A Batman reboot is inevitable. But we can’t expect the full Nolan.
By Daniel Bettridge
Well, that was emotional. After ten years, three films and 457 minutes of staggering cinema; Christopher Nolan’s Bat trilogy has finally come to an end. The director and his leading man Christian Bale have already said that they won’t be returning to the franchise for any further instalments, but you can bet your Batmobile that the Caped Crusader will be back on our screens.
But is a Batman reboot a good idea? Christopher Nolan certainly thinks so. In interviews which landed on the web yesterday the British director openly backed the notion of a reboot, as did Christian Bale, who said he’d be one of the first in line at the cinema if the character returned to the screen. I’m inclined to agree with them.
After all Batman is a character who over the years has thrived on reinvention.
Originally introduced more than 70 years ago, The Dark Knight has been rebooted, reimagined and reinvigorated countless times over the years. In fact it’s something that comic book fans are all too accustomed to as each new writer and artist brings a fresh take on the hero. So why can’t directors do the same? After all it’s easy to forget that Nolan’s take on the character, no matter how iconic, was itself a reboot.
Any reboot would also open up a wealth of possibilities. There’s literally hundreds of thousands of pages of source material for the studio to plunder and Nolan only began to scratch the surface during his time at the helm. But perhaps the most important consideration, from the studio’s perspective at least, is to tie the character in to their long mooted Justice League movie.
"As one of the holy trinity of DC characters Batman would have to be a part of that picture."
A big screen outing for DC’s big hitting heroes has been stuck in development hell for years now. But given the astronomical success of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble it’s perhaps no surprise that Warner Bros. recently announced that they’re forging ahead with the film which I slated for release as early as 2015.
As one of the holy trinity of DC characters Batman would have to be a part of that picture. But given the grim tone and hyper reality of the universe that Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight calls home, it’s hard to imagine the Christian Bale’s character joining forces with a flying alien and Amazonian goddess to form a spandex-clad super team. In fact the director has always been open about the fact that his is a world that’s not populated by countless superheroes.
As a result any future Batman film is going to be a very different beast to the current incarnation. I suspect it will be altogether lighter, more family-friendly and above all franchise-friendly in terms of the proposed Justice League showpiece. In short it will probably look nothing like Nolan’s Batman, and therein lies the problem.
"It must clearly establish a new version to sidestep the shadow of the Nolan Bat. Reinvention, they must remember, is one of Batman’s greatest strengths."
The current trilogy has set the benchmark by which all future Bat films will be measured, it’s an impossible standard and inevitably any future film will struggle to step out of Nolan and co’s shadow. But as an audience we have to resist the temptation to compare and contrast. A Batman reboot will happen, the character is simply too big to stop. But it must clearly establish a new version to sidestep the shadow of the Nolan Bat. Reinvention, they must remember, is one of Batman’s greatest strengths.
So what do you think? Is a Batman reboot a good idea and what do you think the Caped Crusader’s adventures might look like in the future? Let us know in the comments below.
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