DC ELSEWORLDS: Reimagining Keaton Sequels & DC Films that Never Were

Discussion in 'DC Comics Films' started by BobJM, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    Over the years, there have been a number of films, real or rumored, that DC never acted on. Pitches of films that never were. I thought it'd be fun here to share your favorite, and hear SHH posters' thoughts on what they would have liked to see / how they would have shaped the franchises of yesteryear with the benefit of hindsight.

    After Burton left Batman III, but Keaton stayed on--how would you have crafted the third film? What about the scripted Batman Triumphant? If you start pulling on that thread, you can begin to imagine the possibilities if Keaton stayed on for not one, but two movies. Three? Maybe that would have blossomed into Batman vs. Superman, or a Batman Beyond on screen already. Or maybe you preferred Kilmer to Keaton, but have different ideas on story or supporting cast, like Robin Williams over Jim Carrey as Riddler.

    Or the infamous Superman Lives--would you have stuck with Burton & Nicolas Cage, or moved in a different direction like the studio? What would your cast have been? What if you had the chance to rework and recreate Superman Returns into a franchise-starting Superman film like we all hoped for?

    And those are just the big two--there have been plenty of other cancelled movies from Pfieffer's Catwoman to Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman treatment, to Miller's Justice League: Mortal, and so on. Maybe you could have made actually-released films like Jonah Hex or Green Lantern better, and built franchises there. Or rumored casting / storylines that never were (I'm looking at you JGL as Alberto Falcone in TDKR) that captured your imagination.

    This is simply a creative & fun thread--add your casting choices or story pitches, your fan art, edits, or your wishlists!
     
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  2. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    I'll start it off, with a reimagining of Batman Forever:

    It's a post-Batman Returns world, and McDonald's has spoken!

    Tim Burton is ousted from the director’s chair and, after having already seen the writing on the wall, has moved onto his next project,
    Ed Wood.

    Warner Bros focuses it’s energies into resigning Micheal Keaton, and manage to do so by offering the star a whopping $15 million payday. Keaton makes the studio promise that the film will explore the Batman: Year One storyline from the comics.

    Fearing the backlash from parents’ associations and commercial sponsors if the sequel veers “too dark” again, Warner Bros goes back to their golden goose that gave them their first superhero blockbuster smash—Richard Donner, fresh off the hit Lethal Weapon franchise. Though he promises the studio a lighter take on the character, Donner’s able to strike a balance in the film that appeals to all audiences.

    As production kicks into high gear with Burton returning as producer, Warner Bros offers two casting notes: Rene Russo as the female lead, and recast Harvey Dent with a star more bankable than Billy Dee Williams.


    Filming begins in 1994 with a July 1995 release, reinvigorating the franchise with a bold new chapter in the Burton universe:

    [​IMG]

    BATMAN FOREVER
    directed by Richard Donner
    July 1995

    Bruce Wayne / Batman: Michael Keaton
    Alfred Pennyworth: Michael Gough

    Dick Grayson / Robin: Leonardo DiCaprio
    Dr. Chase Meridan: Rene Russo

    villains
    Edward Nygma / Riddler: Dustin Hoffman
    Harvey Dent / Two Face: Denzel Washington

    gotham central
    Commissioner James Gordon: Pat Hingle
    Det. Harvey Bullock: Treat Williams
    Det. Renée Montoya: Jennifer Lopez

    additional / supporting
    Alexander Knox: Robert Wuhl
    Sal ‘Boss’ Maroni: Dan Hedaya
    Dr. Jonathan Crane: Alfred Molina
    Henri Ducard (flashback): Tchéky Karyo
    Young Bruce (flashback): Unknown, 18-22

    cameo
    Jake Napier / Joker: Jack Nicholson

    [​IMG]


    It's been 3 years since the Penguin's Christmastime assault on Gotham City, and BRUCE WAYNE is sinking deeper into his seemingly-endless crusade against crime as the BATMAN.

    Gotham District Attorney—and Bruce’s closest friend—HARVEY DENT is horribly scarred during the public trial of notorious gangster SAL MARONI. Now serving his own brand of justice, Dent descends into madness as the villainous TWO-FACE—acting as the self-appointed judge, jury, & executioner of Gotham City's underworld.

