Batman Forever is a 1995 American superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character Batman by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.[a] The third installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series, it is a sequel to Batman Returns starring Val Kilmer, replacing Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman,[6] alongside Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman, and Chris O'Donnell, while Michael Gough, and Pat Hingle reprise their roles. The film's story focuses on Batman trying to stop Two-Face and the Riddler in their scheme to extract information from all the minds in Gotham City while adopting an orphaned acrobat named Dick Grayson—who becomes his sidekick, Robin—and developing feelings for psychologist Dr. Chase Meridian.

Batman Forever
Theatrical release poster featuring Batman and various characters from the film.
Theatrical release poster by John Alvin
Directed byJoel Schumacher
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Lee Batchler
  • Janet Scott Batchler
Based on
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyStephen Goldblatt
Edited byDennis Virkler
Music byElliot Goldenthal
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures[2]
Release dates
Running time
122 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$100 million[4]
Box office$336.6 million[4]

Schumacher mostly eschewed the dark, dystopian atmosphere of Burton's films by drawing inspiration from the Batman comic books of the Dick Sprang era, as well as the 1960s television series. After Keaton chose not to reprise his role, William Baldwin and Ethan Hawke were considered as a replacement, before Val Kilmer joined the cast.

Batman Forever was released on June 16, 1995, to mixed reviews from critics, who praised its performances (particularly Kilmer, Carrey, and Jones), visuals, action sequences, and soundtrack, but criticized its screenplay and tonal departure from previous films. The film was a box office success, grossing over $336 million worldwide and becoming the sixth-highest-grossing film of 1995. It was followed by Batman & Robin in 1997, with Schumacher returning as the director, O'Donnell returning as Robin, and George Clooney replacing Kilmer as Batman.

Plot edit

In Gotham City, Batman defuses a hostage situation orchestrated by criminal Two-Face, formerly district attorney Harvey Dent, although Two-Face escapes. Flashbacks reveal that Two-Face was disfigured with acid by mobster Sal Maroni, which Batman failed to prevent, causing Dent to develop a split personality. Dent blames Batman for his failure to save him and has sworn revenge against him as a result.

Edward Nygma, an eccentric and egotistical researcher at Wayne Enterprises, approaches his employer Bruce Wayne, Batman's civilian identity, whom he idealizes due to Bruce's fame. Nygma presents an invention that can beam television signals directly into a person's brain, demanding immediate approval directly from Bruce. Bruce rejects the device, as he is irritated by Nygma's obnoxious demands and is concerned the technology could manipulate minds. After killing his abusive supervisor and staging it as a suicide, Nygma resigns and plots revenge against Bruce, sending him riddles. Criminal psychologist Chase Meridian diagnoses Nygma as psychotic.

That night, Bruce attends a Haly's Circus event with Chase. Two-Face hijacks the event and threatens to detonate a bomb unless Batman reveals his identity. Acrobat Richard “Dick” Grayson, the youngest member of the Flying Graysons, manages to throw the bomb into a river, but Two-Face kills his family in the process while he is distracted. Bruce convinces the now-orphaned Dick to live at Wayne Manor as his ward, where he discovers that Bruce is Batman. Seeking to avenge the death of his family, Dick demands to join Batman in crime-fighting, hoping to kill Two-Face, but Bruce declines.

Meanwhile, Nygma adopts a criminal persona, the Riddler, and teams up with Two-Face, having seen and been inspired by the live circus event. They commit a series of robberies to finance Nygma's new company and mass-produce his brainwave device dubbed the "Box", which steals information from users' minds and transfers it to Nygma's, making him smarter in the process, but also slowly causing him to lose his grip on reality. At a party hosted by Nygma, Batman pursues Two-Face and is almost killed until Dick saves him.

Batman visits Chase, who explains that she has fallen in love with Bruce and reveals to her his secret identity. On Halloween night, The Riddler and Two-Face, having discovered Bruce's secret through the Box, destroy the Batcave, shoot Bruce and abduct Chase. As Bruce recovers, he and his butler, Alfred, deduce that Nygma is the Riddler. Bruce finally accepts Dick as Batman's partner, Robin.

