I was surprised by Michael Keaton being cast. At the time, he was an outrageous long-haired comedian. He wasn't what you'd think of when you thought of Batman. I thought they were going for comedy when the news broke. When my dad saw the movie, I pointed out that he was the same guy who did Beetlejuice. He was totally shocked and got a kick out of it.
I loved the 1989 movie when it came out. I became a big Batman nut that summer, collecting books, comics, posters, action figures, toys and even tried to make a bat kite out of a black garbage bag. It was shaped like the bat symbol, but I couldn't build it right. I also got to see the batmobile at a car show. I was surprised to see that it was actually dark blue.
Anyway, the movie does look campier now thanks to the Nolan films and modern sensibilities in general. The fond memories are still there though. And yes, that suit did look pretty stiff. Apparently Keaton's puckered lips were due to the cowl hugging his face.
Greg Cox wrote:
But when, a week or so later, I saw the same movie with some "mundane" friends from the office, they were actually a bit confused and disappointed by the movie. They had been expecting something "funnier"--like the old tv show.
That expection, that comic book movies are supposed to be campy spoofs, seems to have largely faded away today, but was pervasive back before the Burton movie. It's hard to overstate the lingering influence of the Adam West series on the popular consciousness. Long after the sixties, you still couldn't read a mainstream article on comic books or comic book movies that didn't begin "ZAP! BAM! POW!" or maybe something like "HOLY COLLECTIBLES, BATMAN!"
The same thing happened when Batman Begins
came out. The biggest complaint I saw was that Batman wasn't supposed to be this serious.