This month, Batman Returns celebrates the 25th anniversary of its release in theatres. Back then, Tim Burton’s gothic drama caused a lot of controversy for its many dark, eerie or sexual scenes. Time has been kind to it, though, as nowadays the film is regarded as a cult classic for many Bat-fans.
To celebrate the movie, The Hollywood Reporter chatted with several members of the cast and crew recently, and the juiciest nugget of info from their interview is the news that Michael Keaton asked for more than half of his lines to be cut. Here’s what screenwriter Daniel Waters had to say about it:
“My version of the script had more a lot more Batman and Bruce Wayne speeches. Michael Keaton would go through the script and say, ‘Hey, that’s a great line, but you gotta cut it. This is a good speech, but you gotta take it out.’ He wanted to have very minimal dialogue, especially in the Batsuit. When I saw the final film, I realized he was exactly right.”
Keaton himself also explained his reasoning, saying that he thought the visuals spoke louder than words.
“Once I realized how powerful the suit was in terms of an image on screen, I just used it.”
We have to agree with the Birdman star on this one. The reason his portrayal has garnered so many fans, even today, is that his Batman is a very brooding character – a largely silent protector of the city, he only needs to stand on a rooftop and spread his cape to make Gotham’s criminals flee in terror.
Fans of Batman Returns should check out THR’s article in full to learn even more interesting behind-the-scenes facts about the production, as it truly is a fascinating read. For instance, Michelle Pfieffer explains why the Catwoman outfit is the “most uncomfortable costume” she’s ever worn, Danny DeVito reveals the origins of the Penguin’s black bile and Christopher Walken lets on that the real-life penguins were given their own dressing rooms. Yes, you read that right.
Tell us, are you a fan of Michael Keaton’s portrayal of the Dark Knight in Batman Returns? Swoop down to the comments section and let us know!