Tim Burton Batman

Tim Burton‘s Batman movies aren’t exactly what you’d call cheerful, but even he thinks the modern-day superhero could stand to lighten up a little. “Maybe we need to see a happy superhero?” he suggested.

Or maybe he just wants to see the genre change altogether. The filmmaker also criticized the Marvel formula, and predicted that moviegoers would tire of superhero films some day. And yet, all that said, he admits he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of helming another superhero film.

Hit the jump to read the Tim Burton superhero movie comments.

Burton spoke frankly about the state of the modern superhero movie with Yahoo! Movies.

Marvel, they have their thing and there’s a certain formula to it all which seems to still be working. But how many times can you say ‘you’re wearing a funny costume’ with the tights and stuff? That’s been going on for 20 years now. Yes, we all know that superheroes are damaged individuals. Maybe we need to see a happy superhero?

It’s not like Burton’s own Batman (played by Michael Keaton) was an upbeat guy, but Burton insists he’s still lighter than the heroes onscreen today. “I remember Batman getting so much flak and criticism at the time for being too dark and now 20-30 years later, it now looks like a light-hearted romp, it’s such a strange thing to go through,” he said.

Naturally, that raises the question of whether Burton himself might be the one to bring some levity back to the superhero genre. On that front, the filmmaker played coy. “I think there is [another superhero film in me], but I don’t know,” he said. “You think we need more superhero movies? It keeps on going. It’s amazing how long it’s been going for and it just keeps getting stronger and stronger. Some day people will get sick of it.”

Burton helped pave the way for the current wave of superhero movies with 1989’s Batman. It won over fans with its dark tone, and it’s not a stretch to say it’s partly his fault they’re so downbeat nowadays. He returned for the 1992 sequel, Batman Returns, and additionally had plans to helm a Superman pic starring Nicolas Cage before those plans fell apart. The never-made Superman Lives has remained a subject of fascination for comic book fans even today.

It’s funny that Burton calls out Marvel heroes for being damaged when DC’s stable is, if anything, even gloomier and grittier. But Marvel’s an easy target since they’re the biggest superhero franchise going today. And maybe Burton has some lingering loyalty toward the Caped Crusader.

If Burton decides to tackle another superhero movie, which one would you like to see him do?

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