Friends, do you recall when you could go take a visit to your local Wal-Mart or other retailer and find a choice selection of movie novelizations? I can recall it wasn’t just chain stores and the like but even grocery stores – at least that is how I picked up my novelization for 1989’s Batman. If I’m going to be honest here, I started to collect movie novelizations a little late in the game – well – I did actually pick up quite a few comic book adaptations back in the day from Marvel Comics. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Dragonslayer, and Krull to name a handful that were available. While Batman was indeed the very first movie novelization I picked up off the shelf at a store – the book that got me started collecting them was at a local thrift shop and that was Alan Dean Foster’s novelization for The Last Starfighter!
I read the novelization for Batman before the film came out, when I should have been studying in my Chemistry class – my nose was firmly planted between the pages of Craig Shaw Gardner’s book. I recall after the film had been released realizing there was a pretty major difference between the novelization and what we saw on the screen. That occurs when Bruce attempts to capture the Joker after he gets shot in Vicki’s apartment… giving chase after donning a ski mask while riding a Police horse through the streets of Gotham. If you get the opportunity to pick it up while at a used book store or flea market you should, it was very well written and most assuredly worth the read if you are a Batman fan.
While this Entertainment Tonight segment for the Batman novelization from 1989 starts off focusing on the then massive success of Craig Shaw Gardner’s book it quickly expands and focuses on films such as Do The Right Thing, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Abyss, as well as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to name just a few.
For a bit it looked like movie novelizations had been phased out – but looking at the shelves of Barnes and Noble and the like, we just might be hitting a Renaissance once again. Although I highly doubt any new books will be quite as exciting as when I first got my hands on that 1989 Batman novelization!