Batman & Robin (film)

Batman & Robin is a 1997 American superhero film based on the DC Comics characters Batman and Robin. It is the sequel to the 1995 film Batman Forever and the fourth and final installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series. The film was directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Akiva Goldsman. It stars George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell as the titular characters, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, and Elle Macpherson. The film tells the story of Batman and Robin as they attempt to prevent Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy from freezing all mankind to death and repopulating the earth with mutant plants, while at the same time struggling to keep their partnership together. It is also to date the only live-action film appearance of Batgirl, who helps the title characters fight the villains.

Warner Bros. fast-tracked development for Batman & Robin following the box office success of Batman Forever. Schumacher and Goldsman conceived the storyline during pre-production on A Time to Kill, while Val Kilmer decided not to reprise the role over scheduling conflicts with The Saint. Schumacher had a strong interest in casting William Baldwin in Kilmer's place before George Clooney won the role. Principal photography began in September 1996 and finished in January 1997, two weeks ahead of the shooting schedule.

Batman & Robin premiered in Los Angeles on June 12, 1997, and went into general release on June 20, 1997. Despite it performing moderately well at the box office, making $238.2 million worldwide against a production budget of $125 million, the film was a critical failure and is often considered to be one of the worst films of all time.[3][4] It is also the lowest-grossing live-action Batman film to date.[5] Due to the film's negative reception, Warner Bros. cancelled a sequel, Batman Unchained,[6] and rebooted the film series with Batman Begins in 2005. One of the songs recorded for the film, "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" by The Smashing Pumpkins, won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards.[7]

Batman & Robin
Batman & robin poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoel Schumacher
Produced byPeter MacGregor-Scott
Written byAkiva Goldsman
Based on
Starring
Music byElliot Goldenthal
CinematographyStephen Goldblatt
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • June 12, 1997 (Los Angeles)
  • June 20, 1997 (United States)
Running time
125 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$125 million[1][2]
Box office$238.2 million[1]

Plot

In Gotham, one year after the defeat of Two-Face and the Riddler, Batman and Robin attempt to thwart Mr. Freeze from robbing diamonds from the natural history museum, but he steals one and flees. Mr. Freeze was originally Dr. Victor Fries, a doctor working to develop a cure for MacGregor's syndrome to heal his terminally ill wife. Fries was forced to wear a cryogenic suit powered by diamonds after becoming unable to live at normal temperatures following a lab accident.

At a Wayne Enterprises lab in Brazil, the botanist Dr. Pamela Isley is working under the deranged Dr. Jason Woodrue, experimenting with the Venom drug. She witnesses Woodrue use the formula to turn the violent, but diminutive, convicted serial murderer Antonio Diego into a hulking monstrosity dubbed "Bane". When Isley threatens to expose Woodrue's experiments, he attempts to kill her by overturning a shelf of various toxins. Despite Woodrue's efforts, Isley is resurrected, transforming into the beautiful and seductive Poison Ivy before exacting revenge; she kills Woodrue with her poisonous kiss, and sets fire to the lab, leaving it to burn down while she escapes with Bane. She finds that Wayne Enterprises funded Woodrue, thus she appropriates Bane as a muscle-bound thug, taking him with her to Gotham City. Meanwhile, Alfred Pennyworth's niece, Barbara Gordon, makes a surprise visit and is invited by Bruce Wayne to stay at Wayne Manor until she goes back to school.

Wayne Enterprises presents a new telescope for Gotham Observatory at a press conference interrupted by Isley. She proposes a project that could help the environment, but Bruce declines her offer, which would kill millions of people. That night, a charity event is held by Wayne Enterprises with special guests, Batman and Robin, and she decides to use her abilities to seduce them. Mr. Freeze crashes the party and steals a diamond from the event. Although he is captured by Batman and detained in Arkham Asylum, he eventually escapes with the help of Poison Ivy and Bane. Meanwhile, Dick discovers that Barbara has participated in drag races to raise money for Alfred, who is dying of MacGregor's syndrome.

Batman and Robin begin to have crime fighting relationship problems because of Ivy's seductive ability with Robin, but Bruce eventually convinces Dick to trust him. Poison Ivy is then able to contact Robin once more; she kisses him but fails to kill him due to Robin wearing rubber lips. Meanwhile, Barbara discovers the Batcave, where an AI version of Alfred reveals he has made Barbara her own suit. Barbara dons the suit and becomes Batgirl. Ivy captures Robin, but he gets rescued by Batman, and Batgirl arrives and subdues Ivy to get eaten by her throne plant, before revealing her identity to the pair.

Batman, Robin and Batgirl decide to go after Mr. Freeze together. By the time they get to the observatory where Mr. Freeze and Bane are, Gotham is completely frozen. Batgirl and Robin are attacked by Bane, but they eventually defeat him by kicking apart his venom tubes, stopping the flow of venom to his body. Bane collapses before transforming back to his original diminutive size of Antonio Diego and is left helpless on the ground.

Meanwhile Batman and Mr. Freeze begin to fight each other, with Batman defeating Mr. Freeze. Batgirl and Robin manage to unfreeze Gotham, and Batman shows Freeze a recording of Poison Ivy during her fight with Batgirl, who had informed the latter that she killed Mr. Freeze's wife. However, Batman informs Mr. Freeze that she is still alive, having been restored by them in cryogenic slumber before being moved to Arkham Asylum, waiting for Mr. Freeze to finish his research. Batman proceeds to ask Mr. Freeze for the cure Mr. Freeze has created for the first stage of MacGregor's Syndrome to administer to Alfred, and Mr. Freeze atones for his misunderstanding by giving him the medicine he had developed.

Mr. Freeze is then detained in Arkham Asylum. Poison Ivy is also imprisoned in Arkham Asylum with a vengeful Mr. Freeze as her cellmate and he plans to make Poison Ivy's life a living hell for what she did to his wife. After Alfred is cured, everyone agrees to let Barbara stay at Wayne Manor and fight crime with them.

