I wonder if this makes Christopher Nolan just sink his face into his palms - it’s been announced that Batman Live (now if ever a title needed an exclamation point…), a touring Batman stage show, will premiere next summer in the UK and will begin inexorably marching towards the US for a 2012 debut.
It’s a show from the same people who brought us the admittedly awesome Walking With Dinosaurs show, as well as the Mama Mia! touring show, so I feel like this could go either way. Apparently the show is not a musical, but for me that’s actually a negative - if you’re going to have a live action Batman stage show, you might as well make it all-singing and all-dancing.
Here’s some verbiage from the press release, via Heat Vision Blog:
BATMAN LIVE is a visually stunning production, complete with a brand new original storyline. The live show will feature Batman, his trusty counterpart Robin, tireless butler Alfred and a host of other favourite Batman characters, including Villains such as The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman and The Penguin. The story will take place in several settings from the famed DC Comics stories, including Gotham City, Wayne Manor, the Batcave and Arkham Asylum.
I imagine this is going to be a stunt-filled, action-packed, fog machine-drenched spectacle. Lots of wire work and expensive props and pyrotechnics. But again - no songs.
Back in 1989, things were different for the Dark Knight. Jim Steinman, the man best known for writing many of Meatloaf’s best and most show tuney songs, was working on a Batman Broadway show. Batman: The Musical would have taken a page from the Tim Burton movie and been dark and gothic (much like hit shows Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), and would have featured The Joker and Catwoman.
Steinman wrote a whole bunch of songs for the show, many of which are now available online in demo form. Here’s The Joker’s Song (Wonderful Toys), which of course takes its cue from the scene in Burton’s first Batman:
Some of the songs from the show have lived on. Meatloaf covered In the Land of the Pig the Butcher is King on Bat Out Of Hell 3 in 2006, along with a version of the opening song from the show, which he called Cry to Heaven. And there are rumors that Steinman has more songs from the show that haven’t turned up online yet.
For all the details on the weird, failed Batman: The Musical, visit Dark Knight of the Soul.