When Tim Burton’s Batman was being filmed, somewhat insulated from the media at Pinewood Studios, back home in the States the production was being slated.
The Wall Street Journal reported that fans at conventions were booing the the casting choice of Michael Keaton as Batman. Adam West, TV’S 1960’s campy iteration, was insisting he should don the Batcape as well, and that the film was ruining the legacy of the character. This led to the creation of the famous teaser trailer, with no names, no narrative, no music – just snippets of footage. It turned around fan and press perceptions, the first trailer to really cause such a media frenzy.
What many people don’t know is that Warner Brothers also shot an earlier promo piece to placate worried film distributors and merchandisers. They needed something to assure these parties about the film’s finished look and mood; that it wouldn’t be a camp-fest, but a true reflection of the character’s dark, gothic roots. In fact, the opening sequence reflects more on the comics history, Adam West’s contribution a mere footnote.
The promo was made around August 1988. Production designer Anton Furst conducts a tour of the sets under construction, and the model shops. The batmobile is wheeled out, with Keaton in full Batman costume, a searchlight settling on the Bat-symbol on his chest. To give an idea of the actor’s range and suggest the mood of the film, clips are shown from Beetlejuice and Clean and Sober for Keaton, and The Witches Of Eastwick for Jack Nicholson.
Batman89.com has a great interview with the director of the promo, Andrew Gillman. And, courtesy of his site, here is the actual short promotional film.