Cast

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze
    A molecular biologist who suffers a terrible accident while trying to cryogenically preserve his terminally ill wife. As a result, he is transformed into a criminal forced to live in a sub-zero suit powered by diamonds. Patrick Stewart was considered for the role,[8] before the script was rewritten to accommodate Schwarzenegger's casting.[9] Schumacher decided that Mr. Freeze must be "big and strong like he was chiseled out of a glacier".[10] Schwarzenegger was paid a $25 million salary for the role,[11][12] while his prosthetic makeup and wardrobe took six hours to apply each day.[13]
  • George Clooney as Bruce Wayne / Batman
    A billionaire industrialist who witnessed his parents' murder as a young boy. At night, Bruce becomes Batman, Gotham City's vigilante protector. Eric Lloyd portrays him as a child in a flashback. Val Kilmer decided not to reprise the role from Batman Forever. Director Joel Schumacher admitted he had difficulty working with Kilmer on Forever. "He sort of quit," Schumacher said, "and we sort of fired him."[14] Kilmer said he was not aware of the fast track production and was already committed to The Saint (1997).[10] Schumacher cast Clooney in the role because he felt the actor could provide a lighter interpretation of the character than Michael Keaton (in Batman and Batman Returns) and Kilmer.[10] The shooting schedule allowed Clooney to simultaneously work on ER without any scheduling conflicts.[15]
  • Chris O'Donnell as Dick Grayson / Robin
    The crime-fighting partner to Batman and legal ward to Bruce Wayne. He has begun to chafe against Batman's authority.
  • Uma Thurman as Dr. Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy
    A crazed botanist who becomes an ecoterrorist after being pushed into vials of chemicals, poisons, and toxins. Demi Moore was considered for the role.[8] Thurman took the role because she liked the femme fatale characterization of Poison Ivy.[10]
  • Alicia Silverstone as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl
    Her parents died in a car accident and Alfred, her uncle, was very close to her mother, Margaret. Silverstone was the first and only choice for the role.[8] Unlike the comics, this Batgirl does not share the same surname as Commissioner Gordon.
  • Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth: The trusted butler for Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Alfred is dying of a rare disease from which Mr. Freeze's wife also suffers.
  • Pat Hingle as Commissioner James Gordon
    The police commissioner of Gotham City. He is close to Batman and informs him of numerous crimes.
  • John Glover as Dr. Jason Woodrue
    A deranged scientist with a desire for world domination via his Venom-powered "supersoldiers". He is responsible for the creation of both Bane and Poison Ivy, the latter of whom kills him with a kiss from her toxic lips.
  • Elle Macpherson as Julie Madison
    Bruce Wayne's girlfriend. She proposes to Bruce, but he does not respond, fearing for her safety.
  • Vivica A. Fox as Ms. B. Haven
    Mr. Freeze's sexy assistant who flirts with him constantly. He is unresponsive, as he is still in love with his wife.
  • Vendela Kirsebom as Nora Fries
    Mr. Freeze's cryogenically frozen wife.
  • Elizabeth Sanders as Gossip Gerty
    Gotham's top gossip columnist.
  • Jeep Swenson as Bane
    Poison Ivy's bodyguard and muscle, who was originally a diminutive criminal named Antonio Diego. Transformed into a hugely powerful "Super-soldier" by the strength-enhancing drug "Venom", he was seen assisting the main villains in several ways, including getting Mr. Freeze's suit back from Arkham Asylum, and fighting against the main heroes several times, eventually being defeated by Robin and Batgirl after they found a way to stop the venom flow to his brain.
  • Michael Paul Chan as Dr. Lee
    The research scientist who Mr. Freeze kidnaps.
  • Coolio (uncredited) appeared as Jonathan Crane with Coolio set to reprise the role in the ultimately cancelled sequel, Batman Unchained.[16]

Production

Development

WarnerStudio
A panoramic view of the Warner Bros. studio

With the box office success of Batman Forever in June 1995, Warner Bros. immediately commissioned a sequel.[17] They hired director Joel Schumacher and writer Akiva Goldsman to reprise their duties the following August,[10] and decided it was best to fast-track production for a June 1997 target release date, which is a break from the usual 3-year gap between films.[17] Schumacher wanted to homage both the broad camp style of the 1960s television series and the work of Dick Sprang.[15] The storyline of Batman & Robin was conceived by Schumacher and Goldsman during pre-production on A Time to Kill.[18] Portions of Mr. Freeze's backstory were based on the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Heart of Ice", written by Paul Dini.[19] Goldsman, however, expressed concerns about the script during pre-production discussions with Schumacher.[20]

While Chris O'Donnell reprises the role of Robin, Val Kilmer decided not to reprise the role of Batman from Batman Forever. Schumacher admitted he had difficulty working with Kilmer on Forever. "He sort of quit," Schumacher said, "and we sort of fired him."[14] Schumacher would later go on to say that Kilmer wanted to work on Island of Doctor Moreau because Marlon Brando was cast in the film.[20] Kilmer said he was not aware of the fast-track production and was already committed to The Saint (1997).[10] Schumacher originally had a strong interest in casting William Baldwin in Kilmer's place, but George Clooney was cast instead.[21] Schumacher believed Clooney could provide a lighter interpretation of the character than Michael Keaton (in Batman and Batman Returns) and Kilmer.[10][22] The shooting schedule allowed Clooney to simultaneously work on ER without any scheduling conflicts.[15]

Patrick Stewart was considered for the role of Mr. Freeze,[8] before the script was rewritten to accommodate Arnold Schwarzenegger's casting.[23] Schumacher decided that Mr. Freeze must be "big and strong like he was chiseled out of a glacier".[10] Schwarzenegger was paid a $25 million salary for the role.[24][12] To prepare for the role, Schwarzenegger wore a bald cap after declining to shave his head and wore a blue LED in his mouth.[20] His prosthetic makeup and wardrobe took six hours to apply each day.[25] Thurman took the role of Poison Ivy because she liked the femme fatale characterization of the character.[10] Alicia Silverstone was the only choice for the role of Batgirl.[8]

According to Schumacher, during the scene in which the costumes of the Riddler and Two-Face are seen, he originally planned to put Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze escaping from Arkham Asylum while many other villains saw them from their cells.[20] The scene, however, didn't make it in the final film.

