How Tim Burton Brought Gotham to Dark, Gritty Life in His “Batman” Films
By all reasonable box office measures, Batman should have been a dud. What many initially thought would be the biggest pitfalls of the 1989 film ended up as some of the movie's most notable strengths. Michael Keaton showed he wasn't some 1980s rom-com star miscast as Bruce Wayne, and Tim Burton proved that he was more than the Pee-wee director, capable of crafting thrilling cinematic adventures with light and dark narratives.
But another often overlooked reason why Batman succeeded, is that Burton managed to make his Gotham City feel like an actual city that didn't just live on a soundstage.