Batman Forever (partially lost "Schumacher cut" of DC superhero film sequel; 1995)
Batman Forever is a 1995 superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Tim Burton. Acting as a standalone sequel to 1992's Batman Returns, the film follows Batman as he defeats Two-Face and the Riddler. The original film was intended to follow in the vein of the first two Batman movies by being an overall darker film. The film that was released was lighter in tone when compared to the other two Batman movies, though Joel Schumacher had directed a longer and darker version of the film. Warner Bros. has since confirmed the existence of the darker version of Batman Forever, though as of now there are no plans to release it.
In 1989, Batman premiered in theaters to a great deal of success and it was soon followed up by a sequel in 1992 titled Batman Returns. Warner Bros. was not happy with the performance Batman Returns as it only managed to generate $150 million at the box office. Tim Burton was already working on a third Batman movie, but companies who worked to promote Batman movies such as McDonald's did not like the direction of Batman Returns and were not willing to sell merchandise for Tim Burton's third movie. Instead, Warner Bros. asked Joel Schumacher to direct a more family-friendly Batman movie.
Known Deleted Scenes
- Two-Face kills his psychologist, writes "The Bat Must Die" in blood, escapes from Arkham Asylum, and Dr. Burton finds the psychologist gagged and bound. Snippets of the scene were used in the U2 music video for "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me".
- Dr. Burton's overall role as a character is reduced.
- In the opening scene where Two-Face addresses the crowd in a helicopter, the line "If the Bat wants to play, we'll play!" was cut from the film but was featured in the theatrical trailer.
- Also in the opening scene, mainly the bank heist, Batman appears in the elevator and asks Two-Face's henchmen (after they shot it) "Going down?". The line ended up being cut from the film but can be heard in the theatrical trailer.
- Also in the opening scene, Batman and Two-Face fight in the helicopter and struggle for control. During this, Two-Face accuses Batman of being "a killer too" (a reference to the fact that in the previous two films Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), Batman kills a lot of people). Two-Face escapes by parachute after Batman notices he locked to the steering wheel into position. This scene exists in the rough cut on the 2005 Special Edition DVD.
- After the Wayne Enterprises meeting would have been an extended sequence featuring a conversation between Bruce and Alfred as he travels through the tunnel connecting WayneTech and the Batcave. This scene can be found in the theatrical trailer.
- After Edward Nygma arrives at Wayne Manor, there is a scene where Bruce is watching a Gotham Talk Show with Chase Meridian as a guest talking about Batman.
- Extended shots of the Circus Massacre.
- During the casino robbery, during the "Show me how to punch a guy" scene, where Riddler fails to punch the security guard, the end result was originally darker. Two-Face finishes the guard off with a neck chop and leaves Riddler to beat him brutally with his cane.
- Extended scenes of Riddler and Two-Face in Riddler's lair.
- The raid on Wayne Manor was supposed to be a lot longer and more violent.
- An extended fight scene between Robin and Two-Face on Claw Island.
In 2005, some of the cut scenes were released alongside a DVD special edition of the movie. On July 2nd, 2020, ten days after the death of film director Joel Schumacher, writer Marc Bernardin tweeted:
"I have it on VERY good authority that a 170-minute cut of Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever exists. Warner Bros. is unsure if there's any hunger for what was described to me as a "much darker, more serious" version. So, should WB #ReleaseThe20000Cut?"
Implying that a more scenes from Batman Forever may exist. But it has not been confirmed until Variety reported that a source close to the movie confirmed the film's existence and that the extended cut was way darker than the cut that was released in 1995 (which was 129 minutes). Then on July 9th, 2020, Warner Bros, the production company that produces the film, confirm the extended cut's existence and also confirmed that the extended version is darker than the one that was released in 1995 but also say that they have no plans to release it and are unsure if any of the footage remains. On April 10, 2021, the film's writer Akiva Goldsman revealed in an installment of On Story 1102 that he recently saw the 170 minute cut of the film, confirming that the cut is still intact.
In episode 401, of his podcast ‘Fat Man Beyond’, uploaded on June 8th 2023, Kevin Smith said that he had a copy of the Schumacher Cut, promising to review it in his live show episode of the podcast on June 19th. In the show, Smith detailed that someone named Joe Black offered to purchase an item at one of his auctions for “69 bucks plus the Schumacher cut of Batman Forever”, having received it after a private screening. Black said that the cut was roughly “2 hours and 35 minutes”, which is approximately 33 minutes longer than the original cut. Smith detailed that he planned to screen the Schumacher cut for free after his live shows on July 1st and August 25th..
Then on July 1st the film was screened for the first time to the public at Smodcastle Cinemas in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey..
Since the screening, none of the cut scenes outside of what was released in 2005 have been made available to the public.
- Batman Fights Dracula (lost unofficial Filipino comedy parody film; 1967)
- Batman Dracula (partially found Andy Warhol film; 1964)
- Gotham High (lost cancelled Batman animated series; 2009)
- The Dark Knight (lost build of cancelled multi-platform action game based on Batman film; 2008)
- Batman And The New Robin (partially found unproduced animated TV series; 1988)
- Batman: The Animated Series - Tim Curry performance as the Joker (lost audio recordings from animated series; 1992)
- Mike Henry's Batman publicity stills (lost photographs advertising CBS "Batman" TV series; 1964)
- Batman: A Death in the Family - "Jason Todd lives" (partially lost alternate version of comic; 1988)
- Batman: Clean and Dirty (found "Sesame Street" animated segment; 1970)
- Batman Meets Godzilla (lost Japanese film treatment of unproduced crossover film; 1960s)
- Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight Trilogy" (lost deleted scenes of DC superhero film trilogy; 2005-2012)
- Batgirl (lost HBO MAX superhero film; 2022)
- The People's Joker (unauthorized trans joker movie; 2022)
- Archived website listing of the film's deleted scenes. Retrieved 11 Jul '20
- Marc Bernardin tweet poll on whether Warner Bros. should release the film's 170-minute cut. Retrieved 11 Jul '20
- Variety article on the 170-minute cut version of the film. Retrieved 11 Jul '20
- Article confirming the existence of a director's cut of the film. Retrieved 11 Jul '20