Filming

The original start date was August 1996,[14] but principal photography did not begin until September 12, 1996.[26] Batman & Robin finished filming in late January 1997,[27] two weeks ahead of the shooting schedule.[15] The film was mostly shot at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.[10]

When comparing work on Batman Forever, O'Donnell explained, "It just felt like everything got a little soft the second time. On Batman Forever, I felt like I was making a movie. The second time, I felt like I was making a kid's toy commercial."[10] He also complained of the Robin costume, saying it was more involved and uncomfortable than the one he wore in Batman Forever, with a glued-on mask which caused sweat to pool on his face.[28] According to John Glover, who played Dr. Jason Woodrue, "Joel [Schumacher] would sit on a crane with a megaphone and yell before each take, 'Remember, everyone, this is a cartoon'. It was hard to act because that kind of set the tone for the film."[10] Production designer Barbara Ling admitted her influences for the Gotham City design came from "neon-ridden Tokyo and the Machine Age. Gotham is like a World's Fair on ecstasy."[29] Rhythm and Hues and Pacific Data Images created the visual effects sequences, with John Dykstra and Andrew Adamson credited as the visual effects supervisors.[30]

O'Donnell said that despite hanging out with Schwarzenegger a lot off set and during promotion for the film, they never worked a single day together; this was achieved with stand-ins when one of the actors was not available.[10] Stunt coordinator Alex Field taught Silverstone to ride a motorcycle so that she could play Batgirl.[28]

Music

Like Batman Forever, the original score for the film was written by Elliot Goldenthal.[31] The soundtrack featured a variety of genres by various bands and performers, showcasing alternative rock on the lead single "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" by The Smashing Pumpkins, on the Goo Goo Dolls' contribution, "Lazy Eye" and with R.E.M.'s song "Revolution". R&B singer R. Kelly also wrote "Gotham City" for the soundtrack, which became the other song featured in the end credits, as well as one of the singles, reaching the top 10 in the United States and in the UK. Eric Benét and Meshell Ndegeocello also contributed R&B songs. Also included was the top 5 second single, "Look into My Eyes" by the hip hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Other songs featured included electronic dance elements, including those by Moloko and Arkarna. The soundtrack was released on May 27, 1997, a month before the film.[32][33] "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" by The Smashing Pumpkins, won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards.[7]

Marketing

The Batman & Robin film trailer debuted on the February 19, 1997 episode of Entertainment Tonight.[34] Warner Bros. spent $15 million to market and promote the film, in addition to its $125 million production budget.[2] The studio also brought in toy companies to be involved with pre-production, including the design of concept art and character illustrations. Director Joel Schumacher criticized Warner Bros.' strategy for Batman & Robin as being overtly toyetic.

Various Six Flags parks (Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags St. Louis) all debuted coasters themed to the film. Six Flags Great Adventure opened Batman & Robin: The Chiller in 1997, and both Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags St. Louis received Mr. Freeze in 1998.[10] Taco Bell featured a promotional campaign including collectible cups and a contest with a replica of the film's Batmobile as a grand prize. A junior novelization of the screenplay, written by Alan Grant, was published along with the release of the film in 1997.[35]

Reception

Box office

Batman & Robin was released on June 20, 1997 in North America, earning $42,872,605 in its opening weekend,[1] making it the third-highest opening weekend of 1997.[36] The film declined by 63% in its second week.[37] Batman & Robin faced early competition with Face/Off and Hercules.[2] Schumacher blamed it on yellow journalism started by Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News and other film websites such as Dark Horizons.[38] The film went on to gross $107.3 million in North America and $130.9 million internationally, coming to a worldwide total of $238.2 million.[1] Warner Bros. acknowledged Batman & Robin's shortcomings in the domestic market but pointed out success overseas.[2]

Critical reception

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 10% based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 3.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin, resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for."[39] On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 28 out of 100, based on reviews from 21 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[40] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.[41]

Schumacher and producer Peter MacGregor-Scott blamed the negative reception of Batman & Robin on Warner Bros.' decision to fast track production. "There was a lot of pressure from Warner Bros. to make Batman & Robin more family-friendly," Schumacher explained. "We decided to do a less depressing Batman movie and less torture and more heroic. I know I have been criticized a lot for this, but I didn't see the harm in that approach at all."[10] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times criticized the toyetic approach and Mr. Freeze's one-liner jokes in his two-star review of the film.[42] Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times believed the film "killed" the Batman film series, and felt Batman & Robin depended too much on visual effects.[43] Desson Howe of The Washington Post largely disapproved of Schumacher's direction and Akiva Goldsman's script.[44] Mick LaSalle, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, said, "George Clooney is the big zero of the film, and should go down in history as the George Lazenby of the series."[45] However, Janet Maslin of The New York Times gave a positive review. She praised Uma Thurman's acting, as well as the production and costume design.[46] Andrew Johnston, writing in Time Out New York, remarked, "It's hard to tell whom B&R is intended for. Anyone who knows the character from the comics or the superb animated show on Fox will be alienated. And though Schumacher treats the Adam West version as gospel, that show's campy humor is completely incompatible with these production values. As Mr. Freeze would say, it's sure to leave audiences cold."[47]

Batman & Robin was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film, as well as Best Make-up and Best Costume, but won none. Alicia Silverstone won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress. Other nominations at the Razzie Awards included Schumacher (Worst Director), George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell (Worst Screen Couple), Akiva Goldsman (Worst Screenplay), both Chris O'Donnell and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Worst Supporting Actor), Uma Thurman (Worst Supporting Actress), as well as Billy Corgan (Worst Song for "The End Is the Beginning Is the End"). Batman & Robin also received nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property. Ultimately, out of 11 nominations, Batman & Robin garnered only one Razzie Award.