At the Riddler's lair, Robin almost kills Two-Face, but spares him, allowing the latter to hold the former at gunpoint. The Riddler reveals that Chase and Robin are trapped in tubes above a deadly drop, giving Batman the chance to save only one. Batman distracts the Riddler with a riddle, before destroying the Riddler's brainwave receiver with a Batarang, damaging the Riddler's mind, and enabling Batman to rescue both. Two-Face corners them and determines their fate by flipping a coin, but Batman throws a handful of identical coins in the air, much to Two-Face’s confusion. He attempts to grab the coins, only to stumble and fall to his death.

Committed to Arkham Asylum, Nygma now exclaims that he is Batman, flapping the arms of his straitjacket, now completely delusional due to his scrambled memories. Bruce resumes his crusade as Batman, with Robin as his partner.

Cast edit

  • Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne / Batman: After coming across the journal of his father, Bruce Wayne starts questioning his act of vengeance. He struggles with his dual identity as a crime fighter, becoming romantically involved with Dr. Chase Meridian.
  • Jim Carrey as Edward Nygma / The Riddler: A former Wayne Enterprises employee, Edward resigns after his newest invention is personally rejected by Bruce. He becomes the villainous Riddler, leaving riddles and puzzles at scenes of crime.
  • Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent / Two-Face: Formerly the good district attorney of Gotham City. Half of Harvey's face is scarred and his brain is also damaged with acid during the conviction of a crime boss. Driven insane, he becomes the criminal Two-Face and desires to kill Batman, who he blames for failing to save him.
  • Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian: A psychologist and love interest of Bruce. Chase is fascinated by the dual nature of Batman, while her insight into Batman's nature drives Bruce to question his decision to become Batman. She is held as a damsel in distress in the climax.
  • Chris O'Donnell as Richard "Dick" Grayson / Robin: Once a circus acrobat, Dick is taken in by Bruce after Two-Face murders his parents and brother at a circus event. Bruce is reminded when his parents were murdered when he sees the same vengeance in Dick, and decides to take him in as his ward. Dick eventually discovers the Batcave and learns Bruce's secret identity. Against Bruce's wishes, Dick becomes his crime fighting partner, Robin.
  • Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth: The Wayne family's faithful butler and Bruce's confidant. Alfred also befriends the young Dick Grayson.
  • Pat Hingle as James Gordon: The police commissioner of Gotham City.
  • George Wallace as The Mayor: The unnamed mayor of Gotham City and the successor of Roscoe Jenkins.
  • Drew Barrymore as Sugar: Two-Face's "good" angelic-like assistant. Has short curly blonde hair. She wears a white corset bodysuit with stockings and a fluffy white robe. She shows more of a sweet attitude and tone than a sinister one.
  • Debi Mazar as Spice: Two-Face's "bad" gothic-like assistant/girlfriend. She is clad in a black leather corset with fishnet stockings on her legs with shiny black latex heels and long black leather gloves and appears as of a dominatrix. She wears most of her brunette hair up with red highlights. She speaks in a seductive malevolent tone. Spice has a twisted sense of humor and vile nature.
  • Ed Begley Jr. as Fred Stickley: Edward Nygma's ill-tempered supervisor at Wayne Enterprises. After Stickley discovers the true nature of Nygma's invention, Nygma kills him and makes it look like suicide. Begley was uncredited for this role.
  • Ofer Samra as Harvey's Thug
  • Elizabeth Sanders as Gossip Gerty: Gotham's top gossip columnist.
  • René Auberjonois as Dr. Burton: Head Doctor of Arkham Asylum.
  • Larry A. Lee as John Grayson: Dick Grayson's father and leader of the Flying Graysons
  • Glory Fioramonti as Mary Grayson: Dick Grayson's mother
  • En Vogue as girls on the corner who are hoping to see Batman.
  • Joe Grifasi as Hawkins: A bank guard and Two-Face's hostage during the opening scene.
  • Michael Paul Chan as Assistant #1
  • Jon Favreau as Assistant #2

Additionally, President pro tempore of the United States Senate and Batman fan Patrick Leahy makes an uncredited appearance as himself.[7]

Production edit

Development edit

"I always hated those titles like Batman Forever. That sounds like a tattoo that somebody would get when they're on drugs or something. Or something some kid would write in the yearbook."

