Spider-Man Homecoming Video Essay

Nearly a year ago, pre-production on Aaron Sorkin’s long-gestating true story of The Trial of the Chicago 7 was suddenly shut down in order to allow the acclaimed writer some time to work on his Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. But a few months later, the movie was getting back together with a stacked cast assembling. Now the movie has added Michael Keaton, and Paramount Pictures has set The Trial of the Chicago 7 release date right at the start of awards season. Find out more below. Read More »

Steven Seagal as Batman

Michael Keaton‘s portrayal of Batman and Bruce Wayne is a favorite among fans of The Caped Crusader, especially since the 1989 film from Tim Burton is the one that really paved the way for the future success of serious comic book movies (even if the movie is more than a little goofy when you look back on it now). However, before the Gung Ho and Mr. Mom star was brought in to reunite with his Beetlejuice director, the studio was looking for more of a bonafide action star, and one of their considerations might surprise you.

Screenwriter Sam Hamm recently discussed the Batman movie from 1989 in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary this past weekend, and he revealed that one of the names suggested by the studio to play the Dark Knight was then-rising action star Steven Seagal. Read More »

Michael Keaton as Batman (1989)

The casting of Robert Pattinson as the next Batman has led to a predictable round of online petitioning to remove the former Twilight heartthrob from the role. If you’ve been alive and been a Batman fan long enough, you might be left thinking, “How soon we forget.” Years ago, a similar outcry accompanied the casting of Heath Ledger — himself a teen heartthrob turned serious dramatic actor — as the Joker. At the time, Ledger was best known for his performances in A Knight’s Tale and Brokeback Mountain, so he seemed very much cast against type.

Look how that turned out. If you reach back further in time, of course, there’s an even more direct example of an unconventional casting choice for the Caped Crusader. In the absence of social media, fans once embarked on a letter-writing campaign to dissuade Warner Bros. from letting the star of Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice play Batman. Fortunately, that campaign failed and thirty years ago this week, Michael Keaton’s Batman arrived on dark wings as an early herald of the comic book millennium.

To say that Keaton was and is the best Batman isn’t a sleight against Christian Bale, whose first franchise outing, Batman Begins, remains the definitive origin story, across all mediums, for the greatest superhero of all time. Bale was the best Bruce Wayne. His strength lay in showing us how the orphaned prince of Gotham would become Batman, whereas Keaton wore the actual suit and voice better. Part of this can be attributed to costume design; maybe part of it, also, can be attributed to director Tim Burton’s take on the Batman mythos, which held that Wayne himself shouldn’t be physically imposing. It was only after he put on the suit that the brooding billionaire became a fearsome scourge to criminals on rooftops.

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Dumbo early buzz

Tim Burton has largely built his career making movies about societal outcasts, and he’ll be back with the story of another outcast later this month in Dumbo, his second live-action remake of a Walt Disney animated film. The earliest reactions have arrived, so read on to get a sense of what critics are saying about Burton’s latest cinematic spectacle. Read More »

dumbo set visit report

Tim Burton is distracted. He’s in the middle of directing the live-action adaptation of Dumbo, an ambitious, big-budget production that requires balancing fantastical and elaborate sets with even more fantastical visual effects. But I got the feeling that this harried appearance was just part of Burton’s nature — a million thoughts racing at once while he attempts to answer press questions. It’s a surprisingly energetic persona from a man who is famous for donning all black and a dour complexion, but maybe that’s why he always wears the grim color: he can’t be bothered to think about anything else.

“It’s hard for me to talk [about Dumbo] right now because I don’t know if it’s a comedy or a drama,” Burton hurriedly tells us in between takes. “But I’ll let you know when I’m done with it.”

Hearing Burton refer to his Dumbo live-action adaptation as a comedy might be a bit confusing — humor isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about a Tim Burton movie, or the melancholic 1941 animated movie, either. But there is an unexpected warmth emanating from the Dumbo director and from the lavish, sprawling set around which he paces.

/Film got the chance to visit the set of Dumbo in London along with a group of other journalists, where I was immediately transported back into a storybook version of 1919. Here, a modest barn interior with a dirt floor and pieces of rope sits a couple hundred feet away from an elegant, Art Deco-style apartment decorated with vintage movie posters and marble floors. There, warm pinks and faded yellows adorn the backs of children running through a brightly lit town square.

And there isn’t a Gothic Victorian castle in sight.

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Dumbo Trailer

Disney’s animated classic Dumbo is barely an hour long, but director Tim Burton is going to flesh that out into a movie that’s right around two hours. We’re not sure how he’s adding a whole extra hour to the story outside of introducing a wide array of new human characters who take a keen interest in the little flying elephant, but a new Dumbo trailer shows off the circus spectacle of Disney’s live-action remake. And that floppy-eared, flying elephant just looks more and more adorable. Read More »

Dumbo Featurette

The next live-action adaptation of one of Disney’s classic animated movies is Dumbo. Director Tim Burton is at the helm of the story of a little elephant who can fly, and you couldn’t ask for a better director to tackle a movie that’s set entirely in a traveling circus. But can he make this once thriving entertainment venue magical again after the bad reputation it’s earned over the years?

A new Dumbo featurette has cast members Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Eva Green and a very enthusiastic Danny DeVito talking about how incredible the sets were for this movie. Tim Burton even hired a slew of real acrobatic performers and dancers from around the world to help bring the circus to life. Find out more in the Dumbo featurette below. Read More »

dumbo sneak peek

You’ll believe an elephant can fly with the latest Dumbo sneak peek released by Disney. The House of Mouse dropped a new sneak peek for the live-action remake directed by Tim Burton. And aside from giving us some new soaring shots of the titular floppy-eared elephant flying high, there are even more delightful glimpses of the star-studded cast including Danny Devito, Colin Farrell, Eva Green, and a very excited Michael Keaton.

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Dumbo Trailer

The last time Tim Burton teamed up with Disney, it resulted in the hit adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Now he’s tackling another remake of one of the studio’s animated classic that fits perfectly with the director’s usual circus aesthetic tendencies.

Dumbo adapts the Disney animated classic from 1941, turning the barely one-hour circus adventure into a feature length story starring Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green and an adorable flying elephant with baby blue eyes. A new Dumbo trailer from across the pond shifts focus from the touching but tragic mother and son side of the story and puts the focus on the circus that the floppy-eared little guy gets caught up in. Read More »

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Documentary Now Season 3 Trailer

It’s been over two years since we’ve gotten new episodes of the mockumentary comedy series Documentary Now! Thankfully, our wait for documentary spoofs is nearly over. The third season (or 52nd season) of the series returns in February, and the first trailer for the new slate of episodes has arrived, showing off the incredible line-up of guest stars, including Cate Blanchett, Michael Keaton, Owen Wilson, Michael C. Hall, Bobby Moynihan, John Mulaney, Taran Killam and more.

Watch the Documentary Now season 3 trailer below. Read More »