Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Commenting on each other's work


Christopher Nolan

If you look at what Tim Burton did, it’s specifically about a world that was created that Batman fits into. It’s this great gothic vision that’s very consistent, and consistent with the character of Batman. What I felt I hadn’t seen, especially in comics, was an ordinary world in which we could be living in Gotham. When a Gothamite sees Batman, he’s as extraordinary as he would be in our world. I wanted an extraordinary character in the background of an ordinary world. That isn’t what Tim did, so I thought it was a whole other direction to go in. What that involves — which is really quite daunting, but became part of the fun of making the film — is trying to find how to explain things in real terms (Verbicide Magazine 2012)

[1989's Batman is] a brilliant film, visionary and extraordinarily idiosyncratic, it’s a very, very stylized movie 

You certainly can push it too far, but interestingly there are different ways to be disturbing  I mean, I don't talk a lot about the previous films because I didn’t make them and they're not mine to talk about but certainly if you look at Batman Returns with Danny DeVito as The Penguin, eating the fish and everything, there are some extraordinarily disturbing images in that movie. But they're coming at it from a surreal point of view. 
(Rebecca Murray int)

The 1989 Batman film that Tim Burton did, that tone has defined comic book movies (…) with the Tim Burton [Batman] film, however visionary it was—and I think it’s quite brilliant—Gotham is just as extraordinary as Batman so you’re denied that pleasure of seeing ordinary people just reacting. (Box Office Mojo int)

I think what Tim Burton did with Batman was extraordinary, but it is very idiosyncratic. It is a very mad studio film when you really look at it. As much as I enjoyed that, I felt like there was a gap there. That is to say we’ve never done a kind of Dick Donner version of Batman, where it’s a kind of ordinary world with an extraordinary hero at the center of it. There are the textures of the real world with this very surprising figure in the middle of it – then this origin story, which hadn’t been touched. (screenrant 2010)
 The thing with Burton is that he had the challenge of convincing a cinema audience that you could have a ‘cool’ Batman film. Convincing an audience who remembers that the TV show was ridiculous. And he did it, he succeeded (Batman Begins Screenplay Q&A 2005)

Yes, in a certain way [Batman Begin's story is less linear than TDK's}, but it played a lot with memory and flashbacks, there's a certain circularity to it in the narrative - it's literally chronological but there are little rabbit holes within itself, which the first Batman (Tim Burton’s) had as well, and on Batman Begins we had the memories of what happened to him as a boy and the way they interacted with the present. (Empire magazine #229)

I got excited about the idea of filling in this interesting gap—no one had ever told the origin story of Batman. And so even though Tim Burton’s film had done a definitive version of the character, it was a very idiosyncratic Tim Burton vision. I had in mind a sort of treatment of Batman that Richard Donner might have done in the late Seventies the way he did Superman. To me what that represented was firstly a detailed telling of the origin story, which wasn’t even really definitively addressed in the comics over the years, funnily enough. And secondly, tonally I was looking for an interpretation of that character that presented an extraordinary figure in an ordinary world. So I wanted the inhabitants of Gotham to view Batman as being outlandish and extraordinary as we do.( int 2012)

Heath Ledger
I was definitely a fan of what Jack Nicholson did in the world that Tim Burton created (cinemasource)
Tim Burton did a more fantastical kind of thing and Chris Nolan is doing nitty gritty handheld realism.(Daniel Epstein int) 

I definitely loved Tim Burton's Batman movie ( Fandango)

Christian Bale
 I think what you have with the Tim Burton ones a great stylized version. But to me, whilst I enjoyed those ones, it was more the stylization of the villains than Batman himself. I didn’t see a whole lot going on in Batman. The other ones [Schumacher's movies] just weren’t my thing at all.

