Tag Archives: Michael Keaton

Danny Elfman talks Batman Returns (1992)

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Danny Elfman talks Batman Returns (1992)

It is a sad reality in Hollywood that many times a sequel does not live up to the original and this is the case with Batman Returns (1992) (though it is infinitely better than the two films that followed it). Set sometime after the events of the original film, Gotham City’s new nemesis is Oswald Cobblepot, aka “The Penguin” (Danny DeVito), a deformed child abandoned by his parents and raised by penguins, who seeks to become a respectable member of Gotham society and will employ any means to make that happen.

At the same time, corrupt businessman Max Shreck is plotting to monopolize the city’s electricity supply, a scheme that his secretary, Selina Kyle, stumbles onto. When Shreck tries to have her killed by pushing her out a window, she is mysteriously revived by a swarm of cats and adopts the identity of Catwoman. Batman has to deal with Penguin, Shreck and this mysterious female vigilante, all part of his ongoing efforts to protect Gotham City.

I’m sure I’ve seen this film as many times as the original Batman, but I simply don’t enjoy this one as much. When you’ve grown up with Burgess Meredith’s Penguin, seeing the creepy Danny DeVito Penguin is a real shock. I still like Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne though, and I wish he could’ve stayed for the remaining two films (even though I like George Clooney in Batman & Robin). The on-again/off-again romance between Catwoman and Batman is well-known to fans of the comics, and it’s nice to see it play out on the silver screen.

Danny Elfman returned to score this film and was much more confident during the process (because the first Batman had been such a big hit). Knowing that his methods worked, it wasn’t hard to derive a new score for this sequel. Regretfully, this interview isn’t very long, but I was glad to find anything relating to Batman Returns at all (finding info on sequels is relatively hard, especially if they don’t do as well as expected). The different themes for Selina/Catwoman and Penguin are discussed, and if I ever find a more in-depth discussion for this particular film I’ll be sure to add it in. For now though, please enjoy!

See also:

Danny Elfman talks Batman (1989)

Danny Elfman “Planet of the Apes” scoring session (2001)

Danny Elfman talks Spider-Man (2002)

Danny Elfman talks Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Danny Elfman talks Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Danny Elfman talks Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Danny Elfman talks Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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*film poster is the property of Warner Bros. Pictures

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Danny Elfman talks Batman (1989)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Danny Elfman talks Batman (1989)

With the exception of Superman: The Movie, I’m hard pressed to think of a superhero film more iconic than Tim Burton’s Batman (no offense to fans of the Christopher Nolan trilogy). Based in part on The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns comics, Batman helped to establish the modern superhero film genre and also helped ignite the DC Animated Universe (launched with the premiere of Batman: The Animated Series). The Caped Crusader was portrayed by Michael Keaton, and his eternal nemesis the Joker was brought to memorable life by Jack Nicholson.

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Several factors contributed to make this film so iconic: one is the amazing sets and backgrounds that make up Gotham City. The second is Danny Elfman’s awe-inspiring score for this film. Elfman was brought in by Burton after the two had previously collaborated for Beetlejuice (1988), this despite the fact that Elfman knew very little about the current state of Batman in comics (he was given a copy of The Dark Knight Returns for reference).

Having grown up watching re-runs of “campy Batman” starring Adam West and Burt Ward on television, I initially didn’t like this “dark” Batman at all, but as I grew older and learned about the comics history of the character, I grew to appreciate what Tim Burton had done (and there’s no denying that Jack Nicholson’s performance as The Joker is one for the ages).

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I was pleased to find this interview and “making of” for the Batman score and I hope you enjoy listening to it too (Elfman shares a funny story about how he came up with the iconic main theme for the film). Let me know your thoughts on Batman in the comments below!

See also:

Danny Elfman talks Batman Returns (1992)

Danny Elfman “Planet of the Apes” scoring session (2001)

Danny Elfman talks Spider-Man (2002)

Danny Elfman talks Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Danny Elfman talks Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Danny Elfman talks Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Danny Elfman talks Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

*poster image is the property of Warner Bros. Pictures