27 Things You Didn't Know About Tim Burton's Batman Movies
Tim Burton's Batman films are remarkable for a few reasons. They're not just entertaining movies, they're movies that probably shouldn't even exist.. They happened at a time when superheroes in general and Batman in particular were seen as kitschy, campy comedy. Both movies were directed by a man best known for Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and featured the star of Mr. Mom as DC's most brooding and serious hero. That would be like Jack Black playing Green Lantern (oh wait... that almost happened).
Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) were huge. There weren't just movies, but blockbuster events fans stood in line for, often wearing costumes. They overshadowed other films released at the same time, and caused national pandemonium. The first was such hit that cinema owners were mad when the VHS was being released within 6 months of it's theatrical run because houses were still selling out!
So pay respect to the franchise that helped pave the way for dark and gritty superhero films by diving into some of the coolest facts about the movies. These are the best trivia facts about the Tim Burton Batman movies, collecting stories and anecdotes from behind the scenes.
Prince Made A Fantastic Video Called "Batdance" For The Soundtrack That Is SO '80sVideo: YouTube
Not only did Prince collaborate with Danny Elfman on the Batman soundtrack, he also contributed an absolute '80s gem called "Batdance" to the score. The song is a near-embodiment of Tim Burton's eccentric, fun, and dark style, but it also exemplifies the '80s mainstream in general.
The "Batdance" video takes it a step further, hilariously featuring dance routines by groups of men in Joker and Batmen costumes, a sexy cadre of Vicky Vales, and liberal use of a fog machine - all in glorious '80s fashion.
Michelle Pfeiffer Actually Put A Live Bird In Her MouthVideo: YouTube
In one scene in Batman Returns, Catwoman puts a live bird in her mouth. Today, that shot would be easy to fake with CGI. In the early '90s, however, Michelle Pfeiffer had to actually chomp on a live bird (don't worry, it flew away).
"I can’t believe I did that. I could have gotten a disease," she said in a 2017 interview.
Catwoman's Costume Was So Tight It Was A Ticking Clock On Set
Michelle Pfeiffer has said that her Catwoman costume was actually vacuum sealed once she was fitted into it, which meant there was only a short amount of time to shoot scenes before she would become lightheaded and pass out. No pressure.
Even Tim Burton Was Afraid Of Christopher Walken
According to Batman Returns casting director Marion Dougherty, Tim Burton was reluctant to cast Christopher Walken as Max Shreck. When she asked him why he said, "Because that man scares the hell out of me."
Catwoman Bus Ads Are Worth A Lot Of Money
Sure Batman Returns is iconic and almost three decades old, so naturally the bus ads are a collector's item. But the ads featuring Catwoman are even rarer because people kept stealing them! Warner Bros had to constantly keep resubmitting bus ads because people kept breaking the plexiglass and taking them home.
Eventually it got so bad that security details checked up on the Catwoman posters.
Jack Nicholson Made Over $50 Million Playing JokerPhoto: Batman / Warner Bros. Pictures
With Bob Kane and producer Michael Uslan both after him to play Joker, Jack Nicholson had far more leverage than most actors. His demands included (but were not limited to): a strict shooting schedule, a day off during all Lakers home games, $6 million up front, and a percentage of the gross.
That last one was his smartest move; since Batman was such a success, Nicholson reportedly made well over $50 million.