When Michael Keaton returns as Batman in 2023 of FlashBy the end of the 80s, Batmania had shifted focus to its nature, as Keaton proved the doubters wrong and The Dark Knight became the planet’s hottest pop culture property. Directed by Tim Burton, 1989 Batman and 1992 Batman returns It changed the general audience’s perception of superheroes. Gone was the camp of the 1960s, replaced by visionary, gritty, and often strange.
1989 Batman It spent nearly ten years in development, testing drafts from everyone from established screenwriter Thomas Mankiewicz to comic book writer Steve Englehart. While producer Michael E. Uslan always advocated for a serious take on Batman, Hollywood was pushing for something similar to the 1960s. Batman TV series starring Adam West. At one point, Bill Murray was in talks to star in Batman alongside Eddie Murphy as Robin.
Michael Keaton grew up to be the caped crusader
When Tim Burton was hired to direct, the focus shifted from tongue-in-cheek to the contemporary comic book Batman. After toying with the idea of casting existing action stars, producer John Peters saw the “haunting, tortured quality” of his 1988 performance and suggested Michael Keaton. Clean and polite, in which Keaton played a suicidal real estate agent. After Keaton entered Beetle juice (Before Burton got the green light for the film that was supposed to be a hit Batman)) Burton agreed.
The final element in creating this incarnation of Batman was screenwriter Sam Hamm, one of the few Hollywood writers of this era who knew comic books. While promoting the film, Hamm spoke with fanzine writer Andy Mangels for a two-part interview. Amazing heroes #159-160 There, Hamm talks about his brutal, pulp-inspired appreciation. Detective Comics stories of the 1940s, and Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams’ “back to basics” approach in the 1970s. Hamm expressed his appreciation for such contemporary jokes The dark knight returns And Guards (And he’s actually a Guards Screenplay while doing the interview.)
of ham Batman The screenplay paved a new path for the film by favoring the Joker’s origin story over Batman’s, but was marred by rewrites by other screenwriters. Warren Scarren contributed several rewrites, and additional uncredited drafts were completed by Charles McCaw and Jonathan Gems. When Hamm returned to write the sequel, the first title Batman 2Burton scrapped most of his ideas and moved on with new writers.
Many of Ham’s early drafts remain in the 1989s Batman (And some of his ideas can be found in will return), the finished films lack Hamm’s fidelity to the original canon. Although the on-screen Batman has no qualms about killing his enemies, Hamm’s screenplay gives Danny O’Neill a worthy monologue about Batman’s commitment to protecting human life. Another element missing in Hamm’s draft is the grotesque and perpetually distracting image of Bruce Wayne, as he portrays his traditional take as a superficially attractive jet setter. The widely derided idea that The Joker killed Bruce’s parents is absent from Hamm’s draft, nor is the controversial scene in which Alfred Pennyworth reveals Bruce’s secret identity to Vicki Vale without Bruce’s consent. In Ham Draft, Vicki is smart enough to figure this out on her own.
The final scene of the film was meant to be a tribute to a famous image. of The dark knight returns A bat-signal was installed on the body of the baroque cathedral. Fans of Frank Miller’s seminal work of The dark knight returns I might be disappointed to learn that another tribute to an iconic moment from the series was cut not once, but twice.
Which iconic Batman moment was cut?
One of the famous images of The dark knight returns Miller’s hulking Batman is riding a horse captured by a mounted policeman. As the story reaches its climax, a Soviet military leader disrupts all electronics and communications in the Western Hemisphere, causing a blackout in Gotham City. Rioting and looting soon ensued, exacerbated when a commercial airliner crashed into a building.
Batman and the newly christened Robin, Carrie Kelly, gather the teenage Batman children and attempt to restore order to Gotham. Calling on the citizens to reject this madness, Batman rides a horse into the chaos of Gotham, a spectacular sight in a series of images packed with legend. The figure has been immortalized in a few statues and was recently the inspiration behind the “Build-A-Horse” feature in McFarlane Toys’ DC Multiverse. The dark knight returns Line.
Mounted Knight inspired by Batman 1989
1989 when written Batman, Hamm was inspired to set the first scene where the Joker and his men raid Vicki Vale’s mansion while Bruce is her guest. (“Let’s argue!” is definitely not in this draft.) The robbers are picked up by “Drug-Enhanced Ninja Wheels” while the Joker escapes in a van. Following the van, Bruce is close by as the Joker nearly knocks over a loaded cop as he enters the city at Gotham’s anniversary celebration.
EXT. INTERSECTION - THAT MOMENT - EVENING
As the VAN ROARS PAST, a MOUNTED POLICEMAN shakes his fist.
His horse shies, rears back, turns in a circle. He's just
about gotten the beast calmed down when a MAN IN A STOCKING
MASK plummets down on a rope from nowhere and lands
directly behind him on the horse's back.
BRUCE elbows the startled COP. Now there's only one rider.
The VAN turns left. BRUCE gallops straight ahead through
the intersection, hoping to cut the JOKER off.
INT. ALICIA HUNT'S APARTMENT - THAT MOMENT
ALICIA peers out through the window. On the street below,
UNMARKED CARS are converging.
INT. VAN - THAT MOMENT
The JOKER and co. are two blocks away from ALICIA's. They
see a POLICE SWAT TEAM sealing off the building.
Boss! Jesus! They've --
They'll be sorry. They'll be
sorry. -- GET OUT OF HERE!
EXT. SIDE STREET - THAT MOMENT - EVENING
BRUCE on horseback, charging past elegant old brownstones,
drawing stares from passersby. We get a quick look at the
FLASHING RED SIGNAL LIGHT on his belt.
EXT. RIVERVIEW DRIVE - THAT MOMENT - EVENING
A YELLOW VW BUG rips up the street at 70 mph.
INT. VOLKSWAGEN BUG - THAT MOMENT
We can't see the driver. But we do see, on the seat
beside him, a VIDEO DISPLAY with a shifting grid map of the
city -- and on it, a FLASHING SIGNAL blinking in perfect
sync with the one on BRUCE's belt.
EXT. SIDE STREET - THAT MOMENT
BRUCE sees the VW bug rounding the corner and STREAKING
TOWARD HIM. He reins in the horse; it rears back on its
hind legs in a classic western pose; the BUG zooms past --
-- and ALFRED THE BUTLER heaves out a BROWN LAUNDRY BUNDLE,
neatly tied in string.
BRUCE snatches it out of the air, gives ALFRED a quick
salute -- and the BUG is gone.
As Batman’s suit is still conceived as a suit rather than a large set of armor, Alfred can throw it at Batman. The following is a familiar image for anyone. The dark knight returns fan.
INT. JOKER'S VAN - EVENING
The JOKER and his boys are stalled in heavy traffic at the
southern border of Gotham Park. POLICE BARRICADES are
everywhere; the surrounding streets have been roped off for
the birthday gala. HORNS HONK in anger.
MOVE! Can't you do something??
It's some kind of detour. They're
backed up for blocks!
The JOKER snorts. He happens to glance into the side-view
mirror. What he sees there... CURDLES HIS BLOOD.
Oh my God. How does he do it... ?
EXT. STREET - A BLOCK AWAY - THAT MOMENT
THE BATMAN, IN FULL COSTUMED GLORY, GALLOPING UP THE STREET
ON HORSEBACK -- passing stunned COPS, weaving in and around
the stalled autos, GAINING FAST on the JOKER.
Then, we’ve got the most famous moment cut from Hamm’s draft — Dick Grayson’s introduction and departure as Robin!
ANGLE ON HELICOPTERS
ONLOOKERS GASP as TWO TRAPEZES drop from the bellies of the
twin copters. Dangling from the trapezes are the FLYING
GRAYSONS -- a husband-and-wife aerialist team in spangled
red-and-green suits. They begin swinging toward each other
in a plane perpendicular to the path of the copters.
EXT. GOTHAM PARK - GROUND LEVEL
PANIC DOWN BELOW as the JOKER's van barrels through the
crowd, HORN BLARING. BATMAN is moving up swiftly.
On each wrist he's wearing a MINIATURE ROCKET LAUNCHER. He
lets fly with TWO SALVOS. The first explodes harmlessly
against a tree. The second HITS THE REAR DOOR OF THE VAN --
driving it off the access road down into the brush, where
it nearly topples over sideways.
ANGLE ON FLYING GRAYSONS
GRAYSON has just completed a double somersault in midair,
landing in the capable hands of his wife. Now they're
swinging again, building momentum as he prepares to make
the return leap back to his own trapeze.
INT. HELICOPTER - THAT MOMENT
In the bay of the helicopter stands a kid, fifteen,
compact, tough, and wiry: DICK GRAYSON. Like his parents,
he's wearing a red-and-green suit. From the copter, he's
got a perfect bird's-eye view of the BATMAN-JOKER chase.
Ready to go, Dick?
What's all the ruckus down there?
EXT. PARK - GROUND LEVEL - THAT MOMENT
The VAN bounces over rocks and bushes, narrowly avoiding
trees, with BATMAN in hot pursuit.
INT. VAN - THAT MOMENT
At the foot of a hill, the JOKER spies a truck. On its
side, in bright red letters, a WARNING: "DANGER -
FIREWORKS. FLAMMABLE LOAD."
The JOKER reaches into the back for a HIGHWAY FLARE.
Head for the truck!
INT. HELICOPTER - THAT MOMENT
Hovering over the chase scene, DICK catches sight of the
JOKER. He GASPS IN SHOCK as a LIT FLARE flies from the back
of the VAN... directly into the FIREWORKS TRUCK.
EXT. PARK - GROUND LEVEL - A MOMENT LATER
THE BATMAN is thrown off his horse by the shock of a
massive EXPLOSION. All at once, THE SKY IS FULL of
BURSTING, INCANDESCENT COLORS!!
THE JOKER hangs out of the rear of the van, looking up, an
expression of PURE DELIGHT on his face.
I love fireworks!
