"WB's Shakin' the Bat-Moneymaker, But is it Good for Batman on Film?" (Part 1 of 2) Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey
July 26, 2013
We all knew that Batman on film was going to be rebooted at some point in the near future, right? Batman is without a doubt Warner Bros.' #1 cinematic asset.
But only three years after his previous cinematic incarnation in “The Dark Knight Trilogy?” If you’re thinking, “Too soon,” well, you’re probably right. It probably would’ve been better when it comes to future solos endeavors of the character to let him sit for a few years, don’t y’all think. Put ‘ol Bruce on ice for – I don’t know – at least five years maybe – to build up the anticipation of seeing Batman on film again.
Plus, there’s that “Dark Knight Trilogy” to account for as well. Chris Nolan’s cinematic Batman trilogy – which of course starred Christian Bale as The Batman – is (arguably) the greatest comic book superhero saga ever. Like really y’all, will the mainstream audience – who are used to and relate to a “realistic” Batman on film – take so soon to a movie Batman that lives in a world with super-powered beings who are essentially gods?
Frankly, I don’t know. (And don’t give me the standard fanboy response of “If it works in comics and in animation, it’ll work in a live-action film dammit!” That’s hogwash and anyone who actually believes that ain’t livin’ in the real world of superhero cinema.)
Regardless, Warner Bros. decision to use Batman/Bruce Wayne as a character in the sequel to MAN OF STEEL is no surprise to me – and it shouldn’t be one to you all either.
Why? Because the inclusion of Batman – probably the most popular comic book superhero amongst the mainstream audience – pretty much guarantees more butts in theater seats for MOS 2 opening weekend.
If that’s the case – and I believe it is – then what does that say for what Warner Bros. must have thought about the prospects of the MAN OF STEEL sequel?
Make no mistake about it, MAN OF STEEL was a hit. However, it didn’t perform as well as Warner Bros. had hoped…allegedly. Plus, the reviews weren’t all that great, which clearly affected folk’s perception of the film as well as the box office. (Disclosure: I liked the film a lot and gave it a very positive review.)
So what do you do if you’re Warner Bros.? You shake that Bat-Moneymaker, that’s what!
The op-ed continues after the jump!
But where does the shakin’ stop? With the MAN OF STEEL sequel? (Personaly, I have no issue with Batman in a Superman film -- based on the fact that this series is grounded in a bit of "realsim." I was simply hoping that it would occur in sequel #2. Superman fans: Doesn't the inclusion of Batman in your guy's sequel sorta piss you off? Batman Fans: What if they had put demanded that Superman be in the sequel to BATMAN BEGINS? Think about THAT!) OR...
Guillermo del Toro's "Justice League Dark" project?
A Wonder Woman film?
What about The Flash? Aquaman? Martian Manhunter? The Atom?
Should we reboot Green Lantern on film by having Batman show up on Oa?
The bottom line here is this folks: Do my good friends at Warner Bros. believe they have to inject Batman into any DC-based film to hopefully ensure a hit movie? And if they do, what does that say for films based on DC properties besides Batman and Superman (sorta)?
I for one certainly hope not.
But if they do, what does that mean for future solo Batman movies? And THAT my friends, is what I’m primarily concerned about: The successful future of Batman on film. Is having the new movie incarnation of Batman defined by the other films of the cinematic DC universe the best thing for, well, Batman on film proper?
In In PART 2, we'll have a Q&A mailbag over this very topic. - Bill "Jett" Ramey
A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He likes Elvis, The University of Texas,
Dallas Cowboys Football, and of course...
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.