—Tim Burton[8]

Batman Returns was released in 1992 with financial success and generally favorable reviews from critics, but Warner Bros. was disappointed with its box office run, having made $150 million less than the first film. After Batman Returns was deemed too dark and inappropriate for children, with McDonald's even recalling their Happy Meal tie-in, Warner Bros. decided that this was the primary cause of the film's financial results.[9] After the film's release, Warner Bros. was not interested in Tim Burton's return as director.[10] Burton noted he was unsure about returning to direct, writing: "I don't think Warner Bros. wanted me to direct a third Batman. I even said that to them."[11] Burton and Warner Bros. mutually agreed to part ways, though Burton would stay on as producer. Sam Raimi and John McTiernan were considered to direct.[12][13] McTiernan turned it down due to a scheduling conflict with Die Hard with a Vengeance.[14] In June 1993, Joel Schumacher was selected by Warner Bros. while he was filming The Client, and with Burton's approval.[15][16]

Husband-and-wife screenwriting duo Lee and Janet Scott-Batchler were hired to write the script. Warner Bros. had lost a bidding war for their spec script for an earlier project titled Smoke and Mirrors to Disney's Hollywood Pictures. The project ultimately fell through,[17][18] and Warner Bros. offered the Batchlers several of their film properties to write. Being familiar with the Batman comics from their childhood, the Batchlers chose to work on the next Batman film as their next project.[19] In a meeting with Burton, they agreed that "the key element to Batman is his duality. And it's not just that Batman is Bruce Wayne."[20]

Their original script introduced a psychotic Riddler, real name Lyle Heckendorf, with a pet rat accompanying him. A scene cut from the final film included Heckendorf obtaining his costume from a fortune-telling leprechaun at the circus. Instead of NygmaTech, the company would have been named HeckTech.[21] The story elements and much of the dialogue still remained in the finished film, though Schumacher felt it could be "lighte[ne]d down". Keaton initially approved the selection of Schumacher as director and planned on reprising his role as Batman from the first two films.[22] Schumacher claims he originally had in mind an adaptation of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One and Keaton claimed that he was enthusiastic about the idea.[22][23] Warner Bros. rejected the idea as they wanted a sequel, not a prequel, though Schumacher was able to include very brief events in Bruce Wayne's childhood with some events of the comic The Dark Knight Returns. Akiva Goldsman, who worked with Schumacher on The Client, was brought in to rewrite the script, deleting the initial idea of bringing in the Scarecrow as a villain with Riddler, and the return of Catwoman. Burton, who now was more interested in directing Ed Wood, later reflected he was taken aback by some of the focus group meetings for Batman Forever, a title he hated. Producer Peter MacGregor-Scott represented the studio's aim in making a film for the MTV Generation, with full merchandising appeal.[23]

Casting edit

Production went on fast track with Rene Russo cast as Chase Meridian, but Keaton decided not to reprise Batman because he did not like the direction the series was headed in, and rejected the script.[24] Keaton also wanted to pursue "more interesting roles",[25] turning down $15 million.[26] A decision was made to go with a younger actor for Bruce Wayne, and an offer was made to Ethan Hawke, who turned it down, but eventually regretted the decision; he would eventually voice the character in the preschool animated series Batwheels in 2022.[27] Schumacher had seen Val Kilmer in Tombstone, but was also interested in Keanu Reeves (who would later voice Bruce Wayne / Batman in DC League of Super-Pets in 2022), Alec and William Baldwin, Dean Cain, Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Ralph Fiennes (who would later voice Alfred Pennyworth in The Lego Batman Movie in 2017), Daniel Day-Lewis and Johnny Depp.[28] Cain was scrapped as he was well known for starring in the TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Burton pushed for Depp to get the role.[29] Kilmer, who as a child visited the studios where the 1960s series was recorded, and shortly before had visited a bat cave in Africa, was contacted by his agent for the role. Kilmer signed on without reading the script or knowing who the director was.[30][31]