    On one fateful night, young acrobat DICK GRAYSON is orphaned when the Haley Circus finds itself in the crosshairs of Two-Face’s crusade. And like Bruce Wayne before him, the young ward is forever changed by his parents’ murder—spurred into action as the heroic ROBIN.

    As Bruce splits his time mentoring Dick and battling against his old friend, he’s flooded by memories of his own childhood and his years training in the Himalayas with HENRI DUCARD. Bruce seeks the help of DR. CHASE MERIDAN to conquer his traumas—further highlighted in flashbacks of Batman’s early days in Gotham City working with a young Harvey Dent to take down the mob.

    Tensions rise in a corrupt Gotham City as criminals are openly hunted. COMMISSIONER GORDON is pressured to issue a warrant for the Batman’s arrest headed up by DETECTIVES BULLOCK and MONTOYA.

    Lowly Wayne Tech employee & secret criminal genius EDWARD NYGMA cozies up to the corrupt police & city officials to offer his help in deducing the Batman's true identity. In the shadows as THE RIDDLER, Nygma’s motives are much more sinister as he partners with Two-Face to cripple Gotham City…

    Batman Forever serves as a sequel with prequel elements—honoring the two films that came before it and further adding to the lore of Batman’s origin & mythology. In a surprise cameo appearance, Jack Nicholson returns as THE JOKER to haunt Bruce’s memories in a stunning visual sequence exploring Batman’s psyche (wrought by the experimental herbal medicinal therapies of Dr. Meridian's colleague, DR. JONATHAN CRANE).
     
    #2 BobJM, Nov 2, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
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  3. Eddie Dean Jokerfied

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    Batman Rises (1995)
    Dir. Tim Burton

    Batman / Bruce Wayne - Michael Keaton
    Alfred Pennyworth - Michael Gough
    Jim Gordon - Pat Hingle
    Catwoman - Michelle Pfeiffer

    Bane - Vincent D'Onofrio
    [​IMG]

    Miranda Tate - Juliette Binoche
    [​IMG]

    Officer John Blake - Marlon Wayans
    [​IMG]

    Lucius Fox - Dick Anthony Williams
    [​IMG]

    Peter Foley - Jeffrey Jones
    John Daggett - Glenn Shadix
    Jen - Natalie Portman

    with Brad Dourif as The Scarecrow
    [​IMG]

    and Christopher Lee (uncredited) as Ra's Al Ghul
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Frodo Registered

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    Well done my man.

    You're Batman Forever sounds awesome , and I really like your cast.

    I like that you went with Leo as Robin given that it did come down between Leo and Chris, and I also like that you have Russo as Chase since she basically had the part when Keaton was still involved.

    Hoffman as Riddler ,and Washington as Two Face, are inspired casting choices.

    I'll try to do my own list , but I doubt I can improve on what you did. It's awesome.
     
  5. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    lol I love this; especially the D'Onofrio pick for Bane--really awesome. And very 90s. He really would have been great against Keaton. Now I want that movie.

    [​IMG]

    And love the inclusion of Brad Dourif as The Scarecrow--one of the name's originally attached to the character for Triumphant I think? I remember thought it was Burton who liked him, so maybe the character was in earlier versions of Forever?

    Thanks--I tried to ground the pitch with a bit of actual history/reality, with Rene Russo & Leo DiCaprio included--both confirmed to have been considered (or hired, in Rene's case) for the actual Batman Forever.
     
  6. Airwings Waves of air

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    "DC films that never were":

    I remember a small article in a magazine, back in 1993. It told a "rumour" that Reeve was to play Superman again.
    And some other unnamed superhero was to save Supes' live in the final scenes.

    This made me excited as the 15 year old I was. I had fond childhood memories of the actor's earlier films in the series.
    Who that other hero was? I just knew it was going to be Batman. :yay:
     
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  7. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    That sounds awesome; I wonder if Kidder would have returned as well?
     
  8. Eddie Dean Jokerfied

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    After the success of Batman Rises, Warner Bros offers Tim Burton the chance to helm a new version of Superman, an offer he declines. Instead he grandfathers a pair of upcoming filmmakers for their own unique take...

