Burtons 3rd Batman
by Paul (ral)

After the summer of 1992, Batman films as we had known them would never be the same again.
Due to Returns' more adult themes, parents had complained and McDonalds threatened to pull out of future promotions. Warner Bros. decided they need to take the franchise in a new direction and so employed Joel Schumacher to take it there. It is widely known among fans of Batman movies that Tim Burton had planned to do another Batman sequel. What isn't known are the details of such a sequel. What follows is a break down of what is known and an "educated-guess" of what isn't.


The Riddler
It is most likely that the villian of the piece would have gone solo this time. The Riddler had been in line for a sequel when Batman 89 was released, infact before a script was drafted for Batman Returns, the Riddler and the Penguin were rumored to co-star. Also Burton did take on comments from others that suggested that Returns suffered from too many characters.

Who was most likely to play the Riddler? Robin Williams of course. (Although it is plain from Burton's past approaches that it would have been a more subdued and sinister Riddler than Jim Carrey had given us).

It is also a possibility that this riddler may have had a question mark shaved on his head. Would Williams had taken the role? This is not clear because during pre production with Batman in 1987, the powers to be wanted Jack Nicholson as the Joker. During negotations with Nicholson, Warners threatened to go with Williams as the Joker. Jack then decided he wanted the role and Williams felt as if he was being used as a lure to get Jack to play the part. Robin Williams is said to have wanted an apology if he was going to do Batman 3. Also, Williams probably coveted the role of the Joker more (as seen in a recent interview).


Burton had successfully dodged Robin for two movies, but mounting studio pressure may have insisted that he was included. This would not have sat well with Burton's vision of Batman as a lone entity and several changes would have been made. The strongest evidence for this comes from Daniel Waters early script for Batman Returns. In it we are introduced to "The Kid" (who at the end of the script asks to be called Robin), a young African-American kid who was a mechanic. Burton cast Marlon Wayans, who was then only 19 years old. Rumors vary between: * Wayans shooting a scene where he was fixing the Batmobile right after it was wrecked by the Penguin * Wayans simply did a "screen test" There was a design for the Robin suit that Burton helped work on with his artist. In fact, when the character was scratched, the people at Kenner used the design as one of their Robin figures. Also, since Bob Ringwood worked on all the Batman movies at the time, it is also highly likely that his designs for Robin in Batman Forever would have been very close to what he might have come up with for Burton's 3rd Batman movie.

Kenner's Robin figure                            Bob Ringwood's concept designs for Batman Forever's Robin

Marlon Wayans did however attend a costume fitting for the character of Robin, and apparently signed on for Batman Returns and a sequel. His contract was bought out when Joel Schumacher was brought on board.




While Two-Face was a character that Burton did want to use in a future sequel, there is no evidence that he would have made an appearance in this one. Two-Face was supposed to be in Batman Returns, but Max Shrek replaced the character. As we all know, Billy Dee Williams was cast as Harvey Dent in Batman 89. Billy Dee would have been up for the part.

There was a rumor that Williams' contract included sequels and it was bought out. Williams denies this, saying "The contract I signed was to play Harvey Dent, it wasn't a two or three picture situation". He does go on to say however "I think that at that stage, after the first Batman, someone bought out the contract. I can't really recall it."


Catwoman? Again? Well....possibly. Burton and Returns writer Waters had a spin-off treatment in mind for Catwoman and given the ending to Returns, it is very likely we could have seen Catwoman return.


The Soundtrack
Would Danny Elfman have returned to provide a score? This is unclear. Remember, it was during this time that Burton and Elfman had their "break-up", with Ed Wood scored by Howard Shore.

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