It’s rather sad to think that most people only remember the Bat nipples from Joel Schumacher’s Batman adaptations. Batman Forever and Batman & Robin have casting choices and stiff action scenes that some find questionable, and its camp tone is certainly an acquired taste in this day and age. This is why it was surprising to hear of a Batman Forever campaign in circulation, advocating for the release of a 170-minute director’s cut in the late director’s honor.
The Caped Crusader has passed through generations with a host of worthy actors behind the cowl, the most recent being Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves’ The Batman – which recently wrapped filming. The 34-year-old actor will portray a younger version of Bruce Wayne in the height of his vengeance, and is meant to emit a darker tone that brings Schumacher’s work into contrast.
Tim Burton’s double feature with Michael Keaton harnessed a more gothic tone – typical of the director’s signature style – and they would seem more like horror movies if put side by side with Schumacher’s adaptations. While some may consider Val Kilmer and George Clooney’s portrayals as bumps in the road for the Dark Knight’s live-action journey, other fans hold it in high regard and would jump at the thought of more.
The late director left behind two, unforgettable features, even if some remember them for the wrong reasons. Batman Forever in particular began Schumacher’s distinct vision of comic book adaptations, where vibrant colors and hyperbolic acting set it apart from features gone before. The film’s original runtime sits around the 122-minute mark, and news of a 170-minute director’s cut has been circulating within the fandom for the past year.
A Twitter poll was held last year when various sources spoke of an unreleased director’s cut, but the report also stated that Warner Bros. was hesitant to release it because it didn’t think there was enough demand for it. The poll ended up receiving over 3000 votes with 75% of voters demanding the release of the Schumacher cut.
This surprising campaign was, of course, inspired by the release of the Snyder Cut, which restored director Zack Snyder’s original vision of Justice League. The Snyder Cut campaign demonstrated the power behind passionate fans, even though Warner Bros. has decided not to pursue the director’s SnyderVerse at the moment.
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