Trivia / Batman

General:

  • Name's the Same: Batman in Turkey, known mainly for its NATO airbase, is not named after Batman note  which is kind of a letdown. But try reading the Wiki article without chuckling.
  • The Merch: Batman is a consistent merchandising juggernaut, with two of the most recent cartoons (The Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold) produced for the express purpose of selling toys.

Examples from the comics:

  • Beta Outfit: His preliminary design had red tights and a Domino Mask.
  • Fan Nickname: Fans refer to Dick as Batman only as DickBats, since THE Batman is Bruce.
    • And yet when Bruce came back, the fans still supported DickBats.
    • Az and AzBats for Azrael. Later became an In-Series Nickname when Nightwing made up the latter.
  • Jossed: A scientist bearing a striking resemblance to Strange appears in a flashback to Bane's origin story on how he received Venom. While helping to create a Genius Bruiser, giving him a Fantastic Drug to make him bulkier, and unleashing him against Batman is exactly the kind of thing Strange would do, it wasn't him, and seems to be a coincidence.
  • Name's the Same: The name "Red Robin" sure would sound more intimidating if it weren't the name of a fast food franchise. Especially if their slogan weren't:
    Red Robin! Yuuuuuum!
    • Cassandra Cain to Kate Kane, at least in terms of sound.
    • A very confusing example with Doctor Simon Hurt. Lincon March also claims to be Thomas Wayne Jr., and may in fact be Bruce's long-lost brother.
  • One of Us: Bluebird is a fan of Supernatural.
  • Recycled Script: One of Hugo Strange's earliest stories had him unleashing a fear-inducing powder on Gotham City; the Scarecrow debuted less than a year later (though he didn't use his fear gas then).
  • Science Marches On: The character's been around for over 70 years, so this is a given. For example, Batman started out in the 30's as a rich guy in actual tights with a Bulletproof Vest, a silk rope, smoke bombs, and a souped up but otherwise normal car. Nowadays he wears a full suit of kevlar armor loaded with high tech gear, military level weaponry, and the Batmobile along with nearly every kind of vehicle he could need. Although as things like carbon nanotubes become more common in the future, it'll be interesting to see how the writers can maintain the dramatic tension when the batsuit seems damn near indestructible. The writers of Batman Beyond successfully maintained dramatic tension when Terry was going around in flying power armor. When technology reaches the point where the Bat-suit has carbon buckytube armor, that only means the Joker will be shooting at it with a rail gun.
    • On the flipside, Batman's aerial vehicles are rarely seen these days over Gotham, as the risen level of civilian air traffic and -surveillance would make that a safety and secrecy hazard much more than in the old days.
  • What Could Have Been...: This image was created in case Jason Todd was voted to survive A Death in the Family. A very similar colored version (here) was printed in Batman Annual 25, which recounts Jason Todd's resurrection, as well as the reality-warping that caused it.
    • Dick was going to be Killed Off for Real in Infinite Crisis. For the same reason that saved him in fact. Considering how much emotional weight came from Barry Allen's death he could have been gone a while...
    • In the early 00's, there was brief talk at Warner Brothers of possibly making a live action Batman Beyond movie to reboot the Batman franchise but the idea was passed over for Batman Begins instead.
    • Hawkfire almost got featured, alongside Beast Boy and a host of other 1970s characters, in a spin-off called Titans L.A. As Bat-Girl, she was initially set to be part of the main '70s Teen Titans team and be involved in a love triangle with Robin and Duela Dent, but DC pulled the plug on the title before Bob Rozakis could get to those plans.
  • Word of Gay: Poison Ivy with Harley Quinn.

Examples from the 1966 TV Series:

