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The Boy Who Loved Batman 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the there-was-only-one dept.
theodp writes "As a young boy, Batman producer Michael Uslan — a self-described 'ultimate comic book geek' — was traumatized to see the Caped Crusader being 'murdered' in front of his very eyes by the camp 60's TV series. 'I was horrified,' Uslan told a Harper College audience last week. 'I was horrified because the whole world was laughing at Batman, and that just killed me.' At that point, the 13-year-old vowed to teach the world about the Batman he knew, about the crusader who lurked in the shadows, about a darker, grittier superhero. As told in his memoir The Boy Who Loved Batman, he made good on that vow: Uslan has served as the executive producer of all Batman major motion pictures, from 1989's Batman to the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises (trailer)."
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The Boy Who Loved Batman

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  • Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dohzer (867770) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @07:24AM (#40509941) Homepage
    So he made a few more movies where everyone laughed at Batman, and then he made Batman Begins? Why would he do that?
    • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @07:32AM (#40509965) Homepage Journal

      batman begins?? you think that's the problem.

      problem is, this guy is obviously just riding the job and cashing cheques whilst not doing his job and relying on directors to do the their and as well producers job.
      why? BECAUSE BATMAN FOREVER AND BATMAN FUCKS BUTTBUDDY ROBIN EXISTS.

      • Robin has been around since 1940. He's actually a very important part of the Batman story. Unfortunately, unlike Batman he never got a good face lift for the films. Jason Todd would probably change your opinion of Robin. That is to say, as long as Batman could keep him from almost killing you.
    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by guises (2423402) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @07:33AM (#40509971)
      It's certainly hard to explain the existence of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin in this context. The first two of that series, directed by Tim Burton, do show a batman that isn't all about camp.

      I don't see why people get all riled up over the Adam West series though, it's consistent with the comic books of the time. Most of the super hero comics were campy back then, that was just the style.
      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 01, 2012 @07:55AM (#40510021)

        That and they are very good. Is this "dark moody" Batman? No. This is "Heroic, if slightly awkward" Batman. The whole premise of a man having a ward was weird in the 60's - there was no other way to play it, if you wanted Batman in the 60's timeframe. So yes, they played it up and added humour. The show was thus enjoyed by adults and children on two very different levels. Personally I think this is clever.

        The thing about Batman is that it does stretch this far, and can accommodate very different interpretations. I think it very unfair to say Adam West's portrayal of Batman "killed it", instead it kept Batman relevant through the 60's. If it weren't for the Adam West Batman would the franchise still exist?

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          . The whole premise of a man having a ward was weird in the 60's - there was no other way to play it,

          Wait, all men don't have wards?

          If it weren't for the Adam West Batman would the franchise still exist?

          That's silly. Of course it would.

          The show was thus enjoyed by adults and children on two very different levels.

          Not universally. I was probably about 10 when it came out and even then I realized it was stupid. I don't remember Batman as being all that campy. If it wasn't for Julie Newmar, I would have skip

          • by heptapod (243146)

            I remember being annoyed at the Batman tv show when they replaced Julie Newmar with Eartha Kitt. Stopped watching it and was selective about the reruns I caught.

        • Replying to do a bad moderation.
          During that time without the campy Batman, parents would forbid kids from reading batman comics, or other things batman.
          I was a kid when Batman the animated series came out. My parents didn't have issues with it because they still thought of campy bat man. Not the Batman who the police really hate, with the exception of the commissioner.

        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          The whole premise of a man having a ward was weird in the 60's

          I know some people claimed there was a homoerotic subtext, but I really don't recall Adam West's character actually "having his Ward" [wikipedia.org] on screen. :-O

      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by medv4380 (1604309) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @07:57AM (#40510023)
        Yea, the CCA wouldn't have allowed the dark Batman to see the light of day. And that just makes Uslans claim all the more weird. He wouldn't have seen much of a difference between Campy 60's Batman TV and Campy 60's Batman Comics. If he thinks he's being honest then he's twisted his memories around to fit his world view.
      • by lessthan (977374)

        When we look back now, we don't see humor, we see homosexual. That is why people try to distance themselves from the West series. Essentially, "I love Batman, but I'm not gay!" dressed up a little PC.

        • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 01, 2012 @08:01AM (#40510037)

          When we look back now, we don't see humor, we see homosexual.

          Sure, for the people who are preoccupied with homosexuality and predisposed to see it in everything.

          • people who are preoccupied with homosexuality and predisposed to see it in everything

            The problem is how common such people are in modern American society. Otherwise, we wouldn't have had the Teletubbies scandal with Po accused of calling Tinky Winky a "faggot faggot" [youtube.com] over purple fur, a triangular antenna, and a purse [wikipedia.org].

