Tim Burton, director, producer, writer, artist and animator is one of the most recognised movie makers in Hollywood, thanks to his dark, Gothic styling contained within his films. He has been described as eccentric (can’t disagree) and quirky (yes again and why not?).
Starting as an apprentice with Walt Disney Studios, Burton made various short movies, including Vincent and Frankenweenie. Unfortunately, due to the dark nature of his shorts, in particular Frankenweenie, Disney fired Burton. This was a blessing in disguise as it led Paul Reubens to approach Burton to direct his next Pee Wee move.
In turn, this led to his hit, Beetlejuice, which gave us an idea of the style that we might expect from him in the future. Beetlejuice also starred Michael Keaton in the title role and we all know what came next.
Yes, thanks to Burtons’ success with lower budgets, Warner Bros chose him to direct the 1989 Batman movie. And this is the reason for my nomination, bringing The Dark Knight back to the big screen, for the first time since the 1966 movie. Thanks to his collaboration with Keaton on Beetlejuice, Burton cast him in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. This caused quite a stir with fans, who suggested he wasn’t the right person to play the character. Burton didn’t feel that the character should be a big, built up character but saw Bruce Wayne as a normal guy, just very rich. Anyway, Burton tried to pacify fans with the casting of Jack Nicholson as, villain, The Joker, a move that garnered people’s’ interest n the film. Despite issue with the production, Burton gave us a hugely successful Batman flick that some consider to be the best Bat-flick seen on the big screen. It was a commercial success and is one of the biggest movies of all time. Batman was back in a big way and it was all thanks to Tim Burton. The movie even influenced probably the greatest animated series of all time, Batman: TAS.
After directing Edward Scissorhands, Burton went on to direct the sequel, Batman Returns, a darker, more violent Batman movie than the first but, some fans, feel it an improvement on the 1989 film. Not as commercially successful but still a great Batman movie, giving us Danny DeVito as The Penguin and the wonderful Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Christopher Walken as Max Shreck.
We also, very nearly, saw Tim Burton take on another DC character, as he was signed on to direct the, Kevin Smith written, Superman Lives. This movie went in to pre-production and would have starred Nicholas Cage as Superman; we have even seen pictures of him in the Supes outfit. It’s a shame it never happened as I would have loved to have seen what he would have brought the character.
Anyway, for the purposes of this poll, I want to thank Mr Burton for bringing Batman to the big screen. My favourite DC character, The Dark Knight, back at the cinema. I think he should take a lot of credit for what he did, as the Batman character has been a constant at the cinema since 1989 and will son be back in Justice League. Thanks you, good sir.
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