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Tim Burton hates the Batsuit nipples in Batman Forever

Tim Burton has been reflecting on the 30th anniversary of Batman Returns, being told it was too dark, and where the franchise went next

Batman Forever

Given that Batman movies have gotten darker and darker over the years – until Matt Reeves’ The Batman was so pitch-black, you could barely see anything – it seems unbelievable that Tim Burton was ever told that his version of the caped crusader was too dark. In a new interview with Empire magazine, Burton has been reflecting on 1992’s Batman Returns – which people of taste still consider one of the best Bats movies.

On-screen versions of Batman went from the ka-pow! of the 1960s TV series starring Adam West, to Burton’s gothic-but-kinky version of Gotham, to Joel Schumacher’s full-on cartoon villains. Since then, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, and Matt Reeves have all been obsessed with making Bats darker, grittier and more grounded.

Burton says; “It is funny to see this [the more recent versions] now, because all these memories come back of [me being told that], ‘It’s too dark.’ So, it makes me laugh a little bit.” Somehow, it has been thirty years since the release of Batman Returns, so that’s why Burton is in a reflective mood.

Burton says that Schumacher’s movies were a reaction to the ‘darkness’ of his version of the character; “They went the other way. That’s the funny thing about it. But then I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Okay. Hold on a second here. You complain about me, I’m too weird, I’m too dark, and then you put nipples on the costume? Go fuck yourself.’ Seriously. So yeah, I think that’s why I didn’t end up [doing anymore Batman movies].”

Burton’s versions feel like the ones that got the balance right between having darkness, while also being fun comic book movies; “I’m not just overly dark. That represents me in the sense that… that’s how I see things. It’s not meant as pure darkness. There’s a mixture,” he says. “I feel really fondly about it because of the weird experiment that it felt like.”

Burton’s next project is Wednesday – the Netflix TV series which is a spin-off from The Addams Family.

If you’re a fan of Frankenweenie, Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride and the like, check out our guide to the best scary movies for kids.