With Kilmer's casting, Warner Bros. dropped Russo, considering her too old to be paired with Kilmer.[24] Sandra Bullock, Robin Wright, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Linda Hamilton were all considered for the role, which was eventually recast with Nicole Kidman.[32] Billy Dee Williams took 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, although Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Martin Sheen and Robert De Niro were considered,[33][34] after working with him on The Client. Jones was reluctant to accept the role,[23] but did so at his son's insistence.[35]

Robin Williams was in discussions to be the Riddler at one point,[36] and was reportedly in competition for the role with John Malkovich.[10][37] In June 1994, the role was given to Jim Carrey after Williams had reportedly turned it down.[32] In a 2003 interview, Schumacher stated Michael Jackson had lobbied hard for the role, but was turned down before Carrey was cast.[38] Brad Dourif (who was Burton's original choice to portray the Joker and Scarecrow after), Kelsey Grammer, Micky Dolenz, Matthew Broderick, Phil Hartman and Steve Martin were said to have been considered.[39][40]

Robin had appeared in the shooting script for Batman Returns but was deleted due to having too many characters. Marlon Wayans had been cast in the role and signed on for a potential sequel, but when Schumacher took over, he decided to open up casting to other actors.[41] Leonardo DiCaprio was considered, but decided not to pursue the role after a meeting with Schumacher.[42] Matt Damon,[43] Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Mark Wahlberg,[44] Michael Worth, Danny Dyer,[45] Toby Stephens[46] Ewan McGregor, Jude Law, Alan Cumming and Scott Speedman[47] were considered.[48][49] Chris O'Donnell was cast and Mitch Gaylord served as his stunt double, and also portrayed Mitch Grayson, Dick's older brother, created for the film.[32] Schumacher attempted to create a cameo role for Bono as his MacPhisto character, but both came to agree it was not suitable for the film.[50]

Filming edit

Principal photography began on September 24, 1994, and wrapped on March 5, 1995.[16][10] Schumacher hired Barbara Ling for production design, claiming that the film needed a "force" and good design. Ling could "advance on it". Schumacher wanted a design in no way connected to the previous films, and instead inspired by the images from the Batman comic books seen in the 1940s/early 1950s and New York City architecture in the 1930s, with a combination of modern Tokyo. He also wanted a "city with personality," with more statues, as well as various amounts of neon.

Difficulties and clashes edit

Schumacher and Kilmer clashed during the making of the film; Schumacher described Kilmer as "childish and impossible," reporting that he fought with various crewmen, and refused to speak to Schumacher for two weeks after the director told him to stop being rude.[51] 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."[52] In a 2014 interview, Carrey acknowledged that Jones was not friendly to him, and recounted an incident wherein Jones found him off-set during the production, and told him: "I hate you. I really don't like you ... I cannot sanction your buffoonery."[53]

Design and visual effects edit

Rick Baker designed the prosthetic makeup. John Dykstra, Andrew Adamson and Jim Rygiel served as visual effects supervisors, with Pacific Data Images also contributing to visual effects work. PDI provided a computer-generated Batman for complicated stunts.[54] For the costume design, producer Peter MacGregor-Scott claimed that 146 workers were at one point working together. Batman's costume was redesigned along the lines of a more "MTV organic, and edgier feel" to the suit.[55] Sound editing and mixing was supervised by Bruce Stambler and John Levesque, which included trips to caves to record bat sounds.[56] A new Batmobile was designed for Batman Forever, with two cars being constructed, one for stunt purposes and one for close-ups.[57] Chris O'Donnell has his eyes painted black and then the Robin mask glued on him.[58] Swiss surrealist painter H. R. Giger provided his version for the Batmobile but it was considered too sinister for the film.[59] Nygma's brainwave device and lair resemble rejected concept artwork of Columbus Lighthouse by Russian avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov from 1929.[60][61][better source needed]

The film used some motion capture for certain visual effects. Warner Bros. had acquired motion capture technology from arcade video game company Acclaim Entertainment for use in the film's production.[62]