History repeats itself in Tim Burton’s second Batman film
Returning after a few years Batman II, Hamm scripted a rooftop confrontation between Batman and Catwoman (a very twisted one, and in Hamm’s original screenplay) that ends with Batman falling several stories down the streets of Gotham. Escaping the crowd, an injured Batman creates a traffic jam, noticed by a nearby mounted policeman.
The PATROLMAN nods okay, and the COP tugs at a Velcro-like
fastening under BATMAN's chin. The instant it comes open --
-- a BURST of FINE GREEN MIST spews forth from concealed JETS
in the gold-and-black BAT-EMBLEM, and the COPS reel backward,
shrieking, gasping for breath and clewing at their eyes.
Booby-trap -- they've just been Maced.
One of the ONLOOKING COPS steps back in horror and confusion.
On impulse, he draws his gun and FIRES TWICE at BATMAN. The
body JERKS and the bullets RICOCHET OFF --
DON'T SHOOT, you idiot. The crowd --
Before he can finish, a BLACK BOOT kicks the gun out of the
ONLOOKING COP's hand. BATMAN is back among the living.
SIRENS BLARE as he spins and rolls into a crouch -- lashing
out with elbows and knees -- driving the cops back --
Fuck the crowd. TWO MORE COPS pull their guns and open fire
in absolute panic. BATMAN slams backward into the delivery
truck and crumples to the ground. As he falls, he grabs a
couple of SMOKE CAPSULES from his belt and flings them to the
Seconds later, a THICK CLOUD OF BLACK SMOKE is spreading
through the intersection. BATMAN emerges into the midst of
the crowd -- weaving in and out among the stalled vehicles --
EXT. INTERSECTION - ANOTHER ANGLE - NIGHT
A MOUNTED COP rides up to the outer fringe of the traffic jam,
drawn by all the confusion. He rears the horse back, turns it
in a circle; blows his piercing whistle as he tries to reroute
the incoming cars...
Suddenly a WIRE wraps itself around his chest and arms. He
looks down. He sees a BATARANG in the instant before a sudden
JERK pulls him cleanly off his mount.
BATMAN climbs up on the hood of the nearest car -- vaults over
to the next -- and the next -- then hops into the saddle of
the MOUNTED COP's waiting HORSE. He digs in his heels,
maneuvering through traffic...
Batman is chased by the police into a public park, his feet away from a horse statue honoring his great-grandfather, General Wayne. “two Waynes on a horse, not twenty feet apart.” The chase sequence ends with Batman escaping through a sewer tunnel he finds, with Vicki Val’s report on Gotham’s homeless problem.
EXT. POLICE CAR - A MOMENT LATER - NIGHT
LT. EDDIE BULLOCK and another plainclothesman are a few blocks
off trying to get through the jam. Their siren is on, but the
cars blocking their path have no room to pull over. BULLOCK
grabs the radio mike:
Hell of a mess up here, Commissioner.
We'll have to go in on foot...
As they wait for a response, they see a HORSE charging past in
the opposite direction. On the back of the horse...is BATMAN.
Gaping, BULLOCK nudges his partner -- who throws the car
immediately into REVERSE. As they watch, BATMAN kicks the
horse's flanks and turns right -- toward Gotham Park.
INT. GOTHAM PARK - A MOMENT LATER - NIGHT
Two RED BERETS, members of the Order of the Bat, are on night
patrol, strolling down a rambling path near the entrance to
RED BERET I
This is wack, man. Nothing ever happens
around here anymore.
The other RED BERET lets out a WHOOP OF FEAR and yanks his
partner out of the way. They tumble into a snowdrift as
BATMAN'S HORSE vaults over the stone wall of the park and
gallops past, nearly trampling them in the process. By now,
SQUAD CARS are roaring into the park...
In this draft, she joins not only Vicki Vale, but the second missing celebrity. Batman. In this sketch, Batman encounters a homeless teenager, Dick Grayson, while traveling through the cave.
As for the horse…
EXT. PARK - ANOTHER SECTION - A MOMENT LATER
BRUCE'S HORSE gallops through the trees, the black bat-cape
still attached to its saddle and BILLOWING behind it.
INT. SQUAD CAR - MOVING - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
TWO COPS scanning the park. The CAPED HORSE charges past in
front of them and is momentarily silhouetted in the
headlights. From a distance, it looks like BATMAN is still in
The COP at the wheel makes a sudden turn. A moment later, he
SLAMS ON THE BRAKES.
A MAN has just stepped out onto the road, directly in the
squad car's path -- a hunched figure in an old coat and woolen
ski cap, obviously one of the homeless. A COP leans on the
horn and shouts out the window:
Dumb son of a bitch!!
The MAN -- BRUCE -- steps back out of the squad car's path.
The COPS take off -- in hot pursuit of a riderless horse.
Hamm tried a second time, but fate conspired against him. And, although Miller’s interpretation of Batman inspired some themes for the sequel films (most notably by Zack Snyder). Batman v Superman), that single image of Batman on horseback has yet to make it to the big screen.