Some observers thought Schumacher, a gay man, added possible homoerotic innuendo in the storyline.[10] James Berardinelli questioned the "random amount [sic] of rubber nipples and camera angle close-ups of the Dynamic Duo's butts and Bat-crotches."[48] Similar to Batman Forever, this primarily included the decision to add nipples and enlarged codpieces to Batman's and Robin's suits. Schumacher stated, "I had no idea that putting nipples on the Batsuit and Robin suit were going to spark international headlines. The bodies of the suits come from Ancient Greek statues, which display perfect bodies. They are anatomically correct."[10] Chris O'Donnell, who portrayed Robin, felt "it wasn't so much the nipples that bothered me. It was the codpiece. The press obviously played it up and made it a big deal, especially with Joel directing. I didn't think twice about the controversy, but going back and looking and seeing some of the pictures, it was very unusual."[10] George Clooney who admitted to purposely taking a subtle gay approach to his portrayal, later said "Joel Schumacher told me Batman was gay". Possibly admitting to Schumacher's meddling in the source material.[49] Clooney himself has spoken critically of the film, saying, "I think we might have killed the franchise",[50] and called it "a waste of money".[51]

Cancelled sequel and reboot

During the filming of Batman & Robin, Warner Bros. was impressed with the dailies, prompting them to immediately hire Joel Schumacher to return as director for a fifth film. However, writer Akiva Goldsman turned down an offer to write the script.[15] In late 1996, Warner Bros. and Schumacher hired Mark Protosevich to write the script for a fifth Batman film. A projected mid-1999 release date was announced.[52] Titled Batman Unchained, Protosevich's script had the Scarecrow as the main villain. Through the use of his fear toxin, he resurrects the Joker as a hallucination in Batman's mind. Harley Quinn appeared as a supporting character, written as the Joker's daughter.[53] George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell, Alicia Silverstone and Coolio were set to reprise the roles of Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and Scarecrow. It was also hoped that Jack Nicholson would reprise the role of the Joker. However, following the poor critical reception of Batman & Robin, Clooney vowed never to reprise his role.[16][54]

Warner Bros. decided to consider a live-action Batman Beyond film and an adaptation of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One. Warner would then produce whichever idea suited them the most.[55] Schumacher felt he "owe[d] the Batman culture a real Batman movie. I would go back to the basics and make a dark portrayal of the Dark Knight."[56] He approached Warner Bros. about doing Batman: Year One in mid-1998,[56] but they were more interested in hiring Darren Aronofsky. Aronofsky and Miller developed a Year One script with Aronofsky to direct, but it was ultimately canceled. Christopher Nolan was eventually hired to helm the next Batman film in January 2003, resulting in the rebooted Batman Begins (2005).[55]

In "Legends of the Dark Knight", an episode of The New Batman Adventures, three teenagers discuss their ideas about what Batman is really like. They briefly meet a youth called Joel whose idea of Batman reflects characterizations and costumes portrayed within Schumacher's Batman and Robin. The teens treat Joel's ideas with utter disdain.[57] In Watchmen, director Zack Snyder and comic book artist Dave Gibbons chose to parody the molded muscle and nipple Batsuit design from Batman & Robin for the Ozymandias costume.[58][59] The film is referenced in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Legends of the Dark Mite!", when Bat-Mite briefly uses his powers to transform Batman's costume into the same suit shown in the Schumacher Batman films, before declaring it "Too icky".[60] The Batman from Batman & Robin later appeared as part of an army of Batmen gathered from across the Multiverse in "Night of the Batmen!", complete with the blue rubber Batsuit. Additionally, there were worries within Warner Bros. surrounding the negative critical reaction to Batman & Robin and how that may come to harm the success of the subsequent direct-to-video animated film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, which was originally planned for release at around the same time as Batman & Robin but was subsequently delayed.[61] However, SubZero received a far stronger positive response from critics than Batman & Robin, with Mr. Freeze's role within it being seen in a much more positive light, returning his popularity as a Batman villain to a level comparable to that reached by him within the two Emmy-winning episodes the character featured in of Batman: The Animated Series.[61]

See also

References

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External links

Batman

Batman is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Originally named the "Bat-Man," the character is also referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World's Greatest Detective.Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. After witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne as a child, he swore vengeance against criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice. Bruce Wayne trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime.Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City with assistance from various supporting characters, including his butler Alfred, police commissioner Jim Gordon, and vigilante allies such as Robin. Unlike most superheroes, Batman does not possess any inhuman superpowers. He does, however, possess a genius-level intellect, is a peerless martial artist, and his vast wealth affords him an extraordinary arsenal of weaponry and equipment. A large assortment of villains make up Batman's rogues gallery, including his archenemy, the Joker.

The character became popular soon after his introduction in 1939 and gained his own comic book title, Batman, the following year. As the decades went on, differing interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic, which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in 1986 with The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. The success of Warner Bros. Pictures' live-action Batman feature films have helped maintain the character's prominence in mainstream culture.Batman has been licensed and featured in various adaptations, from radio to television and film, and appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel, toys, and video games. Kevin Conroy, Rino Romano, Anthony Ruivivar, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Jason O'Mara, and Will Arnett, among others, have provided the character's voice for animated adaptations. Batman has been depicted in both film and television by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck.

Batman (1989 film)

Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton and produced by Jon Peters and Peter Guber, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is the first installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series. The film stars Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman, alongside Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough and Jack Palance. The film takes place early in the title character's war on crime, and depicts a battle with his nemesis the Joker.

After Burton was hired as director in 1986, 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 before Keaton was cast. Keaton's casting caused a controversy since, by 1988, he had become typecast as a comedic actor and many observers doubted he could portray a serious role. Nicholson accepted the role of the Joker under strict conditions that dictated top billing, a high salary, a portion of the box office profits and his own shooting schedule.

The tone and themes of the film were influenced in part by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's The Killing Joke and Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. The film primarily adapts the "Red Hood" origin story for the Joker, in which Batman creates the Joker by dropping him into Axis Chemical acid, resulting in his transformation into a psychopath, but it adds a unique twist in presenting him specifically as a gangster named Jack Napier. 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. Warren Skaaren did rewrites. Additional uncredited drafts were done by Charles McKeown and Jonathan Gems.

Batman was a critical and financial success, earning over $400 million in box office totals. It was the fifth-highest-grossing film in history at the time of its release. The film received several Saturn Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination, and won an Academy Award. It 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. Three sequels, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, were released on June 19, 1992, June 16, 1995, and June 20, 1997, respectively.

