Tim Burton Criticizes Jack Nicholson's Joker Performance Over 30 Years After Starring in Batman

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Joker
Credit: WB

Tim Burton solidified himself as a box-office-generating director following the success of 1989's Batman which took the caped crusader in an entirely different creative direction that prioritized a darker and grittier take on the character, removing the overabundance of camp that was somewhat the norm for Dark Knight back in the day.

Bats
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Credit: WB
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It also brought fans Jack Nicholson's iconic portrayal of the Joker and while his version isn't held in high regard these days, he undeniably paved the way for future actors who would become the Clown Prince of Crime in live-action.

However, it turns out that Burton wasn't exactly a fan of the acting legend's style of acting and communicating and over 30 years after working together in the DC classic, Tim is sharing his honest thoughts about the actor. In an interview with Empire Magazine (via Comic Book Resources), the renowned filmmaker recalled having major issues working with Nicholson and according to him, his unorthodox way of speaking was initially a problem.

"Jack has a very abstract way of speaking. So he would say things to me and I'd go, 'Yeah, I get it,' and then I'd go to someone, 'What the f*** was he just talking about?'"

The director of Netflix's hit horror-comedy series Wednesday did clarify that they were able to understand each other despite the obvious communication barrier. Burton added: "So there was this weird communication: non-linear, non-connective ... But it was very clear to me. I felt like we had a good sort of caveman-style communication."

Also Read: Here’s How Tim Burton’s Batman Improved Matt Reeves’ Movie


It's a shame that we only got to see Nicholson in one Batman film and considering Michael Keaton is returning to his Batman role three decades after Batman Returns, it would've been neat to see them reunite on the big screen for old times' sake.

Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns are both available to stream on HBO Max.