After the critical and commercial success of Batman Forever in 1995, director Joel Schumacher was commissioned to follow up his blockbuster hit. Two years later, the messy Batman & Robin was released, forcing Schumacher to apologise to fans and causing the production company to prematurely halt his involvement with the franchise.
Chris O'Donnell, who played Robin in both films, said afterwards "It just felt like everything got a little soft the second time. On Batman Forever , I felt like I was making a movie. The second time, I felt like I was making a kid's toy commercial."
Despite his best endeavours, Schumacher could not catch lightning in a bottle for a second time. Some of the same cast and crew were retained, but the magic had gone amid stories of unrest between some of the key players.
Antonio Conte's Chelsea story is similar to that of Schumacher's. He had instant success with a Premier League title in his first campaign as Diego Costa scored 20 of the Blues' 83 goals. Fast forward eight months and Conte's Chelsea sequel is in tatters. Like Val Kilmer not returning for Batman & Robin, Costa has moved on after a dispute with the man in charge while the club's key players are disgruntled.
With Chelsea falling to back-to-back three goal defeats, the only person to come out with an improved reputation is the man who is nicknamed Batsman. Michy Batshuayi left Stamford Bridge on deadline day to join Borussia Dortmund on loan, making an instant impact in the Bundesliga with two goals on his debut.
The 24-year-old was not rated by Conte, who failed to give him a leading role despite the injuries and inconsistencies of new main man Alvaro Morata. Even in the title-winning season, Batshuayi was cast in a supporting role, starting just one league game. Any time the Belgian was given a chance, he took it, with only Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero having better minutes-per-goal ratios than Batshuayi.
His loan at Dortmund ends in the summer with BVB having no purchase order included in the deal as Chelsea do not want to lose a quality young player in the same way as the sales of Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah have come back to haunt them.
Batshuayi was willing to stay and fight for his place at Stamford Bridge and retains a close connection to the club, sharing his disappointment on Twitter on Monday night after the 4-1 defeat to Watford.
Conte's days at Chelsea look to be numbered, and when he returns, there will likely be a new manager at the club. By then, he will have played half a season in the Bundesliga and quite possibly lined out for Belgium at the World Cup.
With Morata injured and misfiring and Chelsea in disarray, Dortmund is the perfect environment for him to prove his worth to Conte's permanent successor. Batshuayi's two-goal debut was BVB's first win of 2018 and there he will be the club's number one striker.
Unlike other clubs where there is often a battle for a starting spot, Batshuayi has come in to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with just 18-year-old Alexander Isak offering competition up front. This will guarantee him as a regular starter for the rest of the season, showing what he can do when given the opportunity to play a full 90 minutes up front.Goal
Every single time Batshuayi has completed a full game this season, he has either scored or assisted a goal. This has only happened five times so far, but includes the Champions League clash against Qarabag, cup victories over Newcastle and Nottingham Forest, and a Premier League game with Brighton as well as his Dortmund debut.
"He has not been getting much playing time lately and that is why he wanted to move and he wants to have more time on the pitch with us," BVB boss Peter Stoger said after Batshuayi's first game. Stoger called it a 'dream debut', but Batshuayi is already eager to do more: "It was good, but I want to keep improving."
Batman returned to the cinemas in 2005 with Christopher Nolan at the helm, starting a new era of success with Batman Begins . When Batsman returns to Chelsea, it can be as the new leading man if his Dortmund audition keeps pace with his fantastic debut.