Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, December 26, 2005

Oh, and with my obsession for all things Bat, I guess I should answer one important question:

Did I get my much-hoped-for 2-disc deluxe edition of Batman Begins?

Yes. In fact, I got two! One from my brother and one from my parents. So, one is going to get exchanged for the 2-disc special edition of Sin City.

Haven't watched it yet, though, as I've been pouring through the big boxed set Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997. This long-awaited boxed set has the brand-new 2-disc special editions of all the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher Batman movies.

So far, I haven't even watched the movies yet, as I've been pouring through the bonus material. The first thing I watched on the Batman special edition was the long-lost Robin scene.

In case you haven't heard the tale, Robin was originally slated to make a cameo in Tim Burton's first Batman movie. It was in the script, the scene got storyboarded, but, as they were about to shoot the film, they decided to cut it as it was too expensive and not necessary to the plot. For the DVD, they took the long-lost storyboards and made an animatic to get some kind of sense of what the scene would have been like.

The scene took place immidiatly after the scene in Vicki Vale's apartment where Bruce Wayne tries to tell Vicki his secret, only to be interrupted by the Joker. The Joker shoots Bruce Wayne, Joker takes off, Vicki turns around to see Bruce Wayne is gone, Vicki opens the Joker's gift to see that it's a bouquet of dead roses. That's where it ends in the movie, but in the script....

We go to the roof of Vicki's apartment. Bruce Wayne is watching the Joker hop into a van and drive away. Not having the batsuit with him, Wayne dons a ski mask, hits a button on his belt, leaps from the top of the building, and lands on a mounted policeman's horse. Bruce kicks the mounted officer off the horse, and pursues the Joker on horseback. Soon, we see why Bruce Wayne hit that button. Alfred soon pulls up alongside the horse and tosses Bruce a nondescript package. Of course, it's the Batsuit. Bruce takes a moment to suit up, and now we've got Batman on horseback chasing down the Joker.

I know...straight out of the Dark Knight Returns, isn't it?

Anyway, Joker looks in his review mirror and sees that he's being chased by Batman. Up ahead, the Joker spots a part of Gotham City's 200th anniversary celebrations: a free, outdoor circuis. The headliners, the world-famous trapeeze act, the Flying Graysons.

Joker takes his van into the crowd. He tosses a grenade into the fireworks to be set off at the end of the show. The whole thing goes up in flames. Up on the high-wire, the supports come crashind down, and Mr. and Mrs. Grayson go plunging to their deaths. The only survivor: young Dick Grayson, wearing circus tights that are incredibly similar to his Robin uniform.

Angered at what he just saw and craving justice, Robin grabs a rope and swings down to street level, landing on top of Joker's van. Robin's now doing whatever he can to stop the Joker, as he bangs on the roof of the van screaming things like "You killed my parents you fucking bastard!" The Joker just responds with gunfire. Eventually, though, Robin's behaviour does the trick, and the Joker's van comes crashing to a halt.

Batman arrives, Batman and the Joker fight, Batman and the Joker have a bit of an exchange in which the Joker reveals his true identity to Batman, and the Joker slips away into the night. Batman, too, disappears into the night, and young, newly-orphaned Dick Grayson stands on the street, on the cusp of becoming Robin.

And they cut it because it was too expensive to shoot and not important to the plot.

But the little geek-out moment in this animatic? Of course, there were a few lines of dialogue between Batman and Joker that needed to be read. So, instead of just grabbing whoever was handy, Warner Brothers paid the extra dollar and got Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman on Batman: the Animated Series and Justice League) to read Batman's lines in his "Batman" voice, and Mark Hamill (the voice of the Joker on Batman: the Animated Series and Justice League) to read Joker's lines in his "Joker" voice.

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