Tim Burton’s Batman 3
Before Joel Schumacher was given the reins of the Batman franchise, there was a small sliver of hope that Tim Burton and Michael Keaton would return for a third outing. After the success of 1989’s Batman, the sequel was quickly greenlit, but when it failed to perform at the box office like its predecessor, the doubts began to form.
“I remember toying with the idea of doing another one,” Burton revealed in the “Shadow of the Bat” documentary (via Den of Geek). “And I remember going into Warner Bros. and having a meeting. And I’m going, ‘I could do this or we could do that.’ And they said, ‘Tim, don’t you want to do a smaller movie now? Just something that’s more [you]?’ And about half an hour into the meeting, I go, ‘You don’t want me to make another one, do you?’ And they go, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no, no!’ And I just said, ‘No, I know you…’ So, we just stopped it right there.”
Reports conflict about what ideas had been developed before Burton’s departure with some claiming Burton was eager to bring The Riddler to the big screen along with a reinvention of Robin
“Tim was thinking of having a black Robin,” Schumacher told EW in 2003. “But I’m not sure there is going to be a Robin, let alone what race he might be.”
Though the eventual Batman Forever did include both The Riddler and Robin, none of Burton’s ideas made it into the film.
Later, Burton would reveal to Yahoo he thought he wasn’t asked back for a third film because his two films weren’t as family friendly and capable of being merchandise for kids.
“I think I upset McDonalds. [They asked] ‘What’s that black stuff coming out of the Penguin’s mouth. We can’t sell Happy Meals with that!’ It was a weird reaction to ‘Batman Returns,’ because half the people thought it was lighter than the first one and half the people thought it was darker. I think the studio just thought it was too weird — they wanted to go with something more child- or family- friendly. In other words, they didn’t want me to do another one.”