So with The Dark Knight Rises hitting theaters, Nolan’s Batman Trilogy has come to an end. What did I think of TDKR you ask? IMO, it was a bit flawed, but an epic well crafted film nonetheless that wrapped up the trilogy perfectly. And yes, it really is over. Nolan has on multiple occasions confirmed, that this is the last of The Dark Knight Trilogy, and TDKR was the end.
Which means, now it’s time for DC to reboot Batman, taking a different approach to lead up to the Justice League movie, and creating cross-film continuity after the success of Marvel’s strategy. And as a Batman fan that terrifies me. Someone new taking up the Batman name after such a successful trilogy by Nolan, fills my head with tons of worries about how it could turn out.
So I’ve made a list of the Top 5 Tips for the Next Batman Film. The Top 5 things I think DC and WB should keep in their heads while setting up the next Batman.
#5. Lessons From Marvel
Marvel made one of the riskiest moves in film history, by attempting to make a cross-film continuity, with internally made multiple genre’d films all sharing similar styles and plot points, all leading up to a massive team-up movie that brought it all together, all in a style similar to how it has been done in the world of comics. People said it’d fail, it wouldn’t work. And they pulled it off, neigh, they pulled it off with flying colors. All the movies leading up to the Avengers ranged in quality from very good to great, and the Avengers itself was a fantastic action film that delivered on all it’s hype and promise. Plot points were carried from film to film without confusion, they all kept a distinct style, and they all made Marvel so much money they’re making Scrooge McDuck jealous.
And now, DC aims to repeat that success, and one thing they have to remember with both Man of Steel, and the Batman reboot, is to learn from what Marvel got so right. The cross-film plot points, all the movie’s common distinct style, a sense of fun and adventure, along with heart and emotion, and that the RIGHT director for a film isn’t always the one you think (more on that later). In addition, Marvel amassed an insane amount of hype for the Avengers, along with a sense of connection between films, thanks to little tidbits and cameos in every movie. Iron Man had S.H.E.I.L.D and the Nick Fury cameo, Captain America had Tony Stark’s young father, etc. How about a cameo by Superman at the end of the film? Or maybe mention the events of Man of Steel going on. Stuff like that really helps give that feeling of continuity, along with hyping the Justice League movie. Which is something DC really needs right now.
#4. Don't Be Araid of Unrealism
Now this is something that does kiiinda fall into the #1 place, but I think it needs a spot all it’s own. One of the things that made the Nolan Batman films so unique and interesting, was their extreme focus on realism. Villains and plots were grounded in reality, magic and super powers were inexistent, Gotham City was just looked like any other major American city (in TDK and TDKR at least), and every thing was dark, gritty, and real.
But the new Batman movies DON’T have to be held back by that. Don’t think that because Nolan brought up the possibility of a ultra-realistic superhero movie, doesn’t mean yours HAS to be an ultra-realistic superhero movie, have some fun with that fact. Portray Gotham the way it was meant to be portrayed, giant gargoyle covered buildings and all. Have some of the villains that would have been deemed too silly or unrealistic for the Nolan films. Get rid of the Tumbler and Body Armor Bat-Suit (both I have nothing against) for a good ‘ol bat-suit and sleek Batmobile. Take advantage of the fact that the chains of realism that sometimes held Nolan back, have been released.
#3. Less Touched Villain
A big question when a new superhero film is in the works is “Who will the villain(s) be?” As they say, a superhero is only as good a his villains and that’s why Batman is often considered the best. From Joker to Scarecrow, Batman has one of the most diverse line ups of psychopathic baddies in history. You see that last line DC? Remember that.
I’m sure they’re in their thinking chairs right now going, “How about we do another Joker?” Or “Oh, oh, let’s do another Ra’s Al Ghul!” and to that I say NO. Pick one of the villains that hasn’t really gotten the chance to have the spotlight in a while, or hasn’t really been properly portrayed in film for years, if ever. The Riddler, Killer Croc, Deadshot, Mr. Freeze (I’d like to see a movie with his tragic motivations handled correctly), The Penguin, Black Mask, the Mad Hatter even. Batman has so many villains just aching for proper big-screen interpretation, that it’d be criminal (SEE WAT I DID THER) for them to re-use one of the villains from the Nolan trilogy. With the exception of Scarecrow (As cool as he was in the NolanTrilogy, he was very underused and I’d like to see him as a main villain) and the Joker, but ONLY for the third movie. 1st or 2nd would be too soon for the "Clown Prince of Crime."
#2. The Right Director
Now this is something DC REEAAALLY needs to get nailed into their head, judging by the fact they picked Zach friggin Snyder to direct the new Superman movie (hopefully Nolan will keep him in line as producer), and that the right director, isn’t always the easy director.
Just look at Marvel, at first sight, a Marvel executive may look at Thor as they’re producing it, and immediately think of a high profile fantasy director is right for the job, because “THor Iz FANtasy amirite?”. But no, Marvel really looked in between the lines, and picked Kenneth Branagh. Now at first sight you think, “WATWATWAT, a director of serious Shakespearean movies, WELL DAT CAN’T BE RIGHT” but again, they read between the lines and discovered what better man to make this silly fantasy-shakespearean-style quarrel between brothers tale, seem believable, than someone who has throughout their entire career. Same with the Avengers, picking Whedon, because of his extensive experience with great characterization and character interaction. In both these cases, with worked out great. So find not the director who has big-slow motion-y comic book movies under his belt, but the one who is TRULY right to make the movie it’s best.
#1. Don't Be Nolan
The number 1 is so important that it cannot be stressed enough. Do NOT be Nolan. Now at first, that may seem like an insult to Nolan and his trilogy, but it is not. Nolan is my favorite director of all time, and The Dark Knight Trilogy is one of my favorite trilogies of all time. But it is vitally important, that they don’t just try to repeat everything Nolan did. That would make a shallow movie, obviously trying to live up to something it probably never could.
Now this may seem difficult for a movie executive, “Don’t take any inspiration from Nolan, how? The only other Batman movies are Burton’s which didn’t make us enough money, and Schumacher’s....we don’t wanna go to that dark place again”, but you have to remember, there are so many great places to get your inspiration other than other Batman movies.
Batman: The Animated Series, the Batman: Arkham video game series, and most of the best Batman comics. All great Batman stories and atmospheres, unique from Nolan’s and great in their own right. Look to THEM for inspiration when creating the look, plot, feel, and tone of this new Batman reboot, not the older Batman movies, and not the Nolan films. Do that and you’ll be a much better, and more unique result.
So that's all for today folks. Please keep all the victims of the Aurora shooting in your prayers, and until next time, comment, subscribe, and I'll leave you with this.
Usually I post something funny, but this was just too epic to ignore.