8. Batman Forever And Batman & Robin Are Movies Within Movies
The dark tone of Batman Returns received so much blowback from parents and critics that Warner Bros. made the decision to do a kind of soft reboot by replacing Tim Burton with Joel Schumacher. The result was the much more lighthearted and kid-friendly Batman Forever. And after that movie did gangbusters at the box office, Warner Bros. decided to go even further and basically make Batman & Robin a big budget version of the old Adam West Batman TV show. But how does that work within the continuity of the movies? Batman goes from being a sadistic killer in Batman Returns to lecturing Dick Grayson about how it's wrong to take a life in Batman Forever. Gotham City goes from a city full of gothic architecture to one filled with neon lights and giant Grecian statues. The theory is that after Batman Returns and the loss of Catwoman, Bruce was so despondent that he revealed his identity to the world and retired. One version even says that he also fell on hard financial times, necessitating the need to sell his life story. And Batman Forever and Batman & Robin? Those are movies made about the exploits of Michael Keaton's Batman. Hence why you have two different actors playing him, why the movies show a very different Gotham, and how Harvey Dent's race changes from black to white. But the problem with this theory is that there's nothing to suggest Bruce would do that in Batman Returns. And an even bigger problem is that both Michael Gough and Pat Hingle play Alfred and Commissioner Gordon in all four films.
Percival Constantine is the author of several novels and short stories, including the Vanguard superhero series, and regularly writes and comments on movies, comics, and other pop culture. More information can be found at his website, PercivalConstantine.com