Warner Bros. Chief Jeff Robinov has told The L.A. Times that they will 're-invent' and indeed 'reboot' Batman once Chris Nolan has completed The Dark Knight Rises next year.
We have the third Batman, but then well have to reinvent Batman,Asked if he meant a reboot, he said:
I do... Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.Also announced is a Justice League of America movie (probably featuring Ryan Reynolds' Green Lantern, Henry Cavill's Superman, the new Batman in his first outing, a new Flash, a new Wonder Woman and more) to hit theatres in 2013. That's just one year after the 2012 releases The Dark Knight Rises, and Zack Snyder's Superman: The Man of Steel. This would mean The Dark Knight Rises is the last movie of the current DC Universe, passing the torch to the new Superman movie next December (although GL really kicks it off this summer). The current Batman series has always been an anomaly at Warner Bros because it is a franchise that was so unexpectedly successful (expectations over Batman Begins were modest) that they never wanted to interfere with what director Christopher Nolan was making but at the same time, they were constantly looking over their shoulder jealously at what Marvel were doing. Specifically with their multi-film continuity where characters and actors could weave in and out of several films and basically work as big money advertisements towards an eventual ensemble outing. WB have been looking at The Avengers for a while and they probably expect, as do we, that it will end up being the most popular comic book film of all time. The thinking clearly is that with WB having the two most iconic superhero characters of all time in their canon in Batman and Superman that they know there's a billion dollar movie in the worldwide interest in seeing both characters on screen together but it's not something they could conceive with Chris Nolan at the helm. Nolan has been clear that he sees both characters existing in their own, separate universes and he would never be apart of a JLA movie, and without Nolan, neither would their current Batman, Christian Bale. Warner Bros. want to build to a Justice League movie and after going about it the wrong way four years ago (as a seperate universe to what Nolan was creating) with director George Miller that was scuppered at the last minute, they instead wisely decided to just bide their time, knowing Chris Nolan would probably only make three films anyway before moving on. WB decided to focus on getting a solo Green Lantern movie off the ground and into theatres, along with a new Superman reboot, and quickly the pieces are coming together for a strong DC universe backbone. Henry Cavill and Ryan Reynolds would be Superman and Green Lantern - and now a new JLA ensemble would allow them to introduce a new Batman to the world without the problem of having to do a new backstory/re-introduce The Joker, Gotham City etc - and also add a new actor in as The Flash/Wonder Woman, instead of giving them a solo expensive movie. Instead the spin-off films can come once they've seen the success of the new actors in their roles. Yup even Wonder Woman, despite that new NBC t.v. show;
Wonder Woman could be a film as well, the same way that Superman Returns came out while Smallville was on, Robinov said.It's a bold, ambitious move, effectively rebooting the Batman character on the quiet and not making a HUGE deal about it. All sounds like it could work on paper but I just wonder how much they under-estimate the love for what Nolan has created with his two terrific films to date, with a third close on the horizon. I just hope people at WB don't have short memories because Bat-fans will be quick to turn their back on post-JLA material if it doesn't meet our expectations of the character (see Batman & Robin). The one shred of hope to hold onto is that Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing and will be hanging around the franchise to make sure WB don't totally go off the rails. I would love to hear your thoughts on today's news. Everyone should know where I stand already... these comic book franchises should firmly be about moving forward and not looking back and rebooting. That includes the Spider-Man and X-Men franchises because where's the interest for us in getting invested in these characters and these stories if studio's are just going to turn them on it's head every couple of movies and conveniently say 'well that never happened'. It can only lead to the same stories being told every ten years, or less. How can you reboot a Batman franchise when characters as iconic as The Riddler and The Penguin haven't even be used yet.... it's frightening.