1995: 15 Things You Might Not Know About BATMAN FOREVER

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1. Tim Burton originally planned to direct a third Batman movie, and met with writers Lee & Janet Scott-Batchler, who agreed with him that "the key element to Batman is his duality. And it's not just that Batman is Bruce Wayne". The Batchlers wrote the script which introduced a psychotic Riddler with a pet rat accompanying him. After Burton stepped back, moved into the role of producer and Joel Schumacher was signed on to direct he wasn't keen on the script given, however he was given very little say and so most of the story elements and much of the dialogue from the Batchler's script remained in the finished film, though Schumacher did hire Akiva Goldsman in an attempt to "lighten [it] down" a bit.

2. Schumacher didn't just role over without a fight though. He proposed to Warner Bros. that instead of the Batman Forever script he film an adaptation of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One. The studio rejected the idea as Schumacher claims they told him "they wanted a sequel, not a prequel".

3. With Tim Burton out of the directors chair Warner Bros were desperate to keep their leading man. Michael Keaton was offered a massive $15million (which was a huge payday for 1995) to reprise his role of Bruce Wayne / Batman. Keaton met with Joel Schumacher but was unhappy with the screenplay, he felt it was too lighthearted. So no matter how big the check was, Keaton wasn't playing.

4. On the hunt for a new Batman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Ralph Fiennes, William Baldwin and Johnny Depp were all under consideration to replace Michael Keaton. Ethan Hawke turned down the role over fear of typecasting, but later admitted he regretted the decision.


5. Schumacher became interested in Val Kilmer after seeing him in Tombstone. Warner Bros. put the offer in, and the actor accepted the role without even reading the script or knowing who the new director was.

6. Before Keaton dropped out Rene Russo had been cast as Dr. Chase Meridian, but after Kilmer was cast the filmmakers decided she was too old to be a love interest (Kilmer was 36 in 1995, Russo was 41!), and unceremoniously dropped her.

7. After Rene Russo was dropped, Robin Wright, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Linda Hamilton were in competition for Dr. Chase Meridian, with Wright reported to be Schumacher's favoured choice, but it was Nicole Kidman who was eventually cast.


8. Billy Dee Williams had only taken on the role of Harvey Dent in Batman on the possibility of portraying Two-Face in a sequel, but Schumacher cast Tommy Lee Jones in the role. Jones, who was always Schumacher's first choice after having worked together on The Client, claims he was sent the script and was very cautious to accept, but did so after his son's insistence.

9. Back when Tim Burton was casting Batman, Jack Nicholson was always his number one choice for the role of the Joker, but when negotiations briefly stalled Warner Bros. approached Robin Williams to play the role, something he was really interested in. When Nicholson caught word of this he accepted the part and Williams felt very bitter about the whole experience. He was so offended that he flat out refused to discuss the role of the Riddler in Batman Forever when Warner Bros. and Schumacher offered it to him.

10. In a 2003 interview, Schumacher stated Michael Jackson lobbied hard for the role of the Riddler, but was turned down before Jim Carrey was cast.


11. Robin was meant to feature in Batman Returns, and he was only cut out of the script just prior to shooting. Marlon Wayans was cast, and signed up for a sequel, he even attended a wardrobe fitting, but Schumacher wasn't keen on having a black Robin, feeling it was too much of a gimmick. When it was decided to replace Wayans with a white actor Leonardo DiCaprio was considered, but decided not to go after the role after a meeting with Schumacher.

12. Prior to the movies release Schumacher revealed that U2 front-man Bono had asked to be in the film.
"He asked to be in the movie," says Forever director Joel Schumacher. "I wanted him in it. But there wasn't a role in the film for him."
13. Schumacher quickly regretted his championing of Kilmer for the starring, with the director admitting he had problems filming with Kilmer, whom he described as "childish and impossible". There were reports that Kilmer fought with various crewmen, and refused to speak to Schumacher during two weeks after the director told him to stop behaving in a rude way.


14. Clearly not shy on dishing the dirt, Schumacher also mentioned Tommy Lee Jones as a source of trouble:
"Jim Carrey was a gentleman, and Tommy Lee was threatened by him. I'm tired of defending overpaid, overprivileged actors. I pray I don't work with them again."
Carrey later acknowledged Jones was not friendly to him, telling him once off-set during the production:
"I hate you. I really don't like you ... I cannot sanction your buffoonery."
15. Despite early mixed reviews Batman Forever made $52.8 million in its opening weekend, breaking Jurassic Parks record for highest opening weekend gross of all-time (it was surpassed two years later by The Lost World: Jurassic Park's $72.1 million). The film went on to gross $336.53 million worldwide, which means that Batman Forever earned more money than its predecessor Batman Returns, and was the second-highest (behind Toy Story) grossing film of 1995.

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