Note: Please, do not post the Joel Schumacher's death reason on here or any post-Batman & Robin film page, because those films were thought of before his death. Same thing for Michael Gough!
Batman Unchained is the name of a cancelled sequel to the 1997 film Batman & Robin which was planned for a release in mid-1999. The script for the film was written by Mark Protosevich (who wrote the script for the 2000 film The Cell), and was never known to have any other title. Joel Schumacher would return as director. However, the film was cancelled after Warner Brothers realized that the finale of the film would be far too costly to shoot, with many of the previous villains returning with the same actors and actresses. The studio also decided to stop production on the film since Batman & Robin was met with almost universally negative reviews from critics, audiences and fans alike. It was also cancelled, because Batman & Robin failed to outgross the preceding Batman films (Batman, Batman Returns and Batman Forever) and as a response to the backlash and criticism the film received when it was theatrically released. The cancellation led to a second sequel pitch entitled Batman: DarKnight.
Sometime after the events of Batman & Robin, Batman and Robin would end up parting ways due to disagreements. Batman would soon discover facts about a mentally unstable scientist named Jonathan Crane, also known as "The Scarecrow". Flashbacks from the first three Batman films were to be shown in a dream sequence. Batman would also have hallucinations after being exposed to Scarecrow's fear toxins, in which he would see the Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face and The Riddler re-unite to judge him on trial. Harley Quinn was intended to appear in the movie as a character, rewritten as a toymaker and daughter of the Joker determined to get revenge on Batman for the death of her father.
- George Clooney as Bruce Wayne/Batman (refused to return)
- Kurt Russell as Bruce Wayne/Batman (possible replacement for Clooney)
- Chris O'Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin
- Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl/Barbara Wilson (was going to return, but went back to college)
- Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth (expected to return)
Various actors were chosen for the role of Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow including:
- Nicolas Cage (main choice)
- Jeff Goldblum
- Steve Buscemi
- Christopher Lloyd
The villains that would appear in Batman's mind include:
- The Joker (Jack Nicholson)
- The Penguin (Danny DeVito)
- Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer)
- Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones)
- The Riddler (Jim Carrey)
- Either Courtney Love or Madonna were to be cast as Harley Quinn, however neither actress were hired for the role.
Why It Was Cancelled
- Batman & Robin was a box office failure.
- Batman & Robin was poorly received by critics, audiences and fans of the previous Batman films (mentioned earlier).
- George Clooney admitted that he hated playing Batman and refused to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Clooney has also expressed regret for playing the character.
- Aside from George Clooney expressing regret, the other cast and crew members regret making the film and Joel Schumacher decided to not continue making any future Batman films after Batman & Robin.
- Warner Brothers didn't like the final script, especially when the executives decided that the finale was too costly due to all the stars involved.
- Warner Brothers decided to put all future live-action Batman films on hold until further notice and focus on making more animated direct-to-video and DVD Batman films as well as the 2001 series Justice League, which featured Batman as one of the major characters in the series.
- The final Scarecrow hallucination would have been the most expensive scene at the time with its combination of A-list actors such as Jack Nicholson, Jim Carrey along with George Clooney and Nicolas Cage.
- Batman Unchained was permanently cancelled.
- In 2005, Batman came back to the big screen with Batman Begins and featured some elements that were to be shown in the cancelled sequel.
- Similar elements from the cancelled film were also featured in the 2015 game Batman: Arkham Knight.
- Batman & Robin would be the conclusion of the Burton-Schumacher Batman Cinematic Universe.
- Some websites incorrectly refer to this film as Batman Triumphant
- Joel Schumacher approached Nicolas Cage to play the Scarecrow while he was starring in the 1997 film Face/Off with John Travolta.
- After Clooney disowned playing Batman, rumor has it that Joel Schumacher handed the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman to Kurt Russell
- In response to how comedic and child-friendly Batman & Robin was, Joel Schumacher wanted to make the film darker and similar to the Tim Burton films and decided to make the film's storyline ignore the events of Batman & Robin after he disappointed many fans of the earlier Batman films.
- The film was supposed to be released to celebrate Batman's 60th anniversary.
- In the script, Robin was supposed to ditch Batman for disagreements, but then return to save his friend from the Scarecrow near the end.
- This was supposed to be the final Batman film of the 1990s.
- Akiva Goldsman, who wrote Batman Forever and Batman & Robin was hired to write the script for Batman Unchained, but turned down the offer to write the script.
- Batgirl was supposedly written out of the first draft of the original story.
- Batman Unchained on Batman Wikia