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


OPINION

Summer 2007 TDK Musings

Author: Bill Ramey, Founder of BOF
Email: BATMANONFILM@MSN.COM
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2007

Summer in southeast Texas, gotta love it! 90%+ humidity, high temps in the upper 90s, daily thunderstorms, and mosquitoes! I’m being facetious, but Texas in June is what it is -- but I do love the Lone Star State! At any rate…

As I sit down to write this article, production on THE DARK KNIGHT has been taking place for nearly 2 months. It began in late April of 2007, moved briefly to the UK (where things were extremely quiet), and it has now returned to Chi-Town for a long summer shoot.

Accordingly, a few bits and pieces from THE DARK KNIGHT have been either released via its marketing/publicity campaign or leaked out due to TDK‘s location filming. We now have a pretty good idea of what The Joker will look like in TDK and we saw Batman’s new get-up earlier this past week.

Anyway, with all this news constantly flowing in, my mind has been all aflutter with op-ed ideas for BOF. So instead of just one new article focusing on one topic, I’m going to address several topics today, “Scattershots” style.

BATMAN’s NEW THREADS

I totally dig what they have done to the Bat-Suit for THE DARK KNIGHT! I liked the suit wore in BEGINS, but the new costume designed by Lindy Hemming is a huge upgrade.

From the looks of it, it certainly seems that the rumors that we heard about the new suit are true:

* Chainmail/”fabricky” undersuit? Check.
* Sleeker design? Check.

Of course, you can’t please everyone (“everyone” = fanboys), so message boards worldwide are full of “The suit SUCKS” takes. A lot of the complaining comes from those who seem to want a literal adaptation of the comic book Batman suit. In other words, they want Batman in tights.

For the life of me, I don’t get why anyone would want Bale prancing around in a leotard as that would look absolutely ridiculous! By the way, Batman doesn’t wear “tights” in the comics anyway -- it simply looks like that because they are, uh, comic books!

And please, no more “Robocop Batman” comments. I’ve been hearing that crap since 1989 and it’s a tired and lame take. There is simply no way in hell that Batman would wear any sort of "long underwear" and do what he does -- in real life or comic books.

With that said y’all, I understand that many of you who would like to see a more straight-up comic book interpretation do not take to message boards and bitch up a storm. What I think we’ve got here is a pretty good compromise. It’s “armor” on a “frabricky/chain mail” suit.

Can’t we all just get along? ;)

THE ‘NEW” JOKER

I heard The Joker in TDK was going to look “different.” I told people to expect The Joker in TDK to look “different.” And guess what? The Joker in TDK looks different.

What else? Let’s see…we’ve heard that there wasn’t going to be anything “funny” about the “Heath-Joker.” It was rumored that he’d have scars. Well, do you see anything funny about this:

I didn’t think so.

Now I’m not honking my own horn here, but my point here is this: Did people actually expect Mr. Nolan NOT to do something different? Did you honestly expect The Joker in TDK to be tooling around Gotham in a purple tux and tails and laughing hystarically?

From the looks of things, it sure seems like we’re are getting a Clown Prince of Crime like we’ve NEVER seen in a live-action incarnation. And THAT my friends, is a good thing.

Make no mistake, just because "The Heath-Joker" doesn't look exactly like this...

...doesn't mean that he's not going to be "The Joker." (I love "The Laughing Fish" BTW, so haters, stifle!)

“Rachel and Harvey sittin‘ in a tree…?”

When I was trying to find a reason to bring back the Rachel Dawes character for the sequel to BATMAN BEGINS, I’ll admit I was stumped. For the longest, I just didn’t know what purpose she would serve. Undoubtedly, Chris Nolan had a plan for Rachel -- maybe like dump Katie Holmes (allegedly) and replace her with an actress (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Sorry, but Ms. Holmes opted to do MAD MONEY instead (*rolls eyes*). But I digress.

Anyway, one idea that did cross my mind was a sorta “love triangle” between Bruce, Rachel, and Harvey Dent. Now, we know that Bruce and Rachel as a “couple” ain’t gonna happen. But what if Rachel and Gotham’s new D.A., Harvey Dent, hook up? Don’t y’all think that might cause some tension? You’d have ‘ol Bruce acting the fool -- you know, the whole “Billionaire Playboy” deal -- which would make Harvey despise him. Rachel would know that it’s all BS, of course, but to whom would her heart actually belong. To top it all off, Harvey and The Batman are "dawgs" -- you know, partners in crime, err against crime!

