Joel T. Schumacher directed Batman Forever and its sequel Batman & Robin after Tim Burton was forced to step down from the position of director. Although many consider the Burton and Schumacher films to take place in the same universe, there are many obvious differences between the two franchises (Burton's dark comic-like world, and Schumacher's more comedic universe much like the 60's Adam West TV show). It is acceptable to say that the movies, although they have some of the same actors (Michael Gough and Pat Hingle), can be considered separate universes, as this debate can be answered either way.
After Batman Returns was deemed too dark and scary for kids, though still considered profitable, Terry Semel and Bob Daly decided a new fresh take on the series was needed in oder to maximize profits. Schumacher was offered the third film in summer of 1993.
Once Batman Forever started production, Michael Keaton dropped out of the role of Batman, claiming that he didn't like the script which Schumacher had commissioned for the film. When recasting Batman, Schumacher chose Val Kilmer after he saw Tombstone, a movie of his.
Batman Forever was also a box-office success, gaining 50 million during the opening weekend. Batman Forever was the first film to gain this amount of money during the opening weekend, though it was beaten two years later by The Lost World, which managed to make 70 million on its opening day. Although Batman Forever was a success, it received mixed reviews from critics.
Batman & Robin Edit
Schumacher was immediately chosen to direct the sequel after Batman Forever's financial success. George Clooney replaced Val Kilmer after Kilmer stepped down, feeling that the character of Batman was becoming marginalised by the villains. Kilmer was apparently hard to work with, according to Schumacher, during Batman Forever and did not want to work on Batman & Robin.
Batman & Robin was a moderate Box-office success but however, it was a critical failure. Batman and Robin is considered the worst Batman film to date and Schumacher himself later apologized for the film in the 2 Disc Batman and Robin DVD for Batman & Robin, arguing that his only intention with the film was to entertain.
He has also made the argument that many of the questionable filming decisions he made were at the behest of Warner Bros., who wanted to further merchandising sales requesting as many gadgets and vehicles be included as possible. Robin actor Chris O'Donnell has likewise made similair statements in Schumacher's defense.
Personal life Edit
- Joel Schumacher said he is openly gay.