  • Acting for Two: Liberace (yes, Liberace) once played both an Expy of himself as well as his own Evil Twin brother.
  • Actor Allusion: Alan Hale Jr. makes an appearance as a restaurant owner named Gilligan in one episode.
    • It may be a coincidence, but Edward Everett Horton appears in the 1st Egghead episode as Chief Screaming Chicken; he played a similarly named Indian Roaring Chicken, on the first several episodes of F Troop.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Burgess Meredith had not smoked in 20 years when he was cast as the Penguin. He came up with the Penguin's distinctive squawking sound because the cigarettes were irritating his throat. Like his trademark "quack", the Penguin's waddling was largely a result of improvisation by Burgess Meredith, as he found it difficult to stand and walk straight while wearing the rubber padded fat suit that was part of his costuming.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: The reason several of the guest-stars took the gig as villains. Victor Buono as King Tut is the best example: he was a huge (no pun intended) fan of the comics, and was so into the series he made more appearances than any other guest-star outside of Newmar, Romero, Meredith, and Gorshin.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Sort of. Robin's infamous "Holy [relevant phrase]!" Catch-Phrase was used constantly, but he usually didn't end it with "Batman!". He did occasionally, but not nearly as much as the phrase's popularity would make one think he did.
  • Big Name Fan: According to Adam West, Robert F. Kennedy was a fan of the show. Attempts were made to have him make a cameo as a character named Attorney General, but details could not be worked out.
  • Briefer Than They Think: The series only ran for two and a half years, from 1966-68, but since most of the series' stories were two parters, that means 120 episodes were produced for a suitable syndication package.
  • Cast the Expert: Burt Ward got the part of Robin based on his martial arts and tumbling experience, meaning he could do his own fights and stunts.
  • Creator Backlash/Old Shame: "True or False Face/Holy Rat Race" were William Dozier's least favorite episodes, referring to them as "a bomb."
    • Likewise, Malachi Throne, who played the titular villain, while still enjoying being on the show, was unhappy with his performance in said episodes, (due to the mask he had to wear) and requested he not be credited note 
  • Dawson Casting: Burt Ward was twenty, married, and had a kid on the way when he took the role of fifteen-ish Robin.
  • Descended Creator: William Dozier, to Lemony Narrator.
    • Writer Stanley Ralph Ross appears uncredited and with no lines in "The Bird's Last Jest" as Ballpoint Baxter.
  • Executive Meddling
  • Fake Brit: Lord Ffogg was played by Rudy Vallee, an American born in Vermont.
  • Fan Nickname: This incarnation of Batman is often referred to as the "Bright Knight" or "Camp Crusader" to distinguish him from darker, more serious takes on the character.
  • Gag Dub: In 1981, two Brazilians did a profane and vulgar dub of the episode "He Meets His Match, The Grisly Ghoul". Once the internet caught hold of it in 2003, it reached Memetic Mutation and earned both a book telling how the dub doing it and a webcomic retelling.
  • Hostility on the Set: Adam West described Neil Hamilton as somewhat difficult to work with, due to him taking his work very seriously, even on a silly show like this.
  • I Am Not Spock: Adam West was so strongly associated with the role of Batman that it permanently typecast him and killed his then-fledgling acting career. After failing to distance himself from the series, he eventually got over it and not only embraced this reputation, but even managed to partially escape it by turning into a parody of himself.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The series was notorious for the numerous rights problems preventing any home video release for many years. This article on TVShowsOnDVD.com explains a lot of the issues surrounding the show. Finally, in 2014, Warner Home Video announced all 120 episodes would be released in a complete box set later in the year.
    • When the series finally saw the light of day, it was revealed exactly what the holdup was: the rights to the characters were owned by DC Comics, which is owned by Warner Bros., but the rights to the TV series, including its iconic elements like the costumes, Batmobile design, and the music, were split between 20th Century Fox and Greenway Productions (William Dozier's production company). Classic Media (now DreamWorks Classics) had to buy out Greenway's share of the rights by negotiating with each and every one of William Dozier's heirs. They also attempted to buy out Fox's share and sell everything to Warner, but Fox instead chose to buy out Classic's share themselves. This lead to a dispute between Fox and Warner on who was going to release the series before Fox finally gave in and licensed the show to Warner.
