Batfleck's Solo Batflick to Feature The Joker? (And What to Do When Affleck's Done) Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: July 20, 2015
According to BOSTONHERALD.COM (in an article mostly about, um, not about Batman), Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film – in which he will co-write, direct, and star as The Dark Knight – will “likely involve The Joker.”
That’s breaking news?
OK, I know I’m being a bit smarmy, but I (and many others I’m sure) have long believed that The Joker would be the main villain in Batfleck’s solo Batman movie. Furthermore, you’re not going to introduce the new DCCU Joker and cast an actor of Jared Leto’s stature and NOT have the character in a Batman film. Batfleck vs. The Joker (which of course will be Leto) in a solo Batman film was a done deal the moment Ben signed his Warner Bros. Batman contract.
Yes, I can hear many of you, OK? There are many good Batman villains who haven’t been adapted to film properly (The Penguin, Mr. Freeze) or at all (Crazy Quilt, Condiment King). So why use The Joker again when Batman has arguably the greatest rogues gallery of any comic book superhero?
Well, because it’s The Joker, that’s why.
The Joker is – and I’m not even going to say it’s arguable – the greatest comic book villain in the history of, well, comic books. Heck, I’d say that The Joker is one of the great villains in any medium ever created period. Plus, Batman vs. The Joker is an iconic conflict between two iconic fictional characters. Frankly, there’s no way that Warner Bros. is NOT going to pair up Affleck’s Batman and Leto’s Joker in a Batman film while they can.
And don’t be surprised if it’s a “Final Showdown” between The Dark Knight and The Clown Prince of Crime ala THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and Batfleck’s final turn as Batman. Just sayin’. ANYWAY…
So back to other Batman villains other than The Joker in Batman movies. I do think there is a way for this to happen even if the solo Batfleck Batflick is Ben’s last Bat-outing…and it doesn’t involve yet another Bat-reboot.
Yes, I know I’ve brought up this idea before here on BOF, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. We know that this new DCCU Batman first donned the cape and cowl twenty years prior to the events of BATMAN v SUPERMAN. Accordingly, there’s a plethora of stories with many villains that could be told. And let’s be honest, Ben Affleck isn’t going to play Batman forever (no pun intended). After BvS, two JUSTICE LEAGUE films (and maybe a third), and a solo Batman film (which he’s also directing and co-writing), that might be enough time spent in Gotham for Affleck. If you’re going to end up recasting anyway, why not do it with a younger actor portraying a younger version of the DCCU Batman.
“Twenty years in Gotham, how many good guys are left,” Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne asks Alfred (Jeremy Irons) in BvS trailer #2. “How many of them stayed that way?” See what I mean? I want to know which good guys are gone (Gordon? Robin? Barbara Gordon?), as well as who turned bad (Harvey Dent? Aunt Harriett?). Why did he retire as Batman and leave Wayne Manor? How did The Joker kill Robin and which Robin was it? Why is Charles Brown obsessed with kites?
See, lots of questions. And lots of questions makes for lots of stories – or movies, in this case.
So what do you all think? Would you like to see a trilogy of pre-BATMAN v SUPERMAN Batman films, more movies featuring an older Batman – even if it isn’t Batfleck, or just hit the reboot button yet again? Post your thoughts in the comments section below! - Bill "Jett" Ramey
(Personally, I'd like to see DESERT BATMAN: THE MOVIE.)