Daniel Dockery on Batman Returns's 30th anniversary

Did I mention that Batman Returns was my favourite movie of all time? If you’re a regular reader, you might have guessed I’m a fan but Daniel Dockery is the only other person I know who loves it as much (well, probably more).

He wrote a retrospective for the film’s 30th anniversary, giving it the accolade of “most anti-franchise franchise movie ever made”:

Burton initially didn’t want to revisit Gotham City. He only returned for a sequel after he was guaranteed more creative freedom (“What if the second movie is really just a Tim Burton movie?” Warner execs allegedly asked him.) Burton’s best films, especially early ones like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, combine fairy-tale logic with satire and gruesomeness. They reveal the playfully rebellious spirit of a creator who identifies with the lonely freaks and obsessed outcasts he puts on screen. With Batman Returns, he was given the license to do even more of that with a character known around the world.

But can Batman Returns even be called a sequel to Burton’s Batman? Burton certainly operated under the idea that he wanted nothing to do with the original. In his hands, Batman Returns evolved into perhaps the most anti-franchise franchise film of all time, a rebuttal to the idea that giant superhero series and other films of their scale need to follow a fan-friendly formula for expansion.

It was dark, horny as hell, more violent than would be allowed nowadays for a film that had a run of toys and kids promotions, twisted, and did I mention it was horny? And it was all set during Christmas (which makes it a Christmas film as I’ve established already). Happy 30th, Batman Returns.

P.S. – if anyone wants me to celebrate in style, buy me this please?

Hi, it's Luke, the editor of Cultrface! Why not subscribe to my Patreon and support the blog?

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