            • by bluemonq (812827)

              Ironically, the actress who played Po would go on to portray a lesbian in a British TV drama.

              • by tehcyder (746570)

                Ironically, the actress who played Po would go on to portray a lesbian in a British TV drama.

                Are you using "ironic" in the Alanis Morissette sense, i.e. something that is mildly coincidental or slightly annoying, but not, in fact, ironic?

            • by CAIMLAS (41445)

              Yeah, because genderless stuffed animals wearing the same getup and using homosexual iconography as homosexuals during Gay Pride Day in San Francisco is a bit of a leap...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The series was perceived as just as campy and homoerotic back when it aired as it is today -- some of us were just too young back then to catch it. And I have never heard someone try to distance themselves uncomfortably from that series in order to defend their appreciation for other Batman franchises; that's just childish and pathetic.

        • by tragedy (27079)

          Which fails to explain Joel Shumacher and rubber batnipples.

      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @08:01AM (#40510039)

        Yeah, if people actually go back and read the Batman comics that were being written then, they're just as campy and ridiculous as the show. [cracked.com]

        Still, the post-Burton, pre-Nolan Batman's were fucking shit-tacular. I'm actually more insulted by those movies now that I know that someone that purported to actually give a shit about the characters was involved in the production. Before I could chalk it up to Hollywood humping another property to death because it has no soul or sense of when to quit while ahead, but now I wonder if we weren't just being trolled or something.

        • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @09:44AM (#40510463)

          Still, the post-Burton, pre-Nolan Batman's were fucking shit-tacular.

          You obviously haven't seen the Animated Series [imdb.com].

          • I read the comic adaptations of the first 20 or so episodes back when I was still collecting comics, but honestly they didn't really grab me, either. Unless there's something deep and meaningful in the actual show that the comics weren't able to convey...
            • by ildon (413912)

              Compared to everything else that was on during the afternoon cartoon slot, that show was basically a masterpiece. Compared to the comic stories of the time it probably doesn't stand out so much.

            • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 01, 2012 @03:01PM (#40512061)

              The Batman seen in Batman: The Animated Series is considered by many to be THE Batman, as he's a mix of all the best versions of Batman from the comics. It's as though he's the archetypal Batman, rather than just another variation himself. The voice cast they assembled is one of the best I've ever heard for a Batman show, with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill knocking it out of the park with Bruce Wayne/Batman and The Joker, respectively. It also helped that, for the initial run, they got some really top notch animation for the show.

              That's not to mention the individual greatness of some of the episodes. Heart of Ice ranks up there as one of my all-time favorite episodes of anything, and was properly rewarded with an Emmy at the time. Feat of Clay and Robin's Reckoning are great two-parters, and I think Robin's Reckoning also won an Emmy.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        A movie which has "Holey rusted metal, Batman" is fine by me.

        • by guises (2423402)
          Didn't they take out that line when it was released on video? I recall there were a couple scenes like that which were edited in order to, I guess, make the movie worse.

          The point however, is that that line is explicitly a reference to the TV show from which this guy is claiming to want to distance himself and the Batman franchise.
      • by kanto (1851816)

        What is Batman without a little bit of camp? It's Christian Bale, one of the most boring actors ever. Personally I liked Batman, Batman Returns and even Batman Forever; I was a teen back then, but still they had solid actors and for films of their time they looked good.

        After that it's been at best ok... I'm not sure why Bale is incapable of actual facial expressions, but from the looks of it it's contagious.

      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Artifakt (700173) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @12:59PM (#40511525)

        It wasn't just the style, it was the COMICS CODE. When the code was adopted, it forbid showing realistic means to commit crimes - so there goes the detective aspect of Detective comics (featuring none other than Batman). Batman now had to solve unrealistic murders and thefts only. The code forbid making criminals look attractive, so you had to make all the villians scarred, disfigured, or warped in some obvious ways. (Hence not just the Joker and Two-face, but eventually the DiVito Penguin with flipper-hands, horrible teeth, and obesity). The code said police and officials had to be shown as upright and honest, so no cops on the take plotlines. The code tried to stop all sorts of graphic horror and violence, so what was left as a way to deal with a bunch of insane, strange looking people out committing crimes? Mockery and Humor, or go where TV was not about to go - into serious introspection. As people eventually realized, one of the things the code said, in effect, was "Hey kids, trust beautiful people, but the disabled are all criminals!". I don't particularly get riled up over the Adam West series - it's just part of the same screwed up society that wouldn't show some The Prisoner episodes because they were seen as critical of the Viet Nam war. As you point out, TV was just following the comics of the time. But the comics of the time were seriously screwed up because of the code.

