The Character Evolution of Tim Burton's Batman?

Discussion in 'Batman World' started by Furious Styles, May 2, 2005.

  1. Furious Styles

    Furious Styles Registered

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    Although B'89 and Returns could not be considered direct sequels, the character evolution of Bruce Wayne/Batman is quite apparent in both films. Although Burton was never able to finish his trilogy, it is quite obvious from both films that Burton is making a social commentary on the character traits of Batman. For arguments sake, I will include Forever in this discussion because I think it has signifigance in the trilogy.

    My question is to those who viewed the films, what were your thoughts on the evolution of the Batman character. There is an obvious transformation from both films, key scenes which signify a change in the character. I just wanted to get your thoughts on the overall evolution of the character and what it meant for the movies.

    What do you believe Burton's final vision of The Batman character was or would be? I have heard that after Kilmer read the script and noted the importance of the word "Forever" that they changed the title to Batman Forever, and even though it's Schumacher, I still find the name a very fitting. Although, each film in the trilogy wasn't neccesarily a direct sequel to the previous film, it is still safe to say that the evolution of the Batman character, which I believe is at the heart of the trilogy, is the driving force behind the films.

    With that being said, do you think Burton would have resolved the conflict Batman encountered with himself at the end of Returns. "I am both Bruce Wayne and Batman, not because I have to be, but becasue I choose to be." I find that a very prophetic line when you consider the circumstances of the previous films. But would that have been the correct path to choose, would Burton have gone that direction? Batman Forever is a very symbolic term when considering the character analysis of the first two films, although it was not done by Burton (rather Schumacher.)

    I think if Burton would have been able to create a third and final film of the Batman trilogy, it would have led to some great insight into the fate of the Batman character. His thoughts on his own mortality, his own purpose, his own sense of self, the loss of Selina and if Batman was truly doomed or he would find a rekindled hope and become Batman Forever.

    Any thoughts on the subject would be interesting. I think Burton's commentary on the Batman character through his movies are fascinating. From Burton's insights to vigilantism, to duality to revenge to despair really added weight to the movie character. Rather than B'89 and Returns being another A to B, straight line comic book film, they had weight and diversity and are a real treat to watch.

    Side Note: To those who hate Michael Keaton, Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, Batman Returns, Vicki Vale, the garbage bag in the alley way, the license plate of the car Knox drives, please don't post, you have the other 10,000 "I hate Michael Keaton because he wore a turtleneck sweater in 1988, Bruce Wayne would never wear a turtleneck sweater" threads. Batman in a literary form is different from Batman in a cinematic form. If you did not like the Batman movies, I don't think this is the best thread for you to post in.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. Binker

    Binker Registered

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    To tell you the truth, Batman, as he was protrayed in the films, the first three anyways because we burned B&R out from our heads, that he was focused from his own traits.

    I really didn't he he evolved at all. I thought '89 had to serve as his origin story and he was more focused on being Batman than Vicki, whom he still loves throughout the film. In Returns, Bruce finds an equal but ends up losing. Then in Forever, he fights against his own demons, and then says that while he might be the cause of "creating" these villians, he's still Batman, that's what he chose.

    These things that Batman goes through in these films, he went through in the comics. And speaking of direct sequels between them, they still mention or do some sort of reference to the others but with everythign different around them (Batcave, city) so I guess I would say that each film takes the previous film and creates it as a vague history but ina different or similar state.

    I know the original trilogy of Batman by Burton. We know the first one, but the idea in the second one was that since The Joker killed his parents and Batman took care of him, he would lose his motive of being Batman. So part 3 would be his redemption. And since Burton was a producer in Forever, his ideas were still used in that film. We didn't see it because WB recutted it but the film is actually darker and makes references to the '89 movie as well with Bruce saying Jack Naiper killed his parents.

    I think I answered that.
     
  3. DarkKnightJRK

    DarkKnightJRK Registered

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    I think the "trilogy" of Burton's would have been about a man who lost himself and ultimately regains himself back.

    Bruce Wayne/Batman in '89 lost himself when he killed Jack Napier. He knows it, he knows he failed the oath he promised his parents to uphold justice. Batman doesn't kill, Burton knew this, and that's why Burton made it about killing the Joker.

    Returns was his downfall progressing. Selina Kyle comes into his life, when it's down in the gutter, and is practically each other's salvation. But they both lose that, and Batman ends alone, lost.

    The third movie, according to Burton, would have been about Batman's redemption. I always pictured that it would be Two-Face and Scarecrow as Batman's villians in the movie. Scarecrow would inject Batman with fear toxin and would get trapped in a drug-induced fantasy involving all the villians that he's beaten, including The Joker. The Joker would kill him (in the fantasy), in a metaphorical, almost biblical, resurection. Batman would jump out of the fantasy, better and stronger than ever before.
     
  4. The Guard

    The Guard Registered

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    Here's the thing. Even in the comics, save for HUGE moments in his life, Batman doesn't evolve much as a character. He's usually pretty set in his ways, and this tends to hurt him most of the time and cause problems. Now, Batman DID evolve at some points during the franchise, but there wasn't any huge realization or evolution for his character. Nor should there have been, since he was already Batman. The massive evolution of the Bruce Wayne character is Bruce wayne evolving into Batman. Beyond that, even in the really good comics, Batman just doesn't evolve much unless there are "events" (Taking on a partner, political stuff, someone dies, etc). People have this idea that Batman has tons and tons of character development, and that's just not the case. Batman's nature is to want to remain static, and resist change.
     
  5. HarleyLover

    HarleyLover Registered

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    But I think Batman, in the movie world, really needed some development. Because, despite loving the movies, there was always the one glaring problem I had with Batman's character - that, well..he killed.

    I really wanted this to be rectified. And I feel Forever did that, sort of. I respect Schumacher for trying to amend this with Bruce's speech to Dick about killing. "So it will happen this way - you make the kill; but your pain doesn't die with Harvey, it grows. So you go out to find another face, and another, until one morning you wake up and you realize that revenge has become your whole life, and you won't know why."

    It's obvious he was talking about himself - killing the Joker, and then continuing his war on crime with essentially, a bloodlust. He's realized the error of his ways, but he also realizes that it's probably too late for him to change, but it's not too late to prevent Dick from following down the same path.

    So, while it wasn't completely "fixed" (because for me, it was a problem that needed fixing), I'm sort of pleased with how it turned out. It wasn't a complete character arc like they attempted in Daredevil (which could've turned out well, had the film not been such a mess), but it was a little development.

    At least by Forever, he seemed to understand the gravity of killing, which is leaps ahead in development from strapping a live bomb onto a circus performer and wryly smiling at the thought of his impending doom.
     
  6. DarkKnightJRK

    DarkKnightJRK Registered

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    Read my other post and I preety much did the same thing. :up:
     
  7. ab38416

    ab38416 Registered

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    edit
     
    #7 ab38416, Oct 20, 2006
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  8. Palpadious

    Palpadious Registered

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    Damn I wish we would have gotten Burton's trilogy.

    Warner Bros and soccer moms :cmad:
     

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