Music edit

Elliot Goldenthal was hired by Schumacher to compose the film score before the screenplay was written. In discussions with Schumacher, the director wanted Goldenthal to avoid taking inspiration from Danny Elfman, and requested an original composition.[63] The film's promotional teaser trailer however used the main title theme from Elfman's score of 1989's Batman.[64]

The soundtrack was commercially successful, selling almost as many copies as Prince's soundtrack to the 1989 Batman film. Only five of the songs on the soundtrack are actually featured in the movie. Hit singles from the soundtrack include "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2 and "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal, both of which were nominated for MTV Movie Awards. "Kiss from a Rose" (whose music video was also directed by Joel Schumacher) reached No. 1 in the U.S. charts as well. The soundtrack itself, featuring additional songs by The Flaming Lips, Brandy (both songs also included in the film), Method Man, Nick Cave, Michael Hutchence (of INXS), PJ Harvey and Massive Attack, was an attempt to (in producer Peter MacGregor-Scott's words) make the film more "pop".

Release edit

Marketing edit

In addition to a large line of toys, video games and action figures from Kenner, the McDonald's food chain released several collectibles and mugs to coincide with the release of the film. Peter David and Alan Grant wrote separate novelizations of the film.[65][66] Dennis O'Neil authored a comic book adaptation, with art by Michal Dutkiewicz.[67]

Six Flags Great Adventure theme park re-themed their "Axis Chemical" arena, home of the Batman stunt show, to resemble Batman Forever, and the new show featured props from the film. Six Flags Over Texas featured a one-time fireworks show to promote the movie, and replica busts of Batman, Robin, Two-Face, and the Riddler can still be found in the Justice League store in the Looney Tunes U.S.A. section. Batman: The Ride opened at Six Flags St. Louis to promote the movie. At Six Flags Over Georgia, The Mind Bender roller coaster was redesigned to look as though it were the creation of The Riddler and some images and props were used in the design of the roller coaster and its queue.

Video games edit

Video games based on the film were released. A video game of the same name, was released in 1995 for Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Game Gear, R-Zone and MS-DOS, it was followed by Batman & Robin for the PlayStation, to promote the release of the film. Two arcade versions, Batman Forever: The Arcade Game, was released in 1996 and was ported to the three consoles, and a pinball machine based on the film was released in 1995 by Sega Pinball.

Home media edit

Batman Forever was released on VHS and LaserDisc on October 31, 1995.[68] Over 3 million VHS copies were sold during the first week of release.[69] The film was then released on DVD on May 20, 1997. This release was a double sided disc containing both widescreen (1.85:1) and full screen (1.33:1) versions of the film. Batman Forever made its Blu-ray debut on April 20, 2010.[70] This was followed by an Ultra HD Blu-ray release on June 4, 2019.[71]

Deleted scenes edit

Batman Forever went through a few major edits before its release. Originally darker than the final product, the film's original length was closer to two hours and forty minutes, according to Schumacher. There was talk of an extended cut being released to DVD for the film's tenth anniversary in 2005. While all four previous Batman films were given special-edition DVD releases on the same day as the Batman Begins DVD release, none of them were given extended cuts, although some scenes were in a deleted scenes section in the special features.[72][73][74]

Reception edit

Box office edit

Batman Forever opened in a record 2,842 theaters and 4,300 screens in the United States and Canada on June 16, 1995, grossing $52.8 million in its opening weekend,[75][4][76] taking Jurassic Park's record for having the highest opening-weekend gross of all time (it was surpassed two years later by The Lost World: Jurassic Park's $72.1 million).[77] For six years, it had the largest opening weekend for a Warner Bros. film until 2001, when it was surpassed by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.[78] The film also achieved the highest June opening weekend, holding that record until it was beaten by Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me in 1999,[79] which would then be overtaken by Hulk in 2003.[80] It was the first film to gross $20 million in one day, on its opening day on Friday.[81] The film also beat out Congo to reach the number one spot.[77] It grossed $77.4 million in its first week, which was below the record $81.7 million set by Jurassic Park.[76]

