Mask Of The Phantasm may be the only theatrical Batman production to get the character right. Granted, the creative team had plenty of time to work it out thanks to The Animated Series. The serials have issues, Tim Burton made Batman a supporting cast member in his own movie so he could focus on mentally-disturbed villains, Joel Schumacker was brought in to make the franchise more “family-friendly” (that didn’t work out AND they were terrible), Christopher Nolan messed heavily with the lore to make a more “grounded Batman but at least two out of three movies were good., and the less said about Snyder the better. When the best live-action movie Batman is still Adam West (who was at least near-accurate for his time) thanks to the movie version of the TV show, I find it obvious that they should just make animated movies. Those are usually pretty good.
However, the live-action status symbol continues and in-between the train wreck that is Batman And Robin and the rather excellent Batman Begins (ignoring Christian Bale’s gravely bat-voice) were two other attempts to continue the series that Tim Burton started, Batman Unchained and Batman: Darknight. Despite being something closer to a Frank Miller/Tom King hybrid that’s not why the movies never happened. Although after watching this accounting by Owen Loves Comics I’m just glad they didn’t get made. It’s not Superman Lives levels of bad, but it’s still not very good.
All I can say is I’m glad these were never made. The lore is wrong, the stories are way too disturbing (Scarecrow’s mask is now just his scarred and sewn together face? Really?), and it still kicked the kids aside. I don’t care how “toyetic” Joel’s movies appeared to be that wasn’t family-friendly or even kid-friendly. Did you watch the movies? The problem, and this continues today with stuff like Gotham or Batwoman, is the live-action Bat stories continue to be made by people who don’t really care about the characters. This is the trend they need to work on, but at least we have the animated shows and movies to give us a proper Batman. Meanwhile, Owen found out about another attempt at a live-action Batman, one based on Frank Miller’s “Year One” story. Would this have worked?
Apparently not. Again, stick with the cartoons. Batman teaming with the Ninja Turtles works better than this stuff. (I really want to see that movie.)
If you want to see more Owen Likes Comics, check out his YouTube channel.