Batman Saga Continues on Silver Screen
Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger at 1939 and since then he is one of the most popular and well known comic book characters. Batman published by DC Comics and it is the most popular character of DC Comics along with Superman (which will be the topic of another article). As a natural result of this mass popularity, Batman has been adapted to television and cinema various times. Many famous directors interpreted the series in different movies. Let's take a closer look cinema adaptations of Batman.
The first adaption of Batman on silver screen is directed by famous director Tim Burton. Michael Keaton acts as Batman in this movie, but most of the credits and praise go to Jack Nicholson. He was Joker, who is the most popular Batman villain of all time probably in the movie. As being a first movie, the movie told an origin story about Batman and his sinister villain Joker. The movie praised by critics and fans all over the world; it became extremely popular. That popularity ensured the possibility of a second Batman movie by Tim Burton.
This movie is directed by Tim Burton as well. The massive box-office success of the first movie ensured the possibility of a sequel. This time Batman had to face with two enemies instead one: Penguin and Catwoman. Danny DeVito plays the role of mighty penguin; a sociopath outcast living in sewers mostly because of his deformed physical appearance. His performance was great and he proved that he was enough to match the legendary performance of Nicholson in the first movie. Catwoman is another interesting character played by Michelle Pfeiffer. It is hard to say if Catwoman is an enemy or ally in the comics; the situation wasn't much different in the movie adaptation as well. Pfeiffer's performance as Catwoman was nothing short of brilliant. Movie had considerably darker tone compared to the first movie. This darker tone alienated younger audience from the movie. As a result of this situation, it got a lower box-office income compared to the first movie.
Warner Bros wasn't happy with the decreasing box-office results and the darker direction that the series is taking. They decided that series needed a new blood and as a result of this idea, they wanted to work with a new director who can bring a new perspective to the series. They replaced Tim Burton with Joel Schumacher. Studio offered Tim Burton to stay as producer, but he accepted the idea. The departure of Tim Burton as the director caused the departure of Michael Keaton as well. Studio needed another Batman and Val Kilmer was there to help. Nicole Kidman was the supporting actress in the movie. This time, there were two villains again: The Riddler and Two-face. Jim Carrey played the role of crazy Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones was the Two-face, a criminal with two different personalities. The movie released in 1996 and it met with mixed receptions. Schumacher brought series to a whole new direction with lighter and cheesier tone. However it became a box-office hit with more than 336 million dollars.
Batman and Robin
The success of Batman Forever lead to another sequel: Batman and Robin. This time Joel Schumacher felt more confident with the success of the previous movie and he continued to change the route of Batman series to more extreme places with this movie. He wanted movie to become brilliant, cheesy, filled with action and completely focused on entertainment. This idea might look nice on the paper in cinematic terms, but these are contrary to Batman comics. Schumacher decided to work with George Clooney as Batman this time. Arnold Schwarzeneger acted as the main villain, Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman acted as the supporting villain Poison Ivy. This time Batman wasn't alone against these villains, Robin (Chris O'Donnel) and Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) was there to help him. Movie was extremely cartoony and there were some very cheesy moments like Batman using his American Express card. The movie received mostly negative reviews from critics, bad feedback from cinema fans and lower than expected box-office results. This situation meant the end of Joel Schumacher's vision of Batman series on cinema.
Warner Bros wanted to make another Batman movie, but they knew that they couldn't continue the current series that Schumacher completely ruined. So they decided to a bold step and make a reboot. A reboot means to start the series from the scratch, from the very beginning. First of all they began with Darren Aronofsky and wanted him to write a screenplay for the new movie. Aronofsky wrote a script based on "Batman: Year One". Warner Bros executives thought that the script was too radical and might alienate Batman fans, so they scrapped the project. They looked for another director and Christopher Nolan took the director seat for the movie. He wrote the script with famous comic artist David Goyer. Nolan portrayed a dark and realistic Batman portrait and Gotham. Christian Bale played the role of Batman in the movie and he was fighting with two villains: Ra's Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy). The movie praised by critics and fans all over the world and got an enormous box-office result.