Seal Recounts How Joel Schumacher’s Batman Saved Kiss From A Rose From Being A 'Failure'

Val Kilmer in Batman Forever

Years before the DC Extended Universe was born, The Dark Knight was occupying theaters with the '90s Batman franchise. While the first two installment were helmed by Tim Burton, the pair of movies were lighter fare that came from the mind of late filmmaker Joel Schumacher. Starting with Batman Forever, the movies are known for their strong casts and mixture of drama and camp. Batman Forever's soundtrack also featured Seal's iconic song "Kiss from a Rose", and the singer recently revealed how Schumacher stopped the track from being a failure.

"Kiss From A Rose" is one of Seal's most iconic songs, and was featured in Batman Forever's credits, even getting a music video with footage from the movie. Joel Schumacher died this week at the age of 80, with plenty of fans and colleagues posting their own tributes to the late filmmaker. Seal recently did the same, sharing how the late filmmaker stopped it from becoming a flop. In his words,

It was a failure when it first got released in ‘93 or ‘94 thereabouts. It was the fourth single from my second album. It went into the charts at No. 60 and dropped to No. 80-something the next week and that was the end of it. It was over. [...] I received a phone call from one Mr. Joel Schuamcher. And he’s the reason behind this short video I’m making today. He said ‘Seal I’m a huge fan of yours, I’ve just finished making this movie called Batman Forever. And I’m looking for a song for the love scene between Nicole Kidman and Val Kilmer. Do you? have anything?

It's hard to believe now, but it looks like "Kiss from a Rose" wasn't always the guarantee success that we know it now as. In fact, it wasn't one of the first singles from Seal's self-titled second album. But that would eventually change thanks to one important call from Joel Shumacher himself. He was looking for the perfect song for a scene between Bruce Wayne and Chase meridian, which inspired Seal to submit the now- famous track. Seal's Instagram video went on to explain how things got even more surprising after that

He called back the next day and said ‘I temped it into the love story it doesn’t work. But I loved the song so much I’m just going to stick it on the end-credits.’ And four Grammys later and another 8 million albums, we 'always knew.' Well, the reality is that nobody knew except for Joel, who had faith in this song.

And that, ladies and gentleman, shows just how visionary Joel Schumacher's work was. The music was as integral to Batman Forever as the action and laughs, creating one vision of Gotham City. And when "Kiss from a Rose" was re-released for the movie's soundtrack, it ultimately resulted in wild success for Seal. You can watch Seal's full video below, including him singing a few bars of the song on acoustic guitar.

A photo posted by on

Seal's fascinating story is just one of many reasons why Joel Schumacher's legacy will continue to have. While the Phantom of the Opera director may have passed away at the age of 80, his work continues to pierce the pop culture landscape. Seal is one of many collaborators who have taken to share their stories about Shumacher, and celebrate the man who made such iconic movies into a reality.

CinemaBlend will keep you updated on all things Batman as details about the Dark Knight come to the light. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.