There continues to be a lot of handwringing and chat-room debate over the future of the Batman, now that Christopher Nolan has concluded his Dark Knight
trilogy with the massively successful The Dark Knight Rises
Needless to say, things will get a little spoilery around here, so steer clear if you’ve yet to see Rises and still want to see it with a clean slate.
As you likely know, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) passed the Bat baton to John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) at the end of Rises, taking himself out of Gotham’s equation but ensuring that he Dark Knight can and will survive as a larger symbol of protection for the city at large.
Questions now arise about where Batman will continue if and when Warner Bros. decides to move forward with the heroic character. Will the narrative build on what Nolan has presented? Will it be a reboot that goes back to the drawing board – similar to Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man – and pretend the Nolan films didn’t happen? Or will the on-screen Batman be a version of Nolan’s Batman, just played by a different actor?
Warner, it appears, will have a few more years to figure this out. The reliable Batman On Film
quotes a source who claims that a rebooted Batman movie will take place after Warner has produced a live-action Justice League movie (of which Batman will be a member). “This would … assure the new Batman film series will be part of a DC Cinematic Universe,” the site reports.
This, of course, is in answer to Marvel’s world-building with The Avengers
. It makes sense that DC get the JLA up and running. But I disagree with the Batman On Film columnist who says this is bad for the overall health of Batman as a character.
It’s completely necessary for Batman to retire until the Justice League movie gets together. As of this moment, the hero has an enormous head start over his DC brethren, and other characters need to be given an opportunity to catch up. Superman will shine in next summer's Man of Steel
. The Green Lantern needs a sequel that better defines his character. Wonder Woman still needs to get her origin story off the ground.
The best thing Warner and DC could do is put the Bat on the back burner. Trying to force a single-serving Batman story into theaters before JLA reportedly hits theaters in 2015 would be a mistake. If JLA is going to succeed, Warner and DC should turn their attentions to the characters who could use a creative boost. They might not succeed at the level of Nolan’s unprecedented Batman movies. But the Dark Knight can survive in the cinematic shadows until he’s need for the ensemble Justice League movie … and the braintrust at DC can figure out where the hero goes from there when it’s absolutely necessary.
What do you think? Is it a good idea to shelve Batman until the JLA movie? And where should Batman go after the Justice League movie concludes? Share your thoughts below.