Tim Burton's Batman is a movie I wish I had room for on my Top 10 list of best movies of the 80s. But alas you can't include everything. Still, it deserves a post of its own because it reinvented the superhero genre and was in parts breathtaking to behold.

The casting of Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne caused an uproar among the fanboys with Warner Brothers reportedly receiving as many as 50,000 letters of protest. But Burton and producer Jon Peters both felt that Keaton possessed the right qualities to be able to portray the tortured billionaire. Jack Nicholson was brought on to lend heavyweight star appeal to the project but he didn't come cheap. He had a very complicated contract that included his receiving a percentage of the gross. He is said to have earned upwards of $50 million for his three months of work.

The film was shot primarily at Pinewood Studios in England with some scenes utilizing sets that were still intact from the shooting of James Cameron's "Aliens" several years earlier. Anton Furst was hired to design the production and used both Terry Gilliam's film "Brazil" and Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" as inspiration. He's quoted as saying he wanted Gothan City to look like "...what we imagined New York City might have become without a planning commission."

Despite the reservations of die-hard Batman loyalists and luckwarm reviews from a lot of mainstream critics the film became an enormous box office smash earing $251 million during its domestic run ($495 million adjusted for inflation). It created the dark template that most ensuing superhero movies have used and spawned three sequels of varying quality before the franchise went into hiatus and re-emerged under the guidance of Christopher Nolan in 2005.

For my money Burton's Batman can stand its ground against any subsequent superhero movie (including The Dark Knight) and deserves to be recognized for its groundbreaking tone and stunning design.