After criticizing the use of AI in cinema, director Tim Burton stated in an interview with the British media company BFI that he felt great frustration that the major film production company Warner Bros. used their characters in the latest film “Flash”.
In particular, he was annoyed by the use of “Superman Lives” at the end of the film, Burton’s failed attempt to adapt the Man of Steel as a film. The film, starring Nicholas Cage, was scheduled to be released in 1998, but was canceled due to problems with the script after two years of pre-production and just three weeks before filming began.
The interviewer was clear with the questions: “Do you have any regrets?” To which Burton replied:
“No, I don’t regret anything. But I will say this: When you work on a project for so long and it doesn’t come to fruition, it affects you for the rest of your life. Because you develop a great passion for things and every thing is an unknown journey that leads nowhere. But it’s one of those experiences that stays with you.”
In his revelations, he also spoke in more detail about AI and its overuse by productions:
“But this all leads to another topic of AI, and that’s why I stopped the study. You can take what you did, Batman or whatever, and culturally appropriate it or whatever you want to call it. Even if you are a slave to Disney or Warner Brothers, they can do whatever they want. That’s why in the last years of my life I’ve been quietly rebelling against all of this.”
The director had previously criticized the use of AI to appropriate his own art.
Burton is known for the fact that his works were mainly produced by large production companies such as Disney or Warner. “Batman”, “Batman Returns”, “Corpse Bride” and “Frankenweenie” were all produced by large production companies.
Nevertheless, Burton is not so critical of his experiences. He still fondly remembers his time directing Batman and admits that both he and Michael Keaton, the Dark Knight himself; They considered this time “precious”. Still, he admits that he felt some pressure from Warner when directing these films:
“Well, the studio was in a similar situation to Disney before, they found me very “weird.” They had enough of me. “I think I pissed off McDonalds or something.”
The last comment refers to a particular experience while promoting Batman Returns. For the second Dark Knight film, Warner gave Burton more creative freedom, which led to him adding more gothic and dark elements to the film. However, toy promotions at McDonald’s advertised that the film was suitable for the whole family. When parents saw the film, they criticized the dark and inappropriate themes for children. This led to Warner abandoning Burton and pursuing a lighter, more entertaining vision for the upcoming Batman films directed by Joel Schumacher.
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