Tim Burton Blasts WB for Infamous ‘Batman Forever’ Batsuit: ‘I’m Too Weird and Then You Put Nipples on the Costume? Go F– Yourself’

Batman Returns

“Batman Returns” has always had a hard time.

The sequel to Tim Burton’s 1989 sensation “Batman” was criticized, upon release, as being too dark and violent. Some parents were outraged that a movie where black goo oozes out of Danny DeVito’s mouth for the entire running time also inspired a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

It’s certainly a more outwardly “Tim Burton” movie than the first film – every character is a weird freak; the production design by Bo Welch is even more dramatically Gothic; and there are undercurrents of kinky sadomasochism to the relationship between Batman (Michael Keaton) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfieffer). Still, Warner Bros. clearly took the backlash to heart and didn’t invite Burton back to do another Batman film. And, 30 years later, Burton is still sore about it.

Speaking to Empire on the anniversary, Burton said: “[Back then] they went the other way. That’s the funny thing about it. But then I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Okay. Hold on a second here. You complain about me, I’m too weird, I’m too dark, and then you put nipples on the costume? Go f— yourself.’ Seriously. So yeah, I think that’s why I didn’t end up [doing a third film]…”

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In the same conversation, Burton marveled at how his vision for the character, initially deemed too dark, has given way to even darker incarnations in both Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and the recently released “The Batman” from director Matt Reeves (which Burton admitted he hasn’t watched yet). “It is funny to see this now, because all these memories come back of, ‘It’s too dark’,” he told Empire. “So, it makes me laugh a little bit.”

Burton tells a funny story on the “Batman Returns” Blu-ray release, about how after the movie opened he went to Warner Bros. with ideas about a third movie. (Supposedly there was a version of “Batman Returns” where the Christopher Walken character was actually Billy Dee Williams’ Harvey Dent from the first movie. The fatal kiss with Catwoman at the end of “Batman Returns” wouldn’t have signaled the end of the character; Dent would return in the third film as Two-Face.) After Burton presented his ideas, he got a lukewarm response from Warner Bros., at which point he realized they didn’t want him to return for movie #3.

The result, of course, was the candy-colored “Batman Forever,” followed by the even more garish (and way less financially successful) “Batman & Robin,” both made by Joel Schumacher. But without those excessive, neon-drenched entries, we wouldn’t have gotten the earthy reinvention of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” or Reeves’ “The Batman.”

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