Seal Reflects on How Joel Schumacher Saved His Career With Batman Forever

News broke this afternoon that filmmaker Joel Schumacher had passed away. The director died at the age of 80 following complications from a cancer diagnosis. Schumacher had an extensive career in Hollywood but what most fans likely known him for is his work with Warner Bros.' DC Comic heroes, directing the two films Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. As some might recall, the 1994 feature starring Val Kilmer as the Dark Knight ended with a snappy song, "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal, over its closing credits. In a new video, Seal himself has paid tribute to Schumacher and his decision to use the song in the film, crediting its use with giving his career new life.

"What some of you may not know about that song is that it was a failure when it first got released in 93/94," Seal said in a video on Instagram. "It was the fourth song from my second album, fourth single, and it went into the charts at #60, dropped to #80 something the next week, and that was the end of it. It was over, the promotion of that second album was done."

He continued, "I was in the studio making my third album, an album calling Human Beings, and I received a phone call form one Mr. Joel Schumacher...He said to me 'Seal, I'm a huge fan of yours. I've just finished making this new movie called Batman Forever, I'm looking for a song for the love scene between Nicole Kidman and Val Kilmer. Do you have anything?' And I said 'I don't Joel, I've finished promoting my second album, I'm already in the studio making my third album and I don't have anything.'

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Joel Schumacher (1940-2020)

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Seal went on to talk about how his manager at the time, Bob Cavallo, sending a copy of his second album to Schumacher and specifically highlighting "Kiss from a Rose" as something for the filmmaker to listen to. The singer revealed that Schumacher called him back the next day and revealed that while the song wouldn't be used in the love scene of the film, he loved it so much he had decided to put it on the end credits.

"Four Grammys later and another 8 million albums, we always knew the reality of the situation is that nobody knew except Joel, who had faith in the song," he added. "We didn't re-record the song, we didn't do a different edit of it. The only thing that was different was he made a decent video for it. Subsequently kids thought I was Batman because the song was so big."

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Seal went on to talk about Schumacher's passing, paying tribute to the late filmmaker and attributing his success to his decision. Following its inclusion in Batman Forever and its success on the sales charts, "Kiss from a Rose" won the Grammy awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.[1]

"I wanted to tell you that story because I didn't think a lot of people knew that. It's the song that has pretty much defined my career and I am perhaps most popular or most known by it. So I owe my career I guess, in large part, to Joel Schumacher, who took a chance....I just want to say I love you Joel. I thank you very much for everything that you've done for me and the joy and the love that you've brought to millions of people all around the world. One day we'll all meet again back home, I love you Joel."