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Friday, September 30, 2011

Fanboy Turned Batman Obsession Into Blockbuster Films

A young Michael Ulsan reading -- you guessed it -- "Batman."

A young Michael Ulsan reading -- you guessed it -- "Batman."

Author and producer Michael Uslan is a self-described comic book nerd. In the 1950’s, he would save his dimes and wait with bated breath for the new editions of Superman and Batman to hit the stands. He attended the very first comic book convention in 1964, and created the first college course that taught the mythology of comic book culture. And, as he chronicles in his new book, “The Boy Who Loved Batman,” he went on an odyssey to bring Batman to the silver screen.

In the 1970’s, movie executives actually laughed Uslan out of their offices, when he pitched the idea of turning the dark comic book version of Batman into a film. Part of the problem was the indelible image the movie industry had of Batman as an overgrown boyscout, based on Adam West’s campy portrayal of the Caped Crusader in the 1960’s TV series.

It would eventually take Uslan 10 years to bring Batman to movie theaters, first in Tim Burton’s films, starring Michael Keaton, and more recently in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series, which has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

YouTube: Holy Shark Bait Batman!


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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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