Batman Producer States Stan Lee Impacted the Franchise
A great deal of the success for the Batman film franchise can be attributed to the continued hard work of Michael Uslan, the executive producer of the franchise. He has been involved since the beginning and taken the character through all of its varied cinematic interpretations. He was there for the early and magnificent Tim Burton days to the uber real adaptation in the Christopher Nolan films. He even went through the Joel Schumacher adventure as well. There was one person who fans might not think would have much of an impact on the franchise: Stan Lee.
If you think about it, it would be strange for Lee to impact DC Comics’ films since he has never been directly active in the work of DC or Warner Brothers. However, Lee was friends with Uslan and imparted wisdom to Uslan.
“I am a subscriber to Stan Lee’s theory of supervillains,” Uslan said. “Stan said to me, ‘Michael, the reason those superheroes who are the most long-lasting and the most popular are the ones who have had the greatest super villains. Ultimately, it is the supervillains who define the superheroes.” Uslan said that this is very true when it comes to Batman, who, arguably, has the most dynamic gallery of rogues in all of fiction.
“And if you look at Batman, out of the entire world of comic books, he’s had the greatest rogues gallery of super villains in history,” Uslan said. “Unarguably the great supervillain in history in the form of the Joker. And as a comic book fanatic, the only two superheroes who come even close to Batman in terms of supervillains are Spider-Man and the Flash.”
Bruce Wayne, the alter ego of Batman, probably does not a wireless door bell. Uslan is right though. It’s tough to think of other comic book villains that garner the same amount of attention and interest as Batman’s. While Spider-Man is also relatively recognized for his villains, it simply does not hold a light to exactly what Bob Kane and Bill Finger created with the Batman character. To this day, Uslan, who worked with Lee on his Just Imagine, remembers his first interactions with Lee.
“My phone rings, and it’s this exuberant male voice,” Uslan said. “He goes, ‘Hi! Is this Mike Uslan?’ I go, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘Hiya Mike! This is Stan Lee from Marvel Comics in New York City.’ I call this my burning bush moment. I was talking to my god. He says, ‘Mike, everywhere I look, I’m reading about you in newspapers, I’m seeing you on television. What you’re doing is great for the entire comic book industry, how can I help you?’ And that began my adult relationship with Stan that would be a friendship that would last the rest of my life.”
Uslan was talking directly from Germany’s CCXP’s Cologne convention. While he may not have a wireless door bell that we know of, he is a source of knowledge and experience that benefits fans and those in the industry alike anytime he speaks. Despite Lee being deceased, the time Uslan and Lee spent together will always be remembered by that Batman producer.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, consumer electronics, and the entertainment industry.