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Tim Burton's "Batman" celebrates 25th anniversary

Tim Burton's "Batman" has soared to an important milestone.

The dark action flick based on the DC comics superhero first landed into theaters 25 years ago this week, on June 23, 1989.

Public expectations were low about the project during shooting. Many fans initially derided the casting of the Caped Crusader with Michael Keaton -- who up to that point had been known mostly for comedic roles in films like 1983's "Mr. Mom" and 1988's "Beetlejuice."

That all changed once "Batman" was released, as viewers were impressed by Keaton's performance and his ability to capture the ethos of the Dark Knight.

Keaton reprised the role in 1992's "Batman Returns" before going on to other roles in films like 1996's "Multiplicity," 2005's "White Noise" and 2010's "The Other Guys." The 61-year-old actor will next star in "Birdman," which spoofs his Batman persona.

Keaton may have played the title character, but Jack Nicholson was given top billing (and a hefty cut of the film's grosses) for his portrayal of gangster Jack Napier, who becomes The Joker during the course of the film. Nicholson's turn as a sadistic sociopath, with a flair for purple suits, captivated audiences and his performance stands with Heath Ledger's rendition as one of the greatest incarnations of the character.

Of course, we all know how Nicholson's career has panned out over the last several decades. The three-time Oscar winner went on to star in 1992's "A Few Good Men," 1996's "Mars Attacks," 1997's "As Good As It Gets," 2002's "About Schmidt," 2003's "Anger Management" and 2006's "The Departed." He hasn't acted in a film, however, since 2010's "How Do You Know."

See what some of the other "Batman" cast and crew members have been up to by clicking on our photo essay at left.

Tell us: Which "Batman" film is your favorite?

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