Now that we’re living in a post “Release The Snyder Cut” world where that wish was eventually granted, what other alternate or extended cuts are out there? Well, as it turns out, there’s another one from the world of DC.
Writer and podcaster Marc Bernardin has revealed that there’s a three-hour director’s cut of Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever. Barnardin said that the extra hour is much darker and delves deeper into Bruce Wayne’s personal demons. We already know that there’s a famous deleted scene of Bruce (Val Kilmer) confronting a giant bat in a dream sequence and it’s no doubt included in this extended cut.
“I have it on pretty good authority that there exists in the Warner Bros. vault a 170-minute cut of Batman Forever,” Bernardin told his co-host Kevin Smith. “I think that it went much deeper into his childhood psychosis and his mental blocks and that it was a more serious, darker version of that movie that was one of the first assemblies that Joel filed with the studio and they eventually cut it down because they were like ‘it’s too dark for kids. We gotta sell these Happy Meals, so maybe let’s not invest ourselves in the trauma of childhood murder. We’ve got Jim Carrey, let him do some s–t.”
Following Tim Burton’s two Batman films, including the much darker Batman Returns, Warner Bros. was keen on delivering a more fun and light-hearted movie akin to the old Adam West show from the ‘60s. Burton and star Michael Keaton weren’t into going in this direction though and so they passed on making a third one.
Having recently re-watched Batman Forever on HBO Max (before they removed it), the movie mostly holds up as a fun mid-90s superhero flick. Kilmer is arguably one of the better Batmans and Jim Carrey is the big standout, delivering a memorable performance as the Riddler. Coming off of big comedy hits like Ace Ventura, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, you can see the film slowly shifting towards his character more and more as Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face takes a backseat. Maybe this is why Jones hated Carrey while they were making it?
Kevin Smith, co-host of the Fatman Beyond podcast, said that he believes there’s certainly an audience for a different cut, explaining:
“In a world where Joel Schumacher just passed away, what an interesting, wonderful testimony that would be to his work, to get to see a totally different version of Batman Forever,” Smith said.
And HBO Max is the perfect place to put these alternate versions. There’s already been high interest in the director’s cut of Doctor Sleep, which recently debuted on the streaming platform, and with the highly-anticipated Snyder Cut of Justice League coming next year as well, HBO would be foolish not to eventually dedicate an entire category to “Extended or Director’s Cuts” of movies. Such as Batman Forever.