Trivia about Batman.
- Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Emilio Estevez, Matthew Broderick, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Michael J. Fox, Harrison Ford, Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Spacey, Patrick Swayze, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, Pierce Brosnan, Tom Selleck, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray and Bruce Willis were considered for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Tim Burton was pressured to cast an obvious action movie star. Producer Jon Peters favored Michael Keaton, arguing he had the right "edgy, tormented quality." Having directed Keaton in Beetlejuice, Burton agreed.
- Keaton's casting caused a controversy amongst comic book fans, with 50,000 protest letters sent to Warner Bros. offices. Bob Kane, Sam Hamm and Michael Uslan also heavily questioned the casting, while Adam West felt himself to be a better choice. Burton acknowledged, "Obviously there was a negative response from the comic book people. I think they thought we were going to make it like the 1960s TV series, and make it campy, because they thought of Michael Keaton from Mr. Mom and Night Shift and stuff like that." Keaton studied The Dark Knight Returns for inspiration.
- Tim Curry, Willem Dafoe, David Bowie and James Woods were considered for the Joker. Robin Williams lobbied hard for the part. Jack Nicholson was producer Michael Uslan's and Bob Kane's choice since 1980. Peters approached Nicholson as far back as 1986, during filming of The Witches of Eastwick. Nicholson had what was known as an "off-the-clock" agreement. His contract specified the number of hours he was entitled to have off each day, from the time he left the set to the time he reported back for filming. Nicholson demanded to have all of his scenes shot in a three week block, but the schedule lapsed into 106 days. He received a $6 million salary, as well as a large percentage of the box office gross. The fee is reported to be as high as $50 million.
- Sean Young was originally cast as Vicki Vale but became injured during filming. Rosanna Arquette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ellen Barkin, Robin Duke, Kate Capshaw, Glenn Close, Joan Cusack, Madonna, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Denny Dillon, Christine Ebersole, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Mariel Hemingway Barbara Hershey, Holly Hunter, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Diane Lane, Kay Lenz, Jessica Lange, Lori Loughlin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Virginia Madsen, Kelly McGillis, Bette Midler, Catherine O'Hara, Tatum O'Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Jane Seymour, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Lea Thompson, Kathleen Turner, Sela Ward, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger were all considered for the role of Vicki Vale after Young departed. Burton suggested replacing Young with Michelle Pfeiffer but Keaton, who was in a relationship with Pfeiffer, believed it would be too awkward. She went on to portray Catwoman in Batman Returns. Peters suggested Kim Basinger and she was cast. As a fan of Michael Gough's work in various Hammer Film Productions, Burton cast Gough as Alfred Pennyworth. Robert Wuhl was cast as reporter Alexander Knox. His character was originally supposed to die by the Joker's poison gas in the climax, but the filmmakers "liked [my] character so much," Wuhl said "that they decided to let me live." Billy Dee Williams took the role of Harvey Dent because he was looking forward to portray Two-Face in a sequel. However, Tommy Lee Jones was cast in the role for Batman Forever. Williams was mildly disappointed by the casting decision. Nicholson convinced the filmmakers to cast Tracey Walter as Bob the Goon. In real life, Nicholson and Walter are close friends. The rest of the cast included Pat Hingle as James Gordon, Jack Palance as Carl Grissom, Jerry Hall as Alicia Hunt and William Hootkins as Max Eckhardt.
- After the financial success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Warner Bros. hired Tim Burton to direct Batman. Burton had then-girlfriend Julie Hickson write a new 30-page film treatment, feeling the previous script by Tom Mankiewicz was campy. The success of The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke prompted Warner Bros. to give the film a darker, more serious tone for the storyline. Although Burton was initially not a comic book fan, he enjoyed The Killing Joke. Warner Bros. enlisted the aid of Steve Englehart to write a new treatment in March 1986. His first treatment included the Joker and Rupert Thorne as the main villains, with a cameo appearance by the Penguin. Silver St. Cloud and Dick Grayson were key supporting roles. It followed the similar storyline from Englehart's own limited series Strange Apparitions (ISBN 1-56389-500-5). Warner Bros. was impressed, but Englehart felt there were too many characters. He removed the Penguin and Dick Grayson in his second treatment, finishing in May 1986.
- Burton approached Sam Hamm, a comic book fan to write the screenplay. Hamm decided not to use an origin story, feeling that flashbacks would be more suitable and that "unlocking the mystery" would become part of the storyline. He reasoned, "You totally destroy your credibility if you show the literal process by which Bruce Wayne becomes Batman." Hamm replaced Silver St. Cloud with Vicki Vale and Rupert Thorne with his own creation, Carl Grissom. He completed his script in October 1986, which demoted Dick Grayson to a cameo, and not a supporting character. One scene in Hamm's script had James Gordon on duty the night of the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents. In this way, he shares a special bond with Bruce and thus with Batman, similar with a subplot in Batman Begins. When Hamm's script was rewritten, the scene was deleted.
- Warner Bros. was less willing to move forward on development, despite their enthusiasm for Hamm's script, which Batman co-creator Bob Kane greeted with positive feedback. Hamm's script then became largely bootlegged at various comic book stores across America. Batman was finally given the greenlight to commence pre-production in April 1988, after the surprising success of Burton's Beetlejuice . When comic book fans found out about Burton directing the film and Michael Keaton starring in the lead role, controversy arose over the tone and direction Batman was going in. Hamm explained, "they hear Tim Burton's name and they think of Pee-wee's Big Adventure. They hear Keaton's name and they think of any number of Michael Keaton comedies. You think of the 1960s version of Batman, and it was the complete opposite. We tried to market it with a typical dark and serious tone, but the fans didn't believe us." To combat negative reports on the film's production, Batman co-creator Bob Kane was hired as creative consultant.
- Michael Jackson was asked to write and perform the songs for the movie, but he had to turn it down due to his concert commitments.