Joel Schumaker will always be remembered for the atrocities of Batman and Robin and Batman Forever, but he has done some decent flicks like Phone Booth and 8MM, the latter starring Nicolas Cage.
Schumaker has now revealed that he wanted, and begged, Warner Bros. to let him make The Dark Knight Returns, based on the Frank Miller graphic novel. And he wanted Nic Cage to star as The Scarecrow. Could you imagine it? Because I kinda can, and it would have been awesome… I think. Or maybe so bad that it’s awesome. One of the two.
Anyway, Warner Bros was happy with the early dailies of Batman and Robin and began working on a follow-up called Batman Triumphant. Batman and Robin would take on The Scarecrow, whose toxins made Batman see his former villains, including The Joker. And yes, Jack Nicholson would have returned as The Joker. He was still under contract.
I had begged the studio for [the Frank Miller comic] ‘The Dark Knight [Returns],’ but they wanted a family friendly, toyetic thing.
After Batman and Robin, the relationship between him and Warner Bros. dissolved. He left the Batman Triumphant project. He then went on and made 8MM with Cage. He adds:
And I gave up a lot of money, but, no regrets … I have awards for selling more Batman toys than anyone in the world.
He admitted he made the wrong choice with Batman and Robin, but says:
I did my job. It was more family friendly and it sold a lot of toys, and it supported the Warner Bros. stores. But I did disappoint a lot of fans.
The best thing from this whole fiasco is that Warner Bros. realized their wrong ways and gave the keys to the Batman franchise to Christopher Nolan, who has shot it with brand new life. Now they’re hoping he does the same for Superman.
It is interesting to note that Warner Bros. wanted a campy version of Batman, much like the early TV show starring Adam West.. except more plasticky. Also: Nicolas Cage as Scarecrow? For reals? [The Playlist]