Ice Cube, the legendary rapper and actor who has recently been acting as a proxy for Donald Trump's re-election campaign, has another cause on his plate: recently, he became one of a number of celebrities who have lent their voices to a fan movement to release Joel Schumacher's director's cut of Batman Forever, sharing a one-minute video from Cameo in which he urges AT&T and HBO Max to release it direct-to-streaming, much like Warner Bros. is doing with Zack Snyder's Justice League in 2021. There is a similar fan effort underway to get a release for David Ayer's director's cut of Suicide Squad.
According to writer, producer, and podcaster Marc Bernardin, a 170-minute cut of the movie exists, but that Warner Bros. has never made a move toward releasing it. The concern was that executives weren't sure whether there was a market for a longer, darker version of Schumacher's lighthearted, popcorn-movie version of Batman.
"The people want the Batman Forever director's cut release," the short video says in part. "That's it, just release the director's cut. Release the Schumacher cut....People want more Val Kilmer."
You can see it below.
Official Video message from Ice Cube. Voicing his support for the Schumacher Cut of Batman Forever.October 11, 2020
Like many of the videos for these fan campaigns, Cube agreed to endorse the cut via Cameo. That means he got paid for the experience, and some people will question anybody's commitment to something they're paid to say on Cameo. Even if he didn't personally believe in it, though, the visibility of someone like Ice Cube, especially at the moment when he's in the headlines, is bound to bring a lot more attention to the campaign.
Batman Forever, in which Val Kilmer played Batman while Chris O'Donnell played Robin, Jim Carrey was The Riddler, and Tommy Lee Jones was Two-Face, was a turning point for the character. When Batman came out in 1989, Tim Burton rebelled against the camp and silliness that most non-comics audiences associated with the character as a result of the wildly popular 1966 Batman TV series. Burton went darker still with Batman Returns, and when Warner Bros. wanted to try something else for the third movie, Schumacher presented a neon-technicolor film, saturated with camp and bringing the spirit of the '60s show to the big screen.
Rumors of longer, tonally different cuts of both Batman Forever and Batman & Robin have existed for a while, and a #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut hashtag started to circulate on Twitter shortly after HBO Max announced the upcoming release of Zack Snyder's Justice League -- but until this point it had seemed largely speculative and unlikely to have any viability -- especially after Schumacher passed away.