Here is an explanation of Jack Nicholson’s planned role as the Joker in the unreleased sequel Batman Unchained. “Batman and Robin” was the fourth installment of the original Batman franchise, and although it is considered one of the worst blockbusters ever made, the film’s reception caught Warner Bros by surprise. They fully expected the sequel to be as big a success as “Batman Forever” two years earlier. However, the film’s terrible script, clumsy acting and tasteless artwork made it a chore, and “Batman and Robin” stalled the franchise for almost a decade. This also led to the cancellation of Batman Unchained, which was supposed to be the fifth.
Director Joel Schumacher wanted to abandon the sillier elements of his previous Batman franchise and do something darker and more psychological. To that end, “Batman Unchained,” which was written by Mark Protosevich from I Am Legend, would introduce Scarecrow and Harley Quinn as new villains. Nicolas Cage was eyeing the first one: Schumacher discussed the role with the actor on the set of “Without a Face,” while Madonna and Courtney Love were involved with Harley. Reports about the latter’s role in the sequel are a bit unclear: Some claim that Harley was the Joker’s daughter, while others claim that she was a former lover.
Related: Every Death of Jack Nicholson in a Tim Burton Movie
She and Scarecrow would team up to defeat Batman, who breaks up with Robin during the story. Given that the Scarecrow was supposed to be a villain, Batman Unchained was already conceived as a more psychological game where George Clooney’s Bruce/Batman finally faced his past traumas and overcame them. It is said that in the final scene of the sequel, Bruce visits the bat cave and is infested with bats, showing that he has overcome his fears. This image was later reused by Chris Nolan in the Batman: The Beginning reboot. Without a doubt, the most famous planned scene for “Batman Freed” was the hallucinatory trial, where Batman faced all the main villains from past films, including the Riddler Jim Carrey, Catwoman Michelle Pfeier and Joker Jack Nicholson.
Explanation of Inspiration for Batman’s Cameo of the Liberated Joker
If Batman 89 had been made these days, the movie would never have killed such a cult villain as the Joker. However, by the end of the film, the Clown Prince of the underworld was completely dead, making memories or hallucinations the only real way to bring the character back. This whole scene was inspired by the Batman: The Animated Series, which was canceled too soon—an episode appropriately titled “The Trial” where a rogue Dark Knight gallery captures and puts him on trial for “creating” them.
One of the executives apparently called this planned trial of “Batman Freed” one of the most expensive episodes in the history of cinema. It is unknown if the sequel could unite so many main actors, but the prospect of Penguin interacting with Two-Face and the Joker would be exciting. In this episode of Batman Unchained, Bruce also had to confront his guilt for murder, and Jack Nicholson’s Joker would undoubtedly be the focus of this element. This could have created an incredible scene, but the negativity surrounding Batman and Robin soon led to the cancellation of Batman Unchained and the relaunch of the series.