  • No Budget: The third season was embarrassingly cheap-looking; the majority of the sets (apart from already-built ones like the Batcave and Commissioner Gordon's office) were simply cardboard scenery in front of stark black backgrounds.
  • No Sunt Double: Burt Ward was required to do his own stunts. This was partly because Robin's Domino Mask would make hiding a double's face harder, and partly because the studio wanted to save money by not having to pay another stunt double. Burt was a legitimate martial artist, but by the time the show was over, he had been hospitalized over a dozen times.
  • The Other Darrin: For a relatively short-lived show, this had a surprising number of examples:
    • Julie Newmar was replaced by Lee Meriwether as Catwoman for The Movie, and then by Eartha Kitt for the final season.
    • Also with the Riddler, who was played by John Astin for his penultimate appearance after a subsequently-resolved dispute between the producers and Frank Gorshin.
    • Mr. Freeze had it the worst however, as he had a different actor every time he appeared; George Sanders played him in his first appearance, Otto Preminger played him the second time, and Eli Wallach was the third and final actor in the role.
    • A PSA about equal pay featuring Batman, Robin and Batgirl was produced in 1972. Robin and Batgirl were played by their original actors but Batman was played by Dick Gautier due to Adam West trying to distance himself from the role.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Adam West was a fan of Batman comics in his childhood.
  • Real-Life Relative: Shame's fiancee in "The Great Escape"/"The Great Train Robbery" was played by Cliff Robertson's then-wife, actress Dina Merill.
  • Reality Subtext: The Penguin's constant squawking came from the fact that the character's cigarettes were irritating Burgess Meredith nose and throat and he would squawk to cover up a cough and save the take.
  • Recursive Adaptation: 2013's Batman '66 comic book series is an adaptation of this series, which of course was itself an adaptation of the Batman comics that had been printed up to that time.
  • Recycled Set:
    • The Batcave set was built on the exact spot where the Skull Island Gate was located in King Kong (1933). This was pointed out by a visitor to the set who had served as a technician on "Kong".
    • Superintendent Watson's office at "Ireland Yard" in the "Londinium" three-parter is an obvious redress of Commissioner Gordon's office set. So obvious that Gordon lampshades the similarity, noting that due to the similar demands of police work worldwide, all police commissioners' offices are essentially the same!
  • Science Marches On: In the third episode, when Batman was afraid a collection of umbrellas were going to explode, his immediate (and based on the knowledge of the time quite reasonable) decision was to gather them in the middle of the room and cover them with an asbestos pad.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: This show pretty much defined the Caped Crusader in the public eye for decades (and seemingly permanently in Japan), but the TV show itself only ran for two years. Additionally, Na Na Na Na Batman is the most well-known Batman theme song (yes, even more so than the Danny Elfman theme of the Burton films).
  • So My Kids Can Watch:
    • Otto Preminger was locked out of his house by his grandchildren until he said yes to playing Mr. Freeze.
    • Eli Wallach chose to play Mr. Freeze so that his three children, Peter, Roberta and Katherine, could watch him.
    • Tallulah Bankhead saw appearing on the series as an opportunity to entertain her grandchildren.
  • Stunt Double: Rather blatantly so in most of the fight scenes.note  Robin's stunt double doesn't look much like him at all. Averted toward the end of "The Ring of Wax," where Burt Ward enters the shot as Robin, is confronted by a Mook, and gets into a fairly lengthy fight with him in a single continuous take, a fairly impressive stunt performance by the actor himself.
  • Technology Marches On: One of the reasons the show used the Bat-phone far more than the more well-known Bat-signal was because it was supposed to be cool that Batman would have a phone in his car and would let the show seem more high-tech. More recent comic storylines even lampshaded this, with Commissioner Gordon asking if he could just have Batman's cell phone number instead of having to turn on the Bat-signal every time he needed help.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Burgess Meredith made up The Penguin's squawking laughter to mask the cough smoking gave him.