    Man of Steel (1997)
    Directed by The Wachowskis
    Produced by Tim Burton

    Keanu Reeves - Superman / Clark Kent
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Julianne Moore - Lois Lane
    [​IMG]

    Kris Kristofferson - Jonathan Kent
    [​IMG]

    Ellen Burstyn - Martha Kent
    [​IMG]

    Lou Gossett Jr. - Perry White
    [​IMG]

    Gary Oldman - General Zod
    [​IMG]

    Gina Gershon - Faora
    [​IMG]

    Sean Connery - Jor-El
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    Following the smash success of Batman Forever, Warner Bros is quick to re-sign Richard Donner for a fourth installment with Michael Keaton and Leonardo DiCaprio returning as the dynamic duo.

    In an exciting bit of Hollywood news, international superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger signs on as the villainous Bane, setting the stage for the ultimate showdown of the 90s: Batman vs The Terminator!

    BATMAN TRIUMPHANT
    directed by Richard Donner
    Summer 1997

    [​IMG]

    Bruce Wayne / Batman: Michael Keaton
    Dick Grayson / Robin: Leonardo DiCaprio
    Alfred Pennyworth: Michael Gough

    Barbara Gordon / Batgirl: Claire Danes

    villains
    Bane: Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy: Julianne Moore
    Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow: Alfred Molina

    secondary villains
    Bird: John Leguizamo
    Trogg: Nick Chunlund
    Zombie: Lance Reddick

    gcpd.
    Commissioner James Gordon: Pat Hingle
    Capt. Ellen Yindel: Sean Young
    Det. Harvey Bullock: Treat Williams
    Det. Renée Montoya: Jennifer Lopez

    supporting.
    Alexander Knox: Robert Wuhl
    Julie Madison: Elle Macpherson


    The film is loosely based on the recent Knightfall storyline from the comics with the villainous BANE escaping from the hellish prison island of Santa Prisca to Gotham City with the intent of 'breaking' Batman--literally.

    Bane allies with Dr. JONATHAN CRANE, a radical professor at Gotham University. As the SCARECROW, Crane uses his chemical toxins to spread fear throughout the streets of Gotham and inspire violence & crime that keep BATMAN and ROBIN busy.

    DR. PAMELA ISLEY—who the media’s affectionately dubbed “POISON IVY”— is protesting Wayne Enterprises' latest venture when a freak accident exposes her to experimental chemicals. Thinking herself Earth's savior, she attacks Bruce Wayne with her newfound powers but is quickly taken into police custody.

    COMMISSIONER GORDON is planning his retirement, with the Mayor appointing ELLEN YINDEL to take the job. To help her grandfather during this transition, BARBARA GORDON has come to town--and caught the attention of Dick Grayson in the halls of Gotham University!

    In a dramatic confrontation, Bane surprises Batman with a gas of fear toxin and proceeds in beating him near-death; then BREAKS HIS BACK. With Gotham City's hero crippled and no one to stand in his way, Bane breaks both Scarecrow and Poison Ivy out of Arkham Asylum to further wreak havoc and destroy the city.

    During his recuperation, Bruce must learn to again conquer his fear and take back his city as Batman with the help of Robin and the new BATGIRL against the combined might of Bane, Scarecrow, & Poison Ivy.
     
    #9 BobJM, Nov 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  10. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    This is great too! I go back and forth between who I wanted more for Superman—Keanu Reeves or Nicolas Cage.

    I actually think a pre-Matrix Superman with the Wachowskis would be wild to have seen.
     
  11. Eddie Dean Jokerfied

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    I was going to do a Burton BvS with Cage, but it felt just like plugging in his Superman Lives cast (Bullock as Lois, Spacey as Lex, etc..). Now I gotta figure out who the Affleck analogue for The Wachowski's BvS is.
     
  12. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    Maybe Johnny Depp?

    And there’s nothing wrong with Cage as Superman & Bullock as Lois! :D But maybe someone more fun as Luthor. I’ve been mulling Ed Norton, but I’m still crafting what a 90s Superman should have looked like
     
  13. Eddie Dean Jokerfied

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    Norton would be good as the late 90s Eisenberg Lex. I was also thinking Cusack.
     
  14. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    Batman Triumphant is a commercial success, but director Richard Donner steps away from the franchise, exhausted from the film's production.

