|Batman after a night of doing shots with Penguin and Two-Face|
I had got permission to take my Saturday Graphic Novel class to see the actual costume Michael Keaton wore in Tim Burton's 1989 blockbuster film BATMAN. Mind you, this was in the middle of Saturday's big public opening of the Higgins Armory Collection. Thankfully I had a small class, so getting permission to have them view the costume was a little easier than if I had the full 18 students.
This was really a unique experience for me. I've always been a fan of Batman. Not nearly the Batman aficionado my buddy Andy Fish is. But I had always liked the character. Whether you call him the Caped Crusader, Masked Manhunter or the ever popular Dark Knight. Batman has always been my favorite costumed hero.
And I enjoyed Tim Burton's movie when it first came out. So, seeing the costume relatively up close and personal was kind of like fulfilling a childhood wish.
13 or 14 year old Bret would have been quite pleased with 38 year old Bret.
The costume itself is a little rough shape. They did a great job trying to restore it. But heavy rubber, latex and leather do not do very well under hot lights with an actor sweating underneath.
This costume was also fashioned to fit Michael Keatons. Which left me with this thought. Theoretically I could be Batman. Judging by the size of the costume, Keaton wasn't really that much bigger than me.
Still, how Tim Burton got away with it in 1989 is really a testimony of Michael Keaton as an actor. Fans weren't terribly happy and neither was creator Bob Kane who envisioned his Dark Knight/Caped Crusader being a Cary Grant type actor. But both groups were won over by Keaton's performance.
Now that taller more physically built actors like Christian Bale have take the role. I don't think an actor under 5'10" would be accepted in the role anymore.
Nevertheless, it was a neat to see the costume.