Thoughts on Superhero Movies
With next year’s The Dark Knight Rises ending the current Nolan Batman trilogy of films, I am wondering what exactly is coming next with the franchise. Is the succeeding films going to follow along with the Gotham City envisioned by Nolan or will it be a reboot, with a new origin for Bruce Wayne/ Batman? Given the recent changes in the Spiderman franchise, I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a reboot.
Earlier today, I was listening to Comicvine’s podcast, and they were discussing the latest news about The Dark Knight Rises. When the discussion came around to what comes next, they seemed to suppose a reboot is on the horizon. I am honestly wary of such a prospect.
To be honest, I like Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns to Nolan’s two outings. I do like the gritty realism that Nolan imparts, but the adherence to realism also causes some problems (like limiting the possible villain pool or no Robins). With a new direction, could a redemption of Poison Ivy be in the offing or better interpretations of Robin and Batgirl? Hell, will Jason Todd or Tim Drake or Damian Wayne get a chance to be Robin in addition to Dick Grayson?
I want continuation in the Batman series. I want to see Dick Grayson, Barbra Gordon, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne all get some screen time. I don’t want to have a retread of the Joker, Catwoman, Ra’s al Ghul, etc. again. I don’t want a repeated origin story. I get that Hollywood is, for the moment, obsessed with origin stories and reboots. Spiderman is getting one, Batman’s already had one, the X-Men may or may not have had one (I hope that one has had one), and I don’t know if Superman is getting one or not.
I want something like the James Bond series applied to these comic book movie franchises. Except for a few interruptions (and the recent reboot), Bond has been both steady and easily open to reinterpretation. The first Bonds with Connery are different from the Bonds with Moore. Now, as long as there aren’t any more Schumachers or Die Another Days, I don’t see why the Batman series cannot continue on like the Bond series, just change directors and lead actors every few movies or so.
But with my luck, I’m thinking that the next Batman movie will be another reboot with a whole new cast and another take on the Joker. Now, I know that most of this post has been about Batman, and I haven’t touched on many of the others. The thing is that I’m a huge Batman fan and am not as fond of some of the others (I liked the X-Men trilogy, Thor, and a few others). However, my concerns are mostly linked to Batman.
My hand wringing over The Dark Knight Rises‘s successor film my be an indication that, for me, film may not be the best format for comic books. I get that they make the most money, but really, a serial format is more suited to the serial format of comic books. To be honest, I think Batman the Animated Series and X-Men are the best adaptations of those series. Above the cinematic portrayals of the Joker, there is Mark Hamill’s definitive Joker.
Of course, I look forward to The Dark Knight Rises and whatever Batman movie follows.