In an attempt to unveil the director’s original vision, Batman Forever joins the list of DC movies that possess an alternative version. Akiva Goldsman, the writer of Batman Forever, discussed the initial cut crafted by director Joel Schumacher during an interview with The Playlist. Goldsman drew comparisons between the 1995 theatrical release and Schumacher’s original interpretation while addressing the potential release of the elusive “Schumacher Cut” alongside other alternate versions of DC films.
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Following Tim Burton’s dark 1992 film Batman Returns, Schumacher took the helm of the Batman franchise. Batman Forever diverged from its predecessor’s somber tone, offering a lighter and more family-friendly approach. Goldsman shed light on the content featured in the “Schumacher Cut” that was ultimately excised from the theatrical release. He remarked, “It delves around 35% deeper into the realm of psychological realism, focusing on themes of guilt and shame. However, the preview audience expressed their preference for the funny and menacing aspects of the film, the grandiose spectacle… So, it was trimmed down to its present form, which was still remarkable.” In the theatrical version, Bruce Wayne (played by Val Kilmer) discloses to Chase Meridian (portrayed by Nicole Kidman) his act of procuring his father’s journal during their wake. A deleted scene, included in the 2005 DVD version, exhibits an adult Bruce stumbling upon his father’s journal within the Batcave. The journal expounds on Bruce’s insistence on attending a movie, leading him to shoulder the blame for his parents’ murder as he believes it was his decision to go out on that ill-fated night.
Despite the ongoing interest displayed by fans in alternate cuts of films, Goldsman expresses doubt regarding the release of another version of Batman Forever. Nevertheless, he remains hopeful that fans will have the opportunity to witness it as a means to commemorate the late Schumacher, who passed away in 2020. Goldsman states, “I wholeheartedly support its availability to the public—for Joel’s sake, you know? His passing was rather subdued… There wasn’t much recognition, and this would be a fitting tribute, I believe. I think he would find it quite enjoyable.”
Image via Warner Bros.
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Alternate Cuts in DC’s Movie Catalog
DC has previously released alternate versions of its superhero movies that align more closely with the director’s original vision. Superman II is one such example. The theatrical release in 1981, credited to Richard Lester, was later followed by a new cut in 2006 that adhered to the vision of Richard Donner, the director of Superman (1978). Donner had filmed a significant portion of the intended sequel concurrently with the first movie. Another recent instance is Justice League from 2017. While Joss Whedon completed the theatrical version, director Zack Snyder’s four-hour rendition, aligning with his creative vision, debuted on HBO Max in 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Schumacher Cut
What is the “Schumacher Cut” of Batman Forever?
The “Schumacher Cut” refers to director Joel Schumacher’s original version of the film Batman Forever. It is said to delve deeper into psychological realism, exploring themes of guilt and shame.
Will the “Schumacher Cut” of Batman Forever be released?
According to writer Akiva Goldsman, it is unlikely that another cut of Batman Forever will be released. However, he expresses his support for making it available as a tribute to Joel Schumacher and believes the director would appreciate it.
Are there other DC movies with alternate cuts?
Yes, several DC movies have alternate cuts. Examples include Superman II, where a new cut aligned with director Richard Donner’s original vision was released, and Justice League, which had a four-hour version that matched director Zack Snyder’s vision.
Where can I watch the theatrical version of Batman Forever?
The theatrical version of Batman Forever is currently available for streaming on Max.