Re: What did Christopher Nolan think of the other Batman movies?
I bought Batman Begins: The Screenplay, and at the front they have a Q and A with Nolan and Goyer. Both are asked about Burton. Here’s what Nolan says:
What did you think of the preceding films, notably Tim Burton?
“I think the first film has its place in history; what Tim Burton did could certainly be considered visionary – but it didn’t speak to me personally. It’s not a great personal favorite of mine. It wasn’t my Batman. It didn’t speak to me on that level, even though I appreciated all the skill and artistry of it. It wasn’t the Batman film I’d wanted to see, in terms of a film that showed his origin story. I felt like there was a version of Batman that never got made in 1979 – ten years before. When Dick Donner made Superman in 1979, it seems odd that they didn’t do Batman in that same way – with that epic sensibility.”
You must have read Miller’s books around the time of the 1989 Batman, and already been thinking in the opposite direction to Burton…
“Yeah, it was right around that time. 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. The way he did it was to make the entire world that he lives in – Gotham – as peculiar and extraordinary as Batman is. So he fits in with that type of hyper-real, hyper-stylized universe on its own terms. That then convinced everybody that you could have a ‘cool’ Batman film. So that isn’t a hurdle that we have to get over with this film and, because of that, we are more free to treat the world around him as more ordinary and so allow his extraordinary nature to stand out. For me it was very important that the audience watching the film would feel for people in Gotham – Batman is an extraordinary a figure for them as he is for us in the audience.
Goyer had this to say:
How did you relate to the portrayal of batman in the films compared to the comic books?
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]. But 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.