Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton. Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, the film stars Michael Keaton in the title role, as well as Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, and Jack Palance. The film, in which Batman deals with the rise of a costumed criminal known as "The Joker" (Nicholson), was the first installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series.
After Burton was hired as director, Steve Englehart and Julie Hickson wrote film treatments before Sam Hamm wrote the first screenplay. Batman was not greenlit until after the success of Burton's Beetlejuice (1988). Numerous A-list actors were considered for the role of Batman. Nicholson accepted the role of the Joker under strict conditions that dictated a high salary, a portion of the box office profits, and his shooting schedule.
Filming took place at Pinewood Studios from October 1988 to January 1989. The budget escalated from $30 million to $48 million, while the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike forced Hamm to drop out. Uncredited rewrites were performed by Warren Skaaren, Charles McKeown and Jonathan Gems. Batman was a critical and financial success, earning over $400 million in box office totals. The film received several Saturn Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination, and won an Academy Award. It was also inspired the equally successful Batman: The Animated Series, paving the way for the DC animated universe, and has influenced Hollywood's modern marketing and development techniques of the superhero film genre.
The film marked the beginning of a Batman film series, with three sequels Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), and Batman & Robin (1997) released, the latter two were directed by Joel Schumacher instead of Burton. The film series was rebooted in 2005 with Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan.
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