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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Fury Road Lawsuit

Oh, what a lovely day for a lawsuit. George Miller, who created a modern-day masterpiece with Mad Max: Fury Road, is not content to just sit back and make a Fury Road follow-up without getting his just rewards. The Aussie filmmaker wants the WB to pay-up on a bonus they originally agreed on. Warner Bros. doesn’t see it that way, and so both Miller and Warners will now hop into souped-up vehicles laden with spikes and race forward into the wasteland of due process. What will become of the potential Fury Road sequel now?

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It concept art

If you’ve experienced a mysterious, eerie feeling creeping up the base of your spine, it may be because the new movie adaptation of Stephen King‘s classic horror novel It is inching closer to release. Before Warner Bros. takes the film to this year’s San Diego Comic-Con later this month, a new batch of photos have surfaced – including some cool concept art – that shows the picked-on protagonists (aka the Losers Club) heading into the sewers to confront It, the ancient and evil shapeshifting entity who often takes the terrifying form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
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Suicide Squad 2 director

After a lengthy search, executives at Warner Bros. and DC Films may have finally found their Suicide Squad 2 director. Deadline reports that Jaume Collet-Serra, the Spanish filmmaker behind movies like Orphan, The Shallows, and the Liam Neeson vehicles Unknown, Non-Stop, and Run All Night is now the frontrunner to helm the villain-centric comic book movie sequel.
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Wonder Woman No Man's Land

Wonder Woman is a full-on phenomenon, and rightly so: Patty Jenkins’ film is not just financially successful, but it’s also a hit with both critics and fans alike. Take notice, Hollywood: this is what can happen when you make a good movie.

But as Jenkins revealed in a recent interview, it turns out that one of the movie’s best scenes was very nearly never shot at all. Read about how the Wonder Woman No Man’s Land sequence almost never happened.
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Michael Giacchino

Good news, Pixar fans: the studio’s favorite composer, Michael Giacchino, is coming back to provide the score for Brad Bird’s highly-anticipated sequel The Incredibles 2. Meanwhile, the intriguing possibility has also arisen that Giacchino (Star Trek, Up, Ratatouille) might reteam with his War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves and score The Batman.
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warner bros

Winds of change must be blowing in Burbank, because Warner Bros. has shifted a ton of release dates for films on the studio’s upcoming slate. The Scooby-Doo reboot and WB’s own clash of the titans, Godzilla vs. Kong, are just a couple of the films caught in the crossfire. Break out your red pens and prepare to update your calendars.
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A Star is Born header

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Stefani Germanotta. Don’t recognize that name? Perhaps you know her better as the Grammy Award-winning superstar musician Lady Gaga, who is starring in Warner Bros.’ remake of the classic musical A Star is Born and appears to be using this movie as an opportunity to establish herself as a serious actress. That’s her on stage next to co-star Bradley Cooper, who’s also directing this film. Take a closer look at the pair in the first A Star is Born remake photo below.
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Aaron Sorkin is Taking Meetings With DC and Marvel

Aaron Sorkin superhero movie

Can you imagine Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince doing a classic walk and talk through the hallways of Wayne Enterprises? How about Spider-Man and Hawkeye exchanging not just a throwaway line or two, but having an epic back-and-forth conversation full of quotable one-liners? Well, the future is wide open, because Oscar-winning writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, A Few Good Men) says he has meetings scheduled with both Marvel Studios and DC Films to discuss the possibility of writing a superhero movie. But which property would he tackle? Read More »

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Batman 75th Anniversary Exhibit 3

Living in Los Angeles, I’m often asked, “What should I do when I’m in town?” Every single time that question comes up, I point people to the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour. I wrote about it here a few years ago. It’s a two hour-plus, small-group tour through the Warner Bros. lot where you’ll see amazing iconic locations, drive by live shoots, walk on famous sound stages and see two full museums of one of a kind props.

To keep the tour fresh, those museums (which you can only see as part of the tour) are semi-regularly updated. So, for example, when I was there a few years ago, the entire second floor of one was themed to Harry Potter. It probably still is. But the latest update is just as exciting. Warner Bros. has installed a massive Batman 75th Anniversary Exhibit including props from all seven of their Batman films. Check out a slew of images below. Read More »