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Joel Schumacher on his “Dark Knight” movie that never happened, and Hollywood’s best Bruce Wayne

Joel Schumacher on his “Dark Knight” movie that never happened, and Hollywood’s best Bruce Wayne (photo)

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Earlier this week, we heard from “Trespass” director Joel Schumacher about Christopher Nolan’s record-breaking run with Batman — a character near and dear to his heart after he made not one but two films featuring the DC Comics icon.

While Schumacher’s first adventure with Batman was a box-office success — 1995’s “Batman Forever” — his 1997 “Batman & Robin” sequel didn’t fare as well. Along with near-universal negative reviews, the film failed to perform at the box office and eventually became known as the film that “killed” the Batman franchise (until Nolan came along, of course).

“Sequels are made for one reason,” Schumacher told IFC during an interview promoting his new film “Trespass” with Nicolas Cage. “Because ‘Batman Forever’ was an unexpected sensation, and the second-biggest grossing movie for the whole year, and everyone made so much money out of ‘Batman Forever,’ it was always, ‘more, more more.'”

“I broke a rule of mine, which is never to do a sequel of anything,” he said of “Batman & Robin.” “They wanted me to do sequels for ‘St. Elmo’s Fire,’ ‘Flatliners,’ ‘Lost Boys,’ and some of the other films I’ve done, and I always knew that if you get lucky, walk away. But I was shooting ‘A Time To Kill’ and the studio had been very generous to me, and much was expected of me by the toy manufacturers and the Warner Bros. stores.”

Still, Schumacher stopped short of downplaying his role in what many regard as one of the worst superhero movies ever made.

“I’m responsible for everything. I said, ‘yes’ and I took it on,” he said. “It’s not my favorite movie I’ve ever made, but I’m proud of my cast and I’m proud of all the artists who worked on it. I take full responsibility for ‘Batman & Robin.'”

Still, despite the rampant negativity surrounding Schumacher’s mainstream-friendly contributions to the live-action Batman movie-verse, there are quite a few things he’s quick to boast about regarding his Batman. For example, he knows he’s not alone in considering “Batman Forever” star Val Kilmer one of the best versions of Bruce Wayne to appear on the big screen.

“For me, Val Kilmer was the best Batman,” he said. “I thought he looked great in the costume, and I thought he brought a depth to the role. I thought the relationship between Val and Nicole Kidman was very sexy. Jim Carrey, of course, was the perfect Riddler. And then I had the great Tommy Lee Jones and a lot of other great people are in that movie.”

Schumacher also revealed that, if he’d gotten his way, his second Batman film would have been more in line with Nolan’s “Dark Knight” instead of the studio-friendly “Batman & Robin.”

“I think I’m the most envious of Chris Nolan because he got to do ‘The Dark Knight’ — and that’s the one I begged to do as my second Batman film,” he said. “I wanted to do a whole other thing, because we had kind of re-invented franchise with Val as Batman and it was a very young, sexy, and much less expensive movie. We brought in Robin and I wanted to make ‘The Dark Knight’ desperately, but the studio didn’t want that and it’s their money and they’re my bosses.”

What do you think Schumacher’s version of “The Dark Knight” would’ve been like? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Jackie That 70s Show

Jackie Oh!

15 That ’70s Show Quotes to Help You Unleash Your Inner Jackie

Catch That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Carsey-Werner Company

When life gets you down, just ask yourself: what would Jackie do? (But don’t ask her, because she doesn’t care about your stupid problems.) Before you catch That ’70s Show on IFC, take a look at some quotes that will help you be the best Jackie you can be.


15. She knows her strengths.

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14. She doesn’t let a little thing like emotions get in the way.

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13. She’s her own best friend.

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12. She has big plans for her future.

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11. She keeps her ego in check.

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10. She can really put things in perspective.

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9. She’s a lover…

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8. But she knows not to just throw her love around.

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7. She’s proud of her accomplishments.

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6. She knows her place in the world.

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5. She asks herself the hard questions.

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4. She takes care of herself.

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3. She’s deep.

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2. She’s a problem solver.

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1. And she’s always modest.

