In another edition of BOF’s “Mt. Rushmore of Batman” series, I’ve put together the four things from live-action Batman films (excluding the 1966 movie — trust me, I’ve not forgotten about it or the great Adam West) I believe should be on a Mt. Rushmore of Batman on Film.
“Things” could be just about anything — people, individual films, actors, etc. Trust me, this was hard as hell and it’s certainly open to debate.
Without further ado, here’s BOF’s Mt. Rushmore of Batman on film by yours truly…and maybe a few runners up as well.
Film producer and Batman/comic book historian/guru Mr. Michael Uslan‘s inclusion was a no-brainer for me. This man — the “Godfather of the Modern Comic Book Movie” — is damn near solely responsible (along with his producing partner, the late, great Mr. Benjamin Melniker) for finally bringing a dark and serious Batman film to the big screen. To this day, Mr. Uslan continues on as an executive producer on all things Batman on film-related.
You can check out the story behind getting BATMAN ’89 made in any of the several interviews/videos/podcasts that Mr. Uslan has done for BOF over the years RIGHT HERE, and in his memoir, THE BOY WHO LOVED BATMAN.
The architect of the greatest comic book/superhero film trilogy in history (to date) — THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY — as well as the greatest comic book/superhero movie (to date) — THE DARK KNIGHT — is why Mr. Nolan makes this Batman on film monument.
DANNY ELFMAN’s BATMAN (1989) THEME
Maybe not as iconic as John Williams’ theme from SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE or the one from the James Bond films, “The Batman Theme” by Danny Elfman is iconic in its own right and still the best Batman on film musical theme (to date).
HEATH LEDGER AS THE JOKER IN THE DARK KNIGHT
Brilliant, Oscar-winning performance in a brilliant film (that should’ve been nominated for “Best Picture”).
Ledger’s Joker took root in pop culture during the 2012 version of Batmania and was a gamechanger (as was THE DARK KNIGHT) that changed the way people thought of a “comic book movie villain.”
THE RUNNERS UP
THE DARK KNIGHT – Greatest comic book/superhero movie to date and made people think of movies based on comic books differently. A genre gamechanger.
TIM BURTON – The director of the first “dark and serious” Batman movie.
JOKER – Director Todd Phillips’ film starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck was a “comic book movie” unlike any other. Phoenix wins the “Best Actor” Oscar for the role.
BATMAN (1989) – The first “dark and serious” Batman movie. Changed the mainstream’s perception of Batman. Amongst the first of the “Summer Blockbuster Movies.”
ANTON FURST – Oscar-winning production designer for BATMAN ’89 and one of Michael Uslan’s 3 Batman on film “geniuses” (along with Nolan and Burton).
MICHAEL KEATON – The first “dark and serious” Batman in a live-action film.
So there you go. Post your take and “Mt. Rushmore of Batman on Film” in the comments section below! – Bill “Jett” Ramey