|Batman (1989) Joker concept art by Bob Ringwood|
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).
Today's post was from a request on my Facebook page by Yiğit Işık. If you have anything you'd like to see just let me know in the comments, Twitter or Facebook!
When Tim Burton set out to make Batman he was blazing new territory and turned to designer Bob Ringwood to help him create a new vision of the superhero. He admitted, "I had never even read a Batman comic. So I went out and bought about 200 of them from all the different time periods – including the really early ones – and studied them thoroughly… Then I closed the comics and started thinking about why a man would dress up as a bat – the whole idea is absurd – and I decided that to make it work, I had to come up with a bat that was dark and mysterious and sexy."
Bob Ringwood is a British professional Academy Award-winning costume designer who's worked on Hollywood films like Excalibur (1981), Alien³ (1992) and A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001).
Click on the images to enlarge.
Ringwood decided to take a fresh look at the character, but still turned to the comic book's origins. "I had decided from the beginning that this ‘Batman’ was not going to be in blue knickers,” said costume designer Bob Ringwood. “I hated those. Bats are black, of course – not blue – and black is much more sinister and sexy. After talking to Batman creator Bob Kane, we found out that he had always thought of ‘Batman’ as being in black, but that it was very difficult to draw a black-on-black drawing for the comic strip. So he had drawn it in blue so that he could use different tones of the color for effect. In his mind, the blue was just a symbolic version of black. Our black costume was really nearer the original concept."
The concept behind the Joker costume is that it took Jack Nicholson's style and enhance it. ""He adores clothes," Ringwood said, "So all we did was just re-interpret the clothes that the Joker wears in the drawings to work with Nicholson's personality. To do clothes with him is a joy ride, really, because he just loves them. He is really with you and he's suggesting things and inventing things and doing things. He's wonderful."
Click on the links if you want to see more of Bob Ringwood's work or Batman artwork on my blog.
Some images via the awesome fansite LegionsofGotham.org
If you've seen Batman, what do you think of the costumes? What do you think of the concept art?
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