The Musical (Listen To The Demos)

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In the early 2000s, Tim Burton was attached to Batman: The Musical; here’s why it was cancelled and all the song demos created for the show.

Tim Burton was once attached to Batman: The Musical, which would have adapted his two Caped Crusader movies – here’s why it didn’t happen and all the song demos. Burton’s Batman ’89 took some liberties with the character and mythos, including his willingness to kill and the fact the Joker was the one who murdered his parents. Still, Burton’s rich, gothic vision, Danny Elfman’s evocative score and the performances of Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson made it the must-see blockbuster of 1989.

Batman ’89 – which almost included Robin – was a genre landmark and a sign to studios comic book movies could be goldmines, with the right approach. Still, the movie was produced in an era before sequels were a given. Burton had a very stressful time making the original, and it was only with the promise of creative freedom that he was lured back for 1992’s Batman Returns. This follow-up is arguably superior to his 1989 movie, but its violence and sexuality made it a difficult film to sell merchandise on. This is why the studio opted for a more family-friendly approach with 1995’s Batman Forever, which replaced Burton with Joel Schumacher.


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Burton was also attached to a standalone DC Catwoman movie, that would have seen Michelle Pfeiffer reprise her role from Batman Returns, but this spinoff didn’t happen. Another Caped Crusader project Tim Burton was linked to – and easily one of the strangest – was the proposed Batman: The Musical, which was put into development in the early 2000s. Following the success of other movie to musical translations like The Lion King, Warner Bros greenlit development on Batman: The Musical, a gothic rock opera with songs penned by the late, great composer Jim Steinman. In music circles, Steinman is best known for his work on Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell albums and rock ballads like Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart.”

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