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Joel Schumacher explains why he isn’t surprised by Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” success

Joel Schumacher explains why he isn’t surprised by Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” success (photo)

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When “The Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters next year, it will present the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s record-breaking Batman trilogy that relaunched, redefined, and reinvigorated DC’s iconic superhero. And while there’s been no shortage of reboots on the big and small screens lately, few have been as successful as the “Inception” filmmaker’s take on Gotham’s favorite vigilante — especially when you consider the franchise’s status prior to Nolan’s arrival.

After finding success in 1995’s “Batman Forever,” which pitted the hero (played by Val Kilmer) against Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), director Joel Schumacher was convinced to return for a sequel. The resulting film, 1997’s critically panned “Batman & Robin,” was such an overwhelming disappointment that it became known as the film that “killed” the Batman franchise.

Thankfully, Nolan came along in 2005 with “Batman Begins” — a film that not only exorcised the character’s big-screen demons, but earned him praise from filmmakers throughout the industry for his inventive re-imagining of the shadowy crusader. One of those filmmakers happy to give credit where it’s due is Schumacher himself.

“Chris Nolan is one of my favorite directors,” Schumacher told IFC while discussing his upcoming film “Trespass,” starring Nicolas Cage. “Years ago I was doing press in Paris, and I was with Eli Richbourg. We were looking for a movie that wasn’t in French . . . and we saw this British film called ‘Following.’ It’s in black and white and it’s Chris Nolan’s first film, and . . . I just thought it was the work of a brilliant young director. So I always had him in the back of my mind, thinking, ‘We’re going to hear from this guy, big time.’ Then I saw ‘Memento’ and the promise was fulfilled very fast.”

“I think Chris Nolan is brilliant and I think Heath [Ledger] was extraordinary [in ‘The Dark Knight.’],” he added. “Chris is a master and he’s so young, and god knows what’s coming from him now.”

And from the sound of things, Schumacher is just as interested as the rest of us in seeing what Nolan has planned for “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“I always look forward to what he’s going to do next,” he said. “Unlike some of my peers in the business, I am inspired by films I love, not jealous of them. When I see a film that disappoints — and I’m sure I’ve made some of them — that kind of depresses me. I don’t go to the theater to dislike a movie, and I don’t think the audience does either.”

“Actually, it’s critics that go to a movie to dislike it,” he laughed. “They don’t go as fans.”

And while he’s had to take some flak over the years for “Batman & Robin,” his first Batman film still holds a place in his heart.

As he sees it, every director who’s had a chance to get behind the camera for a Batman movie has created a version of the character that is quintessentially their own — whether it’s Nolan’s Batman, his Batman, or the version presented by their predecessor, Tim Burton.

“I think that Tim Burton’s Batman movies are so Tim Burton,” he explained. “And I think ‘Batman Forever’ is really my movie.”

What do you think of Schumacher’s comments regarding Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Anne Hathaway finally unveils her full Catwoman costume on the “Dark Knight Rises” set

Anne Hathaway finally unveils her full Catwoman costume on the “Dark Knight Rises” set (photo)

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Even since the first photo of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (AKA Catwoman) made its way to the internet, fans have been bitching and moaning about the costume’s lack of ears. New photos of Hathaway on the set of “The Dark Knight Rises,” however, show the suit looking much more cat-like, meaning that internet commenters can get back to complaining about how tall Tom Hardy isn’t. (See how her costume compares to previous Catwoman outfits.)

The first shot of Catwoman featured Hathaway in a sleek black bodysuit, with only the costume’s goggles pointing toward established depictions of the character. The somewhat nondescript costume led some to believe that it was perhaps a transitional look for the cat burglar, or that director Christopher Nolan might be moving further askew of more traditional looks for one of the most popular members of the Batman family. New photos form the movie’s Los Angeles set prove that all the fan concern might have been for naught.

In new, spoilery images posted by Just Jared and SplashNews, Hathaway is seen with her goggles flipped up into what look a lot like cat ears. She’s also seen sporting a cat-eyed domino mask, which makes her costume start to resemble the one worn by Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the Adam West “Batman” series – somewhat of an oddly campy reference point for Nolan’s relentlessly straight-faced take on the Batman mythos.

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In case these still photos aren’t enough for you, a new furtively filmed YouTube video also shows Catwoman being embraced by Batman, albeit from a blurry distance and through a grate. Check it out below:

What do you think of Hathaway’s costume now? Does the addition of ears and a domino mask make you more accepting of Catwoman’s new look? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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