In cinema, Batman has always been subject to change.  There have been many different interpretations of the character, ranging from Tim Burton’s macabre take to the pop-camp of Joel Schumacher to the grounded realism of Christopher Nolan.  There is always something new that can be attempted with the character.

Even spanning formats, Batman has had representation in both live-action and animated films and series.  The perennial popularity of the character, coupled with almost limitless flexibility, means that Batman can have just as many interpretations and takes as there are stories to tell about him.  He’s ever-changing, yet always Batman.

Even amidst all that change, though, two names have been a constant with cinematic Batman: Michael Uslan and Benjamin Melniker.  Going back to Tim Burton’s landmark 1989 Batman film, the duo’s names have been listed in some sort of producing role on pretty much every Batman film ever since.  Sadly, Uslan announced on Facebook today that Melniker has died.

Melniker and Uslan had worked together since 1979, when they first met about the prospect of bringing Batman to the big screen.  Over the next decade there were a few attempts to get projects off the ground, and their aspirations were realized in 1989 when Batman became a blockbuster smash.  Since then, their names have been connected to almost every Batman film that has received a wide release, including Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and most recently Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  It’s safe to say, then, that without Melniker, there may not have been a cinematic Batman.

Melniker was 104.

SOURCE: Michael Uslan (Facebook)