Metaking's Top 5 Tips For the Batman Movie Reboot
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.
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Those are some pretty good points. While I wouldn't mind the Riddler being up there, having an untouched villain (such as the Black Mask or Clayface) would be good choices. It would make a more interesting movie if the director didn't try to be Nolan, as well. I wouldn't some of the same actors to pop up though.
Because, that'd be so perfect the universe would cease to exist.
Why don't we get Paul Dini (The Best Batman writer in my opinion) and Geoff Johns (The Chief Creative Officer for DC and has a degree in screenplay writing) as the writers, and Bruce Timm (Producer of the Animated Series/Justice League) as the Creative Producer and create the best Batman film ever.
I have mixed feelings about Zack Snyder. I really liked his Watchmen adaption BUT that movie was made for probably the smallest target audience possible: those who read the graphic novel. If you didn't read it you really didn't understand what was happening. And some argue that it still wasn't a good adaption. I think it's the best we could ever have gotten and that's considering that while it was in production decades many people sought to completely change it. Snyder didn't and I respect him for it. On the other hand Suckerpunch bummed me out. I can't say I hated it exactly, but I felt shitty after it was over.
Anyway I really liked this article. I think there's one thing you may be forgetting, or you just wanted to focus on Batman which I understand; the only reason there are talks of rebooting Batman so quick and suddenly while TDKR is still our (even before it came out) is because DC wants to make a Justice League movie. And after The Avengers accomplished their super-team movie so well and kicked so much ass and (most importantly) has made an insane amount of money (it is #3 in the top box office of all time) the Justice League movie is kind of a must. Is it going to happen? Well there actually was a film in development during 2007-2008. To put that in perspective the first Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk came out in 2008, so DC would have heavily beaten them to the punch. However due to the Writers Guild of America Strike the plans were scrapped. The supposed cast would have involved Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, The Green Lantern (John Stewart), Aquaman, and The Martian Manhunter.
Thinking about it now though, would this film still work? Well obviously if it happens it's going to be ruthlessly compared to Avengers. And should DC take a lesson from Marvel, I suspect they will have a much harder time making individual films as their characters are maybe not as recognizable but more importantly: they are not easy to relate to. And besides it's obvious that Batman has been a successful franchise on it's own lasting for 23 years, whereas Superman hasn't. The first two Superman movies were successful, then the latter two weren't. And then there was Superman Returns, which was met with a lukewarm response. Personally out of all the Justice League members, many people including myself don't care about the other members except for Batman and maybe the Flash/Wonder Woman. So why would I want to watch a movie with them?
I could be wrong but that's the real problem DC is going to have. If they are even considering making a JL movie they will have to make their next Batman, and possibly this new Superman, exist in a universe together. I personally don't think they could get away with making Christopher Nolan's Batman exist in the same universe as Martian Manhunter. So it's a very rough road ahead for DC. (Also they don't own all their properties like Marvel is trying to do).
If it does get rebooted I would like the villain to be either the riddler or poison ivy as I think that they are under utilized villains just like many of the others, my friend insists that just about everything batman related should have harley quinn in it.
I hated Watchmen. Not only was it excessively slow-motion in execution, but I had no clue what the f*** was going on in the movie. Nor did I care to, as it was so vile and anal about staying true to its source that nothing about it was appealing.
Like I said, Zack Snyder is a hack director in my eyes...
I'm soooo certain that they won't reboot, but another director will take over where Nolan left off. obviously the cast will be different, but history will be the same. I think that the nolan batman, could fit with the rest of the DC cast. Batman would have some personal crisis, not believing that superman could exist or the green lantern corps, the flash, etc. i just hope Man of Steel is good.
Rule number 1 should be NO ORIGIN STORY!!!!! We know who batman is, can we please just move on to the new villains!!!!
Very well said, I especially agree with you about DC's superheroes often being too godlike, and that's a major problem they have to fix.
Also, I really think DC is going to reboot it, I just don't think the Nolanverse's ultra-realistic ultra-dark tone would fit in with the Justice League.
I've seen 300, it was stylish and and the action was good but was pretty thin plot-wise. Watchmen I've heard mixed things about, I've heard some call it a bad adaptation and movie overall, and some call one of the best superhero movies out there. And as for Dawn of the Dead, I didn't even know he made that.
One of the most interesting things I saw from DKR was actually the DC logo right before it. It's been changed, completely different from the logo that before resembled Marvel's comic-book flipping one. It's a sleek D that peels off to reveal a stoney, gritty C. Coupled with the Man of Steel trailer before it and the idea that they're molding their films into a Justice League universe, I think DC is rebooting their film universe to a more gritty format that's more about the illusions of the mask than the powers of superhero while completely rewriting the heroes to fit this universe, similar to Nolan's films. Which, BTW, I would hardly call realistic. More science-fiction, which still uses rules of realism. Their characters in DC comics simply don't work as well on-screen. Too god-like. Too perfect. They've got to change them, like Nolan did. Ra's, for example, achieves immortality in the comics through magic, but in the film it's through a legacy. In Begins it's clear Neeson's was not the first Ra's, and Rises reveals he was not the last. Interesting interpretation well pulled off, I think. More stuff like that and DC could have a unique superhero universe very different from Marvel's, which they can't afford to copy.
Superman will be a challenge, though, considering the whole idea behind Supes is he can solve any problem. But I'm sure there are many different ways of interpreting that to fit.
Actually, they might not need to reboot Batman. It's one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood right now, I doubt the producer's will just let it die. Ongoing franchises are what the blockbuster is all about. Nolan's done, but he doesn't own the films. I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled a Nightwing with it and drag this Batman back. Though that has the potential to completely defeat the whole point of DKR...
Okay yeah, he uses slow motion too much...but can you tell me you didn't like 300, Watchmen, or Dawn of the Dead? Albeit a remake, but a good one imo.
I don't like him at all. Until Zack Snyder learns to differentiate slow-motion from substance, he'll forever be a second-rate hack in my eyes...
A lot of good points you made in this argument, but one thing I would add to this list. Don't make it an origin story, we just got done with the origin story so theres no need to do it again
The funny thing is that they have actually confirmed a Batman Reboot that they're doing to build up to the justice league, and that it will come out around 2015.
I admit, I didn't remember who Terry McGinnis was before someone else said Batman Beyond, which is sad, 'cause I actually like Batman Beyond :S
Have hope my g1 friend.
True, he may be predictable, but keep in the family I guess. I loved Watchmen and I'm excited that he and Nolan are working together. I think both of them bring many strengths to make these Superman movies work. Sucker Punch was lackluster yeah, but I don't think that will hinder Man of Steel any.