This news coming out the ears of the Internet about the future of Batman and Superman on film sure is something!
In case you have been living under a rock (or just haven’t Googled anything about The Dark Knight because you thought it was over) will need to catch up pretty fast. Now this will probably feel a bit like whiplash right at first but here it goes.
1. Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas could allegedly be producing either a Justice League film or a Superman/Batman World’s Finest flick.
2. Zack Snyder would be attached to direct and possibly David Goyer would write the screenplay.
3. (Hold steady) Christian Bale would return as Batman if Christopher Nolan was involved, alongside Henry Cavil’s Superman. That’s right! The same Batman who just hung up his cape and cowl, moved to Italy, and faked his own death. What the hell?!
This news comes as a bit of a shock to me and quite frankly I’m not sure how to react. For one thing, The Dark Knight Rises was touted endlessly as the conclusion of the Dark Knight saga. Not just the end of the trilogy mind you, but the end of Bruce Wayne’s story. Introducing another story after the finale of Rises will just seem tacked on and forced no matter how well its written, directed, acted, or explained. This of course is not to say that it won’t work and be incredibly enjoyable to see. But no matter how you slice it, The Dark Knight Rises will cease to be the ending we all accepted back in July.
Now I’m sure many fans out there are feeling just as conflicted as I am about all of this. We feel as though Christian Bale returning as Batman in any context is a dream come true after feeling for so long that we would never see him again. That being said we also have to contemplate the fact that Nolan’s established Batman world (grounded in a promised reality) will be viewed differently knowing super powered aliens will exist someday in that universe. Of course on the other hand, seeing Batman and Superman on film has forever been an impossible dream, much less a reality with a dream-team creating it. Like I said, “conflicted!”
Of course this raises so many questions where Nolan’s Batman is concerned. Will John Blake actually remain the Batman of Gotham while Bruce is away fighting General Zod in outer space? Will Blake become Robin or Nightwing and help out around the Fortress of Solitude? Where will Selina Kyle go if her boyfriend gets Omega Sanctioned? How annoyed is Alfred going to be after getting put through the wringer just to have Bruce tell him he was just kidding about retiring and being happy? I know this all sounds like the ending cliffhanger from an episode of the 60′s Batman show, but all these questions will need to be answered in order for any of this tie-in to make sense.
Putting aside the clear cut finality of Rises and all the promises that it would mark the end of Bruce Wayne’s story as Batman, clearly this film wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. Just the fact that Nolan and Bale would be involved once again would give this film so much bankable credit, that it would almost certainly be a fine film. Much of this I still believe is incredibly preliminary and still hinges on the success of The Man of Steel. Though the film has already been reviewed by Warner Bros. executives who seem to be happy, this is also a company who felt Green Lantern was a good film. Of course I find it hard to believe that if Warner Bros. hated the film that they would advertise those feelings. It wouldn’t make too much sense after all to tell audiences their big summer blockbuster is destined to be a flop before it even premiers.
The reality here as always when it comes to DC characters sharing a film is that Warner Bros. are clearly trying to combat Marvel and The Avengers. As this is no doubt the case, perhaps DC has finally come up with a way to make this happen. Clearly there would be no better way to promote a DC buddy film than to have Christian Bale return to play Batman.
Yes the return of Nolan’s Batman into a super powered alien inhabited universe will need some explaining. Ok tons of explaining. There will be plenty of fans who hate everything about this. Many fans are probably in ecstasy about this news as well. At this incredibly early stage of speculation, my first instinct is to feel very betrayed at the thought of The Dark Knight Trilogy not telling me the full story as it always promised to do. I have always been curious to see a live action Superman/Batman film but as of right now it just feels forced.
If Nolan, Bale, and Goyer are involved I’m sure it will be a fine film, and the concept of getting more Nolan Batman is incredibly enticing. The scariest part of all is that this film will somehow tarnish the trilogy that we all know and love. It seems like we could have a Schumacher Batman and Robin situation of our hands. I’m not saying it will be as goofy, but it certainly has the potential to stall the franchise that gave so much to DC and Warner Bros if it fails. Is this really a chance that needs to be taken? We will just need to wait and see!
This article was first posted on March 6, 2013