When Tim Burton brought Batman to the big screen in 1989, it was the dark and gritty version that all of us who read Batman graphic novels love. It was the way Batman (created in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger) was meant to be and surprisingly comedy actor Michael Keaton was fantastic as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman; so much so that he was back in the sequel Batman Returns in 1992.
Both movies were excellent, but they were followed by two sequels directed by Joel Schumacher with Batman played by Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995) and George Clooney in Batman and Robin (1997) that were pretty weak with their mainstream approach and the last one almost destroyed the movie franchise with its campy script. Luckily Christopher Nolan saved the franchise with a reboot of the story starring Christian Bale as a dark, brooding and dangerous Batman in Batman Begins (2005), the brilliant The Dark Knight (2008) and the much-anticipated third movie The Dark Knight Rises (2012). There has been talk that he will also appear in a proposed Justice League movie alongside the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman. I can’t wait to see if this ever eventuates (apparently Christopher Nolan is in talks to make this movie)!
Throughout all of these movies Batman has driven a variety of Batmobiles, but for me the best so far has been the one used in the Tim Burton movies. It just had the right bat-like look in my opinion.
I was lucky enough to see the 1989 era Batmobile at the Tim Burton Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia in 2010. It was also one of the few things that you were allowed to take a photo of at the exhibition (I tried to get one of the Batman cowl inside the exhibition but security cracked down on me!).
The following pictures from a publicity photo shoot recently surfaced on the internet of Michael Keaton’s Batman and Jack Nicholson’s Joker. They are a lot of fun!