What hath the Snydercut wrought?
Ever since fans successfully clamored to have Warner Bros and HBO Max release Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League, fandom everywhere has been inspired. Truthfully, fans were on their bullshit long before the #releasethesnydercut movement actually resulted in the release of the Snyder cut – they were rallying for re-dos of Game of Thrones’ final seasons and The Last Jedi and more. Some of those efforts are more worthwhile than others, but none of them seemed to have a chance until the four-hour Justice League actually premiered back in March.
Now fans are more emboldened than ever. How else can you explain the #releasetheschumachercut hashtag that has been trending on Twitter lately?
Joel Schumacher, who passed away last year, was a well-respected director with Grisham adaptations (A Time to Kill, The Client), 80s classics (The Lost Boys, St. Elmo’s Fire, Flatliners), and even a few bona fide good movies (Falling Down) under his belt. But he also directed the last two Batman movies before Christopher Nolan took over.
Batman Forever and Batman and Robin are not well-respected films, and Schumacher’s campy approach is pretty much single-handedly responsible for the gritty, “realistic” take Nolan brought to the Dark Knight trilogy. When the main takeaway from your films is the fact that the Batsuit had nipples on it, “gritty” is not what people think of. But it turns out that Schumacher actually wanted to go darker, and fans want to see it.
— BATMAN FOREVER: #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut (@ReleaseTheCut) June 16, 2021
“Batman Forever still has a renaissance coming. I really am interested to see whether the original cut of Batman Forever comes out because I got to see it, recently, the very very first one, which was Preview Cut: One. It was really dark, it was a pretty psychological exploration of guilt and shame.”
Forever, if you can’t remember, was the one with Val Kilmer (Clooney came after), Jim Carrey, and Tommy Lee Jones. Jones’s Two-Face has since been revisited by Nolan, and Carrey’s Riddler is getting a massive makeover in next year’s The Batman, which also promises yet another dark and psychological take on the superhero.
Would Schumacher’s original vision have held up? It was supposedly meant to explore Bruce Wayne’s trauma and mental health. But it also had a scene like this, so maybe it’s best we stick with what we got: