Friday, March 21, 2014

Towering BATMAN 1989 Gotham City Concept Art by Anton Furst and Nigel Phelps

Friday, March 21, 2014 - by Maurice Mitchell 5

Batman (1989) concept art by Nigel Phelps
Check out vintage Batman 1989 concept art by Anton Furst and Nigel Phelps!

Every Friday I try and feature artwork from a classic of science fiction cinema or television. This week's "Flashback Friday" post is on Batman (1989).

Update: While most credit these drawings to Anton Furst,  concept artist Robbie Consing pointed out these were done by art director and collaborator Nigel Phelps. 

The art direction for Batman (1989) won an Academy Award for it's stunning visuals. The haunting art deco designs broke through the streets and created a sprawling metropolis for Batman to prowl. One of the most striking designs was for the "Flugelheim" museum. "All the buildings, except the Cathedral, are dwarfed by the geometric savagery of the Flugelheim Museum whose brutal exterior is more akin to locomotive design than an art gallery like the Guggenheim," Anton Furst said. He felt it was "one of my most successful designs. I wanted the museum to be a surprise, a new, radical edifice which concealed an older building underneath. The radical broadstroke of the exterior conceals a style which borrows from Otto Wagner as well as Brownstone housing"

Anton Furst was a production designer who worked on Hollywood movies like Full Metal Jacket (1987), Awakenings (1990) and The Company of Wolves (1984). He died tragically at 47. Nigel Phelps is a professional production designer and art director, known for Troy (2004), World War Z (2013) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2013).

Click on the images to enlarge.

Flugelheim Museum





Gotham Cathedral




Old Gotham Police Station

Old Wayne Enterprises Tower

Click on the links if you want to see more of Nigel Phelps, Anton Furst's work or Batman 1989 on my blog.

What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Batman 1989 what did you think?

Official Batman Summary
After witnessing his parents brutal murder as a child, millionaire-philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) pledges his life to fighting crime disguised as Batman. His long-time nemesis, The Joker (Jack Nicholson), has sinister plans for the citizens of Gotham City. His greed is matched by his obsession with photojournalist Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger). But Batman is there to counter the Joker's every move. With the fate of Gotham and Vicki in the balance, will good or evil prevail?
Directed by Tim Burton
Cinematography by Roger Pratt
Production Design by Anton Furst
Starring Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, Jack Nicholson, Robert Wuhl, Billy Dee Williams
Release date: June 23, 1989 (United States)
© Copyright 1989 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, The Guber-Peters Company, Warner Bros. All rights reserved



About the Author

Maurice Mitchell
Lover of science fiction and art.

5 comments:

  1. Those black and white drawings were done by Anton's brilliant art director and longtime collaborator Nigel Phelps (now the production designer of TROY, the TRANSFORMERS series, WORLD WAR Z)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is great insight Robbie! Everyone says these are from Anton, so it's good to know the whole story.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome visuals. No Batman movie since has matched these designs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. FUCKING Dope Niggas !! is this from the same artist who created Aliens?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Four of those drawings (the two of the museum, the one of the street with the cantilevered buildings, and the Cathedral) are from the movie. I believe the rest are all from a set of drawings Furst did for DC Comics when they asked him to "design us a Gotham City". The old Wayne Tower (including the "skyline from under the bridge") and the drawings with the viaducts are all from that, and I believe the old police station drawing was well. I'm not sure about the "old Gotham" drawing.

    ReplyDelete

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