What is old is new again. Comic book characters have moved from the pages of the funny books, to the silver screen to bedsheets, toothpaste, video games and every other use in between. Warner Brothers is marking the 75th Anniversary of Batman by featuring him in their studio tour in Burbank, California.
I had the pleasure of taking the tour on July 18, 2014, as an aperitif to the 2014 San Diego Comic Convention. I had only taken the Warner Brothers Studio Tour once before and that was a few years back well before the Batman focused exhibit. I must warn you, this tour is essentially the Warner Brothers studio tour with some Batman elements thrown in so please don’t anticipate that the majority of the tour will be Batman centric. The tour runs over 2 hours but can very from tour to tour. As with any working studio tour, your experience will vary based on your particular tour guide, when you take your tour, and the people that are on your tour. While there is a rough outline to the tour, each one is different. The tours work around shooting schedules, questions from the tour and the style of the tour guide. You can generally expect to see a variety of sets, the interior of a sound stage, and any set displays specifically designed for the tours.
About 45 minutes into the tour, we were taken to the display area, where they had props from the Batman films on the first floor and items from the Harry Potter movies on the second floor. We were given about 20 minutes to walk around, take pictures and enjoy. I had scene the Harry Potter display from my previous visit so I focused mostly on the Batman items. It featured items from not only the most recent trilogy but from his earlier foray into cinema from a few decades back. Much of the recent props were the same as were shown in the late 2012 L.A. Live event to celebrate the release of the Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray. That event was free and also featured more artwork. However, if you missed that event, this one will probably be running for quite awhile (if the continued use of the Harry Potter display is any guide). There is also items from those earlier movies which were not at the 2012 event. My only complaint was that 20 minutes was not long enough.
We also got to visit a hangar which had vehicles from all of the movies. This includes two versions of the Tumbler, various bat-cycles and planes and an opportunity to have a green screen photo in the bat cave (digitally added of course). We passed on that opportunity but the photo taking was free. Taking home a copy did cost money. They also had a working bat-signal which was fun.
Back at the gift shop they had a small section devoted to Batman merchandise, and also sections for Game of Thrones, Friends, WB cartoon characters, etc. The largest amounts of merchandise seemed to be for the Big Bang Theory and Harry Potter. We enjoyed the tour and I would take it again, but will probably wait some time to see what other properties they feature.
Andrew Sanford for https://comicspectrum.com/
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