Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why Batman Shouldn’t Be Rebooted in 2015

If it’s not already painfully obvious, everyone loves Nolan’s version of Batman (alright, to be unbiased, it does have its fair share of “non-believers”). The last installation of Nolan’s reboot is planned for a theatrical release next year, and the box office will feel the sting of millions of fans preordering their tickets, and theaters will shake with the clamor of excitement as everyone waits in anticipation to discover how the trilogy will conclude.

Three years afterwards, fans of The Bat will have another live-action movie to look forward to. We would all be excited to see Nolan directing Bale, Caine, and the usual bunch in a fourth movie, but if plans for a new Batman don’t fall through, that won’t be the case. This new Batman project is intended as a completely new reboot, scrapping the previous canon established by Nolan. We’ve already seen The Green Lantern hit theaters, Man of Steel (the new Superman reboot, funny because the last reboot only lasted for one film) is currently filming, and there is speculation about a Wonder Woman flick. While this isn’t a comprehensive list of the heroes one would expect to see in a Justice League movie, the push towards producing so many superhero movies based on characters from the DC universe strikes me as odd considering only Marvel has really been pushing for big-screen adaptations of their material.

Doubtlessly, it was Nolan’s Batman Begins that set the stage for DC to begin moving forward with more movies based on their heroes. And it’s that exact stage-setting that makes this such an inopportune moment for yet another Batman reboot to arise. Even if Nolan is included on the team responsible for its creation, the expectation for it to live up to its predecessor will be a thorn in its side throughout both the production and marketing processes. Concurrently, with the intent of making the reboot of a different nature than the Begins series, people will expect to see something entirely different. Traces of Nolan’s influence will only serve to compound confusion in differentiating between the two reboots and to bring the canon of the Batman film franchise into question. Most importantly, many hearts have been captivated by Christian Bale’s Batman, and four years from now when the reboot is currently scheduled to be released, those captive hearts won’t have come close to forgetting what’s probably the best live iteration of Batman to date.

But as I begin to probe deeper into this situation, I stumble upon quite an interesting thought: Bale is adverse to the notion of sharing the spotlight with another actor. After all, he threatened to drop the role of the Caped Crusader if Robin was added to the cast. Yeah, that’s probably only because he had a bad experience with the original Batman and Robin, as so many have, but it still makes an interesting point. If Bale won’t share the screen with a single sidekick, why would he share it with multiple? To my knowledge, there has yet to be a big ensemble superhero film to hit Hollywood, so most recurring superhero actors are probably more than used to walking the path of righteous justice alone.

As of now, I’m not sure if Bale has been approached about taking the role of Batman in the Justice League movie, but I do know that the chances of someone else being able to replace what he left us with is slim. A Batman reboot should wait a good ten years after The Dark Knight Rises, when the hype has died down, and we become thirsty to revisit the cinematic presence of everyone’s favorite powerless superhero.