There has been plenty of talk about director Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies recently. At New York Comic-Con this year, George Clooney (who wore the “Bat-nipples” suit in 1997’s Batman & Robin) apologized for his take on the caped crusader, and shortly after Schumacher commented on the failed movie series as well. Schumacher helmed Batman Forever as well as Batman & Robin, but was also signed on to direct Batman: Triumphant for Warner Bros. – before the studio nixed the project following poor reactions to Clooney’s turn as Batman.
Schumacher and Clooney’s recent discussion of the failed Batman series may have seemed out of place — if only because the franchise failed seven years ago, and the iconic character will soon have been rebooted in both Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, Schumacher’s planned story may find new life in the form of a comic series.
According to Bleeding Cool, Schumacher is working on a 12-issue comic with artist Dustin Nguyen (“Batman: Li’l Gotham,” “Batgirl,” “American Vampires: Lord of Nightmare”) that “will revisit his intentions” for the three Batman films. The comic series would capture Schumacher’s original vision for the caped crusader, and tell one overall story. Though no official announcement has been made, it seems Schumacher is currently working on scripts for the series.
The films truly were Schumacher’s stories (having co-written both Batman films) following Bruce Wayne as he squared off against villains like Two Face (Tommy Lee Jones), Riddler (Jim Carrey), Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), and Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) with the help of Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell) and Barbara Wilson (Alicia Silverstone), known most for their lighter, campier tone compared to the previous movies directed by Tim Burton.
Although Schumacher’s two films — especially Batman & Robin — have been largely regarded as the worst installments in Batman franchise history, it’s difficult to tell how much of that was due to the director and how much was the result of WB’s intentions for the series. The studio was clearly looking for more family-friendly movies, thinking that would provide bigger box office returns. It’s possible that Schumacher’s original vision for the film series would have pleased audiences — at least, more than the movies ultimately did.
While some viewers may be interested to see the story Schumacher originally intended to tell, Batman & Robin may still be too fresh in many fans’ minds to give the writer/director another chance. However, with Nolan’s take on the character bringing new life to Batman on screen (and Snyder’s reincarnation coming in 2016), perhaps even those that were most disappointed by Schumacher’s films may be willing to see what he originally planned.
If nothing else, a Schumacher Batman comic series will offer some insight into how much the studio swayed the director from his original vision. At worst, the series could give us something else to associate with Schumacher other than the “Bat-nipples” suit. If the first two films were just setting up the trilogy’s final chapter, who knows what it might include?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will premiere in theaters March 25, 2016.