, and Scandalous.
The movie was also famous for using sound effects from English studios sound libraries that had been used over the years for movies and TV shows produced in the UK. Danny Elfman went on record complaining that the movie was edited and mixed in England by sound engineers who didn’t care, but it is precisely the dated quality of some of these sound effects that give the movie its charm. Not surprisingly, fans of the movie went up in arms when the movie was remastered in 4K, and given a new Dolby Atmos sound mix, which enhanced, or altogether replaced all the old sound effects. Unfortunately, for those wanting to upgrade to 4K, the old Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that was present on both the DVD, and the Bluray, is no longer an option.
Financial and critical success
To create an appetite for the movie, Warner released a teaser trailer that immediately got audiences very exciting about the upcoming movie. Fans were in fact so pumped to see the trailer thay they would try and find which movies at the cinema were showing the Batman teaser to go in and see it, even if it meant getting up and leaving right after. By the time the day of the premiere at the Westwood Theater in Los Angeles came around, people had already been lining up outside the theater for days. The movie had a total worldwide gross of $411,6 million, even though the critical reception was mostly tepid. Fans of the character finally got the serious Batman movie they had been waiting for years. So, was it it really worth the wait?
Yes, it was. The movie works on a lot of levels. It treats the source material with respect, and the character is suitably dark, brooding and mysterious, like he’s supposed to be. From a purely visual perspective, it’s a beautiful movie to look at. It’s got a very intricate Production Design (its strongest virtue, by far), great special effects, and a smashing score by Danny Elfman, whose next effort for the sequel, Batman Returns (Tim Burton, 1992), would be even more nuanced than the original, which is not always the case when a composer repeats in a sequel. As far as the acting goes, Michael Keaton does a commendable job. He’s not the best actor who’s played the role, that merit still goes to Ben Affleck, but he does try his darnest to give the character some depth, and looks fantastic in the suit. So much for the naysayers who claimed he wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Kim Basinger does a decent job, even if her role is mostly relegated to be eye candy, which is a pity given how her character was first envisioned by Sam Hamm on his first draft. The rest of the actors do a very good job, despite most of them not be given much to do on screen. And yes, it was a real pity that Billy Dee Williams never came back to reprise his role as Harvey Dent/Two Face. But the absolute show stealer is Jack Nicholson. His larger-than-life portrayal of the Joker can sometimes go overboard, but he’s an absolute delight to watch every minute he’s on screen. His performance would pave the way for future actors portraying villains for the subsequent Batman sequels, creating a trend that’s the main pitfall that this movie, and the subsequent ones would fall into; the main villain, or villains, becoming the centrepiece of the story, relegating Batman to play second fiddle in his own movie. And that’s the main issue I have with this movie. Nicholson’s presence is so overwhelming, that he drowns out everyone around him. The movie lives and dies by Nicholson’s performance, not really giving much breathing room to the rest of the characters. It also doesn’t help that the movie lacks action, and what little there is, is quite average. Tim Burton has repeatedly admitted that he wasn’t, and still isn’t, an action director. It’s just not his thing. His focus has always mainly been on creating visually stunning worlds for his characters to live in. That’s why a mostly average plot, and action set pieces, but beautiful visuals, makes the whole movie rest even more heavily on Nicholson’s shoulders, which fortunately is not a problem, as the actor delivers in spades. In short, the movie relies most of all on the Joker to drive the story along, turning it into the Jack Nicholson show.
Don’t get me wrong, this is still a very good Batman movie. It’s the best of the original four that would be released between 1989 and 1997, and I have very fond memories about the first time I caught it on a TV airing. They publicized the movie airing for the first time on public TV for weeks before it actually came out, and I even remember taping it from TV one Christmas. It was a movie I constantly went back to, but as with most movies from my childhood that I had a great fondness for, this one started showing its cracks as soon as I started reaching adulthood. Do I still like it? Yes. Do I still think it is as good as I remember it? Unfortunately, no. Some people seem to place this movie on a pedestal, and while I still think that the movie plays an integral part in finally giving the character the respect it deserved, I also think that it is somewhat overrated. Not let this last opinion of mine discourage you from seeing the movie, though. It rightfully deserves its place in Cinema history, and it paved the way for how many superheroe movies would be made in subsequent years. It doesn’t reach the heights that Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie did. That’s still, in my opinion, the gold standard. But it was the movie that gave the Dark Knight, one of the best comic book characters ever created, the chance to finally rise.
Thanks for reading.