Orson Welles almost wrote and directed a BATMAN movie

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Matthew_Millheiser, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. Matthew_Millheiser

    Matthew_Millheiser Supporting Actor

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    Check it out at Comic Book Resources

    My favorite tidbits were his choices for casting:

    Batman/Bruce Wayne: Welles (studio wanted Gregory Peck)
    Two Face: George Raft
    The Riddler: James Cagney
    The Joker: Basil Rathbone
    Catwoman: Marlene Dietrich

    Ah, what might have been...
     
  2. Jeff Wilson

    Jeff Wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    This is complete bullshit. Several errors, but the sketch was a nice touch.
     
  3. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    That's my 2 cents. I read a Welle's biography a few years ago and don't have any recollection of a Batman project. This sounds more like an Net Geek w/ nothing better to do.
     
  4. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I've always thought that Twentieth Century Fox could have made a great Batman movie in the forties, with Fox Stars Ty Power as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Linda Darnell as Julie Madison, Vincent Price as the Joker and Laird Cregar as Two Face.Also, contract player Alan Napier would have been great as Alfred. [​IMG]

    I agree that this report sounds bogus, by the way.
     
  5. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    For that matter, if they could have done it way back then, they could have gone with Clark Gable, Douglas Fairbanks or Errol Flynn for a good Bruce Wayne/Batman.

    Other good classic actors for the parts:

    - Conrad Veidt as the Joker (Bob Kane's original inspiration for the character - perfect!)
    - Edward G. Robinson as the Penguin ("Where's your Batman now, see?")
    - Ingrid Bergman or Grace Kelly as Julie Madison (two classically beautiful actresses)
    - Jane Russell as Catwoman (rrrooowwwwrrrrr!!!!) [​IMG]
    - Mickey Rooney as Robin
    - John Barrymore as Alfred

    I'm drawing a blank as to who I think would have been a good Two-Face.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Cyberlegend.

    Mr. Welles probably never even heard of the comic book character, much less planned to make a movie based on it.

    Anybody here ever see the two different Batman chapterplays/serials from 1943 and 1949?
     
  7. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    Errol Flynn would have been a kick ass Bats
     
  8. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Alan Napier WAS "Alfred" in the 1960's TV Batman series.
     
  9. Jeff Wilson

    Jeff Wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    What's amusing is the author doesn't mention, in his listing of evidence for Welles being a comic book fan, was that Welles was a guest star in an issue of Superman during the late 50s, if I remember right. He was approached in 1947 to appear in a possible movie version of The Shadow, but nothing came of the plan. The guy who wrote the piece is a comic book writer, but I have no idea what he was trying to accomplish with that. It isn't remotely near April 1.
     
  10. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Jack,

    I remember the two Batman serials from the 1940's very well. I have them on videotape from GoodTimes Home Video when they were released in the early 90's, after the monster success of Tim Burton's Batman film. They were both done in LP mode, I believe.

    The second one, "Batman and Robin", came out first, and that one for its time looked like the better of the two. Sam Katzman produced that one, and considering Katzman's record as one of the top movie serial producers of the time, it did well.

    The first one, called "Batman: The Serial", was a real cheapjack production from start to finish. The actors playing Batman and Robin looked nothing like their comics counterparts at all. The sets, costuming, vehicles, you name it, were awful. And some people like to bash "Superman IV: The Quest For Peace" for being a cheapjack film. The first "Batman" serial makes IV look like "Citizen Kane" by comparison, you'd have thought William "One Shot" Bodine produced it.

    It's a miracle those two serials have survived over the years. Now all someone needs to do is find the masters of those serials and get them out on DVD before time eats away at them.
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I saw the 1943 serial (starring Robert Lewis, if I recall correctly) in 1966, spliced together in its 35mm entirety as a four-hour-long marathon feature. What a hoot. I've never seen it since. And I'd certainly buy it on DVD.
     
  12. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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  13. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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  14. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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  15. Jeff Wilson

    Jeff Wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    To continue the Batman-Welles connection, Alan Napier also appeared in Welles' film version of MacBeth in 1948, as the Holy Father.
     
  16. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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  17. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I now realize that this is without a doubt a hoax. Welles wanted to cast Cagney as the Riddler in 1946? One problem: the character didn't debut in the comics until 1948.
     
  18. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    Larry, my thoughts exactly...I thought 46 sounded waaaay to soon for the chacarters of Riddler and possibly even Two-Face to have made their first appearances.

    Did he say the name of the historian working on this biography was Lionel Hutton or Lionel Hutz? [​IMG]
     
  19. Jean-Michel

    Jean-Michel Supporting Actor

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    There are some very gullible people out there. Notice that one of them brings up the whole Riddler issue but is completely ignored.
     
  20. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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