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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

This Year, May the 4th is for "Batman"

In honor of Batman's 80th birthday, Fathom Events, DC and Warner Bros. bring the four early caped crusader adventures back to the big screen to movie theaters nationwide this May . It all starts Saturday, May 4 on national "Free Comic Book Day", the first of four days the "quadrilogy" of Batman movie adventures return, each for one day only on more than 600 screens nationwide. Kicking off the tribute is Tim Burton's 1989 Batman, Sunday, May 4. Monday, May 6, sees Burton's Batman Returns on the silver screen, followed by Batman Forever Sunday, May 12, with Batmen & Robin wrapping up the cinematic celebration Tuesday, May 14. Tickets to all four films are available individually at, or at participating theater box offices.

Tim Burton’s visionary Batman's unprecedented success and acclaim helped to propel superhero movies to legitimacy as a genre that continues to reign supreme at the box office today. Of course, with the talents of Jack Nicholson as The Joker, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale its no wonder the re-imaging had such an indelible impact, and became the top-grossing film of the year. This current re-release will no doubt draw much attention as it happens to coincide with the 30th anniversary of its initial release in 1989.

1992's Batman Returns brought both Keaton and Burton back as collaborators, adding Danny DeVito as The Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Christopher Walken as Max Schreck. This film was equally hailed for its eye-popping visual flair and riveting performances, which validated the production of the series' third installment in 1995. In Batman Forever, it was Val Kilmer who donned the Bat-suit. This time the all-star cast included Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face, Jim Carrey as The Riddler, Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian, Chris O’Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin, and Drew Barrymore as Sugar. Upping the anti for 1997's Batman & Robin, George Clooney (not yet the star he would become) stars as the Caped Crusader with O’Donnell back as Robin. Arnold Schwarzenegger played Mr. Freeze, Uma Thurman was luminescent as Poison Ivy, and Alicia Silverstone served the oft underrated Barbara Wilson/Batgirl.

“The cycle of ‘Batman’ films that began with Tim Burton’s big-screen classic thirty years ago this summer is an amazing group of films that helped usher in an exciting new era of moviemaking,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations Tom Lucas. “We’re honored Warner Bros. has turned to Fathom Events to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Batman with these iconic superhero films.”

If you're a fan of the latest superhero films, then you really ought to take advantage of this opportunity to see these films on the big screen. Big films are meant to be seen in a darkened theater, surrounded by a bunch of strangers who enjoy going to the movies. These films are very different than today's incarnation of Batman, and that's s particularly good reason to see them. They act as a history of the development of one of the most iconic heroes of all time. Missing out on them would be a mistake. And they're a whole lot of fun as well. You'll learn to appreciate Batman in a whole new light, and I don't mean the Bat-signal.

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