Study Guide

Batman Director

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Tim Burton

Tim Burton, a.k.a. Ex-Mr. Helena Bonham-Carter, knows dark, weird, and wacky.

Prior to helming the dark rebirth of Batman, Burton directed Pee-Wee's Big Adventure in 1985 and Beetlejuice (also with Michael Keaton), in 1988. He also directed a short film called Frankenweenie, a dog-centric parody of Frankenstein, which was remade into an animated film in 2012.

And Batman was its own Franken-project. Burton had to take a property last popular with a campy 60's TV show, work with a big-budget studio (Warner Bros.) and bring in people he'd worked with in the past—like Michael Keaton and composer Danny Elfman—and stitch them altogether into the biggest blockbuster of the 1980's.

We don't know how he did it, but he did it. Although Burton clashed with Warner Bros. over the casting of Michael Keaton and brought in someone to rewrite the script, the film was a massive success, raking in over $250 million to be the #1 film of 1989 and the 4th-most successful Batman film of all time. (Source)

On top of that Forbes credits Tim Burton's vision with creating the template for superhero movies that is still used today. Warner Bros. chose Burton, a new-but-successful quirky director to head up its big-budget summer blockbuster. (Source)

This tactic is still used today, with Christopher Nolan (Memento) being chosen for the newer Batman trilogy, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films, and James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy.

Burton himself has been a household name ever since, putting his personal quirky spin on everything from Alice in Wonderland to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

If you have a story about a weird loner, Tim Burton is your guy. Maybe he can do our autobiography?

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