      • by tragedy (27079)

        That wasn't exactly the style of the time. It was the result of censorship. The comic books of the time were laboring under the Comics Code Authority. The powers that be had decided that comic books were the devil and the big comics companies struck the standard devils bargain to censor themselves to avoid having censorship thrust on them. One bit of fallout from this was the era of Batman comics that the Adam West series was based on.

      • You have confused the Director with the Producer. Burton did, in fact, direct those films, but they were still produced by Michael Uslan. Citation here. [imdb.com]

        • by guises (2423402)
          No, I got that. The point was that Uslan is claiming that he wanted to get away from Batman as a camp figure, and the two movies directed by Burton (and produced by Uslan) did indeed do that, but the last two movies (also produced by Uslan) were very much camp and that fact is hard to reconcile with what Uslan said.
      • by unitron (5733)

        I think you have been mislead by the comic books having been changed to be more like the TV show, just as the Batmobile was.

        The Marvel comics, in the early to mid '60s, introduced a certain wisecracking humor that the DC titles had not had, but the "camp" was introduced with the TV show. It wasn't in the comics before that.

        Batman, in the comics, was impressive because he had developed himself physically, since he didn't have superpowers, and because he was smart.

        He had some gadgets that came in handy, but

  • All of them, huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Because bat nipples, the hockey team from hell, "I'll get drive thru", turning Two Face into a cackling idiot side kick, the Riddler being nothing but a Jim Carry character in disguise, the Joker being Jack playing Jack (NOTHING to do with the joker character), or a host of other horrid things in those late 80's/early 90's movies really did a lot to help Batman's image.

    Until Begins, NO ONE captured Batman on the big screen properly. The Animated series did as good of a job as possible at the time, but don'

    • by bhagwad (1426855) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @09:03AM (#40510251) Homepage
      Nolan's batman is no less funny. Short, with an undecipherable fake voice, horrible fighting style, a moping bruce wayne...don't get me started. Jesus I don't know why any comic book fan would like this latest set of Batman movies. But everyone else seems to think they're the cat's whiskers.
      • Re:All of them, huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @10:07AM (#40510557)

        Batman was never about the main character himself, but his foes.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          That's ultimately the case with any quality super hero. The hero is only as great as the villains and Batman has some of the greatest villains ever created. Same goes for James Bond, the Bond films that don't work are generally the ones where the villain sucked.

    • Until Begins, NO ONE captured *that particular* Batman on the big screen properly.

      TFTFY
       
      What you young'uns don't seem to realize is that there isn't "a" Batman to capture - there's a whole string of different interpretations across the years. As with so much else, there never was a golden age.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Clods!

  • I luv Baman Piderman.

  • Know this! (Score:5, Funny)

    by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs AT ovi DOT com> on Sunday July 01, 2012 @08:11AM (#40510063) Homepage

    Adam West is the one true Batman!

  • Did anyone check the midichlorian count on that boy? Seems to be a little too preoccupied with the "dark" side.
    • Oh God no! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Did anyone check the midichlorian count on that boy? Seems to be a little too preoccupied with the "dark" side.

      Wait wait, don't start a Batman vs. Star Wars argument!

      The Star Trek vs Star Wars was bad enough - especially after seeing Star Trek get its ass kicked for being worse than Star Wars! Of course, I'm not one of those losers who is concerned about such nonsense! Having to defend the obvious superiority of Star Wars over Star Trek is just beneath me.

      • by lennier (44736) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @04:59PM (#40512569) Homepage

        Wait wait, don't start a Batman vs. Star Wars argument!

        Ooh but let's!

        1. Dresses in dark colours with cape and mask.
        2. Is a reclusive loner who doesn't play by the book
        3. Emotionally scarred by the death of a parent.
        4. Dedicated his life to ridding society of criminal scum.
        5. Is competent in close-quarters combat without firearms
        6. Has a son who follows his father's ways but with a different philosophy
        7. Uses his advanced mental powers to keep enemies terrified and off-guard
        8. Meets in secret with an authority figure who acts as a mentor, but doesn't always follow their advice
        9. Flies a distinctive personal vehicle with curved wings

        10. Can choke people over a videophone
        vs
        10. Carries exploding shark repellant at all times

        I think it's a tie.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          10. Can choke people over a videophone
          vs
          10. Carries exploding shark repellant at all times

          I think it's a tie.

          If you can get a "Can choke people over the Internet" upgrade with that, then hell no that's no tie. You can keep your shark repellant...

          • by unitron (5733)

            Not to mention being able to solve the problem of all of those people on the internet who are still wrong and finally get some sleep.

      • by sco08y (615665)

        Having to defend the obvious superiority of Star Wars over Star Trek is just beneath me.