    • Cesar Romero's Joker laugh was created almost by accident. Shortly after being cast, Romero met with producers to discuss his role on his series. While waiting to meet with them, Romero happened to see conceptual art of Joker's costuming. Romero felt the pictures almost looked absurd, and as a result spontaneously broke out into a playfully loud and almost manic laughter. A producer overhearing it responded by telling Romero "That's it, that's your Joker's laugh!"
  • Unfinished Episode: An unproduced 1960s episode written by Harlan Ellison was to have featured a very psychodelic Two-Face.
  • Wag the Director: Cesar Romero refused to shave off his moustache to play the Joker. It was painted over with makeup and it's quite noticeable.
  • What Could Have Been...:
    • Spencer Tracy was offered the role of The Penguin, but would accept only on the condition that the series got to end with him killing Batman. Mickey Rooney was also offered the role.
      • The "Batbook", a book filled with trivia on the series, revealed that Dozier also had the late Mickey Rooney in mind for the part, but he couldn't work it into his schedule.
    • Also, Two-Face was once considered as a villain for the show, only his origin would be that he was a TV news anchor who had a TV set blow up in his face. Clint Eastwood was even considered for the role but the character was ultimately dropped because he was considered "too gruesome" for such a light-hearted show. Imagine Clint Eastwood playing Harvey "Two Face" Dent. Yeah. Damn Executive Meddling!
      • In addition, the script for the episode was written by none other than Harlan Ellison! The episode finally saw the light of day as the 2014 comic Batman '66: The Lost Episode.
    • Jose Ferrer & Gig Young were both considered for the Joker.
    • Lyle Waggoner as Bruce Wayne, and Peter Deyell as Dick Grayson.
    • If they'd just held off on destroying those sets...
    • The season 2 episode "The Puzzles Keep Coming/The Duo is Slumming" was originally written for the Riddler note , but with Frank Gorshin having contract disputes with the producers, the similar Puzzler was created instead.
    • Robert Morely was originally supposed to play the Sandman, but quit after the episode was rewritten to include Catwoman note . This led to Michael Rennie getting the part, whom the co-writer felt was "too stiff," resulting in him disowning the episode.
    • Bette Davis was apparently in the running to play Ma Parker.
    • A proposed sequel to the film would have pitted Batman against Godzilla.
    • Another proposed sequel would have had Batman and Robin battling villains IN SPACE!
    • Frank Sinatra wanted to play the Joker but the role was taken.
  • You Look Familiar: This was used quite frequently, with several actors or actresses appearing more than once. Several examples include:
    • After playing Zelda the Great in the first season, Anne Baxter returned for season 3 as Egghead's partner/love interest Olga, Queen of Cossacks. (Perhaps Zelda didn't reform after all!)
    • An uncredited Milton Berle plays one of the prisoners ("Lefty") replacing the guards in the episode Ma Barker, a season before he played Louie the Lilac.
    • Character actor Richard "Dick" Bakalyan appeared on the show a total of four times, playing henchmen to Riddler ("Death in Slow Motion/The Riddler's False Notion"), Louie the Lilac ("Louie the Lilac") & Joker ("the Joker's Flying Saucer") as well as an Egyptian pantomime expert ("King Tut's Coup"/"Batman's Waterloo").
    • Similarly, Joey Tata appeared in three different episodes ("The Ring of Wax"/"Give 'Em the Axe", "Hizzoner the Penguin"/"Dizzoner the Penguin" & "I'll be a Mummy's Uncle") as three entirely separate henchmen.
    • In separate episodes, James Brolin played a cop who tried to write Batman a parking ticket, an armored truck driver, and a boxer.
    • After playing Catwoman in The Movie, Lee Meriwether played Lisa Carson, one of Bruce Wayne's Love Interests in "King Tut's Coup"/"Batman's Waterloo". Doubles as Actor Allusion, as Movie-Catwoman had tried to seduce Bruce under the civilian identity of Kitka.
    • Leslie Parrish appeared as heiress Dawn Robbins in "The Penguin's a Jinx", then appeared a season later as Mr. Freeze's (Eli Wallach) moll Glacia Glaze in "Ice Spy"/"The Duo Defy".
    • In a case of You Sound Familiar, mixed in with Hilarious In Hindsight, Bob Hastings plays a supporting role of a gormless major who is gulled by Penguin's fake movie company. 25 years later, Hastings would be hired to voice Commissioner Gordon in Batman: The Animated Series.
    • The king of this was actor James O'Hara, who appeared in at least seven or eight episodes, always playing a different police officer.

