Film producer, teacher, and writer Michael Uslan ’76 will serve as the Indiana University Maurer School of Law’s graduation speaker this May, the school announced today (Feb. 16).
Holder of three degrees from Indiana University, Uslan is credited with helping to make the Batman franchise one of the most successful film projects of all time. He has served as executive producer on each one of the films, ranging from 1989’s Batman to the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. He served as executive producer on the award-winning Joker in 2019 and his latest project, Joker: Folie à Deux, is currently in production with Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga.
Just three years out of law school, Uslan raised money privately and bought the rights to Batman from DC Comics in 1979. A lifelong fan of comic books, Uslan was determined to make Batman a serious character on the silver screen. He worked tirelessly to bring his vision to life, facing years of rejection along the way. Uslan’s story of determination and persistence, which he’s written about in two acclaimed books, has inspired countless aspiring actors, filmmakers, educators, and attorneys.
“Michael’s success in Hollywood and beyond is a result of his extraordinary drive and tenacity,” said Indiana Law Dean Christiana Ochoa. “His story is inspirational to anyone who hears it, and we’re so grateful Michael will be able to share it with our graduates and their families.”
In addition to his role as a producer, Uslan is a prolific writer and instructor. “Batman’s Batman,” the sequel to his first book “The Boy Who Loved Batman,” recaps his 45 years of adventures and misadventures in the movie, television, animation, and comic book industries. The former was released in 2022 to rave reviews, while the latter is being adapted into a Broadway production.
Uslan’s love for comic books and the characters that inhabit them inspired him to become a teacher early on in his collegiate years. He developed and taught the first college-accredited class on comic books, “The Comic Book in Society,” while still an undergraduate. Today, in addition to his numerous other projects, Uslan serves as a professor of practice in IU Bloomington’s Media School—teaching weekend intensives, hosting lectures, and mentoring aspiring filmmakers.
Uslan is also passionate about showcasing his native New Jersey. As chairman of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, he aims to bring more film and television productions to the state.
The Law School’s graduation ceremony will take place at noon on Saturday, May 6, in the Indiana University Auditorium. See more information on the 2023 graduation ceremony.