The bright and playful tone of Schumacher’s Batman Forever takes over the grim and dark vibe of The Batman in a fan art poster for the upcoming film.
The dark tones of The Batman are replaced with bursts of color in a fan art poster that mimics the brightness of director Joel Schumacher’s 1995 sequel Batman Forever.
Artist MessyPandas shared the tribute to both films on Instagram, following the design of the poster for the earlier film perfectly. Robert Pattinson’s Batman replaces Val Kilmer’s version in the background of the image with four main characters in a diagonal line and a Batmobile completing the homage. The artist even included the lyrics to Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” song in the post, which was on Batman Forever’s soundtrack.
While the original poster included Robin (Chris O’Donnell), Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman), Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (Jim Carrey), MessyPandas has updated the poster with the stars of the new film. Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis) takes the top spot, followed by Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Penguin (Colin Farrell) and Riddler (Paul Dano). The way the characters line up is in line with the original as well, as both versions of the Riddler are in the same spot with similar coloration.
The choice is of particular note as the upcoming version of the Dark Knight shown in trailers and promo images for The Batman is particularly grim, while Schumacher ditched much of the dystopian world-building Tim Burton had done with the previous two films in that franchise for Batman Forever. It also had the now-infamous “Bat-Nipples” added to the heroes’ costumes, a source of much discussion and dissent among fans.
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Schumacher’s lighter approach even caused the original Batman from that series, Michael Keaton, to leave the film. In a recent interview, Keaton explained his decision to depart after initially committing to the third film. “I remember one of the things that I walked away going, ‘Oh boy, I can’t do this,'” Keaton recalled. “[Schumacher] asked me, ‘I don’t understand why everything has to be so dark and everything so sad,’ and I went, ‘Wait a minute, do you know how this guy got to be Batman? Have you read… I mean, it’s pretty simple.'”
Another former Batman, Ben Affleck, was attached to The Batman at one time before pulling out himself. Despite three appearances as the superhero in the DC Extended Universe, the actor stepped down from both starring in and directing the iconic character’s first solo film since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. “I looked at it and thought, ‘I’m not going to be happy doing this. The person who does this should love it,'” Affleck said in a recent interview. “You’re supposed to always want these things, and I probably would have loved doing it at 32 or something.”
Despite their rocky relationships with the role, both actors are set to return as Batman in The Flash, set for release Nov. 4. The Batman is currently set for a March 4 opening, though that may be delayed due to COVID-19 surges.
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