->''The Joker has'' '''left''' ''the building!''

In 1998, Warner Bros. had been paying attention to the recent successes of their rival Disney putting ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' and ''Disney/TheLionKing'' onstage, as well as AndrewLloydWebber's splashy take on ''Film/SunsetBoulevard''. Clearly [[ScreenToStageAdaptation movies-into-musicals]] were the next big thing, from their POV.

Meanwhile, American rock composer Music/JimSteinman's ''Theatre/TanzDerVampire'' (itself adapted from ''Film/TheFearlessVampireKillers'') was busy becoming an instant classic and huge hit in Vienna, Austria, with plans already in negotiation for an eventual transfer to Stuttgart, Germany. Warner looked at ''Tanz'' and its epic, postmodern/Gothic score, and decided to recruit Steinman for one of their potential forays into the theater world...

To helm a musical based on [[MemeticMutation the Goddamn Batman]].

In hindsight this seems like a blatantly ridiculous idea, but at the time it was taken quite seriously. Creator/TimBurton was to direct. Ultimately, though, the plans fell through, following the failure of the badly [[InNameOnly Americanized]] ''Tanz'' adaptation ''Dance of the Vampires'' (which gained one of the abandoned Bat-songs), and Steinman packed off much of what he'd written to give to Music/MeatLoaf as standalone pieces when the two reunited for ''Bat Out of Hell III''.

However, a dedicated fan has preserved the demos recorded during the show's development. Listen at your own peril [[http://www.freewebs.com/batman_themusical/home.htm here]].

The story as can best be surmised is a combination of [[{{Film/Batman}} Burton's two]] [[Film/BatmanReturns Batman films]], with the vengeful, brooding Batman protecting the terrified citizens of Gotham from the Joker's murderous antics while also tangling with glamorous kleptomaniac Catwoman. Max Schreck, the CorruptCorporateExecutive from ''Returns'' is also present, though in absence of the Penguin's plot from that film it's rather hard to guess where he fits into this adaptation. One of the main changes made to the general Bat-mythos, though, is that it ties Selina Kyle/Catwoman directly into his origin as well as the Joker, who (once again, as in Burton) is here retconned as the petty crook who gunned down Bruce Wayne's parents. Selina ''also'' witnessed the Waynes' deaths, as a frightened orphan child, and was struck by how quickly one can lose everything one has. Batman and Catwoman become full romantic partners as adults based on this common pain, and she ultimately dies in his arms as he tells her that they're "still the children [they] once were".

Demo recordings and other details about the production can be found [[http://www.freewebs.com/batman_themusical/home.htm here]].

''Definitely'' not to be confused with ''Theatre/BatboyTheMusical'', ''Webvideo/HolyMusicalBatman'', or ''Theatre/BatmanLive''.
!! This work contains examples of (or rather, ''would'' have contained examples of):

* AntiHero: Catwoman is thoroughly painted as one of these rather than a villainess, which makes her solo, "I Need All The Love I Can Get", an example of a...
* BadGirlSong rather than a VillainSong
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: The Joker. In his VillainSong, he goes off on bizarre tangents about things like [[PeterPan Captain Hook and the Lost Boys]] (a recurring bit of AuthorAppeal for Steinman) and randomly references everything from ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'' to Music/{{Eminem}}.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Max Schreck, presumably. It's kind of hard to tell where he belongs in this thing, or if "In The Land Of The Pig" was even his song.
* CrowdSong: "Gotham City", before it switches to Batman's solo "Graveyard Shift".
* DarkIsNotEvil: This Batman was intended as a good-guy analogue to [[Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet Sweeney Todd]] or ThePhantomOfTheOpera--an outsider warped by the worst society has to offer and now avenging himself against it.
* DatingCatwoman: Literally. And apparently without them knowing each other's identities in ''civilian'' life rather than in costume.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "Come midnight's midnight/When the dark entwines with darkness..."
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: Catwoman.
* FinalLoveDuet: "We're Still The Children We Once Were"
* FollowTheLeader
* HeroicSacrifice: Catwoman again.
* OminousLatinChanting: The opening song.
-->Nox Noctis Venit
-->Nox Noctis Venit
-->Tenebrae Tenebris Involvunt
-->Tenebrae Tenebris Involvunt
-->Salva Nos, Domine
-->Salva Nos, Domine
* ShoutOut: "Wonderful Toys" is ''full'' of these, and to apparently whatever Jim Steinman [[strike:thought the Joker's manic, rambling personality would come up with]] wanted to include. The reference to ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'' is especially notable.
* SillyLoveSongs: "Not Allowed To Love". Holy RomanticPlotTumor, Batman!
* TakeThat: This project was the target of a ''very'' popular swipe at its very concept courtesy of a ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode in which Bruce and Terry attend a Batman musical.
-->'''Terry''': It's [[FutureSlang schway]]!
-->'''Bruce''': It's schwarbage.
* TimeshiftedActor: The child versions of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle and their older Batman and Catwoman counterparts.
* VillainSong: The Joker's song, naturally, but also "In The Land Of The Pig, The Butcher Is King".
* WhatMightHaveBeen
* WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys: The Joker's VillainSong poses this question.