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July 19th, 2012
03:11 PM ET

Bringing Batman to life: Executive producer Michael Uslan on 'The Dark Knight Rises' and the enduring legacy of the caped crusader

Tonight, the highly anticipated third installment of the Christopher Nolan 'Batman' reboot, "The Dark Knight Rises," will open at midnight. It's the latest installment of the Batman franchise and it's expected to shatter box office records.

But there was a time, back before the first Batman movie with Michael Keaton in 1989, when the idea of a serious big-screen adaptation of the caped crusader seemed laughable to most Hollywood executives.

Producer Michael Uslan was laughed out of those executive offices. He's been the executive producer of all the Batman movies and explains to Soledad on "Starting Point" that the concept of a dark superhero movie was out of the question.

"They said you're out of your mind," Uslan recalls. "'You can't do serious comic book films. You can't do dark super heroes. You can't make a movie based on some old television series. That's never been done.' So every studio turned us down and we were shown the door.

As for the Batman story's enduring popularity, Uslan says it all makes sense.

"It is our modern day mythology," Uslan adds. "It is the ancient gods of Greece, Rome and Egypt still exist except today they wear spandex and capes. It is the brave heroes and heroines against the dragons and wizards and demons and ogres. But it's all in modern day dress. It is primal and crosses borders and it even crosses cultures.

Uslan also has a memoir, called "The Boy Who Loved Batman." Learn more about his work here.

Filed under: Entertainment • Movies
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