Batman (TV series)

Batman is a 1960s American live action television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It stars Adam West as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson / Robin – two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City from a variety of arch villains. It is known for its camp style, upbeat theme music, and its intentionally humorous, simplistic morality (aimed at its largely teenage audience). This included championing the importance of using seat belts, doing homework, eating vegetables, and drinking milk. It was described by executive producer William Dozier as the only situation comedy on the air without a laugh track. The 120 episodes aired on the ABC network for three seasons from January 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968, twice weekly for the first two and weekly for the third. In 2016, television critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz ranked Batman as the 82nd greatest American television show of all time.

Batman Begins

Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan and written by Nolan and David S. Goyer. It stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe, and Morgan Freeman. The film reboots the Batman film series, telling the origin story of Bruce Wayne from the death of his parents to his journey to become Batman and his fight to stop Ra's al Ghul and the Scarecrow from plunging Gotham City into chaos.

Following the poor reception of Batman & Robin (1997) a series of unsuccessful attempts were made to resurrect Batman on the big screen which put the Batman film series on hold for nearly eight years, Nolan and Goyer began work on the film in early 2003. Aiming for a darker, more realistic tone compared to the previous films, a primary goal for their vision was to engage the audience's emotional investment in both the Batman and Bruce Wayne identities of the lead character. The film, which was principally shot in the United Kingdom, Iceland and Chicago, relied heavily on traditional stunts and miniature effects, with computer-generated imagery being used in a minimal capacity compared to other action films. Comic book storylines such as The Man Who Falls, Batman: Year One and Batman: The Long Halloween served as inspiration.

Batman Begins opened on June 17, 2005, in the United States and Canada in 3,858 theaters. It grossed over $48 million in its opening weekend in North America, eventually grossing over $374 million worldwide. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography and three BAFTA awards. It was followed by The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), which constitute The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Batman Beyond

Batman Beyond (known as Batman of the Future in Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Asia) is an American animated television series developed by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett and produced by Warner Bros. Animation in collaboration with DC Comics as a continuation of the Batman legacy. Depicting a teenaged Batman in a futuristic Gotham City under the tutelage of an elderly Bruce Wayne, the series began airing on January 10, 1999, and ended its run on December 18, 2001. After 52 episodes spanning three seasons and one direct-to-video film, the series was put on hold for the Justice League animated series, despite the network having announced plans for a fourth season.Batman Beyond is set in the chronological future of the DC animated universe (despite being released before Static Shock, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited), and serves as a continuance of both Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.

Batman Beyond is said to explore the darker side of many Batman projects, playing on key elements such as emotions, personal relations, fear of the unknown, to cyberpunk- and sci-fi-themed elements such as issues and dilemmas of innovation and technological and scientific progress affecting society, and to the disturbing psychological elements of the character of Bruce Wayne. As such, it was considerably darker than most other children's programs at the time, although producer Bruce Timm recalls it was conceived as a kid-friendly Batman cartoon. It is also the first Batman series to portray the hero as a teenager.

IGN named the show 40th on their list of "Top 100 Animated TV Series." The premise of Batman Beyond has been used in various comic book stories published by DC Comics, including an ongoing series beginning in 2011.

Batman Forever

Batman Forever is a 1995 American superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character Batman. It is a sequel to the 1992 film Batman Returns and the third installment of the initial Batman film series, with Val Kilmer replacing Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman. The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, and Chris O'Donnell. The plot focuses on Batman trying to stop Two-Face (Jones) and the Riddler (Carrey) in their villainous scheme to extract confidential information from all the minds in Gotham City and use it to learn Batman's identity and bring the city under their control. In the process, he gains allegiance from a young, orphaned circus acrobat named Dick Grayson (O'Donnell), who becomes his sidekick Robin, and meets and develops feelings for psychiatrist Dr. Chase Meridian (Kidman), which brings him to the point to decide if he will lead a normal life or if he is destined to fight crime as Batman forever.

Batman Forever's tone is significantly different from the previous installments, becoming more family-friendly since Warner Bros. believed that Batman Returns failed to outgross its predecessor due to parent complaints about the film's violence and dark overtones. Schumacher eschewed the dark, dystopian atmosphere of Burton's films by drawing inspiration from the Batman comic books of the Dick Sprang era, as well as the 1960s television series. After Keaton chose not to reprise his role, William Baldwin and Ethan Hawke were considered as a replacement before Kilmer joined the cast.

The film was released on June 16, 1995, receiving mixed reviews, but was a financial success. Batman Forever grossed over $336 million worldwide and became the sixth-highest-grossing film worldwide of 1995. The film was followed by Batman & Robin in 1997, with Schumacher returning as the director and George Clooney replacing Kilmer as Batman.

Batman in film

The fictional superhero Batman, who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics, has appeared in various films since his inception. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the character first starred in two serial films in the 1940s: Batman and Batman and Robin. The character also appeared in the 1966 film Batman, which was a feature film adaptation of the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, who also starred in the film. Toward the end of the 1980s, the Warner Bros. studio began producing a series of feature films starring Batman, beginning with the 1989 film Batman, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton. Burton and Keaton returned for the 1992 sequel Batman Returns, and in 1995, Joel Schumacher directed Batman Forever with Val Kilmer as Batman. Schumacher also directed the 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, which starred George Clooney. Batman & Robin was poorly received by both critics and fans, leading to the cancellation of Batman Unchained.Following the cancellation of two further film proposals, the franchise was rebooted in 2005 with Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale. Nolan returned to direct two further installments through the release of The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, with Bale reprising his role in both films. Both sequels earned over $1 billion worldwide, making Batman the second film franchise to have two of its films earn more than $1 billion worldwide. Referred to as The Dark Knight Trilogy, the critical acclaim and commercial success of Nolan's films have been credited with restoring widespread popularity to the superhero, with the second installment considered one of the best superhero movies of all-time.

