Is Batman gay? Fans want Joel Schumacher's controversial 'Batman Forever' cut released and hero out of the closet
Joel Schumacher always believed that Batman was gay and 40 minutes of additional footage might add more subtext than fans can handle
Joel Schumacher is the latest in the line of DC film directors whose fans are clamoring for a released cut of their original vision. With nearly 40 minutes of deleted scenes that never made it to the original film, a hypothetical Schumacher Cut would significantly add to the runtime of 'Batman Forever', and that's what fans are hoping to see. They believe that Schumacher's original vision for the Dark Knight should see the light of day, but could the fandom truly handle Schumacher's true vision for a Batman who was not only deep in the shadows but also out of the closet?
The most enduring criticism of the 'Batman Forever' films has been the Batnipples — a rubber Batsuit, as anatomically correct as a PG-13 movie would allow it to be. While Schumacher never saw the controversy in an anatomically correct costume based on Greek statues, many believe that the late director's aesthetic choices for 'Batman Forever' and 'Batman & Robin' were decidedly homoerotic. The lingering camera shots on Batman and Robin's codpieces probably didn't help either.
George Clooney himself has come out saying that while Schumacher's Batman films were planned to be darker and more mysterious, he also noted that "Joel Schumacher told me Batman was gay." It's entirely possible that Warner Bros Studios was aware of this and introduced Uma Thurman's hypersexualized Poison Ivy as a way of course-correcting this vision in 'Batman & Robin' — not that that stopped Clooney from claiming he portrayed Batman as if he was a gay man. With just a few changes, Batman could have been a queer icon for the ages and 40 minutes of unseen footage sounds like a significant amount of changes to the film.
While it's unlikely that any of those 40 minutes explicitly state that Batman is gay, the missing footage reportedly takes a deep dive into the psychology of Bruce Wayne, and if there are any stronger hints of homosexuality to be found in Schumacher's vision, that's where it will be. While homosexuality is a lot more commonly accepted now than it was back then, fans are absolutely not ready for the idea of a gay Batman, and a Schumacher Cut just might be more than any of them bargained for.
Fans believe that Schumacher's original vision for Batman was one that was a dark, psychological examination of the Dark Knight, a film more in line with Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins' and 'The Dark Knight'. Schumacher was given a rather free reign with not one, but two Batman movies in his time and it's clear where his aesthetic priorities lay. Given how successful the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign was, it's not outside the realm of possibility that fans could get exactly what they're demanding, but the end result might be a lot more than any of them bargained for.