[In answer to: which one of the previous Batmans added the most amount of credibility to the role?] I would say Michael Keaton because of Tim Burton and the way that he approached the movie (Rebecca Murray Int, 2005)

Eric Radomski (Batman: The Animated Series)
The previous incarnations of Batman I'd seen growing up, the Filmation animated version, that series they did with Adam West, they were all just a bunch of goofs. They were dopey versions of a character that could be really strong and dramatic, and when I saw Tim Burton's movie, I thought that was a good way of looking at this character.(...) Literally the first piece that I did [on BTAS] was lights of a city reflected on a wet pavement, and that was also inspired by the drama of Burton's movie. (Animation World Magazine)

Bruce Timm
Thank God for the Tim Burton movie because it was so extremely darker than anybody had seen Batman before in any kind of mass media (Wizard 2006)
But we were actually quite lucky, when that show was being developed we were coming off the heels of the Tim Burton Batman films, which were very dark in tone. (...) I would say after that I really like The Dark Knight, and even Tim Burton’s Batman films as well, maybe the first more so than the second. I love what Nolan did but I also still enjoy what Burton did. (TMT 2010)

David Goyer

It’s its own thing. It’s Chris’ version of the Batman world and I certainly believe that it can exist along Tim Burton’s version.(BOF) 
Well, I liked the way he was portrayed in the comic books much more than he was in the films. I liked the first of the previous films [Tim Burton’s Batman 1989] (Batman Begins published screenplay)

Hans Zimmer
I thought Danny Elfman had done a fantastic score for Tim Burton, and I couldn’t think how to do something different. (EmpireOnline 2013)

David Goyer
"Certainly darker than the Schumacher films," said Goyer. It treats the story seriously and it's also quite romantic. We were determined to create a new classic and we treated the subject matter seriously." (IGN)
My only thought was that it seemed to me that the latter ‘Batman’ films were diverging farther and farther away from how he was popularly being depicted in the comic books. That’s all I’ll say about that. (Rebecca Murray int 2005) 
I felt the later films became more akin to the TV show and were somewhat out of synch with the way that batman was currently being depicted in the comic books (Batman Begins published screenplay) 

Christian Bale
The other ones (than Burton's) just weren’t my thing at all. (Rebecca Murray int, 2005)
I think that we’d seen what a comic book movie could be with the last two Batman movies, you know, and very definitely we were trying to create something completely different. ( 2005)
The last ones just really had been not satisfactory at all (

Bruce Timm
I didn’t enjoy Schumacher’s Batman at all.(TMT 2010)

Tim Burton
"I always hated those titles like Batman Forever. That sounds like a tattoo that somebody would get when they're on drugs or something. Or something some kid would write in the yearbook to somebody else. I have high problems with some of those titles."

Michael Keaton 
To lighten up and brighten it up and be a cartoon was of no interest to me (Batman:The Complete History) 

Danny Elfman

After Tim, those films were really a mess. (EmpireOnline 2013)


Tim Burton

“I always get told that my material is dark, but nowadays my version of ‘Batman’ looks like a lighthearted romp in comparison to Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’.” (Cineplex Magazine 2010)

I was lucky when I made Batman because, at the time, it felt like new territory. We went back to the traditions of the comic and they were usually light and cartoony. It was exciting. Then, all of a sudden, every comic-book hero is a tortured soul in a funny costume. [Laughs] I think the genre’s always having to reinvent itself and, obviously, comics are a kind of modern folk tale that can stand to be re-told and re-looked at in many different ways. (TotalFilm 2007)

The Christopher Nolan movie I thought was actually really good. He really captured the ‘real’ spirit that these kind of movies are supposed to have nowadays. When I did BATMAN 20 years ago, in 1988 or something, it was a different time in comic book movies. You couldn't go into that ‘dark side’ of comics yet. The last couple of years that has become acceptable and Nolan certainly got more to the root of what the Batman comics are about.(BOF 2008)

Currently everybody is trying to go back to the roots of a comic book when making a movie based on it, but back then the studio's weren't used to that. They were a bit nervous and would not let me go that far. The more money that's spent on a movie, the more people get involved and the more you have to deal with business that doesn't actually have anything to do with the filmmaking.

Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series writer)
Tim Burton's vision was very over the top; a little bit Gothic but at the same time sort of like Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Christopher Nolan's Batman was very modern day; it almost got to the point where I was watching the movie and I was noticing landmarks as I'm a native of Chicago where it was shot. To some degree I don't think Batman works in a completely modern city; I think Gotham has be reflective of his personality and those of his enemies (

Michael Keaton
[Nolan's] unbelievably great. He’s the one who got it...he got it and he took it to a whole other level. That general direction was always where I thought that character and the story could go. He just did it brilliantly... That Heath Ledger performance [in The Dark Knight] is unbelievable (Access Holywood)

Christian Bale is a very good actor, and Christopher Nolan is a good director. They’re doing what I thought the third one should have been, if I was going to do the third one. ( 

Keaton says that he doesn't have any Batman advice for Bale. "No, he's a really, really good actor. He knows what to do, and all those actors are really good. It's got a great cast and a really great director… I think they're in good shape." (IGN 2005)

Danny Elfman

What Nolan did was great and really took it into a whole different realm.  When I heard they were reviving the franchise I was like, 'Oh god, really? Can they get even more ridiculous now?' And instead it was the opposite, which was really smart. (Empire Online 2013)

Bruce Timm
I love what Nolan did but I also still enjoy what Burton did. (TMT 2010)

Joel Schumacher
I’m sure Christopher Nolan was told, “Batman is dead. Can you revive him?” And he sure did, and he’s one of my favorite directors ( 2010)
"I think Chris Nolan is brilliant and I think Heath [Ledger] was extraordinary [in 'The Dark Knight.']. Chris is a master and he's so young, and god knows what's coming from him now.' ( 2011)


  1. No surprises here. Thanks for collecting those quotes

  2. Burton and Nolan camps have a mututal respect and rightfully so. And both seem to despise Schumacher's Care Bears Adventures and - rightfully so

  3. I would like to hear Nolan open up and finally say something about Schumacher's movies. Goyer and Bale werent afraid to criticize them, he shouldnt be either

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. The comments by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Eric Radomski sums up my personal opinion on the Batman films.

  6. I see theres a mutual respect between keaton and Bale. Good, good. 2 best Betmen

  7. That last comment by Paul Dini sums up what this is all about :) Batman, be it as a "Gothic" adventure or as a "realistic" crime thriller is the king of comic book movies. Always was.

  8. Lol at the picture choice for Schumacher

    1. was about the say the same thing! :D

      And... okay maybe i shouldnt go there, but dude's creepy when he's pointing out how "young" Nolan is (he isn't the man was around his late-30s or 40s or something right?) and calling the heart-throb villain from a movie he wasn't involved in by his first-name. I dunno. That's some creepy stuff from ol' Joel.

  9. thank to the Burton and Nolan for both film but i hope that some body come and make to true to comic type film

  10. I still dislike Burton in some aspects but that's only him as a human being, not as a director, for his anti-comic book bad attitude despite claiming to love Batman's universe and The Killing Joke.

  11. Bale and Keaton ... as they say in "Training Day" ... player to player, pimp to pimp ... game truly recognized game, fellas. The two best generational Batman actors. Love it. I know Keaton didn't think much of Batman Returns. He's stated that much in interviews. Batman '89 is awesome, though. Nolan recognizes that and so does Bale. That's all I care about. We wouldn't have got Nolan's vision if Batman '89 didn't pave the way. Respect.

  12. "It's called COMIC book, not TRAGIC book"
    - Joel Schumacher

    My god, this guy was so wrong for Batman

  13. Burton's always been a visual director but despite that he never understood what made Batman or his world tick. He got the visuals but not the characters or the stories. I mean his comments about the visuals of The Killing Joke kind of re-affirm that. He never talked about the story itself, just the imagery of Batman vs Joker.

  14. Spot on to the last poster about Burton. He gets atmosphere, visuals, etc. I talso extends from his background as a cartoonist, and art school major. Burton has always been notoriously terrible at story telling and characterization. Those are the things Nolan excels at ... if you combined Burton and Nolan's sensibilities on one Batman movie, I feel like you'd have the TRUE definitive version of the character. I think a director along the lines that is contemporary that blends stylized feel with visuals, with good story telling abilities would be David Finch.

  15. Nolan #1 Burton #2 Schumacher #3(Mostly because his movies were crap)