Batfleck's Batflicks
AUTHOR: Paul J. Wares (Follow @PAULJWARES)
Date: April 20, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Opinions expressed by BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM contributors are their own.

I’ve heard very few opinions to the contrary (including critics who panned the film) that Ben Affleck was one of the highlights of BATMAN v SUPERMAN. Not only was he one of the highpoints, he has proven himself, to me at least, as the best version of the character yet to grace the silver screen. His character also has one of the best arcs in the movie and has left most of us salivating at the prospect of a solo Batman film. The great news is, even before we get to that, we have an appearance in the SUICIDE SQUAD and JUSTICE LEAUGE, PART ONE to look forward to and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he turns up in next year’s WONDER WOMAN.

It’s a great time to be a Bat-Fan.

Last week, Warner Bros. confirmed two new DCEU movies to be released on October 2018 and November 2019, respectively, and it’s widely assumed due to his overwhelming popularity that one of these will be a solo Batfleck Batflick.

Unless of course, both of them are.

It’s not that difficult to believe; this studio has a track record with shooting movies back to back with the HARRY POTTER and HOBBIT (albeit under the New Line banner) films. Since Mr. Affleck isn’t getting any younger, Warner will want to capitalize on his participation in the DCEU sooner rather than later. It also makes sense for Ben to get his Batman commitment out of the way in one big hit, so he then can get back to making more personal movies.

So imagine…

Ben Affleck’s BATMAN, PART 1 in October 2018.

Ben Affleck’s BATMAN, PART 2 in November 2019.

Admit it, now you’re excited (I certainly am!) – especially with the prospect of tying it in with the character’s 80th Anniversary. That’ll make for one hell of a celebration!

So what can we expect of story? I’m really hoping that Ben Affleck and Geoff John’s are busy drafting a prequel to the events of BATMAN v SUPERMAN. Really, how could they not? After all those Easter eggs and teasers, that’s the story we all want to know, right?

As a Batfan, I have been spoiled. I always wanted a YEAR ONE-type movie and we got that with BATMAN BEGINS. That movie told Batman’s origins in the most complete way possible, so a retread of that is definitely not needed.

I always wanted a “realistic” crime thriller Batman movie ala SE7EN or HEAT, and I got that with THE DARK KNIGHT (which was so perfectly done, I can’t honestly see that style of Batman being topped.)

I wanted a brutal THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS style depiction and I got that with BATMAN v SUPERMAN.

There really is only one Batman left that I’ve always wanted to see on the big screen and that has yet to grace our cinemas: Batman in his prime.

A Batman with a long history that includes the “Batman Family” and most of his great rouges gallery. I must confess this is the big screen Batman I have longed for all my life and I firmly believe this is what we’re going to get; because if we don’t, it’s an incredible missed opportunity.

Everything about Batman in BvS was perfect to me; the performance, the suit, the cave the vehicles, the gadgets and of course Alfred. There was a sting in the tail for a lot of fans though as this Batman killed. By indirect means, maybe, but it can’t be argued that he did. This was never a deal breaker for me though because of the back story and the history. Batman has been brutal in the comics before, when he always came close to crossing that line he always had a Robin to temper him and bring him back to the light. In BvS, Superman was that trigger; not only toward more violence, but eventually toward redemption. By now I’m sure you’ve all seen the newest SUICIDE SQUAD trailer. That story clearly takes place after the events of BvS. Notice the machine guns missing from the Batmobile?

So we can safely assume that the Batman post BvS will be the character we all know and love – anti-killing stance and all –just as we know that at the start of BvS Batman is the darkest and brutal he’s ever been, violent and cynical without hope. He’s clearly shaped not only be the events in Metropolis at the start of the movie, but by the events long before. Clearly, the loss of Robin and the destruction of Wayne Manor are two stories that we as an audience must be told.

The first story/film could tell the tale of Jason Todd’s life as the second Robin and his eventual death at the hands of The Joker. The second movie could then focus on the rise and fall of the Red Hood, giving even more weight to the line, “How many good guys are left; how many stayed that way?” This would go a long way to show Batman’s character journey toward who he was in BATMAN v SUPERMAN.

The symmetry is also perfect: 2 movies before his fall; his redemption in BvS; and, two more appearances in the JUSTICE LEAGUE films. If all involved told this story right, not only would Warner Brs. get a highly successful series of Batman movies, but also the potential to spin off characters like Nightwing, Red Hood, Robin – hell, even Batgirl – into their own solo movies.

BATMAN v SUPERMAN has laid a rock solid foundation for the tales that can now be told within the DCEU, so whether you liked it or not, it’s never been a more exciting time to be a Bat-Fan and Batman on film has never had more potential. - Paul J. Wares

Longtime BOF contributor Paul J. Wares is
a sculptor, mouldmaker, fabricator,
and photographerfrom the UK.
Follow him on Twitter @PAULJWARES.

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