Examples from the 1989 film:

  • Ability over Appearance: In the original script, Bruce Wayne was described as a man with "muscles on top of muscles and scarred from nightly combat". Michael Keaton was cast not because he fit that description, but because you'd never suspect him of being Batman.
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains:
    • #45 Villain, The Joker
    • #46 Hero, Batman
  • Approval of God: Bob Kane approved of the twist of The Joker being the one who killed Batman's parents, adding that he wished he'd thought of it himself.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Jack Nicholson has said that The Joker might have been his favorite role of all, because it was the "least limiting" creation he did (read: lots of freedom to go Large Ham) and the character's Crosses the Line Twice behavior mirrored his own sense of humour. The fact that he negotiated such a sweet back-end deal that ended up paying him more than any actor had received for a role before probably didn't hurt.
  • Billing Displacement: Jack Nicholson is the top billed actor, not Michael Keaton. Justified, since Nicholson has more dialogue and screen time.
  • The Cast Showoff: Jack Nicholson's Jack Palance impression. It's pretty good, too.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Tim Burton once said of the film "I liked parts of it, but the whole movie is mainly boring to me. It's OK, but it was more of a cultural phenomenon than a great movie." He also wasn't horribly enthusiastic about how Prince's songs were used in the film.
    • Screenwriter Sam Hamm, one of the many writers who worked on the script, has also absolved himself from the sequence where Alfred leads Vicki to the Batcave, a move that didn't sit well with a lot of fans. Hamm said the scene didn't come from him and that the day Alfred let someone in the Batcave would be his last day of employment. It gets a Call-Back in Returns.
  • The Danza: Jack Nicholson as (pre-Jokerization) Jack Napier.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Michael Keaton hated the Batsuit because he suffered from claustrophobia. Elfman and Keaton both decided that it would enhance his performance. And it did.
  • Executive Meddling: Does the entire last act in the cathedral feel like it was tacked on at the last minute to you? It was. Executive Producer Jon Peters worked it into the movie all behind Tim Burton's back.
  • Fake Nationality
    • Batman being filmed in London, there are several minor roles filled by British actors passing for American (most of them doing quite well).
    • The casting of Jack Napier and Carl Grissom is (implied) to be this on both an in-universe and meta level. Jack Nicholson is of Scots-Irish descent, while Jack Palance was a Ukrainian-American, and their characters' surnames both sound British Isles or northern European. But their criminal empire is implied to be primarily Italian-American, given a lesser don named "Tony Rotelli" and another guy who looks stereotypically Sicilian. Of course, the syndicate also includes a Chinese gangster, so obviously Gotham's criminals (at least here) are pretty accepting of different people.
  • Follow the Leader: A spate of non-powered superhero movies followed, including Darkman and Dick Tracy, both of which were scored by Danny Elfman.
  • The Other Marty: Sean Young was originally cast as Vicki Vale, but dropped out when she was injured filming a horse riding scene that was later scrapped. Kim Basinger stepped in to replace her.
  • Playing Against Type: Comedian Michael Keaton as the Batman. Keaton himself lampshaded this in interviews with the observation that Bruce Wayne should be the person who looks least likely to be Batman.
  • Prop Recycling:
  • Recycled Set: The alien nest and colony from Aliens was reused as the set for the Axis Chemicals facility. The crew had to remove most of the xenomorph webbing before filming, but bits of it can still be spotted if you look carefully enough.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Kim Basinger separated from her husband of nine years and took up with Jon Peters over the course of filming.
    • In a 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Peters recalled that Michael Keaton was romantically interested in Basinger during filming, while he was in the midst of a divorce from wife 'Caroline Mc Williams' (qv). . Keaton resented Peters when he successfully courted Basinger, who left her first husband, Ron Snyder, for the relationship.
  • Throw It In!:
    • When exploring Wayne Manor with Vicki, Knox (Robert Wuhl) ad-libbed the jokes aimed at Bruce's decorative collection of odd-looking armour.
    • After the Board to Death meeting when the Joker tells Bob to tail Knox, Jack Nicholson ad-libbed his Grisson impression (complete with Jack Palance's breathy voice).
    • Jack Nicholson revealed in an interview that the strange dance the Joker does when he exits Vicki Vale's apartment (when he raises his arms, blows a raspberry, and runs off) was something called the "bird dance" which he improvised during the take. He took it from a friend of his, the actor Clegg Hoyt.
    • Michael Keaton came up with the famous "I'm Batman" line - in the script it was "I am the (K)night".
    • Keaton was also the one who decided that Batman didn't turn his head. This was because the cowl wasn't fitted to his head quite right and bowed outwords when he turned his head.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Tthe film has held up pretty well, in large part due to the 1940s style in the production design and more (heck, one scene shows a character reading a newspaper dated to 1947)... but the "smooth funk" songs by Prince on the soundtrack do not help. Nor do some magazine covers we see: a 1980s-font cover of Time and a very '70s/'80s-looking cover of Vogue. And the Hell-Bent for Leather fashion sense of The Joker's gang looks more than a little cheesy today, partly because leather jackets have become not only socially acceptable, but so commonplace that they're hardly noticed anymore.
  • What Could Have Been...:
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Tim Burton at one point had no clue how the film was going to climax -
    "Here were Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger walking up this cathedral, and halfway up Jack turns around and says, 'Why am I walking up all these stairs? Where am I going?' 'We'll talk about it when you get to the top!' I had to tell him that I didn't know".

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/Batman