Joel Schumacher faced a tough task when he replaced Tim Burton as the director of the Batman franchise. Not only did he have to find a new actor for the title role after Michael Keaton opted against returning, but the lavish Gothic blockbusters had established an aesthetic that fans had fallen in love with. That being said, the studio didn’t feel the same way, and pushed for The Lost Boys filmmaker to drastically lighten the tone in order to expand the potential audience.
On that front, Schumacher certainly delivered, and Batman Forever made almost $70 million more at the box office than Burton’s Returns, but reviews were not as kind. The major shift in the creative direction of the series alienated a lot of fans, and pushed the Dark Knight’s big screen adventures closer to the tone of Adam West’s kitsch classic TV show.
Earlier this year, Warner Bros. confirmed that a 170-minute cut of the movie exists, and looking at what happened with Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it was inevitable that a campaign would be launched to try and have it released on HBO Max. The #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut movement has now roped in some celebrity backing, too, with Ice Cube of all people throwing his weight behind it.
Official Video message from Ice Cube. Voicing his support for the Schumacher Cut of Batman Forever.
— RTSchumacherCut (@CutSchumacher) October 11, 2020
It remains up for debate whether or not the rapper’s somewhat unenthusiastic support will be enough to encourage Warner Bros. to give the fans what they want, but seeing as how the studio’s upcoming DC-related output has brought surprise after surprise over the last few months, announcing the 170-minute edition of Batman Forever for HBO Max isn’t entirely out of the question given the spate of recent developments.