AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL USLAN - INTRODUCTION
DATE: November 5, 2005
© Copyright 2005 William E. Ramey. All rights reserved.
When I first received the BATMAN SPECIAL EDITION DVDs to review, I couldn’t wait to watch the bonus features included on each of the four. As I viewed them, I was very impressed by the interviews with a man whose name I knew quite well, but really didn’t know much about. This man was Michael Uslan, executive producer (along with Benjamin Melniker) of all the live-action BATMAN films.
Being a history buff, I find the back story of what it took to make a serious, dark, live-action BATMAN film tremendously interesting. However, I had no idea of what it actually took to bring Batman to life in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. And I came to believe that Mr. Uslan played a huge role in ultimately bringing Batman to the big screen in 1989.
A lifelong comic book fan, Michael E. Uslan is an authority on comic book history and taught the first accredited college course and correspondence course on comic books (Indiana University, 1971). After graduating from the Indiana University School of Law in 1976, Uslan worked as a production attorney for United Artists in charge of legal affairs of films including APOCALYPSE NOW, ROCKY II, and RAGING BULL (FULL BIO; IMDB LISTING).
Currently, Mr. Uslan is developing SHAZAM! at New Line as Executive Producer and producing Will Eisner’s THE SPIRIT with OddLot Entertainment. He also served as producer on CONSTANTINE for Warner Bros.
What we Bat-fans most know Mr. Uslan for is serving as an Executive Producer on all five of the live-action BATMAN films, as well as animated Bat-films such as SUBZERO and BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER.
After watching all six parts of the “SHADOWS OF THE BAT” documentaries detailing the history of The Batman on film (no pun intended), I said to myself, “I’ve got to talk to Michael Uslan!” So as I was updating BATMAN ON FILM recently, I said “What the hell,” and threw out a public shout-out to Mr. Uslan. Low and behold, just a few days later, I get a response from his office. One thing led to another and I scored and interview with him.
I conducted the interview via telephone on Saturday, November 5, 2005 from my home office - where BOF originates. I had planned and prepped for nearly two weeks to talk to Uslan - writing down numerous questions that I wanted to ask him. But once I rang him up and we got to talking, I never once looked at my notes or my questions. It was like two big Batman fans just simply talking. It just so happens that one of these Bat-fans has a huge role in the BATMAN movie franchise! And obviously, it ain’t me.
Over the next installments of my interview, Mr. Uslan will talk about:
How difficult it was to get a dark and serious live-action BATMAN movie made…
What he thought about the three sequels to 1989’s BATMAN…
The casting of Michael Keaton as The Batman…
The significance of that first BATMAN film…
The greatness of BATMAN BEGINS…
The genius of Tim Burton and Chris Nolan…
Christian Bale - the ultimate Bruce Wayne…
Why there is a need for kid-friendly comic book films such as FANTASTIC FOUR...
SUPERMAN RETURNS and the future of DC COMICS characters on the big screen. And much, much more.
So check back next week for the first installment. I promise, you will not want to miss it!
TO READ PART 1!