Release Joel Schumacher's Extended Cut of "Batman Forever" on DVD/Blu-ray
Warner Bros. Entertainment,
What you see before you is a petition to release director Joel Schumacher's 160-minute cut of "Batman Forever" on DVD and Blu-ray.
To whom it may concern, Schumacher shot roughly 2 hours and 40 minutes of footage during production of the film. Following preview screenings of his 160-minute semi-rough cut, WB executives demanded heavy cuts before its initial release, so as to ensure the film had a lighter tone than "Batman Returns".
Consequently, this resulted in the loss of a brilliant subplot involving Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer) having repressed memories over an aspect of his parents' death he hadn't faced: his father's journal (commonly referred to as "the Red Book").
If the executives hadn't intervened and let Schumacher make the movie he wanted to make, the result would've been an all-around better film.
In 2005, to coincide with the DVD release of Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins", all 4 Batman movies, released from 1989 to 1997, were re-released as 2-disc Special Edition boxsets, and "Batman Forever" was no exception, with around 14 of the 40 minutes of known deleted scenes released on the second disc as a bonus feature.
These 14 minutes included:
-The original opening, detailing how Two-Face escaped from Arkham Asylum (An alternate title sequence would've followed, showing an exploration of the human brain).
-An extended helicopter fight sequence between Batman and Two-Face.
-A deleted scene, showing Batman arriving at a beauty salon.
-A deleted scene where Bruce and Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell) talk in the gym of Wayne Manor.
-An extended scene showing Bruce talking to Alfred about his dilemma of continuing to be Batman.
-The iconic "Secret of the Batcave" deleted scene, where Bruce faces a giant bat.
-The first half of the original ending, where Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman), Bruce's love interest, asks "Does it ever end?".
Other known deleted scenes include:
-A scene where Bruce watches a local Gotham talk show with Chase as a guest, talking about Batman.
-A scene where the Riddler (Jim Carrey) brutally beats a security guard using his cane.
-Scenes of Edward Nygma with a hard hat helping with the construction of his headquarters on Claw Island.
-A scene where Sugar (Drew Barrymore) and Spice (Debi Mazar) take hits from the Riddler's device.
-A scene where Bruce and Alfred (Michael Gough) examine the NygmaTech "Box".
-Extended Wayne Manor raid sequence, featuring Bruce and Chase fighting Two-Face's henchmen.
-An extended scene where the Riddler injects Chase with a green sleeping agent.
-Extended fight scene between Two-Face and Robin on Claw Island.
-The second half of the original ending, showing Batman and Robin leaping off a pillar.
All of this, coupled with many alternate takes/angles/shots taken from the trailers and promo material, was included in the film at some point before it was recut to a leaner 121 minutes.
This interests me for many reasons. What if the film had been released with all of this footage intact? Would we have gotten a darker film than what ended up in cinemas throughout the world?
Yes, we certainly would have. That's why I'm writing this petition to you, the fans of DC Comics and the Batman films, and the executives of Warner Bros..
With your help, we can finally get what Schumacher originally intended: a longer, darker cut of the film rather than the total campshow we ended up with. These deleted scenes help flesh out Bruce's subplot and the character as a whole, and Kilmer gives a good performance as the eccentric billionaire with repressed memories of his parents' death.
Plus, my friend Christopher a.k.a. ThatGuyWhoEdits, as well as some other Batman fans, consider the film to be the true end to Tim Burton's planned Batman trilogy, and rightfully so.
There are actually a few more deleted scenes I haven't listed off yet, but in summary, the extended cut of the film is long overdue, and I think it's time we got what we want.
So WB, please consider. If not the full director's cut, then a new "Deluxe Edition" boxset of the film, with new deleted/extended scenes as a supplementary feature.
Thank you for your understanding,