Benjamin Melniker, legendary producer of all Batman movies, passes away aged 104
Legendary Hollywood producer Benjamin Melniker, known for producing nearly all Batman films and projects, passed away on 26 February at the age of 104.
Melniker’s longtime producing partner, Michael Uslan, made the announcement on Facebook. "It is with such sadness that I tell you of the passing of my Batman partner, the legendary Benjamin Melniker (1913-2018)," he wrote.
"'Legendary' is the only word capable of describing the man who started work at MGM in late 1939 and came to be known as 'The MGM Lion' for his forcefulness in negotiating the deals for the studio while building his reputation for integrity at the same time," Uslan wrote. "It was Ben who taught me, 'The only thing you get to take with you when you die AND leave behind is your good name.'"
The pair bought the rights to Batman in 1979, with the aim of showing the world the "true Batman as created in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, a creature of the night who stalks disturbed villains in the shadows, in a series of dark and serious movies."
Melniker has been credited as the producer on every Batman movie since, from Tim Burton's Batman in 1989, to 2017's Justice League, as well as this year's animated Batman Ninja.
"He was my partner. He helped make my dreams come true. He was my second father. I always knew this day had to come, but after 105 years, I never thought it would," Uslan added.
Melniker was the sole Executive Vice President of MGM, and was known as the MGM Lion. Along with his involvement in all things Batman, he also handled deals for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Zhivago, and Ben-Hur.
Updated Date: Mar 01, 2018 12:12 PM