A few quick takes regarding a live-action JUSTICE LEAGUE
It’s a project that I, as a Batman fan, have no interest in seeing. I absolutely shudder at the thought of a cinematic Batman that…
* Works with, and fights against, super powered beings on a regular basis.
* Regularly deals with aliens, the supernatural, magic, and (Oh Please No!) can take off into OUTER-F’n-SPACE -- via rocket ship or transporter -- at a moment’s notice.
* Is “lightened-up” so he’s “ more assessable” to a wider audience. (Sound familiar?)
With all THAT said, I must face the fact and concede that this project is, without a doubt, inevitable.
No matter how much I complain and argue against a JL film, Warner Bros. wants it and wants it (apparently) ASAP. As a result, I must now be realistic and turn my attention to making sure it is done *fingers crossed* RIGHT.
To be honest, my primary concern here is Batman. I’m very worried how my favorite fictional character will be depicted in a JL film. Accordingly, if this JL film will, in fact, introduce the new cinematic version of Batman, will he be presented in a way that both fans and the mainstream audience will accept?
Let’s be honest here, OK? Batman is the most popular comic book character amongst the mainstream, bar none. Why? Because he’s cool as hell! Besides, that Batman the only one of this that’s “realistic.” He doesn’t have superpowers (Unless you count being a billionaire a superpower!), therefore the audience can relate to him in a way that’s impossible when it comes to the likes of, say, Superman or Spider-Man or all the other characters with extraordinary powers.
With all that said, I’m going to proceed from this point on assuming that…
1) JUSTICE LEAGUE will follow MAN OF STEEL as the next big DC Comics-based tent pole film.
2) The new movie Batman will be introduced in this JL film and then spin-off to a new, rebooted (i.e. Not the Batman from Chris Nolan’s “Dark Knight Trilogy”) solo series.
Here is my biggest problem with this scenario: The director of BATMAN REBOOTED might not have anything to do with the casting of the “new” Batman/Bruce Wayne, and he may not any involvement with character development/background. Thus, the guy would be shackled -- from a creative standpoint -- before ever going to work on the solo film. Wouldn’t a filmmaker want the same type of freedom that was afforded Christopher Nolan when he was hired for Batman?
If we’re going with the idea that a JL film is coming within the next three to four years and the new solo Batman series spinning-off a year or two later, then I’d handle it the following way...
I’d hire a director for BATMAN REBOOTED soon after one is chosen for JUSTICE LEAGUE and have the two filmmakers work in concert when it comes to developing the new Batman on film. Both of them should choose who will play Batman in both the JL film and in the new solo series that follows, decide how long has this Bruce Wayne been Batman (He’d be a veteran, in-his-prime Dark Knight Detective if it were up to me), and have equal input on this Batman’s aesthetic (i.e. The design of the new costume).
With that preliminary Batman on film work done, the two can split, take their “Rebooted Batman Bible” with them, and work on their separate, but related, films. And speaking of SEPARATE…
While the Batman of JUSTICE LEAGUE and BATMAN REBOOTED are the one in the same, I’d have very, Very, VERY little -- if any -- cross-pollination between the two films/franchises. For example, most, if not all, of Batman’s work and world in Gotham City should be excluded from the JL film -- No Alfred, no Commissioner Gordon, no Batsignal and no member of the Batman Family or Rogues Gallery. In turn, the rebooted Batman films should basically be their own thing -- no Batcave visits from Superman or little winks and nods to other DCU films or characters.
One last suggestion…
I believe is an absolute MUST that Batman’s appearance in a JL film be limited to a cameo. An extended perhaps, but a cameo nonetheless Why? Because his debut should really be taking place in the first rebooted solo film, NOT in JUSTICE LEAGUE (or whatever it’s ultimately titled). Hell, I’d go as far to suggest using only Bruce Wayne and not his alter ego -- though that’s not likely to happen because The Dark Knight will certainly be one of the film’s selling points. Regardless, I’d have The Batman show up in the final act in a small, but significant role…like saving the day or something. This would also be a great way to leave the audience wanting more Batman -- which would come a year or two later in BATMAN REBOOTED.
There you have it folks, my thoughts on how Batman on film should be handled when it comes to the soon to be upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE and the eventual BATMAN REBOOTED. I believe it’s a fair compromise that will allow JL fans to have Batman in their much coveted film, while also allowing the filmmakers of the new solo series the freedom needed to put their stamp on the character.
While a lot of fans have a “Justice League Jones” so bad that can’t stand it, there’s just as many -- or not more -- Batman fans that don’t. Here’s hoping that Warner Bros. realizes this and works to give us the best of both “Bat-Worlds.” BUT…
To be perfectly honest with both you all and myself, none of that above is ever going to happen. Warner Bros. will make JUSTICE LEAGUE and then spin-off several of the characters into their own solo films -- including Batman. As a result, Batman on film will be dictated by the JL franchise and the new films will end up being nothing more than set-up pieces for future JL films.
Perhaps it’s just time to say “to hell with it,” you know? Perhaps the best thing for Batman on film is that there NOT a Batman on film outside of the JL films ‘til that well has run dry. THEN the movie Batman can be properly rebooted and the new films and filmmaker involved won’t have to adhere to the BS known as "cinematic continuity" - Bill "Jett" Ramey