'Batman Forever': All the Deleted Scenes That Could Be in the 'Schumacher Cut'

Batman Forever is the latest DC movie that has fans clamoring for an extended director's cut, following the successful campaign to get Warner Bros. to release the Snyder Cut of Justice League.

The 1995 movie, which turned 26 in June 2021, has been trending on Twitter due to fans urging the studio to #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut, a 160-170 minute version of the film created by director (and recent character on Netflix's Halston) Joel Schumacher.

Per interviews with its writer, this "Schumacher Cut" was darker and more psychological, with the extra 40 to 50 minutes getting into the mind of Bruce Wayne (played by Val Kilmer) and the guilt he held over the death of his parents. It also provides a better explanation of why the film is called Batman Forever.

Of this missing footage, about 15 minutes worth of deleted scenes have been released through various DVD and Blu-ray releases of the third Batman movie. Though there could be plenty of darker stuff locked in the Warner Bros vault, those hoping for a Dark Knight-style dark movie may be disappointed; the deleted scenes are just as goofy as anything that we actually see in the film.

All the deleted scenes that could be in the Batman Forever 'Schumacher Cut'

Alternate opening

Originally, the movie began with a sort of extended tribute to Tim Burton, the director who helmed the first two Batman movies. We see an establishing shot of Arkham Asylum that could have come straight from Batman Returns, before we head inside and meet a character called Dr. Burton in the script—and if that was not enough of a reference to the maker of Edward Scissorhands, then the doctor also has Burton's signature moptop.

The character heads to the cell of Harvey Dent/Two Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and thinks he sees him in the shadows of his cell. On closer inspection, however, the body is that of a dead guard, and Two Face had escaped through the roof. On the wall, he has left the message "The Bat Must Die"—a shot that also featured in the tie-in music video for U2's "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me."

Instead of starting with this tribute to a director who had left the franchise, the released version started with the arguably stronger in media res opening of Harvey stealing the bank vault.

Bruce Wayne vs. The Bat

Another scene gives us a glimpse at a whole subplot removed from Batman Forever. Bruce and Alfred (Michael Gough) are in the Batcave, where they discuss Bruce being shot in the head and giving up the role of Batman in order to save Dick Greyson (Chris O'Donnell)—two things that would surely happen in the Schumacher Cut, but do not happen in the released version.

Alfred goes on to speculate that Bruce "never faced up to why he became [Batman] in the first place." Bruce then goes into a cave, where he first reads from his father's diary, then in a moment that is goofier than the film thinks it is, squares off against a human-sized bat.

Scenes of this bat flying towards the camera did appear in the finished version, but the stuff about Thomas Wayne's diary did not. In the theatrical version, we see Bruce take his father's diary during the wake for his parents, running away until he falls in a hole. It is then that he sees the giant bat.

However, in the longer version, we actually get to see what Thomas Wayne wrote in his diary: "Bruce insists on seeing a movie tonight..." as his parents would die outside of the movie theater, the film argues that the burden of guilt from discovering this is what leads to Bruce becoming Batman.

In this deleted scene, it is finally confronting the bat that brings Bruce psychological clarity. He emerges from the cave knowing his purpose in life, saying, "I'm Batman, Alfred. I'm Batman." Though he doesn't say it, the implication is clear: Bruce Wayne will be Batman...forever.

batman forever val kilmer
Promo image for 'Batman Forever' featuring Val Kilmer. Fans have been asking Warner Bros. to release the so-called "Schumacher Cut" of the movie. Warner Bros

Chase never ends

If that subtext was not clear enough, another deleted scene spells out why the film is called Batman Forever. In this scene, Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) is in a car with Alfred and asks him, "does it ever end, Alfred?" To which the butler replies, "no, Dr. Meridian, not in this lifetime."

Batman's beauty shop

Those hoping that the 40 minutes-or-so deleted from the Schumacher original version is all the dark and moody stuff will be disappointed by one deleted scene that shows another time The Riddler (Jim Carrey) gets one over on Batman.

In this scene, Batman is following what can only be described as a bat-nav, a TV in his car featuring a big X on the map rather sillily labeled "crime scene." Arriving there, however, Bruce finds himself in the middle of a woman's salon. One of the hairdressers jokes: "A little off the ears, Batman?"

Extended helicopter shot

Fans have also previously been given a glimpse of a longer version of the tussle in the helicopter at the start of the film between Harvey and Bruce. The cut scene does hint towards some of the darker psychological demons Bruce may have been fighting in this longer version of the film.

In the scene, Harvey says to his black leather-class nemesis: "'Batman doesn't kill'...that's a good one. It's too good to be true. What's that lethal curl of a lip? What's that homicidal gleam of the eye? You're a killer too, and you know it."

two face and riddler in batman forever
Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones as The Riddler and Two Face in "Batman Forever." Warner Bros

More Dick

The deleted scenes also make clearer Bruce's reasons for allowing Dick to live with him after the horrific circus accident that left his family dead. Basically, Bruce sees a lot of himself in the young man who becomes Robin.

Bruce says: "I know you're in a lot of pain because of your family. I know you feel responsible. I don't know you, but I'm like you...Don't let the love of your family twist into hatred."

We also get to see Kilmer perform a slightly awkward roundhouse kick.

Other deleted scenes

On YouTube, one more deleted scene has been released, a fairly inconsequential clip in which Bruce watched a news report that pleads with Batman to retire; a sentiment supported by Alfred, who then tells Bruce to tell Chase that he loves her.

The website Batman on Film, which has compiled scripts and other materials to try and reconstruct the Schumacher Cut, also includes details of other cut scenes. These include Chase helping to fight off attackers in Wayne Manor, plus extended scenes featuring Sugar (Drew Barrymore) and Spice (Debi Mazar).

Batman Forever is streaming now on HBO Max.

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts