Batman fans ask a lot of questions, but there’s one that comes up more than others around here: “What if Tim Burton and Michael Keaton had made Batman Forever?” Of course, that never happened. Instead we ended up with Joel Schumacher’s miserable film, which starred Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne, instead. The reasons for Keaton and Burton’s departure are far too numerous to get into here, but we outlined how Tim Burton’s Batman 3 became Batman Forever right here, if you’d like to read more.
Now we at least know a little bit more about what a Michael Keaton Batman 3 would have looked like, thanks to images of these models that were created early in Batman Forever‘s production.
The sculpt is by Jose Fernandez, who also sculpted Catwoman’s cowl in Batman Returns and the Robin suit in Batman and Robin. The top two images look very much like the “sonar” batsuit from Batman Forever, while the bottom photo resembles that film’s primary costume.
Check ’em out:
Don’t get too excited over the grey suit. That’s probably just the material used for the sculpt, and this likely would have been painted black like the other batsuits in the franchise. But the yellow oval with the contrast of the black cape, boots, and gloves on a grey bodysuit does look pretty striking when put in the context of the ’90s Batman movies, doesn’t it? The prominent lack of nipples doesn’t hurt, either. By the way, if you need to know why the batsuit had nipples in the first place, we have the answer to that question right here.
I’m not sure about the exact chronology of these photos, which originally surfaced on the Brotherhood of the Bat message board and comes to us via The Movies (with a hat-tip to some old friends, too). It’s likely that these were made after Tim Burton had departed the project, but before Michael Keaton did, given that they were still clearly using his likeness for the head sculpt.