Arkham Asylum movie

June 20th marked the 20th anniversary of Batman & Robin, a superhero movie so despised by both fans and critics that it resulted in the franchise’s title hero(es) being put, as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pun-happy villain Mr. Freeze might say, “on ice” for the next eight years. In a retrospective interview about the film, director Joel Schumacher –whose very name can still cause involuntary spasms among Bat-fans who prefer their Dark Knight movies served with a heavy dose of the now-all-too-common “dark and gritty” style – revealed that he didn’t leave the Batman franchise of his own volition: he wanted to make an Arkham Asylum movie and planted the seeds for it in Batman & Robin and at the end of the previous movie, Batman Forever.
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Batman and Robin

Batman & Robin is an objectively terrible movie, possibly still the worst superhero movie ever made. But it’s been 20 years now…can’t we all just relax?

It’s two decades later and director Joel Schumacher is still apologizing for the garish, neon-soaked nightmare that is Batman & Robin. And while I’m willing to forgive him on some things — the ice puns are unironically great — those bat nipples still baffle me and presumably everyone else. And Schumacher realizes this, explaining the thought process that led to him creating those infamous rubber nipples. And on that front, he’s not sorry.

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coolio batman

I’m not going to turn this post into a defense of Joel Schumacher‘s much-maligned Batman movies, but if someone cut me a check with the appropriate number of zeroes and asked me to defend them, I could do it! Few movies are so unique in their terribleness, so astonishingly wrongheaded as to cause migraines amongst fans 20 years later. I could talk about these movies all damn day. They are as fascinating as they are misguided, which means they’re reeeally fascinating.

And they could have been even more fascinating/misguided, because rapper Coolio says that Schumacher promised him the role of the Scarecrow in next movie, which never got off the ground.

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8mm

This year marks the 20th anniversary of director David Fincher‘s (The Social Network) breakout film, Se7en. The thriller not only launched Fincher’s feature filmmaking career, but it also made Andrew Kevin Walker an in-demand writer. Walker’s followup, 8MM, made less of a cultural, critical, and box-office impact. Director Joel Schumacher (Tigerland) turned his hot spec script into a so-so thriller. Walker, personally, wouldn’t mind seeing a 8mm remake. Learn why after the jump.

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Batman-and-robin-costumes

There are plenty of Batman fans who’d like to forget the Joel Schumacher films ever existed. Even the director himself sounds apologetic when he talks about his second one, admitting he “didn’t do a good job.” But now he’s actually going back to revisit that world, in comic book form.

A new report indicates Schumacher is writing a Batman and Robin sequel, which will be drawn by Dustin Nguyen. The twelve-issue series is based on Batman Triumphant, the never-made third film in the Schumacher Batman trilogy. Hit the jump for more on the Batman and Robin sequel.

UPDATE: Schumacher has denied the Batman and Robin sequel comic reports, as reported by Bleeding Cool.

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David Fincher directing House of Cards

Briefly: Some of the best director commentaries out there are from David Fincher, whose discussions about each of his films are super-detailed and free of the “you had to be there” stories that make some commentaries little more than a genial hangout session with the filmmakers. Hanging out is great, but if you want a commentary you might learn from, Fincher is a good bet.

So it’s great that Netflix has added director commentaries to the first season of House of Cards, which Fincher produced, and which features him as director of two episodes. There are also commentaries from James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross), Joel Schumacher (The Client), Charles McDougall (The Good Wife), Carl Franklin (Homeland), and Allen Coulter (The Sopranos).

This is all a promo, more or less, for the second season of House of Cards, which will be available in its entirety on February 14. As promos go, it’s a great one. Get to the commentaries through the subtitle option on your Netflix portal of choice.

Joel Schumacher‘s career continues to stutter. His 2009 Blood Creek was dumped to dollar theaters and DVD; his film Twelve was called one of the worst in 2010 and barely saw release. His latest movie, Trespass, with Nicholas Cage and Nicole Kidman, hit a very few theaters and is already available to stream on Netflix.

And now Schumacher has been replaced on a film called The Hive. The new director — who steps in for reasons that aren’t clear — is Brad Anderson, known for Session 9, The Machinist, episodes of The Wire, Fringe and Boardwalk Empire and, most recently, the film Vanishing on 7th Street. Read More »

Joel Schumacher has confirmed in an interview that Halle Berry is in talks to take the lead in the tentatively titled The Hive, about “a female emergency line operator who, in trying to help a young girl, comes up against a killer from her own past.” While nothing is official at this point, the director said, he and Berry are both interested in working together and the producers of The Hive seem to be on board with hiring her.

The thriller is expected to begin shooting in February, though Schumacher has said that he may shoot another, smaller film before that. Berry will next appear in Garry Marshall’s limp-looking ensemble romcom New Year’s Eve, and is currently shooting Cloud Atlas with directors Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski. [Coming Soon]

After the jump, surfing biopic Mavericks gets a new title and two new stars, and 50 Cent lines up yet another acting gig.

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Who did Joel Schumacher want to play the Scarecrow in the canned fifth Batman film, Batman Triumphant? Why are Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen dressed at Batman and Catwoman? Which actor was in the running to play Rorschach in Watchmen? Will Gambit be appearing in The Wolverine or any other upcoming X-Men movies? Has someone purchased the rights to Mark Millar‘s latest comic book creation, Superior? Where is The Dark Knight Rises shooting this week? Read about all of this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

We’ve wondered what the story really is with Joel Schumacher‘s Trespass, in which Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman and Liana Liberato play a family held in their home by invading criminals Ben Mendelsohn and Cam Gigandet. Do the invaders want money? Diamonds? Secrets? And does Trespass really turn into an all-out violent morass at the end? All I can say after watching this trailer is that we’d better hope Schumacher is keeping a great many tricks in reserve, because there aren’t many on display here. Read More »