Additionally, the film held the record for having the highest opening weekend for a superhero film until it was taken by X-Men in 2000.[82][83] That year, How the Grinch Stole Christmas broke Batman Forever's record for scoring the biggest opening weekend for any film starring Jim Carrey.[84] While the film was overtaken by Pocahontas during its second weekend, it still made $29.2 million.[85] It then became the first film of 1995 to reach $100 million domestically.[86] The film started its international roll out in Japan on June 17, 1995, and grossed $2.2 million in 5 days from 167 screens, which was only 80% of the gross of its predecessor Batman Returns.[87]

The film went on to gross $184 million in the United States and Canada, and $152.5 million in other countries, totaling $336.53 million. The film grossed more than Batman Returns,[88] and is the second-highest-grossing film from 1995 in the United States, behind Toy Story, as well as the sixth-highest-grossing film of that year worldwide.

Critical response edit

On Rotten Tomatoes, Batman Forever has an approval rating of 40% based on 70 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief."[89] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[90] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[91]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote: "Batman Forever still gets in its licks. There's no fun machine this summer that packs more surprises." Travers criticized the film's excessive commercialism and felt that "the script misses the pain Tim Burton caught in a man tormented by the long-ago murder of his parents", but praised Kilmer's performance as having a "deftly understated [...] comic edge".[92] James Berardinelli of ReelViews enjoyed the film, writing: "It's lighter, brighter, funnier, faster-paced, and a whole lot more colorful than before."[93]

On the television program Siskel & Ebert, Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times both gave the film mixed reviews, but with the former giving it a thumbs up and the latter a thumbs down.[94] In his written review, Ebert wrote: "Is the movie better entertainment? Well, it's great bubblegum for the eyes. Younger children will be able to process it more easily; some kids were led bawling from Batman Returns where the PG-13 rating was a joke."[95]

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle had a mixed reaction, concluding: "a shot of Kilmer's rubber buns at one point is guaranteed to bring squeals from the audience."[96] Brian Lowry of Variety believed: "One does have to question the logic behind adding nipples to the hard-rubber batsuit. Whose idea was that supposed to be anyway, Alfred's? Some of the computer-generated Gotham cityscapes appear too obviously fake. Elliot Goldenthal's score, while serviceable, also isn't as stirring as Danny Elfman's work in the first two films."[97]

Some observers thought Schumacher, a gay man, added possible homoerotic innuendo in the storyline.[98] Regarding the costume design, Schumacher stated: "I had no idea that putting nipples on the Batsuit and Robin suit were going to spark international headlines. The bodies of the suits come from Ancient Greek statues, which display perfect bodies. They are anatomically correct."[98] O'Donnell felt: "it wasn't so much the nipples that bothered me. It was the codpiece. The press obviously played it up and made it a big deal, especially with Joel directing. I didn't think twice about the controversy, but going back and looking and seeing some of the pictures, it was very unusual."[98]

Accolades edit

At the 68th Academy Awards, Batman Forever was nominated for Cinematography (lost to Braveheart), Sound (Donald O. Mitchell, Frank A. Montaño, Michael Herbick and Petur Hliddal; lost to Apollo 13) and Sound Effects Editing (John Leveque and Bruce Stambler) (also lost to Braveheart).[99][100]

"Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2 was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song (lost to "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas), but was also nominated for the Worst Original Song Golden Raspberry Award (lost to "Walk into the Wind" from Showgirls).

At the Saturn Awards, the film was nominated for Best Fantasy Film (lost to Babe), Make-up (lost to Seven), Special Effects (lost to Jumanji) and Costume Design (lost to 12 Monkeys).

Composer Elliot Goldenthal was given a Grammy Award nomination.

Batman Forever received six nominations at the 1996 MTV Movie Awards, four of which were divided between two categories (Carrey and Lee Jones for Best Villain; and Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" and U2's "Hold Me" in Best Song from a Movie). However, it won in just one category: Best Song from a Movie for Seal's "Kiss from a Rose".

