Danny Elfman is one of the best composers in Hollywood history and composed the score for the 1989 and 1992 Batman films. When Batman Returns was being filmed, Elfman said he wanted to score it “like a silent movie.” Silent films have had an impact on the Batman franchise for decades since Paul Leni’s 1928 film The Man Who Laughs was the catalyst and major influence for The Joker. The overall aesthetic for Batman’s early adventures was influenced by silent film as well as the character Max Schreck in Batman Returns, named for the actor who played Count Orlok in Nosferatu (1922).
Writer and filmmaker Andrew Ihla re-released an edited version of Batman Returns as a silent film back in 2014. As Ihla doesn’t own the rights to Batman Returns, this makes his film, The Bat-Man Returns, the ire of Warner Bros. and thus can’t stay on the Internet for very long. In the spirit of Christmas (which Batman Returns has a lot of) for the past three Decembers, the film has been made available online for a short period of time. A link to the film has again appeared on Ihla’s Twitter account. If you’re into silent films catch a look at it before it disappears until next year (at least we hope it comes back next year).
You can find the link and watch Ihla’s film here.