Burton’s first big-budget project is a collaboration with Warner Brothers Pictures on Batman. Warner Bros. wanted to cast a muscular actor to portray the Caped Crusader, but Burton fought to cast Micheal Keaton as Bruce Wayne, insisting that he need not ‘bulk up’ because Batman should be an average, yet wealthy, man. Burton won, but Warner Bros. stock took a hit from displeased fans.
When the film opens, it becomes one of the biggest box office hits of all time, grossing $440 million worldwide. On the topic of Batman, Burton said
I was never a giant comic book fan but I’ve always loved the image of Batman and the Joker. The reason I’ve never been a comic book fan – and I think it started when I was a child – is because I could never tell which box I was supposed to read. I don’t know if it was dyslexia or whatever.