After Warner Bros. launched their own shared cinematic universe known as the DC Extended Universe in 2013, Ben Affleck was cast to portray Batman in the new expansive franchise, first appearing in 2016 with the Zack Snyder directed film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film would help begin a sequence of further DC Comics adaptations, including Justice League, a crossover film featuring other DC Comics characters, in 2017, and a stand-alone Batman film directed by Matt Reeves. Outside of the DCEU, Dante Pereira-Olson will appear as Bruce Wayne in the 2019 film Joker, directed by Todd Phillips.The series has grossed over $4.99 billion at the global box office, making it the eleventh highest-grossing film franchise of all time. Batman has also appeared in multiple animated films, both as a starring character and as an ensemble character. While most animated films were released direct-to-video, the 1993 animated feature Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, based on the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series, was released theatrically. Having earned a total of U.S. $2,407,708,129 the Batman series is the fifth-highest-grossing film series in North America.

Catwoman

Catwoman is a fictional character created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with superhero Batman. The character made her debut as "the Cat" in Batman #1 (June 1940), and her real name is Selina Kyle. She is Batman's most enduring love interest and is known for her complex love-hate relationship with him.Catwoman is a Gotham City burglar who typically wears a tight, one-piece outfit and uses a bullwhip for a weapon. She was originally characterized as a supervillain and adversary of Batman, but she has been featured in a series since the 1990s which portrays her as an antiheroine, often doing the wrong things for the right reasons. The character thrived since her earliest appearances, but she took an extended hiatus from September 1954 to November 1966 due to the developing Comics Code Authority in 1954. These issues involved the rules regarding the development and portrayal of female characters that were in violation of the Comics Code, a code which is no longer in use. In the comics, Holly Robinson and Eiko Hasigawa have both adopted the Catwoman identity, apart from Selina Kyle.Catwoman has been featured in many media adaptations related to Batman. Actresses Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, and Eartha Kitt introduced her to a large audience on the 1960s Batman television series and the 1966 Batman film. Michelle Pfeiffer portrayed the character in 1992's Batman Returns. Halle Berry starred in 2004's Catwoman; this, however, was a critical and commercial flop and bears little similarity to the Batman character. Anne Hathaway portrayed Selina Kyle in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises, and a young version of Kyle was played by Camren Bicondova on the 2014 television series Gotham. Actress Lili Simmons will portray an older version of Kyle in the series finale.

Catwoman was ranked 11th on IGN's list of the "Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time", and 51st on Wizard magazine's "100 Greatest Villains of All Time" list. Conversely, she was ranked 20th on IGN's "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time" list.

Dick Grayson

Richard John Grayson is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Batman. Created by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane, he first appeared in Detective Comics #38 in April 1940 as the original incarnation of Robin. In Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (July 1984) the character retires his role as Robin and assumes the superhero persona of Nightwing, created by Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez.

The youngest in a family of acrobats known as the "Flying Graysons", Dick watches a mafia boss named Tony Zucco kill his parents in order to extort money from the circus that employed them. After the tragic murder, Batman (Bruce Wayne) takes Dick in as his legal ward (retconned as an adopted son in some cases) and trains him to become his crime-fighting partner Robin. He is written by many authors as the first son of Batman. As well as being Batman's crime-fighting partner, Dick establishes himself as the leader of the Teen Titans, a team of teenage superheroes. As a young man, he retires as Robin and takes on his own superhero identity to assert his independence, becoming Nightwing. As Nightwing, he continues to lead the Teen Titans and later the Outsiders. In the first volume of his eponymous series (1996–2009), he becomes the protector of Blüdhaven, Gotham's economically troubled neighboring city, the locale the character is most closely associated with. He has also been depicted as protecting the streets of New York, Chicago, and Gotham City over the years.

Dick Grayson has taken on the identity of Batman on a few occasions. In the aftermath of "Batman: Knightfall", Grayson initially declines taking up the mantle of Batman while the original was recovering from a broken back as he feels Nightwing is a hero in his own right and not Batman's understudy, but after the events of the Zero Hour miniseries later that year, he replaces Bruce Wayne as Batman, beginning in Robin #0 (1994) and extending throughout the Batman: Prodigal storyline in 1995. Dick again assumes the mantle following the events of "Batman R.I.P." (2008) and Final Crisis (2008–2009). As Batman, Dick moves to Gotham City following his mentor's apparent death and partners with the fifth Robin, Damian Wayne. On Bruce's return, both men maintained the Batman identity until 2011, when Dick returned to the Nightwing identity with DC's The New 52 continuity reboot. In a 2014 comic story, Dick is forced to abandon the Nightwing identity after being unmasked on TV and faking his death, setting up Tim Seeley's Grayson comic book, Dick becomes Agent 37, Batman's mole in the nefarious spy organization Spyral. Following the conclusion of the Grayson series, and the restoration of his secret identity in the series' final issue, Dick returns to being Nightwing as part of the DC Rebirth relaunch in 2016.

Dick Grayson has appeared as Robin (Batman’s sidekick) in several other media adaptations: the 1943 serial played by Douglas Croft, the 1949 serial played by Johnny Duncan, the 1966–1968 live action Batman television series and its motion picture portrayed by Burt Ward, played by Chris O'Donnell in the 1995 film Batman Forever and its 1997 sequel Batman & Robin. He stars on the Titans television series for the new DC streaming service played by Brenton Thwaites. Loren Lester voiced the character as Robin in Batman: The Animated Series and later as Nightwing's first screen adaptation in The New Batman Adventures. In May 2011, IGN ranked Dick Grayson #11 on their list of the "Top 100 Super Heroes of All Time". In 2013, ComicsAlliance ranked Grayson as Nightwing as #1 on their list of the "50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics".

James Gordon (comics)

James W. Gordon is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, most commonly in association with the superhero Batman. The character debuted in the first panel of Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), Batman's first appearance, where he is referred to simply as Commissioner Gordon. The character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Commissioner Gordon made his debut as an ally of Batman, making him the first Batman supporting character ever to be introduced.As the police commissioner of Gotham City, Gordon shares Batman's deep commitment to ridding the city of crime. The character is typically portrayed as having full trust in Batman and is even somewhat dependent on him. In many modern stories, he is somewhat skeptical of Batman's vigilante methods, but nevertheless believes that Gotham needs him. The two have a mutual respect and tacit friendship. Gordon is the father or adoptive father (depending on the continuity) of Barbara Gordon, the first modern Batgirl and the information broker Oracle. Jim Gordon also has a son, James Gordon Jr., who first appeared in Batman: Year One.

