Tim and Batman

Tim Burton has been doing the promotion circuit for his new film Big Eyes – which, surprisingly, doesn’t star a dressed up idiosyncratic-characteristic Johhny Depp, or a gothic looking Helena Bonham Carter –  which is due to be released on Christmas day. Talking about everything from Beetlejuice 2 being closer than ever going into production, to how he has missed working with Michael Keaton, and now he has been talking about the superhero comic book genre and how much it has changed in the last 20 years. Burton, who isn’t usually one for too much controversy, has hit out with a belter of an opinion which will no doubt be splitting comic book fans and film fans down the middle.

In  a recent interview, Burton got onto the topic of his movie Batman, and joked about the fact his Bat-flicks used to be considered dark and edgy back in the late-80s and early 90s, stating that they “now look like a light-hearted romp.”

Now, I don’t know about you guys, but the overtly sexualised Cat Woman – played by Michelle Pfieffer – is still raunchy by the American ratings system standards, and Batman Returns is full of innuendo’s, violence, and crazy-sewer-carnage (oh, …and somebody gets a bit too nosey for the penguins liking). It’s was a dark film back on its release; and it still is a dark film to this day, but I digress…

Burton then started waxing lyrical – and the irony was lost on him, it seems – about superhero/comic book adaptations sticking to a formula, that people will eventually get sick of  them.

Let’s not forget here, that generations have been reading and enjoying comic books about superheroes, and they have been part of the fabric of Western culture for decades.

Here is what time had to say on the so-called “formulaic” genre:

“Marvel, they have their thing and there’s a certain formula to it all which seems to still be working, but how many times can you say ‘you’re wearing a funny costume’ with the tights and stuff? That’s been going on for 20 years now. Yes, we all know that superheroes are damaged individuals. Maybe we need to see a happy superhero?  I think there is [another superhero film in me], but I don’t know. You think we need more superhero movies? It keeps on going. It’s amazing how long it’s been going for and it just keeps getting stronger and stronger. Some day people will get sick of it.”

Johnny Depp

Now, let’s get this straight, Tim Burton complaining about the same kind of film getting made over and over again with the same wearisome characters and constantly consecutive diminishing returns? It does seem rather ironic that this is coming from Tim Burton, the guy who has been making the same film with Johnny Depp as a madcap outsider, over and over again for over two decades now. There was once a time when the announcement of a Tim Burton movie would get people excited, and that time has long gone. However it seems that he has taken the hint with his new flick Big Eyes, which features a great cast including the wonderful Christoph Walts. It also seems that Burton is toying with the idea of bringing a happy superhero to the big screen, which could be pretty cool, but I think we should take his comments in gest.


It’s a wonder if Burton has actually took the time out to watch Guardians of the Galaxy, as that is one of the most original comic book/space opera adaptations that has been released in a while (…could also stick Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen in there too). Also, with Marvel’s future slate taking a huge departure from what has come before before (Ant-Man, Inhumans, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Captain Marvel), Burton is coming off here as rather myopic with his insular views.

What do you think of Tim Burton’s views? You agree with him? Can you see where he is coming from? Lastly, would you like to see Burton direct a movie about a happy superhero? Let us know peeps!

Via – Blastr 

Category: Books, Comics, Film, WTF?

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