Tim Burton on Leaving Batman: “I Think I Upset McDonalds. ‘We Can’t Sell Happy Meals with That!’”
During a recent video interview with Yahoo Movies, director Tim Burton spoke about his long career and a few of his favorite projects, including his 1989 film, Batman. The film was a critical and box office success, and led to Batman Returns in 1992. However, though Burton was originally slated to direct the full trilogy, he served only as producer on the final film, Batman Forever, during which time Michael Keaton left the titular role and was replaced by Val Kilmer.
In this week’s interview, Burton reveals why he left the trilogy despite the success of the previous two films:
“I think I upset McDonalds. [They asked] ‘What’s that black stuff coming out of the Penguin’s mouth. We can’t sell Happy Meals with that!’ It was a weird reaction to Batman Returns, because half the people thought it was lighter than the first one and half the people thought it was darker. I think the studio just thought it was too weird — they wanted to go with something more child- or family-friendly. In other words, they didn’t want me to do another one.”