As the headline says, Tim Burton‘s Batman came out 25 years ago today and some might say it was the film that led us to the point we’ve reached today where we have upwards of 22 new superhero movies already laying claim to release dates over the next four years. That said, the superhero/comic book movies have come a long way as it’s just as much a result in an advancement in technology as it is anything else. Well, that and the fact they are natural franchise starters, easy to sequelize, market, turn into lunchboxes, etc.
Speaking of marketing, just below is the first teaser trailer for the film and to call it a trailer, especially compared to what we get today, is a bit of a stretch as it’s simply a series of clips from the film, one of which features Jack Nicholson as The Joker and it freezes for just a couple frames before moving to the next scene.
I would love to see one of today’s blockbusters, such as Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice release something similar, but of course one major difference between that teaser and today’s is it gave you not only the Batmobile and Batman, it gave you Jack as the Joker. There was very little teasing as much as there was a lot of showing. But there may have been good reason for that.
The Playlist featured this next bit of nostalgia courtesy of 1989 Batman. The following 20-minute industry promo was put together by Andrew Gillman at the urging of Warner Bros. as they were a little unsure of what they were doing with such an iconic comic property.
“Warner Brothers had found themselves in a very difficult situation at the time,” Gillman told 1989 Batman. “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.”
So, in an effort to reassure investors, prove West’s statements inaccurate and that what they were making was something closer to the comic than the campy TV show, Gillman made this.
The franchise would then move on to the Joel Schumacher films before Christopher Nolan would come along once again and redefine the comic book genre altogether, but I think it would be interesting to take notice of the films that shaped the comic book movie over time. Films such as Burton’s Batman, Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man, Nolan’s Batman Begins and Marvel’s Iron Man, which began their Cinematic Universe, which is clearly the next wave. I guess the question now is …. what’s next?