Sorry Marvel, this seems to be the year of DC. DC virtual convention is around the corner and it’s about to rain surprises. The unprecedented 24-hour event is going to cater to everything DC. With the guest list out for DC FanDome, one presence that has got fans super excited is Val Kilmer. The Top Gun: Maverick star is also famous for his one-time Batman stint. Kilmer donned the cape for Joel Schumacher’s 1995, Batman Forever which was the final chapter in the line of Tim Burton’s tales.
Fans have been long demanding WB to #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut. Just like the Snyder Cut movement fans have reasons to believe that a darker much longer version of Schumacher’s Batman Forever exists. Kilmer’s presence at the virtual event has led fans to believe they might finally get their way, albeit in a highly unlikely scenario.
DC’s Gathering Of Batmen
With everything we know so far, it seems like DC has big surprises for fans during the 24-hour gala. There’s a secret movie to be announced, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Matt Reeves’ The Batman, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman 1984, Jaume Collet-Serra’s Black Adam, HBO Spin-off shows, coupled with the TV shows and series – all will get exclusive footages and announcements. The line up includes over 300 actors, directors and writers from the DC/WB universe.
Watch: DC FanDome | Teaser Trailer
In essence, we have various Batmen appearing during the DC FanDome viz Robert Pattinson, Ben Affleck, and Val Kilmer (fingers crossed for Michael Keaton). However, Kilmer’s presence is really conspicuous as fans expect a Schumacher’s Cut announcement.
Earlier this year WB gave in to the Snyder’s Cut movement and greenlit the project for its HBO Max platform, chances look bleak for Schumacher’s Cut. To start with, 25 years down the line there would hardly be any processing-worthy assembly cut left in the WB archives. Since the passing of director Joel Schumacher, the big question would be who’ll oversee the project, if chosen to revive? Also, with so many Batmen running around, would DC executives really want to prompt another Batman story?
What makes sense however is to link Kilmer to Robert Pattinson’s Bat-verse. How?
The Dark Knight Inspiration
The dark theme of Batman has been championed and redefined by filmmakers like Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder. Both Schumacher and Reeves are offbeat directors in that sense. However, scribe writer Marc Bernardin revealed previously,
“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.”
For the record, Schumacher temporarily saved the Batman franchise with his lighter take before sinking it completely with the sequel Batman and Robin with George Clooney. Apparently, he later approached the studio with other concepts which were inspired by Frank Miller’s graphic novels, Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns.
Watch: Everything Wrong With Batman Forever
Looks like Schumacher had taken inspiration from Arkham asylum and Batman Year one for his Batman tales. And that’s the same space from which Reeves seems to be taking inspiration from. The HBO Max spin-off coupled with the assortment of villains for his movie and the look test of the Bat-suit (minus the Bat nipples) – all point in a similar direction to Schumacher’s vision.
Matt Reeves is quite adamant about a distinct take on the Batman which also seems to be taking mental health as an undertone for the storyline. Schumacher too exploited the detective side of the caped crusader. Notably actor Robert Pattinson declared that Batman is not a superhero. An age-old debate that says likes of Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne are just billionaires that can support their superhero ambitions. They weren’t born on Krypton, bit by a spider or injected with the super-soldier serum. Pattinson agrees with that school of thought where no superpower means no superhero. His Batman seems to be well-grounded, yet a highly capable detective who has scars in the form of his childhood trauma.
“Batman’s not a hero, though. He’s a complicated character. I don’t think I could ever play a real hero – there’s always got to be something a little bit wrong.”Robert Pattinson on is character in Batman 2021
Given, the similar tones of Reeves’ and Schumacher’s Batman, it’s more convincing to interlink their universes in alternate timelines rather than giving into another director’s cut without the actual director to helm it. WB’s too smart for that now! Whether Val Kilmer announces the Schumacher Cut or allegiance to Robert Pattinson’s The Batman, we’ll get to be sure on August 22 at the DC FanDome event.