        I see what you did there.

  • Was is his net worth, he refused to divulge it when he was interviewed by Ian Punnett on Coast to Coast AM several months ago.

  • Riiiiiiight (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SilverJets (131916) on Sunday July 01, 2012 @09:07AM (#40510277) Homepage

    FTFA
    At that point, the 13-year-old vowed to teach the world about the Batman he knew, about the crusader who lurked in the shadows, about a darker, grittier superhero.

    And then he goes out and becomes executive producer of Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, and the shit-tastic Halley Berry classic Catwoman.

    More like he wanted to show the world that he could cash in on the caped crusader as much as everyone else.

  • Sorry he has issues over an imaginary character but I'll take 60's batman over the 90's films any day. The Bale versions aren't bad but that doesn't change that 60's batman was awesome.
  • Well.

    Was he responsible for hiring Michael Keaton who, you young'uns don't realize, not having lived through this terrifying time, was comedic actor Beetlejuice. The horrors that arose as we feared a return to that very campy 60's. I don't know if fan outrage changed things but...

    Was he responsible for the zookeeper parade of characters after the first, oriented around a billion dollars of toy sales, the same BS which brought us Jar-Jar?

    And the 1960's Catwomen were way better, too.

    • No, Tim Burton was the one who insisted on Keaton. Now, even Keaton thought it'd be campy, until Burton showed him Frank Miller's stuff.

  • You wanna make a movie about a crusader who lurked in the shadows, a darker, grittier superhero, then make a movie about Lavrenty Beria. Don't make movies about men in silly masks and also expect people not to laugh.
  • Uslan has served as the executive producer of all Batman major motion pictures, from 1989's Batman to the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises (trailer).

    That's not "all" of the Batman major motion pictures. You seem to be forgetting Batman: The Movie [imdb.com], in which the Penguin dehydrates members of the U.N. security council, reducing them to piles of... stuff... and somehow manages to rehydrate them [wikipedia.org] with everything perfectly back in place and functioning. True, most people have worked hard to forget this movie over the last half-century, and if you hadn't made this ridiculously-grandiose claim I wouldn't have had to remember it either.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      The biggest plot hole in that flick is that someone noticed the UN security council going missing. Oh no, you dehydrated the UN Security Council! Now they're getting exactly the same amount of stuff done that they were doing before! How will the world survive?
    • reducing them to piles of... stuff... and somehow manages to rehydrate them [wikipedia.org] with everything perfectly back in place and functioning.

      Holy Parody Batman! I think you may be taking that film a bit too seriously. People are talking as if it was a serious attempt to bring Batman to the screen rather than a deliberate comedy send-up of superhero comics.

      The film also included a porpoise heroically throwing itself in front of a torpedo to save our heroes, a string of nuns, kittens and ducklings getting in the way when Bats was trying to throw away a bomb, and water faucets marked "regular" and "heavy".

    • Everything was not perfectly back in place and functioning! None of the security council members was speaking his own language!

  • How can you take him serious as he also produced the awfull Batman forever and Batman and robin, those were worse than the entertaining 60's series and movie.

    But who cares anyway, batman is an entertaining comic, nothing more nothing less..
  • by axlr8or (889713)
    So.... This guy is responsible for the satanic, mentally disturbed, dysfunctional, mutated, disfigured, amoral, unethical, violent, twisted, sick, dark, cast of superhero vigilante and villains that we know today? The same one's that have provided a more suitable motif for the low quality of law enforcement that we have now, and have been responsible for training our bullies under the guise of 'leadership'. Can't... we.... compromise with My Little Pony? I feel dirty. Maybe its just my speling.
  • If this post is not an advertisement for an upcoming film, I do not know what else it is!!!

    Most of the slashvertisements are posted by Soulskill...is it a real person or some algorithm running on a Windows ME PC?
  • Ok, I agree with his premise, but if he was executive producer of all Batman movies since 1989, what the hell happened with Batman and Robin (1997)? It took a lot of courage to make another Batman film after that piece of shite.

  • Campy yet gritty. Trained assassins bent on revenge who happen to be anthropomorphic mutant turtles.
  • Nipple suit. I rest my case.
  • "... was traumatized to see the Caped Crusader being 'murdered' in front of his very eyes by the camp 60's TV series..."

    Huh? Which episode was that? I don't remember that one.

  • The thing is, Batman is the only superhero who doesn't have ANY super-power. He's totally human, doesn't believe in using guns (due to seeing his parents shot dead), using only his self-invented bat gadgets to fight crime. No Superman strentgh, no radioactive enhancement, just a very vulnerable mortal with a sense of moral outrage, who can be killed. Best. Superhero. Ever!

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