Movies In Focus

Joel Schumacher’s BATMAN

In 1995 Joel Schumacher took over the directing reins of the Batman franchise from Tim Burton for Batman Forever. Recasting Batman and replacing Michael Keatonwith the younger and more athletic Val Kilmer – this version of Batman was more child-friendly and commercial, right down to Jim Carrey’s casting as The Riddler. An introduction of Robin also helped to lighten the character and Tommy Lee Jone’s Two-Face was a half-lightened version of his comic character. Financially more successful than Batman Returns it appeared Schumacher’s neon lit Gotham City was what enthusiasts of the franchise desired. Then he delivered Batman and Robin.

With Kilmer filming The Saint (much to Schumacher’s annoyance) George Clooney was brought on board for the third incarnation of Batman since 1989. Batman was now once again a guest star, this time in his own movie, due to the influx of villains such as Bat-Girl, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr Freeze and Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy. Effectively a plot-point-by-plot-point reworking of Batman Forever, 1997’s Batman and Robin returned Batman to the camp caped-crusader of the 1960′s television series. The film was critically mauled and the low box office led to the franchise being left dormant until Christopher Nolan resurrected it with Batman Begins in 2005.

 

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