Believe it or not, there was a time when a live-action movie based on the Batman character was seen as anything but a sure-fire box office winner. Warner Bros. spent much of the 1980s developing a project that the studio brass had more or less confidence in. This production would go on to become the 1989 hit “Batman”. Today, this production is inseparable from the imprint of its filmmaker, Tim Burton. But before the studio embarked on a Burton-esque Gothic take on Gotham City, other big names were attached to leading the potential project, including Joe Dante.
It’s no wonder this particular filmmaker paid attention to the concert given that Dante delivered “Gremlins” for Warner Bros. in 1984. If he could turn those fiery furballs into gold at the box office, who knows what he could have done with “Batman.” Dante had a passion for the project and even became determined to play John Lithgow as the Joker. However, during the development of âBatman,â Dante realized that he had more affection for the character of Joker than for the film’s titular superhero. As a result, he eventually left the high-profile concert and moved on to directing other projects for different studios, such as the Paramount Pictures genre feature film “InnerSpace”. As for “Batman,” Warner Bros. found another distinctive 1980s filmmaker voice to take over the business. As they say, the rest is history.