Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meeting Michael Uslan, Batman Producer

I met Michael Ulsan today. Who is he you may ask? I shall tell you.

Michael Ulsan is the world's first professor to teach a class about comic books. This made the news back in the 70's at Indiana University.

Two weeks into his classes he got a phone call.
"Hi, is this Michael Ulsan,' said the voice on the phone. Ulsan replied yes. "This is Stan Lee," continued the voice. Stan Lee wanted to congratulate Ulsan on his job and success for the comic industry. A few hours after that the head of DC comics called and gave Ulsan a job (more like an internship).

Ulsan then helped pen a story for the comic "The Shadow," (which is another comic-to-movie adaptation, "The Shadow") and later got the job to write for Batman.

After that he went to law school and then worked for United Artists and learned about the film industry. He knew what he wanted to do. On Oct. 3, 1979 he bought the rights to Batman, quit his job, and began to start his dream of bringing a dark Batman to the silver screen.

He has produced an amazing list of films including: "Batman," "Batman Returns," "Batman Forever," "Batman and Robin," Constantine," "Batman Begins," "The Dark Knight," and the upcoming "The Spirit."

After his speech I went up to him and shook his hand and got his autograph. I asked him where he got his tie (which was a full on Spider-Man tie) and he asked where I got my shirt (Joker from "The Dark Knight"). I replied, "I bought it at Hot Topic."
He replied, "Stan Lee gave me this tie." My jaw dropped.

I managed to ask him one brief question. What were his thoughts about Marvel building the "Avengers" franchise and about a possible "Justice League" movie being made. He said that DC had to do it right by making solo films of all the characters, just like what Marvel was doing (he loved "Iron Man"), but that Nolan's Batman might not get along with other superheroes (I did mention an interview with Nolan where Nolan thought his Batman vision wouldn't work in a Justice League world).

Another note of interest that Ulsan said was that the idea to take away from "The Dark Knight" is not to make heroes dark, but to let directors be creative and to stay true to the hero. If all heroes end up being dark, serious, and violent, it would be terrible.

It was a momentous night for me....and I shall not forget it anytime soon.

Also he let out a bit of movie news. He said he is partnering with Sam Raimi (of "Spider-Man") and making a new "The Shadow." You heard it here first folks!

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