Michael Uslan is best known as the Originator and Executive Producer of the Batman movie series—starting with Tim Burton’s 1989 film, continuing through Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, and most recently into Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Lego Movie (2014) and Zack Snyder’s forthcoming Superman vs Batman (tentative title), due for a summer 2016 release.
In 2012, Chronicle Books published Uslan’s fully illustrated memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman. In it, the author recalls his journey from early childhood fandom through to the decades he spent on a caped crusade of his own: to bring Batman to the silver screen as the dark, serious character he was at heart. Uslan’s story traces his path from the wilds of New Jersey to the limelight of Hollywood, following his work as Executive Producer on every Batman film from Tim Burton’s 1989 re-envisioning to 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, creating one of the most successful pop culture franchises of all time.
At the Podium – Learn More About Uslan’s Speaking Program Here
In an inspiring program, Uslan takes audiences along on the journey of creating his career to bringing Batman successfully to the big screen. He shares the principles that allowed him to persevere despite repeated rejection and encourages audiences everywhere to reach for their dreams and believe in themselves.
In a different program specifically aimed at corporations, guilds, and business conferences, Uslan uses Batman to discuss the need for the spirit of entrepreneurship and the critical importance of branding and re-branding in business today, and how we all personally need to adapt that concept to our own lives by periodically re-inventing ourselves.
In a separate program, Uslan addresses the founders of the comic book industry and how, not coincidentally, the majority of them are Jewish immigrants or first generation American Jews. Personally familiar with these legends, Uslan shares their anecdotes and also reveals the connection between the super-heroes created by these men and women and Jewish lore and tradition—i.e. how The Golem spawned The Hulk and just how similar Superman and Moses really are.
Uslan’s start in the world of comics was as unlikely as his success in bringing Batman to the theaters. Born into a blue collar family in New Jersey, Uslan was instilled at an early age to find work to be passionate about. Knowing he loved comics and films, he set about creating a career.
While attending Indiana University, he successfully created and taught the world’s first accredited college course on comic books. The class took an academic approach to the folklore of comic books. A media storm ensued, improbably leading to a job at DC Comics for Uslan.
In 1979, Uslan secured the film rights to Batman from DC Comics. He was turned down by every studio in Hollywood. The reason he was consistently given: Batman was from the funny pages and wasn’t supposed to be taken “seriously.” Ten years later, Batman was the highest grossing film of the year, breaking numerous box office records and spawning a genre of films adapted from comics.
In addition to the Batman series, Uslan is Executive Producer of the smash hit, The Lego Movie, and has produced or been involved with numerous other films, including Constantine (2005), and National Treasure (2004). Upcoming is Superman vs Batman and Doc Savage.
As an authority on comic book history, Uslan has authored The Comic Book in America, America at War: A History of War Comics, and Mysteries in Space: A History of Science Fiction Comics. He has also authored an award-winning children’s book, Chatterbox: The Bird Who Wore Glasses, and the acclaimed graphic novels Archie Marries, Farewell Betty & Veronica, Batman: Detective #27, and The Shadow Meets The Green Hornet: Dark Nights.
Uslan received an Emmy Award for Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?.His other commendations include the Independent Spirit Award, The Hoagy Carmichael Creative Achievement Award, The CINE Motion Picture Industry Trailblazer Award, and The Inkpot Award—the highest honor from Comic Con for lifetime achievement.
Uslan was the recipient of the world’s first Doctorate of Comic Books from Monmouth University in 2012. He also holds a Doctorate of Jurisprudence, a Master of Science, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University.
He lives in New Jersey with his wife. They’ve been married for 40 years – a Hollywood record.