Jason Todd

Jason Todd is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Batman. The character first appeared in Batman #357 (March 1983) and became the second character to assume the role of Batman's vigilante partner, Robin.

Though initially popular, the character as written by Jim Starlin was not well received by fans following a revamping of his origin by Max Allan Collins (Batman #408–409). For 1988's "Batman: A Death in the Family" storyline (Batman #426–429), DC Comics held a telephone poll to determine whether or not the character would die at the hands of the Joker, Batman's nemesis. Todd was killed off by a margin of 72 votes (5,343 for, 5,271 against). Subsequent Batman stories dealt with Batman's guilt over not having been able to save him.

In 2005's "Under the Hood" story arc, the character was resurrected and became the second character to take up the Red Hood alias. Assuming the role of an antihero with a willingness to use lethal force and weapons, Jason Todd operates as the Red Hood in current DC Comics continuity.In 2013, ComicsAlliance ranked Todd as #23 on their list of the "50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics".Todd has appeared in numerous cartoon television shows and films. Todd's Robin appears in his first live adaptation on the Titans television series for the new DC Universe streaming service, played by Curran Walters.

Joker (character)

The Joker is a supervillain created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson who first appeared in the debut issue of the comic book Batman (April 25, 1940), published by DC Comics. Credit for the Joker's creation is disputed; Kane and Robinson claimed responsibility for the Joker's design, while acknowledging Finger's writing contribution. Although the Joker was planned to be killed off during his initial appearance, he was spared by editorial intervention, allowing the character to endure as the archenemy of the superhero Batman.

In his comic book appearances, the Joker is portrayed as a criminal mastermind. Introduced as a psychopath with a warped, sadistic sense of humor, the character became a goofy prankster in the late 1950s in response to regulation by the Comics Code Authority, before returning to his darker roots during the early 1970s. As Batman's nemesis, the Joker has been part of the superhero's defining stories, including the murder of Jason Todd—the second Robin and Batman's ward—and the paralysis of one of Batman's allies, Barbara Gordon. The Joker has had various possible origin stories during his decades of appearances. The most common story involves him falling into a tank of chemical waste which bleaches his skin white and turns his hair green and lips bright red; the resulting disfigurement drives him insane. The antithesis of Batman in personality and appearance, the Joker is considered by critics to be his perfect adversary.

The Joker possesses no superhuman abilities, instead using his expertise in chemical engineering to develop poisonous or lethal concoctions, and thematic weaponry, including razor-tipped playing cards, deadly joy buzzers, and acid-spraying lapel flowers. The Joker sometimes works with other Gotham City supervillains such as the Penguin and Two-Face, and groups like the Injustice Gang and Injustice League, but these relationships often collapse due to the Joker's desire for unbridled chaos. The 1990s introduced a romantic interest for the Joker in his former psychiatrist, Harley Quinn, who becomes his villainous sidekick. Although his primary obsession is Batman, the Joker has also fought other heroes including Superman and Wonder Woman.

One of the most iconic characters in popular culture, the Joker has been listed among the greatest comic book villains and fictional characters ever created. The character's popularity has seen him appear on a variety of merchandise, such as clothing and collectible items, inspire real-world structures (such as theme park attractions), and be referenced in a number of media. The Joker has been adapted to serve as Batman's adversary in live-action, animated, and video game incarnations, including the 1960s Batman television series (played by Cesar Romero) and in films by Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989); Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008); Jared Leto in Suicide Squad (2016); and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019). Mark Hamill, Troy Baker, and others have provided the character's voice.

Robin (character)

Robin is the name of several fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was originally created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and Jerry Robinson, to serve as a junior counterpart to the superhero Batman. The character's first incarnation, Dick Grayson, debuted in Detective Comics #38 (April 1940). Conceived as a way to attract young readership, Robin garnered overwhelmingly positive critical reception, doubling the sales of the Batman titles. The early adventures of Robin included Star Spangled Comics #65–130 (1947–1952), which was the character's first solo feature. Robin made regular appearances in Batman related comic books and other DC Comics publications from 1940 through the early 1980s until the character set aside the Robin identity and became the independent superhero Nightwing. The team of Batman and Robin has commonly been referred to as the Caped Crusaders or Dynamic Duo.

The character's second incarnation Jason Todd first appeared in Batman #357 (1983). This Robin made regular appearances in Batman related comic books until 1988, when the character was murdered by the Joker in the storyline "A Death in the Family" (1989). Jason would later find himself alive after a reality changing incident, eventually becoming the Red Hood. The premiere Robin limited series was published in 1991 which featured the character's third incarnation Tim Drake training to earn the role of Batman's vigilante partner. Following two successful sequels, the monthly Robin ongoing series began in 1993 and ended in early 2009, which also helped his transition from sidekick to a superhero in his own right. In 2004 storylines, established DC Comics character Stephanie Brown became the fourth Robin for a short duration before the role reverted to Tim Drake. Damian Wayne succeeds Drake as Robin in the 2009 story arc "Battle for the Cowl".

Following the 2011 continuity reboot "the New 52", Tim Drake was revised as having assumed the title Red Robin, and Jason Todd, operating as the Red Hood, was slowly repairing his relationship with Batman. Dick Grayson resumed his role as Nightwing and Stephanie Brown was introduced anew under her previous moniker Spoiler in the pages of Batman Eternal (2014). The 2016 DC Rebirth continuity relaunch starts off with Damian Wayne as Robin, Tim Drake as Red Robin, Jason Todd as Red Hood, and Dick Grayson as Nightwing. Robins have also been featured throughout stories set in parallel worlds, owing to DC Comics' longstanding "Multiverse" concept. For example, in the original Earth-Two, Dick Grayson never adopted the name Nightwing, and continues operating as Robin into adulthood. In the New 52's "Earth-2" continuity, Robin is Helena Wayne, daughter of Batman and Catwoman, who was stranded on the Earth of the main continuity and takes the name Huntress.

