I’m a huge Batman fan and as great as the Christopher Nolan trilogy is, Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns set the standard back in the day on how to bring comic book movies to life on the big screen. Looking back, I remember going to the movies to see Joel Schumacher’s take on Batman as a teenager and I left the cinema both times in disgust. Many Batman fans did, but did you know that it wasn’t meant to happen that way? In fact, Tim Burton was ready to come back in the mid 90’s to create a third Batman film.
Billy Dee Williams was set to come back as Harvey Dent, while Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Keaton would reprise their roles as Catwoman and Batman respectively. Robin Williams was penciled in to play the Riddler. It all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? There was one problem, and it was a big one: the studio.
Tim Burton’s Batman Returns was rated PG-13 for being dark and bringing a certain type of violence that was seen as too dark for a Batman film. The studio wanted a change. Enter in the idea of millions to be made from movie merchandise. The phrase the studio used was, “more toyetic”. This was the reason why they went with a more soft, bright coloured Batman Forever which Joel Schumacher ended up making.
Burton was gently removed by the studio and encouraged to take on a so-called smaller film called “Edward Scissorhands.” Michael Keaton did not want to return if Burton was not there and Billy Dee Williams was given a golden handshake to NOT appear as Harvey Dent. We know that Catwoman was never seen in the film either.
I would have loved to have seen this movie get made.