Legacy edit

Potential director's cut edit

Cuts were made to the film based on audience reactions during test screenings, like the rest of the Batman films. Photographs from these scenes have always been available since the film's release, shown in magazines such as Starlog. Some excerpts from these scenes appear in the music video for Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.[101] In 2005, Batman Forever was the only film in the franchise to include a dedicated deleted scenes selection among its bonus content on the special edition DVD.[73]

After Joel Schumacher died on June 22, 2020, media outlets started reporting the possible existence of an extended cut, with the first rumors being thrown in by American journalist Marc Bernardin. Bernardin claimed it to be darker and contain less camp than the theatrical cut. Some of the differences include Bruce having a vision of a human-sized bat, less of an emphasis on Dick Grayson, and a focus on Bruce's psychological issues with Chase. The cut uses about 50 minutes of additional footage. Warner Bros. confirmed that alternative test screening cuts existed after an interview with Variety, although they have no plans to release it and are unsure about what, if any, footage remains. Later that year on August 7, Kilmer's appearance at DC FanDome fueled fan speculation about the release of a so-called "Schumacher Cut".[102] Batman Forever screenwriter Akiva Goldsman revealed in a YouTube interview in April 2021 that he had recently seen the original cut of the film (dubbed "Preview Cut: One") and that he expects a rebirth coming up, suggesting all the footage needed to make the Schumacher cut still exists and that the release of a director's cut might be possible.[103]

In July 2023, following a private screening of a workprint version by director Kevin Smith, Goldsman confirmed that the original cut does exist and even though Warner Bros. currently has no plans to release it, he said he was hopeful for a possible distribution in the future.[104] Some of the aforementioned deleted scenes make up a portion of this footage.[105][106]

Batman '89 edit

An alternate six-issue comic book continuation of Batman Returns titled Batman '89, which ignores the events of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin and brings back Keaton's Batman along with Burton's dark setting seen in his first two Batman films, along with elements of his failed third Batman film (particularly, the return of Billy Dee Williams' Harvey Dent and transformation into Two-Face, the introductions of new versions of Robin and Barbara Gordon, and the return of Catwoman), was launched on August 10, 2021, with its issues releasing monthly before ending in January 2022.[107][importance?]

In response to a question as to whether Schumacher's Batman films are canon to the world of Batman '89, the first two films' screenwriter Sam Hamm, who also serves as the comics' writer, confirmed that the latter two films take place in a diverging timeline and they are not building toward that fate.[108]

Notes edit

  1. ^ Bill Finger was not credited for his role in the creation of Batman until 2015.[5]

References edit

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  2. ^ "Batman Forever (1995)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films.
  3. ^ "Batman Forever (12)". BBFC.co.uk. Archived from the original on June 30, 2021. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c "Batman Forever (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  5. ^ "DC Entertainment To Give Classic Batman Writer Credit in 'Gotham' and 'Batman v Superman' (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. September 18, 2015. Archived from the original on October 22, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  6. ^ Grant, Nicholas (November 21, 2020). "Batman Forever: Why Val Kilmer replaced Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  7. ^ Sarkisian, Jacob (2021). "Sen. Patrick Leahy, who's third in line to the presidency, has appeared in 5 'Batman' movies, including 'The Dark Knight Rises'". Insider. Archived from the original on September 30, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  8. ^ Salisbury & Burton 2000, p. 155.
  9. ^ Daly, Steve (July 31, 1992). "Unhappy 'Returns'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 24, 2023. Retrieved August 3, 2023.
  10. ^ a b c "Batman 3". Entertainment Weekly. October 1, 1993. Archived from the original on September 21, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2008.
  11. ^ Salisbury & Burton 2000, p. 143.
  12. ^ Barker, Stephen (June 4, 2022). "10 Unrealized Sam Raimi Projects Redditors Want To See The Most". ScreenRant.
  13. ^ Housman, Andrew (February 27, 2021). "Sam Raimi's Unmade Comic Book Movies (& Why They Didn't Happen)". ScreenRant.
  14. ^ Tyler, Adrienne (March 4, 2023). "Fun DC Theory Solves Burton & Schumacher's Batman Universe Confusion". ScreenRant.
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