In 1989, the world of superhero movies was forever changed with the release of director Tim Burton’s Batman.
For many fans, Michael Keaton’s portrayal of the character remains their definitive take on the Dark Knight. However, for as much love as this film has received in the 30 years since its release, there are a number of fascinating behind-the-scenes facts that remain largely unknown to the general public.
That being said, here are 10 things you might not know about Batman ’89:
Although fans loved Jack Nicholson’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime, it was nearly Robin Williams who played The Joker in Batman. Initially, Nicholson balked at the idea of playing the iconic villain, at which point Warner Bros. reached out to Williams. The studio then told Nicholson that Williams was in contention, prompting him to reconsider the offer. Naturally, Williams wasn’t pleased with being used as “Nicholson bait,” which is the primary reason he refused to play The Riddler in 1995’s Batman Forever.
In Batman, Billy Dee Williams portrayed Harvey Dent, leading many to believe he’d eventually take on the villainous alter ego of his comic book counterpart. However, in Batman Forever, Tommy Lee Jones played Two-Face, but that wasn’t always the plan. When Williams signed on for Batman, it was under the expectation (along with a clause in his contract) that he’d play Two-Face in a sequel, but Warner Bros. opted for Jones instead and bought Williams out of his contract.