25 Things You (Maybe) Didn't Know About Tim Burton's Batman
by Paul (ral) , Grissom, DocLathropBrown, gordonblu and PJ

Fact #1

The Axis Chemicals sequences were shot at the Acton Power Plant (England), where Aliens was also shot. Some of the Aliens set dressings are visible during the shootout, as James Cameron's crew did not have time to take them down. 

Another cool Alien connection is that the command chair, used by the character Gorman, in the APC was modified and used as Bruce Wayne's chair in the Batcave!

Fact #2

In alleyway chase scene, where the Joker's Goons drive past Batman and Vicki at top speed while they are suspended by the grappling gun, the stunt driver didn't turn up for filming. Tim had no choice but to ask Mac McDonald (one of the Goon actors) to drive the car instead...which he did. He was terrified!

Fact #3

The first person Tim Burton and co-producer Chris Kenny hired for production was Anton Furst. Furst took influences from a range of places. Inparticular he based the Flugelheim Museum on the work of modern Japanese architect Shin Takamatsu.


Fact #4

Costume designer Bob Ringwood turned down James Bond the day before he was approached to work on Batman. Bob's mother was ill at the time and he accepted the job because he knew he could stay in England to work.

Fact #5

The Batmobile was built on a 1974 V-8 Chevrolet Impala chassis. 2 were used. They were lengthened by 24 inches..the wheels packed out by 4 inches and the engine dropped by 12 inches. Built in Kevlar the Batmobile also used Mickey Thompson drag racing tyres.

Fact #6

Batman was the first movie to make 100 million in its first ten days!

Fact #7

BATMAN invented the character's (now) staple grappling gun. The character had always used a grappling hook, but the filmmakers where the first to give the character a gun-mounted/fired version. It has followed into each adaptation since. 

Fact #8

Something that most people don't realize about the production is that Tim Burton did extensive Batman research for it. He spoke at length not only with Bob Kane, but also Janette Kahn, Alan Moore and also read "The Killing Joke," "The Dark Knight Returns" and, going by his 1985 script treatment, perhaps Len Wein's "The Untold Legend of the Batman." Michael Uslan also exposed Burton to the early Kane/Finger runs.

"The Killing Joke" did not have an influence on the script though. It was released long after the first draft was written...although screenwriter Sam Hamm did receive an early "dense" manuscript of Alan Moore's book a few months into starting the sceenplay.

Fact #9

Smilex, the Joker's poison, also made an appearance in another Burton film - Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. Check the scene with Charlie's father in the toothpaste factory.


Fact #10

A miniature Batmobile was created and intended for most effects shots. However, they found the full size car could do everything they wanted and used it for practically everything.

Fact #11

The scientist in Axis Chemicals was played by the late actor Michael Balfour. In an interview he claims a scene was shot where the Joker kisses him after exchanging dialogue. Michael also appeared in Reach for the Sky in 1956 with Michael Gough.


Fact #12

According to the original scripts and the novelization, many characters that go nameless in the film aren't so therein. The thugs at the beginning are Nick and Eddie. The newscasters are Becky Narita and Peter McElroy. The Joker-fried gangster is Carmine Rotelli, and the fat one whom he murders with the quill pen is Vinnie Recorso. Bob himself also has a last name... Hawkins!


[Thanks to Luke for corrections - Paul]


Fact #13

If one looks closely while Alfred is shutting the door to the Batsuit vault, Batman's weapons (Batarangs, Ninja Stars, Smoke Capsules and the zipline/Steel Gauntlet) are stored in slots on the inside half of that same vault door.

Image property of Shawn Reeves.

Fact #14

The film had the fastest home video release up to that time, coming to home video in November after its June release the same year. Theater owners (most all of whom still screening the film) were understandably upset, as films usually stayed in theatrical runs then for much longer than today.


Fact #15

James Woods, Willem Dafoe, Tim Curry, David Bowie and Robin Williams were considered for the role of the Joker at one point or another.

Fact #16

According to Sam Hamm, the name of Jack Napier came from the word "jackanapes". Jackanapes means: A conceited person, marked by contemptuous or cocky boldness or disregard of others.

Fact #17

Out of all the crew to work on the film, one person did not visit the Pinewood Gotham City set. Screenplay writer Sam Hamm. Sam had a falling out with Warner Bros (and others in the production) when he refused to work during the writers strike of 1988.


Fact #18

At the time, the Pinewood set was the largest outdoor set in Europe since Cleopatra.

This picture is the property of Mark Jones.

Fact #19

Michael Keaton's casting prompted over 50,000 letters of complaint.

Fact #20

The cost of building the 2 Batmobiles was around £150,000 (in 1989!).

Fact #21

The scene where Batman confronts Napier in Axis was filmed twice. After the 1st shoot, they blew the set up to film the Batmobile raid. They had to rebuilt the set when it was discovered the shot they needed for Batman's escape with the smoke pellet wasn't good enough. During the second shoot they built 2 stages (at Jack Nicholson's suggestion) to give the platform a greater sense of height and give the audience a greater sense of vertigo when Jack falls into the acid!

Fact #22

Bob Kane was due to have a cameo as the cartoonist in The Gotham Globe. The character was initially called "Jerry the cartoonist". He was due to film his scene in Novemeber 1988, when he was on-set, but the shoot-date was pushed back to January 1989. Between those dates Bob flew back to New York for an engagement. While in New York there was a plane crash...leaving Bob "a little apprehensive" about flying. He decided not to fly over to England for his scene.

Bob's wife, Elizabeth Sanders was also supposed to play the part of the mother in the opening mugging scene, but British Equity wouldn't let her do it due to not having a work visa - despite Warner Bros and Tim Burton's pleas.

Fact #23

During pre-production a trilogy if films had always been planned, with a sequel to Batman originally planned for 1991.

Fact #24

While the screenplay didn't change a whole lot during pre-production, some big scenes were dropped. One was a large sequence that involved Robin as shown in the Special Edition DVD - video below (when the character was included...although he wasn't called Robin in the script).

Vicki Vale was also supposed to die before the end of the film.

Another series of scenes excluded centered around a running gag that everyone that Batman comes into contact with realises he is Bruce Wayne - only to have their knowledge twarted in one way or another!

Fact #25

Warner Bros intially wanted to set the budget for Batman at between $20 to $22 million. It ended up at almost $50 million.

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