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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

What if 20 years ago............

In honor of Batman Forever's 20th anniversary, THR looked back at some of the Batman movies that were in development over the years but never ended up getting made. It's a solid read for Bat-fans, but there's one project we thought was specifically worth mentioning: Joel Schumacher's Batman Unchained.
Schumacher was developing another Batman sequel to be released after Batman & Robin, but that movie was so godawful that it nearly killed the entire franchise and definitely put a stop to any plans of having Schumacher be involved moving forward. Some of you may have heard about his plan for this sequel before, but for those who haven't heard this story before, here you go:
Mark Protosevich, the writer of I Am Legend, and Schumacher wanted to essentially move the tone of the series closer to what Christopher Nolan did with Batman Begins, pushing things toward that "dark and gritty" feel that became the go-to buzzwords in Hollywood a decade later. Schumacher wanted to cast Nicolas Cage as The Scarecrow, and Courtney Love was apparently being considered to play Harley Quinn.
Its two villains had each hated a different aspect of Batman. The brilliant (and satanic) Prof. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow had a personal vendetta against Bruce Wayne, while Harley Quinn despised Bruce's alter ego.
Harley, a toymaker whom Protosevich describes as "sadistic in a mischievous, fun sense," learns that her true father was The Joker. This sets her on a path of vengeance against Batman for taking him away in the 1989 film. Eventually, Crane learns Batman's secret identity and teams up with Harley to drive him insane and have him sent to Arkham Asylum.
I'd heard a lot of this before, but here's a piece of info that was entirely new to me: the climax of the film would have involved a hallucinating Batman being put on trial by all of the villains of the past films, incorporating cameos from Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, and even Jack Nicholson reprising his role as The Joker. That sounds pretty freakin' bonkers to me, especially since this Batman would have still been played by George Clooney.
Eventually, Chris O'Donnell's Robin would have helped Batman through the final battle. Later, Bruce Wayne travels to Bali to step into a real bat cave, where the last shot would have been him walking into the cave with bats swarming all around him.
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