    Warner Bros manages to persuade Michael Keaton to return for 1 final film in the title role, snagging Wolfgang Peterson for the director’s chair after his 1997 hit Air Force One.

    BATMAN LEGACY
    directed by Wolfgang Peterson
    1999

    [​IMG]

    Bruce Wayne / Batman: Michael Keaton
    Dick Grayson / Nightwing: Leonardo DiCaprio
    Barbara Gordon / Batgirl: Claire Danes

    Alfred Pennyworth: Michael Gough
    Tim Drake / Robin: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Talia al Ghul: Demi Moore

    villains
    Ra’s al Ghul: Sir Sean Connery
    Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze: Laurence Fishburne
    Harley Quinn: Reese Witherspoon
    Ubu: Arnold Vosloo

    gotham central
    Commissioner Ellen Yindel: Sean Young
    Det. Harvey Bullock: Treat Williams
    Det. Renée Montoya: Jennifer Lopez

    additional
    Jack Drake: Tim Blake Nelson
    Nora: Gina Torres
    Henri Ducard: Tchéky Karyo
    Dr. Bartholomew Wolper: Tony Shalhoub

    cameo
    Selina Kyle: Michelle Pfieffer


    The LEAGUE OF ASSASSINS have come to Gotham City!

    Years ago before donning the cowl of BATMAN, BRUCE WAYNE trained under the tutelage of RA'S AL GHUL but rejected his teacher after learning his true goal-- to cleanse the earth in his image, by any means necessary.

    In his plot to destroy Gotham, Ra’s manipulates MR. FREEZE, the tragic scientist who will go to any ends to cure his ailing wife, and the psychotic self-professed daughter of the Joker, HARLEY QUINN. And further complicating matters is TALIA AL GHUL, a former flame who just happens to be the daughter of the Demon’s Head!

    TIM DRAKE is called to action as the next ROBIN when his father’s criminal actions catch up with him. DICK GRAYSON, the original Robin, faces his own identity crisis. With BATGIRL by his side, he adopts a new persona: NIGHTWING.

    In his quest to defeat Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins, Batman journeys beyond Gotham City to the deserts of the Middle East where the two clash swords in the epic finale to Michael Keaton's 10 year saga as the Batman.

    As the franchise comes to its close, we end with Bruce Wayne living his happily-ever-after with SELINA KYLE, and the Bat Family standing ever-vigilant against the Gotham City skyline:

    Nightwing. Robin. Batgirl.

    The BAT-SIGNAL lights up the sky.

    FIN
     
    #14 BobJM, Nov 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  15. Airwings Waves of air

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    Despite Batman & Robin putting the superhero genre in the grave, there were quite soon after talks about doing more Batman.
    Already in 1998, no less than three projects were mentioned:

    Batman: Triumphant was one (and it's mentioned here)

    Then the second, I think it was Batman: Intimidation Game

    The third, I'm sure it was Batman Beyond

    In one of them (don't remember which), Scarecrow was going to be the villain. Jeff Goldblum was tied to the role.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There was some Superman project, with producer Jon Peters involved. I remember something about im being dead-set on changing the character, taking away his ability to fly.
    And there shouldn't have been any suit either.
    In that strange film, Superman was going to fight a HUGE giant spider.
    Brainiac was mentioned as the villain.
     
  16. GREEN =w= DAY Registered

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    Man, this sounds amazing!

    The only change I’d make is to have Robin Williams as Ed Nygma/Riddler
     
  17. Frodo Registered

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    I remember that several names were rumored for Scarecrow including Jeff Goldblum, Howard Stern, Jene Reno, and Samuel L Jackson.

    As it turns out , Schumacer apparently was interested in Nic Cage.

    The names for Harley were Madonna and Courtney Love.

    Thing that's been kinda forgotten in fandom, was that a reboot was not a forgone conclusion. There were a few Batman sequel scripts including the original Batman vs Superman from 2002.

    There was the Frank Miller Year One script of course , but WB was still hedging its bets a bit in terms of ideas.

    It took awhile for WB to fully commit to the idea of a reboot.

    It wasn't like it is today ,where a studio feels less hesitance about rebooting a property which has run its course.

