#ReleaseTheSchumacherCut! That is the hashtag that began to spread when it was revealed that there is an extended director’s cut of BATMAN FOREVER, helmed by the late Joel Schumacher. Depending on who you ask, Batman Forever is either pure nostalgic fun or one of the less significant entires of the Batman franchise but the idea that Schumacher’s cut is more serious and complex has intrigued fans enough to want to see it. Fans are so intrigued by what this film could be that they are taking to Twitter next week to start a social media event in order to grab the attention of Warner Bros. to release this definitive cute of the film.
The event is taking place on Wednesday, June 16th, and they want the fans to let it be known on that day that they want Warner Bros. to #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut! The Twitter post caption reads “It exists! On June 16th 10 AM EST, we fight for Joel Schumacher.” The hashtag will need to be used on your posts that are rallying for the film’s release and it can’t hurt to tag Warner Bros. and HBO Max in your tweets. You can check out the Twitter post for the event below:
— RTSchumacherCut (@CutSchumacher) June 1, 2021
News of the extended cut, which is reportedly 170 minutes long, was first revealed by writer and podcaster Marc Bernardin back in July of last year when he said that the cut existed somewhere in the Warner Bros. vault. At the time Bernardin said “I have it on pretty good authority that there exists in the Warner Bros. vault a 170-minute cut of Batman Forever. I think that it went much deeper into his childhood psychosis and his mental blocks and that it was a more serious, darker version of that movie that was one of the first assemblies that Joel filed with the studio and they eventually cut it down because they were like ‘it’s too dark for kids. We gotta sell these Happy Meals, so maybe let’s not invest ourselves in the trauma of childhood murder. ‘We’ve got Jim Carrey, let him do some sh*t.”
This wasn’t exactly the first time that there were hints about a darker and more extended cut of Batman Forever. It is known that about 38 minutes of extra scenes never made it into the theatrical release that we received and some of these deleted scenes have been addressed by Schumacher in the past. A lot of what was cut really isn’t all that important to change much of the film but there are some moments that were removed that could’ve taken the film in a different direction. For instance, a whole subplot about ‘the red book’ ended up on the cutting room floor. In the finished film’s version of Bruce’s flashback, the young Bruce picks up Thomas Wayne’s diary during his parents’ wake. Lamenting that his father will never write in it again, Bruce grabs the book and runs into the night. He falls down a hole, sees a huge bat, and begins his plans to become Batman. In the longer cut of the film, there was more to it than that and in an extended version of the flashback, young Bruce finds a passage in his father’s diary written shortly before his death that reads “Bruce insists on seeing a movie tonight…” As we all know, it was that fateful trip to the movies that ended with Bruce’s parents being gunned down and discovering this passage in the diary would’ve consumed Bruce with guilt and he would’ve felt personally responsible for the death of his parents.
There is another scene that was cut where Bruce wakes up with temporary amnesia after being shot by Two-Face and taking a fall. In his incoherent state, he remembers his life as Bruce, but not his time as Batman so Alfred decides to bring Bruce down to “the cave beneath the [main Bat]cave”, where he first came up with the idea to become Batman.
If there are more moments like this to make up the 170-minute cut, it would show that Warner Bros. did go out of their way to cut some of the darker material from the film after feeling like things went too dark with Tim Burton’s first sequel, Batman Returns. That film made it very difficult for Warner Bros. to sell toys and Happy Meals as parents complained about the highly sexualized relationship between Batman and Catwoman and the outright disgustingness of Danny DeVito’s Penguin. No matter how people may feel about the overall quality of Batman Forever, the film did what Warner Bros. needed it to do and it proved to be more successful financially than its predecessor.
That being said, I’d love to see what other directions the film could’ve gone in. We could end up getting more silliness for all we know but it would be interesting to see these more adult themes cut back into the film to see if it gives the movie a bit more emotional weight. In the film, Val Kilmer dons the cape and cowl and he must battle former district attorney Harvey Dent, who is now Two-Face and Edward Nygma, The Riddler with the help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin, after Two-Face murders his parents. The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman, Jim Carrey, and Chris O’Donnell.
Will You be taking part in the #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut event next week?