BATMAN ON FILM, 'The Dark Knight Fansite!' Est. 1998.

OPINION

The Batman in a JL Movie? HELL NO!

Author: Bill Ramey
Friday, February 23, 2007

A JUSTICE LEAGUE movie? WTF is Warner Bros. thinking?

Well, I know exactly what they are thinking: $.

And thatís cool as we all dig the green, right? Look, Iím not naÔve enough to think that all Warner Bros. cares about is pleasing the fans when it comes to their super hero/comic book films, OK? The bottom line is that Warner Bros. Pictures is in the money making business. Hell, Iím not going to shed any tears if BOF generates a little scratch from time to time.

BUT, bad ideas are bad ideas and a Justice League film -- one that includes Batman -- is a bad idea.

To all you fans who think it'd be "tight," I say this: what works in comic books or in an animated TV show, wouldn't necessarily work as a live-action film. I understand totally the dynamic between The Batman and the rest of the JL in the comics and on the animated TV series, trust me. But those are just that: comic books and an animated series aimed at a younger demographic. When it comes to a live-action film, can you actually envision the Chris Nolan/Christian Bale Batman tooling around with Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern! Do you really want to see that?

And to WB, you just got the BATMAN franchise back on solid ground, OK? BATMAN BEGINS gave us a young Batman (in the form of actor Christian Bale) that has his whole career in front of him. There are many stories -- or movies -- to be told with this Batman. Donít screw it up now by including him in a somewhat-gimmicky, kid-friendly, JL flick.

If you havenít figured it out, Batman is different from most of the costumed, comic book, superheroes: HE DOESNíT HAVE ANY POWERS! He doesnít fly, shoot laser beams out of his eyes, or climb up walls. Thatís what makes him so great because we can say to ourselves, ďYou know, if I had lotís of cash, bought some really cool (non-lethal) weapons, and trained myself to the peek of physical perfection, maybe I could be The Batman!Ē Of course weíre not going to really do that, but itís rather cool to think like that when you read a comic or watch a movie.

Batman is the most-realistic of the super heroes, so I have no desire to see him paired onscreen with characters that can do all sorts of fantastic things.

If you are hell-bent on doing a JLA film, thatís fine. In fact, Iíd support the hell out of it. DC Comics is your sister company and they have a plethora of cool super heroes at your disposal for such a film. Here, take a look: Green Lantern, The Flash, The Martian Manhunter, The Green Arrow, Aquaman, Hawkman, Black Lightening, The Atom, Red Tornado, et al -- and thatís just the tip of the iceberg!

You donít need to include The Dark Knight to make a cool -- and good -- JL film. And you donít need Batman to get people to the theaters to see it either.

And while weíre at it, keep Superman and Wonder Woman out of it too. Youíve already jump-started the SUPERMAN franchise with SUPERMAN RETURNS and youíre trying to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen as well (although Iím a bit skeptical WW will work as a tent pole film). Hang your hat on those franchises -- especially Batman and Superman -- and make this JL thing without them.

I know you probably see how well the X-MEN films did and want something along those lines. But let me tell you, the Justice League is NOT the X-Men. Make that DOOM PATROL movie thatĎs in development if you want to go that route. And while Iím talking a bit about Marvel, donít F-up like they have and try to make a movie out of every damn character in the DC universe! Cripe's most of those Marvel movies suck! But thatís an op-ed for another day.

And Iíll tell you another thing that wonít work: having a Batman in THE JUSTICE LEAGUE that isnít the Batman of BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT! Hell, many of the average Joeís out there STILL havenít figured out that the new BATMAN films donít have anything to do with the Burton/Schumacher ones. Can you imagine the confusion this would cause!

Bat-fans, trust me on this one. Do you want to sacrifice all youíve lobbied for since Ď97 and BATMAN AND ROBIN, just to have The Batman show up in a damn JUSTICE LEAGUE film? Because Iím telling you, if they include him in it, itís OVER for the BATMAN movie series.

Lookit, when I say I speak for you -- hate me and BOF or not -- well, Iím speaking for you here.

Donít get me wrong, Iíd be down with a big-ass JUSTICE LEAGUE film, alrighty? If you want a big summer blockbuster featuring some of the great characters from DC, and you want them fighting all sorts of alien or super villain menaces, go for it!

Just leave The Batman where he belongs: alone in Gotham City fighting crime.

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.

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