Earlier this year we were (strangely) given the news that the Batman film franchise would, once again, go through a reboot as soon as Christopher Nolan concludes his vision with the highly anticipated THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
. Upon first hearing this news I was pretty livid. Why in the hell
would Warner Bros. even think of rebooting the character when Nolan has laid the groundwork for this particular Batman to carry on for years? Why not continue with Nolan's vision? He and his team brought Batman back from the dead, so what is the point of rebooting? But as time went on and we started hearing more and more about THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
, most of us started to realized that perhaps the only reason the word "reboot" is being tossed around is because Nolan doesn't want to see his Batman continue.
And you know what? I don't blame him. At all. Nolan has given us something so special that I don't want to see it continue without him, his cast, and his crew.
And you know what else? When I finally stopped thinking about the negativity that (usually) surrounds the word reboot, I started thinking about what I'd really love to see in the next trilogy. But I'll start with what I don't want: another origin film.
Absolutely not. Of all the Batman films to hit the big screen, 2 have been origin stories (BATMAN -- sort of -- and BATMAN BEGINS). We all know how what drives Bruce Wayne to become The Batman and we all know how he acquires the skills to become him. And while BATMAN was, technically, an origin film, it's BATMAN BEGINS that is considered the definitive Batman origin film. Hands down. Therefore, we absolutely do not need to see another one.
So what do I want? I’d like to see the next series of films to throw us into a world where Batman and his enemies are already established. I want the citizens of Gotham City to already live in fear of The Joker. I want Black Mask to be king of the underworld while The Penguin is the big crime boss on the streets. I want a Gotham City where The Riddler is still relevant and where Catwoman and Batman have a love/hate relationship. And while I want this world, I still want it to be taken seriously. Does it need to be on Nolan's level or realism? No -- and I don't want it to be. But I would really love for WB to mix it up a little bit. We've seen Batman start out and have the rest of the world fill in around him. I want a Batman trilogy where we, as viewers, are just thrown into the mix and buckle up for the ride.
Ideally, in my perfect world, each new trilogy would follow the next phase in Batman's life. Nolan's films gave us the beginning of Batman and his journey. I want the next trilogy to show us a Batman that's in his early-mid 30's and at the top his game. I want no connections to Nolan's films at all as I want the next creative team to feel free to use any characters they want -- as long as they take them seriously. I wouldn't even mind Robin being in the next set of films, so long as he's done correctly.
As for the trilogy that follows the next set? I'd love for those films to tackle an older Batman. I want to see a Batman from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS era. A series of films where Batman is still trying to stay relevant and search for ways to stay motivated at an age where his mind and body are years beyond their peaks.
I guess, in a strange way, these films would be connected, but by age only. So…
* Nolan's Trilogy = “Early Batman”
* 2nd Trilogy = “Established Batman in an Established Gotham City”
* 3rd trilogy = “Older, Struggling Batman”
I completely realize and understand that Batman fans have been spoiled rotten by Christopher Nolan. And while I'd like to think I'm professional enough to not compare the new directors vision with Nolan, I know it will be difficult, considering Nolan's Batman is my definitive version of the character on film.
But while I think about the idea of a new vision of the character, I find myself getting excited. New creative new rumors. CASTING rumors! Who will direct?! WHAT will the story be?! Will there be nipples on the bat suit?!
That period of time before everything is finalized is one of the craziest/happiest times in a lot of fans eyes. Rumors will cause mayhem (not an overstatement) among fans and will probably cause a few "fans" (ahem, Mr. Ra's al Cool) to tell true fans what to think. But I'm excited for that to begin again. I'm excited for a new take on the character of Batman. And I'm excited that Batman has the potential to continue to be wonderfully good while still going in new directions.
But seriously, no nipples on the bat suit again...PLEASE.