Tim Burton saw the new Batman movie by Matt Reeves, and he had a pretty dramatic reaction. Batman is a cinematic stick, passed down from director to director, each imbuing their version of the super hero movie with their own twists.
First, there was the ’60s Adam West Batman movie, which was known for its comic-accurate “Kerpow!” and “Biff!”, and Wests’ rather unflattering jumpsuit. Then the character was revisited by gothic master Tim Burton, who took over Batman and Batman Returns in the late 80s and early 90s, starring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne. Director Joel Schuacher has completed action movie series, then Christopher Nolan rebooted the property and created perhaps the most famous – and successful – film version of Batman history.
Now Batman is back once again. Matt Reeves, who has already worked on two of the new Planet of the Apes science fiction movies, has teamed up with Robert Pattinson to create the latest cinematic iteration of Batman. His film was the darkest and grittiest to date, exploring the underbelly of Gotham with a thriller inspired twist.
Now former Batman director Tim Burton has reacted to Reeves’ take on the superhero. Speaking at the recent Lumière Festival in Lyon (via IndieWire) the director reflected on the film and shared some thoughts about it. Most remarkably, he said the dark action flick made him start “laughing and crying.”
Burton said: “The funny thing now is people say ‘What do you think of the new Batman? and I start laughing and crying because I go back to a time capsule, where almost every day the studios were saying, ‘[my Batman movie was] too dark, it is too dark”. Now [my Batman movie] looks like a light romp.
The director’s comments accurately reflect changing expectations for superhero movies and the broader evolution of the cinematic landscape. When Burton made him a Batman movie, he was coming off the back of Adam West’s version, which was as far from “dark” as it gets. So it’s understandable that the huge change in direction raised some eyebrows.
But, arguably, Burton’s darker take on Batman completely paved the way for where we are with Reeves’ version of the story. It showed that Batman could work as a darker story, which is how we ended up in a place where a Batman movie now should be dark and gritty. For more fun with the Batman movie, check out our guide to our picks for the Batman 2 Villainsand who should face Pattinson’s caped crusader.