A darker, 3-hour version of "Batman Forever" exists

Batman Forever holds a special place in my heart, both because of and despite its 90s neon camp. The soundtrack introduced me to Sunny Day Real Estate, the Flaming Lips, PJ Harvey, and other great artists ("Kiss From a Rose" is a banger, y'all); and it's the first I can remember really, truly being consciously attracted to a woman (I was 12).

I guess Jim Carrey's absurdly over-the-top Riddler performance was pretty great, too.

Earlier this summer, Variety confirmed that a darker, 170-minute version of the film still exists somewhere in the world. A large portion of this "Schumacher Cut" reportedly, "focuses on the emotional and psychological issues that led Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer) to decide to become Batman, including a sequence of Wayne facing down a giant, human-sized bat."

You can see part of that deleted scene above.

This isn't the first time the rumored Schumacher Cut has come up, either:

Fansites have been floating the idea of a Schumacher cut of "Batman Forever" since at least 2005, and on the most recent episode of the Fatman Beyond podcast with director Kevin Smith, Bernardin noted that, unlike with "Justice League," finishing Schumacher's original cut of "Batman Forever" wouldn't require nearly the same level of expensive visual effects work.

One fan even made an HBO Max-style trailer for the Schumacher Cut, imagining what would happen if Batman Forever received the same treatment as the upcoming Snyder-cut of Justice League. (ICYMI: Zack Snyder's rabid fanbase had been clamoring for years to "release the Snyder Cut" of the film, which was taken over by Joss Whedon after Snyder departed in the wake of a terrible family tragedy. The most interesting part of the theatrical release of Justice League was how it was clearly two different films by two different directors haphazardly crammed together. Warner Brothers has announced plans to release the Snyder Cut on HBO Max next year; it will reportedly cost another $70 million dollars to complete the film to fit with Snyder's original vision.)

Sadly, we'll probably never get to see the Schumacher Cut; even if the footage still exists in a vault somewhere, Joel Schumacher is unfortunately no longer alive to oversee it.