Well many of you have written me about the Joel Schumacher/Batman 5/Kurt Russell L.A.TIMES CALENDAR piece from last week. Some eager to hear about the production, others preying it's not true, but overall it seemed to strike a chord.
So I decided to contact Joel and find out for myself what's going on. So yesterday afternoon, Schumacher and I talked about it. First off, no if it happens, it isn't happening anytime soon. After wrapping up post production on 8MM, he has a small film with DeNiro to shoot, and a third film that I didn't catch the details on. Basically what this means is that if Joel were to shoot a fifth Batman film, it couldn't possibly be ready till Summer 2000.
Now, he is not signed for another Batman film, no papers have been inked, but Joel did go to the heads of Warner Brothers with a story idea for a 5th Batman film. Joel wants to make a different style Batman movie, not made for kids in particular, but for an older audience. The basis for the story is Frank Miller's YEAR ONE.
It would mean recasting the entire franchise, as Batman would be in his twenties, Commissioner Gordon would be in his thirties and Alfred would be in his forties. He outlined story for the head guys at Warners and well the verdict is out. No decisions have been made.
Anything you have heard otherwise isn't true if it concerns Schumacher at the helm. But this info came from Schumacher himself and he's a fairly straight shooting fella.
So what do I think of all of this? Well, my opinion of BATMAN & ROBIN hasn't softened a bit, but from what I've heard of 8MM, it's a very dark film and the early reviews were cautiously positive. I do know that Schumacher never once mentioned rubber nipples, neon or codpieces in our conversation. Instead he was talking about Frank Miller in a very studied and articulate way.
I love the idea of a YEAR ONE Batman film, it get's me very pleased, not as pleased as a KILLING JOKE Batman film would, but hey Warner's wouldn't touch that story with a ten foot pole. Schumacher has been known to make good films in the past. Personally I'm gonna hold off till I see more on 8MM, it could quite honestly be a wonderful film based on that script, but right now I'm in a wait and see mode.
Of course I can't help but ponder a twenties age bracket BATMAN. My vote would have to be Russell Crowe, I like that guy, and heck Joel almost casted him in 8MM.