We live in an age where it “seems” like everything is rebooted and remade to aspire to a new vision. Superhero and comic book movies lead the forefront of that. Batman has already been rebooted (twice if you count the mid series reboot with the Joel Schumacher films), plus it took only 5 years to get a Spider-Man reboot, and the same amount of time for the Hulk. The recent Batman reboot, helmed by Christopher Nolan, came to an end with a large, epic and emotional conclusion with the 3rd and final film in what has already become one of the greatest trilogies of all time, “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” So why does Batman have to come back so soon? Well that all lies with two other sources, Superman and Marvel Comics. Marvel has successfully launched a cinematic universe where several different superheroes all co exist and team up in “The Avengers.” DC Comics and Warner Bros. want to try to attempt the same thing with their characters in their own unique vision. Superman is the first character to be rebooted with a fresh new origin story and series in “Man of Steel” (2013). So why does Batman need to be redone again? Well it’s simply because he is a vital character in the “Justice League” and that’s what Warner Bros. wants to make. Also because the last three Batman films cannot exist with Superman, “The Dark Knight films” were set in the real world with very little room for fantasy aspects. Also because the story actually ended with the last film, “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012). In short a new Batman is needed for the new DC cinematic universe that can allow for fantasy and fit in the realm created with “Man of Steel” (2013). Here are 7 ideas for a Batman reboot.
Batman is a dark character and the tone of the reboot should continue that. Of course with “Man of Steel” that shouldn’t be a problem since that was a darker take on the character of Superman. So in no way shape or form do we have to revert back to the 1960s camp era for Batman. “The Dark Knight” films were also dark and understood what Batman is. This one has to stay dark and in the real world but also be able to have more fantasy elements as well for example, “The Dark Knight” films could never have a Superman character it would comprise everything it was setting up. “Man of Steel” was set in the real world but still brought in other elements that could allow other characters to enter the realm with him and introducing him first was the smartest move. The tone for a new Batman films set within that universe that has been established with “Man of Steel” should be more along the lines of the “Batman: Arkham” games series mixed with the real world of “Man of Steel.” The Arkham games already have a good amount of realism injected into it but it would need to be tweaked ever so slightly to fit with the new Superman. Warner Bros. would be wise to be taking inspiration from those games and seems like the logical next step forward for Batman.
To Origin Story or Not to Origin Story?
There is a growing amount of people who seem to think that an origin story is not needed for these characters anymore, since we all know how they become the superhero they are. For example who doesn’t know how Batman became Batman or Superman became Superman. However I disagree, you need an origin story in order to understand what makes this version on the character “tick”. Henry Cavil’s Superman is a lot different than Christopher Reeve’s Superman which is why we needed to see Henry’s version unfold in an origin to truly understand his version. However there are ways to do it. “Man of Steel” dealt with the origin story by doing flashbacks which I think is the perfect to handle the new Batman film. Tim Burton did a much simpler version of this and the filmmakers need to take that and make it bigger and much more important in the story. Some people will say, “Just take care of it in the opening credits like the “Incredible Hulk” (2008).” Yeah well its easy to forget there was going to be more details of Bruce Banner’s past revealed in flashbacks with the 08 Hulk but the studio decided to cut them out and make it a more simpler and action filled film, stripping a lot of substance of what could been. The Batman’s origin has to be told in flashbacks that way we get the best of both worlds.
Ignore “The Dark Knight” Films
I am a huge fan of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy and would even say it’s one of the best trilogies ever made. However these new films need to ignore everything he did on those movies so everyone can focus on a new Batman. Don’t try to create the same vibe or feel, you’re going to end up with a complete mess of a film with no identity or soul. Those films were amazing, we will always have them but it’s time to move on from them and see a newer take of Batman. Easier said than done, the Sam Rami Spider-Man fans can seem to accept the new Marc Webb version, “The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012), when it also had a lot to offer. I hope that doesn’t happen with the new Batman movies.
Story and Character First, Action Second
One thing you have to do is make sure with the newest incarnation is you write a good story and handle the character well. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to see a new Batman action scene especially if their like the ones in the first trailer of the game, “Batman: Arkham Origins” (2013), but I would rather see things dealing with the character. The most important part of a superhero isn’t the sweet action scenes (although they are appealing) it is the hero and the alter ego. This film shouldn’t be one action scene after another that tries to tie things together with “Justice League” as quick as possible. It should get in depth about the characters, “Man of Steel” did a good job of getting deep into Kal-El/Superman, (even if it occasionally over do the action), and I want that for Batman too. One of my biggest problems with “Iron Man 2” (2010) was it seemed like it wanted to explore more of Tony Stark’s character but it got so bogged down into “Avenger” details and other little subplots that meant nothing in the end, that the filmmakers lost the central focus of what the film was about, and that was Tony Stark. The first “Iron Man” (2008)’s biggest strength was the focus of Tony Stark as a character and that’s why that film works, it never lost its focus and kept with Tony. Batman/Bruce Wayne is one of the most complex characters in comic books and needs to be explored.
Hint at a larger universe
For these new Batman films there should be an idea that the universe is bigger than what it always appears and you could be setting up for something. You can make it seem like there are a lot of characters by giving them a little screen time or giving a line or two to dialogue mentioning them. Reference Oswald Cobblepot (aka Penguin) and his crime family, show there is a Harvey Dent around, and give little cameos and clues to future characters that may or may not be shown. A larger universe is more interesting, and that means people will invest more time into it trying to understand and figure it all out. People will want to be coming back for more Batman and you will be able to showcase more of those characters everyone wants to see on the big screen. Don’t worry about attempting other characters that have already been done before on screen either. Regardless of how immortalizing Heath Ledger’s performance was as the Joker, you have to bring him back. He is Batman’s biggest foe and the character is bigger than the actor who played him.
A New Batman Film is needed before Justice League
You have to have a new Batman film before Justice League. You need one because if you have a justice league movie with all of sudden a new batman just after 5 years after “The Dark Knight Rises” then audiences will get confused and not really accept the new Batman because they didn’t have a film to get to know him and not only does that create problems with a new Batman but the “Justice League” movie as well.
Who can play Batman?
Whenever I am asked that question, I always say the same answer, Karl Urban. Just watch at the diversity in his roles from Dr. McCoy in the latest “Star Trek” films to Judge Dredd in “Dredd 3D” (2011). This guy could pull off both Bruce Wayne and Batman (not just because we know he can do a “Batman Growl” from “Dredd 3D”). He looks the part and has plenty of talent and hopefully Warner Bros. will notice him as well.
There are my 7 ideas and thoughts on a reboot of Batman, hopefully Warner Bros. listened to me if for some reason they read this article, I can dream though right?