The Batman

The Batman is an animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation based on the DC Comics superhero, Batman. The series usually aired on Saturday mornings from September 11, 2004, through March 8, 2008, during the Kids' WB television block. The show first aired on the WB Network, and later moved over to the CW. The Batman won six Daytime Emmy Awards over the course of its run. Many elements from previous Batman story lines were borrowed and adapted, such as those from the comic books and film series (Batman: The Animated Series and the DC Animated Universe); however, it remains within its own distinct continuity. Jackie Chan Adventures artist, Jeff Matsuda, provided the character designs and also directed the series' finale. He altered the appearances of many of the comic books' super villains for the show – such as the Joker, the Penguin, and the Riddler. Also noteworthy is that The Batman is one of the few Batman television shows not to feature Two-Face. It was succeeded by Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

All five seasons are available to watch on DVD. In 2005, there was a direct-to-DVD movie titled, The Batman vs. Dracula, which was largely based on the series. The Batman also received a spin-off comic book series – The Batman Strikes! – published by DC Comics. The spin-off comic books were set in the same continuity and style as The Batman.

The Dark Knight (film)

The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second installment of Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins, starring an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman. In the film, Bruce Wayne / Batman (Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart) form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City, but are menaced by an anarchistic mastermind known as the Joker (Ledger), who seeks to undermine Batman's influence and turn the city to chaos.

Nolan's inspiration for the film was the Joker's comic book debut in 1940, the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke, and the 1996 series The Long Halloween, which retold Two-Face's origin. The "Dark Knight" nickname was first applied to Batman in Batman #1 (1940), in a story written by Bill Finger. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago, as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. Nolan used IMAX 70 mm film cameras to film some sequences, including the Joker's first appearance in the film. Warner Bros. initially created a viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing promotional websites and trailers highlighting screenshots of Ledger as the Joker. Ledger died on January 22, 2008, some months after the completed filming and six months before the film's release from a toxic combination of prescription drugs, leading to intense attention from the press and movie-going public.

A co-production of the United States and the United Kingdom, The Dark Knight was released on July 18, 2008 in the United States and on July 25, 2008 in the United Kingdom. Film critics considered it one of the best films of its decade and one of the best superhero films of all time; the film received highly positive reviews, particularly for its action, score, screenplay, performances (particularly Ledger's), visual effects, and direction, setting numerous records during its theatrical run. The Dark Knight appeared on 287 critics' top ten lists, more than any other film of 2008 with the exception of WALL-E, and more critics (77) named The Dark Knight the best film released that year. With over $1 billion in revenue worldwide, it became the highest-grossing film of 2008 and is the 38th highest-grossing film of all time, unadjusted for inflation (4th at the time of release); it also set the record for highest-grossing domestic opening with $158 million, a record it held for three years. The film received eight Academy Award nominations; it won the award for Best Sound Editing and Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor. In 2016 it was voted 33rd among 100 films considered the best of the 21st century by 117 film critics from around the world. The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in the trilogy, was released on July 20, 2012.

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan, and the story with David S. Goyer. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the final installment in Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, and the sequel to The Dark Knight (2008). Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne / Batman, alongside Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Morgan Freeman. Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, merciless revolutionary Bane forces an older Bruce Wayne to resume his role as Batman and save Gotham City from nuclear destruction.

Christopher Nolan was hesitant about returning to the series for a second time, but agreed after developing a story with his brother and Goyer that he felt would conclude the series on a satisfactory note. Nolan drew inspiration from Bane's comic book debut in the 1993 "Knightfall" storyline, the 1986 series The Dark Knight Returns, and the 1999 storyline "No Man's Land". Filming took place from May to November 2011 in locations including Jodhpur, London, Nottingham, Glasgow, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, and Pittsburgh. Nolan used IMAX 70 mm film cameras for much of the filming, including the first six minutes of the film, to optimize the quality of the picture. A vehicle variation of the Batplane and Batcopter termed the "Bat", an underground prison set, and a new Batcave set were created specifically for the film. As with The Dark Knight, viral marketing campaigns began early during production. When filming concluded, Warner Bros. refocused its campaign: developing promotional websites, releasing the first six minutes of the film, screening theatrical trailers, and sending out information regarding the film's plot.

The Dark Knight Rises premiered in New York City on July 16, 2012. The film was released in the United States and the United Kingdom on July 20, 2012. It received positive reviews; the consensus at Rotten Tomatoes calls it "ambitious, thoughtful, and potent". The film has grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it the second film in the Batman film series to earn $1 billion. In addition to being Nolan's highest-grossing film, it is the 25th highest-grossing film of all time (7th at the time of release), the highest grossing live action superhero film that is not in a shared universe, the third highest-grossing film of 2012, the highest-grossing Batman film of all time, the ninth highest-grossing superhero film, as well as the second highest-grossing DC Comics film of all time.

Two-Face

Two-Face (Harvey Dent) is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. The character was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger and first appeared in Detective Comics #66 (August 1942). As one of Batman's most enduring enemies, Two-Face belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up Batman's rogues gallery.

Once an upstanding Gotham City District Attorney, Harvey Dent is hideously scarred on the left side of his face after mob boss Sal Maroni throws acidic chemicals at him during a court trial. He subsequently goes insane and adopts the "Two-Face" persona, becoming a criminal obsessed with duality and the conflict between good and evil. In later years, writers have portrayed Two-Face's obsession with chance and fate as the result of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. He obsessively makes all important decisions by flipping his former lucky charm, a two-headed coin which was damaged on one side by the acid as well. The modern version is established as having once been a personal friend and ally of James Gordon and Batman.The character has been featured in various media adaptations, such as feature films, television series and video games. Two-Face has been voiced by Richard Moll in the DC animated universe, Troy Baker in the Batman: Arkham series, Billy Dee Williams in The Lego Batman Movie, and William Shatner in Batman vs. Two-Face. His live-action portrayals include Billy Dee Williams in Batman (as Harvey Dent only), Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever, Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight, and Nicholas D'Agosto in the television series Gotham. In 2009, Two-Face was ranked #12 on IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time.

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