    The idea of making some sort of loose sequel to the Burton/Schumacer films still hung around for a bit before Nolan came along and they fully committed to moving forward with the franchise that way.
     
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  18. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    Robin Williams really would have been a great pick, but I think he was sour on the Bat franchise after the Joker casting situation with Nicholason in ‘89. I think a mid-90s Hoffman could make a great Riddler. Certainly less zany than Carrey’s interpretation, with maybe a bit of Hopper’s character from Speed just to really amp up the 90s of it all.

    That being said—I think Williams would be great as Brainiac from Kevin Smith’s Superman Lives script.
     
  19. Frodo Registered

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    I think Hoffman would have made a great Riddler.

    Even though he was considered for the Penguin, I actually think the cerebral nature and the manic intellect would have fit Hoffman like a glove.

    He can also be very funny as he's shown in films like The Graduate and Tootsie, so if they wanted him to have those more comedic lines or moments in an otherwise more serious film, he could have done that.

    Hoffman also could have made an interesting Mad Hatter imo.

    While Robin Williams could have been good as well, I feel like his Riddler would have been closer to Jim Carrey's in terms of over the top manic energy.

    I think that's pretty much why they went with Carrey after Williams walked away from the part.

    That, and in addition to the fact he was like the biggest star on earth post Ace Ventura, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber.
     
  20. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    That's awesome; I hadn't heard Hoffman was considered for Penguin in Returns. That was just a happy coincidence.

    And agreed about Williams--he was a great performer and loved his movies, but I doubt he would have really varied from the over-the-top Jim Carrey (and, to be fair, Carrey nailed that aspect of his performance, so I don't see a need for improvement if that's the interpretation you're going for).
     
  21. Airwings Waves of air

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    I have no doubt she would have. Kidder and Reeve back in their roles.
    The big question is if Hackman could be persuaded to play the villain for the fourth time, after The Quest for Peace bombed. It was also a stinker.

    This film could actually have happened. Released in 1995, before Reeve's tragic accident.
    Holy comeback event, BobJM! Imagine this alternate reality, with Superman V coming out. Reeve playing the role again, for the last time. I feel like a kid, thinking about it.

    To get serious for a while. Could the 5th film in the series be as bad as the previous? Or even worse?
    Do you think Warner Brothers would have made sure about the quality?
    Could Donner have been offered to return after doing Goonies and starting the Lethal Weapon series?

    And... would Batman be the "other superhero"? Was my gut feeling right about this?
    There is atleast one other alternative in the DC stable, John Wesley Shipp's Flash.

    Batman would be the coolest though.
    And for him to save Supes, kryptonite is involved somehow.
    A guess is that Metallo is a secondary villain (next to Lex). None of the two heroes can take him down on their own. Too strong for Bats, meaning they must work together.
     
  22. BobJM Uncle Charlie

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    To see a fifth Reeve Superman film in 1993 based off Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow (which had only just debuted a few years prior) would have been something to behold. It makes the fumbling of the Superman franchise, and of course the tragedy of Christopher Reeve’s accident, all the more sad to remember.
     
  23. Airwings Waves of air

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    The rumour was in 1993, not the film. :)
    I see that it would have taken two years to finish the project, hence why I wrote 1995
     
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  24. Frodo Registered

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    I had heard somewhere, though I can't remember where now, that after B89's success, WB was considering a Batman and Superman team up movie.

    It makes sense given that Superman 4 had only been released two years earlier, and Chris Reeve was still basically the default choice for another Superman film had it been made in the early 90s.

    He was still old enough that he could have pulled out one more film , but he pretty swore off the role after Superman 4.

    A proposed Superman 5 film movie was going to star Superboy's Gerard Christopher as Superman , though that plan was nixed in the early 90s and they decided to do the Death of Superman storyline.
     
  25. Airwings Waves of air

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    Agree with what you say about Reeve. He had one more film in him.

    Supes teaming up with Batman after BR. How cool wouldn't it have been to see Reeve & Keaton together.
    Donnerverse Metropolis and Burtonverse Gotham in the same film would be heavy.
    Who would have directed? Should Donner have come back for this? If so, how involved should Burton have been?

    I've never heard of the Gerald Cristopher film. Was that really planned?
    The rumour I remember, from 93, was with Reeve in the lead.
     

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