Does that sound cool? I hope it does because from what I’ve heard, it may be happening in TDK.

“The top floor, Mr. Wayne?”

Back in the 70s -- the decade that made me the Batman fan I am today -- Bruce had moved out of Wayne Manor and lived in a penthouse atop Wayne Enterprises. Based on recent news out of Chicago, it seems that Mr. Nolan is following suit.

Look, I love Wayne Manor and The Batcave and wholeheartedly believe that THAT should be Bruce’s primary residence. But realistically, wouldn’t it make sense for him to keep a place in the heart of Gotham for The Batman’s convenience? Perhaps even a secondary Batcave underneath the building?

Anyway, it sure seems that Mr. Nolan is tipping his hat to The Dark Knight’s days back in the good ‘ol 70s.

“HATE that Joker!”

One of the things that I lobbied for here on BOF was that was that person that views THE DARK KNIGHT should completely HATE the friggin' Joker. There should be nothing comical or funny about him. We don’t need him spouting off amusing one-liners that draws guffaws out of the audience.

In other words, we don’t need a rehash of Mr. Romero’s and Mr. Nicholson’s performances.

The news that’s trickling in suggests that is exactly what is NOT going to happen. The Joker in TDK looks like he’s going to be one cold-hearted, murdering Mo-Fo -- wrecking havoc amongst Gotham’s citizens, good guys, and bad guys as well. Once insider told me that “The Joker is really cruel to The Batman, the mob, and the citizens of Gotham.”

The last thing in the world that we needed in this film was to have people sitting in their theater/cinema chairs rooting for and laughing at the damn Joker! And thankfully, it seems as if that ain’t happening.

“HATE that Bruce Wayne!”

Look, for Bruce to really be effective as The Batman, he needs to come off as a total ass in his public persona. Hey, we -- the audience and fans -- know that the real Bruce is a hell of a good person. But don't you think that if the people of Gotham thought that way, all signs of The Batman would point directly to Wayne Manor?

Based on a report from one of BOF‘s scoopers, this will indeed be the case in TDK. Remember, this is the “Drunken Billionaire” that burned down his family mansion! Keep that sort of stuff up Mr. Nolan. In fact, kick it up a notch!

“LOVE that Harvey!”

Right after the official TDK website went online, a sub-site with the domain of IBELIEVEINHARVEYDENT.COM did as well.

“Do you believe in Harvey Dent?” Every damn person viewing TDK better!

This is something that many Bat-Fans been campaigning for: Harvey Dent portrayed as a pure HERO when he make his first cinematic appearance since BATMAN FOREVER. The audience needs to cheer and root for Gotham's young and handsome D.A. (almost!) as much as they do for The Batman. If that happens -- and it certainly looks like it will -- it will make his downfall that much more tragic.

THE GOTHAM TRIMPHIRATE

One of the first sets constructed for “Chicago Shoot 2, 2007” was the rooftop of the Gotham Police Department. Want to guess which 3 Gothamites plan on holding meetings up there?

Thank you Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, thank you!

If I don't see that sort of scene in TDK, I will protest by burning my Batman fanclub card and walking away from The Dark Knight.

Well, I probably won't do that, but I'll be mad, dangit! ;)

Luke…I, am your FATHER!”

Are we in store for a flat-out, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK-style cliffhanger in TDK? Signs point to yes…and no.

According to Mr. David Goyer, Harvey Dent gets scarred at the end of TDK and is the main baddie in the second Nolan Bat-sequel. Now, I don’t think Nolan is going to leave us completely hanging -- although I hope he does to a certain extent.

There’s no doubt that Chris, Goyer, and company have planned this all out from the get-go. Batman “began,” it’s now going to be a “dark night,” and they aren’t planning on giving us total resolution until TDK‘s follow-up hits theaters in 2011.

“Uh, Comic Con is like, about a month away. Hel-lo, Warner Bros.!”

And to wind up today’s presentation, I just wanted to remind the good ‘ol folks at Warner Bros. that Comic Con International San Diego is just a little over a month away.

Actually, they know this as WB always has a pretty big presence there. No “official” announcement yet that TDK will be there, but make no mistake, THE DARK KNIGHT WILL make an appearance in San Diego...

...trust me. :)

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, all you haters get bent! :P HahAhahaHAhAHAHAhaHA! Your hate (e)mail is priceless!

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

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