30 Astonishing Batman Movie Facts

Weird and wonderful stories from the Caped Crusader's film career.

Directors

Before the selection of Christopher Nolan, Clint Eastwood was considered for the director role with an older actor intended for the starring role, a la Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns .

The Wachowskis were also approached to reboot the Batman franchise, but passed on the opportunity in order to film their Matrix sequels.

Tim Burton was offered the director’s seat on Batman after his surprise success with Pee Wee’s Big Adventure , of all things.

Batman (1989)

A trailer for the film was rushed out to combat negative publicity. Surprised cinemagoers in Westwood, California, gave a standing ovation after being treated to the trailer, and fans were later reported to be buying tickets only to watch the trailer and walk out.

Batman is the only film in the franchise to date to feature a single villain - Jack Nicholson’s sinister Joker.

The initial design for the film’s Batsuit had ears which were too tall to fit into the Batmobile, warranting hasty alterations.

Tim Burton

Tim Burton was unhappy with Warner Bros original script for Batman, which he said “was basically Superman only the names had been changed”. Burton wanted the tone less “jokey” and more “freakish”.

The director was exhausted after Batman and reluctant to return for the sequel. Warner Bros offered him increased creative control as an incentive to sign up for Batman Returns.

Burton was uncomfortable about casting Christopher Walken as Max Schreck in his second film. When asked why by the casting director, he said, "Because that man scares the hell out of me."

Sean Young

Although the Blade Runner actress has never appeared in a Batman film, she has become an amusing piece of lore in the early films.

She was originally cast in the role of Vicki Vale in 1989's Batman , but broke her collarbone after falling off a horse while rehearsing for a scene which was eventually cut from the movie. She was replaced by Kim Basinger.

Young was not considered for the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns , which did not stop her appearing at Tim Burton’s office in a homemade costume demanding an audition. Burton has admitted to hiding behind his chair until she had gone.

Michelle Pfeiffer

The actress went through a lot for Batman Returns . She spent months training with a whip, once accidentally managing to cut her trainer’s face.

Her Catwoman costume was fitted so tightly that she could only shoot for short spaces of time before growing light-headed and dangerously close to passing out.

On top of all that, in scenes where Tim Burton wanted cats to get cosy with their mistress, the legs of her costume had to be smeared with tuna.

Did not read the script

Tom Hardy accepted the part of Bane without seeing a script. Val Kilmer did the same when he was asked to play Batman.

Anne Hathaway actually arrived at her audition for The Dark Knight Rises believing that she was auditioning for the role of villain Harley Quinn. She justified herself by claiming that she did not think Christopher Nolan would try to reinterpret Catwoman after Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance. Nice save...

Batman Returns (1992)

The penguins in Batman Returns were flown in from the Cotswolds to the US. They stayed by their own luxury swimming pool, with regular deliveries of ice and fresh fish.

Batman Returns was the first film in history to feature Dolby Digital.

The final shot of Catwoman watching the Batsignal was introduced last minute to keep the character available for a sequel. A body double was used because Michelle Pfeiffer was unavailable. The shot cost a whopping $250,000.

Robin

White Chicks star Marlon Wayans was in line to play Robin in the Batman Returns , but shortly before filming began it was decided that the cast was already too big.

Chris O’Donnell got himself an ear piercing, a trendy haircut and started wearing makeup to fit Joel Schumacher’s vision of Robin as a heartthrob for teenage girls, apparently.

In an early draft of Batman Begins , Katie Holmes’s character Rachel Dawes was intended to reveal to be a distant relative of the Grayson family. Christopher Nolan removed the reference, not wanting fans to think the Dick Grayson (i.e. Robin) might appear in the trilogy.

Val Kilmer

Director Joel Schumacher described the Batman Forever star - who he struggled with on set - as “the most psychologically troubled human being I’ve ever worked with”.

The actor recently said that the bulky and heavy Batsuit transformed him into an “old man” who couldn’t hear properly or go to the toilet without help.

The suit was so heavy that Kilmer lost 5 pounds filming the opening fight scene alone.

Jim Carrey

The famously slapstick comedian was personally involved in designing his character the Riddler’s constantly changing costumes for Batman Forever .

He had also intended to shave a question mark into the top of his head, but decided against the plan in light of an impending court appearance for his divorce from his first wife.

While learning to twirl his cane, a dozen prop canes and some pieces of trailer furniture were destroyed.