While Tim Burton's Batman Returns was in production, the film's score was done by Danny Elfman, who said he wanted to score it "like a silent movie."
That made a little sense, of course, since the 1928 Paul Leni silent film The Man Who Laughs is widely regarded as having a major influence on the creation of Batman's archenemy The Joker, and on the overall aesthetic of many of the Dark Knight's early adventures. Even more than that, Max Schreck -- the character played by Christopher Walken in the film -- was named after the silent movie actor best known for playing Nosferatu.
Well, writer and filmmaker Andrew Ihla took the idea one step further and, back in 2014, released a re-edited version of Batman Returns that was acutally a silent movie.
It's an impressive cut, and a fun look at what many comic book fans and Burton purists feel is an unappreciated contribution to Batman's big-screen legacy.
Of course, Ihla doesn't actually own the footage to Batman Returns, and that makes his film -- The Bat-Man Returns -- the kind of thing that's fun to share, but can't stay online for too long lest somebody at Warner Bros. takes interest.
There's plenty of holiday cheer in Batman Returns, though, and so for the last three Decembers, the film has been made available briefly online -- and over the weekend, a link to download the movie appeared on Ihla's Twitter account.
Unlike most fan films, this one takes the footage from the original -- but unlike most fan films, it also does something cool, fun, and creative to differentiate it from the hundreds of people hoping their YouTube superhero short catches the eye of an executive someplace.
Using creative editing, sepia-toned colors, filters, and presumably about a hundred unpaid hours behind the camera, The Bat-Man Returns is a fresh way to look at Burton's sequel -- assuming you can get it before it's gone until next year.