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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.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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Ho Ho Ha

Xmas Miracles You’ll See At Joe’s Pub

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special Premieres December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It’s just so tempting to bah-humbug the holiday season. And while there’s much we can’t wait to put behind us, one thing left to look forward to with pure and wide-eyed joy is Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celebration in the true spirit of those splendid TV specials from the ’70s and ’80s, complete with special guests, musical numbers, awkward segues and an (intentionally) wafer-thin narrative through line.

As if you need more convincing, here are a few juicy nuggets to get excited for…

Tony Hale plying the captive audience with hot chocolate (and it working).

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Bridget Everett dressed like an ornament…

and in a state of nearly constant wardrobe malfunction.
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Matteo Lane hitting a crazy high note in a Snuggie.

Not a Slanket. There’s a meaningful difference.

Lisa Loeb creeping on Kurt Vile.

#hairlikeapony #whynotme
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Judah Friedlander getting replaced by a robot…

and it pretty much going as expected.
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Bottom line: the miracles abound. Grinches, Scrooges, and Tiny Tims alike will find their Holiday joy. And it’ll be awkward–in the most wonderful kind of way.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10p on IFC

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