Top 10 Differences Between The Gothams Of Nolan And Burton

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9. Jack Nicholson vs. Heath Ledger

Most would agree that Gotham’s baddest bad guy is none other than the Joker, a favorite villain within the Batman mythos long before Jack Nicholson first committed him to celluloid in 1989. Additionally, both Nicholson and his Joker-successor Heath Ledger were accused of stealing the spotlight from the hero of the hour, which basically stands true: Ledger’s work in the film remains chilling to the nth degree. Although his posthumous Oscar win all but eclipsed the work of Nicholson in the first Batman film, let us not forget that Jack knows how to be scary with the best of ‘em (anyone remember THE SHINING?). Re-watching BATMAN now, it’s clear he was going for camp with a tinge of pretty serious psychopathic tendencies, while Ledger did just the opposite: a core of terrifying insanity peppered with the lightest touch of kitschy theatricality (which makes him all the more scary).

Author: Dan Heching

lightAmazingly, Bruce Wayne is about to don his Batsuit for the seventh time in a little over 20 years, with the role of Batman becoming a nouveau-James Bond of sorts—a grand total of 4 actors have portrayed him thus far. When the original BATMAN came out in 1989, superhero films were far from guaranteed successes; effects and makeup still hadn’t quite risen to the standards of what the deliriously imaginative comic creators could come up with. Nevertheless, Tim Burton’s BATMAN was a commercial and (mostly) critical success, enough to ensure delivery of the (arguably) better sequel BATMAN RETURNS three years later. Fast forward (remember that?) to 2005, and MEMENTO director Christopher Nolan resuscitated the franchise with the much more realistic BATMAN BEGINS, which in turn was also followed by a superior sequel, THE DARK KNIGHT.


While comparing the drastically different Batman universes of Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan might seem a fruitless endeavor, an interesting way to explore them is through the directors’ treatment of the Dark Knight’s beloved Gotham City. 


Author: Dan Heching10. Product Tie-ins: Coca Cola vs. Mountain Dew9.  Jack Nicholson vs. Heath Ledger8.  The Bat-Signal7. Greys and blacks vs. Washed out ochres6.  Henchmen5. Crowds of Gothamites
4. Soundstages vs. On location3. New York vs. Chicago2. Pat Hingle vs. Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon1. ‘Stylized’ Dark vs. ‘Bleak’ Dark