Batman Forever and Batman & Robin director Joel Schumacher received a lifetime achievement award this past weekend at the Hamptons Film Festival. Variety was there and caught up with Schumacher to reflect on his two Batman movies. He even gives his opinion about Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight. Check out some highlights from the interview below.
Your “Batman” movies aren’t as dark as Christopher Nolan’s.
I was never able to go into the darkness. Because of “Batman Returns,” families had objected that it was too adult, which is no criticism of Tim Burton’s. When they offered it to me, I went to Tim and said, “This is your franchise and they want me to do it. I won’t do it if you don’t want me to.” He said, “Take it, please! I can’t do another one.” Even though “Batman Forever” is really sexy, it was a movie the whole family could see.
You introduced nipples to the Batsuit. Were you surprised they became so controversial?
Yes, I was like, “Are you kidding me?” I think that will be on my gravestone. It’s how I’ll be remembered.
But “Batman Forever” was a box office hit.
It was the biggest movie of the year and the cheapest “Batman” ever made. It cost under $100 million, with Val [Kilmer], Nicole [Kidman], even Jim [Carrey] was still coming up. “Batman Forever” was total passion. My bosses let me change Batman. Jim was inspired as the Riddler. Tom Lee Jones played Harvey Two Face. Drew Barrymore is in it. Debi Mazar plays a bad girl. It has a great cast and everyone did a great job. It was fun to create a “Batman” movie.
Then came “Batman & Robin.” Was it your idea to cast George Clooney as Batman?
No, Val left at eleventh hour to do “The Island of Dr. Moreau.” It changed everything. George made a noble effort. I was the problem with “Batman & Robin.” I never did a sequel to any of my movies, and sequels are only made for one reason: to make more money and sell more toys. I did my job. But I never got my ass in the seat right.
They immediately wanted a sequel, but I said yes. There’s nobody else to blame but me. I could have said, “No, I’m not going to do it.” I just hope whenever I see a list of the worst movies ever made, we’re not on it. I didn’t do a good job. George did. Chris [O’Donnell] did. Uma [Thurman] is brilliant in it. Arnold is Arnold.
How do you think Ben Affleck will do as “Batman”?
I think a lot of people discounted Ben. I think they’ve been shown that they were foolish and that he’s doing great.
Check out the full interview with Joel Schumacher at the source link below.