C'mon Hollywood: Don't be in a hurry to reboot Batman!
In just a few months we’ll be treated to Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to his Batman trilogy, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Most are dying to see his Dark Knight grace the screen for the final time, making it a bittersweet finale, since we all know the journey will end. Granted, not everyone knows “how” THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will close its curtains, but we know that the trilogy will be complete and Batman will once again hang in the clouds until another director takes up the reigns and brings him back to the big screen.
However, jumping into the fray too soon could have dire consequences for the character we’ve long enjoyed in his many incarnations, chief among them being overkill with a clumsy, rushed entry. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is going to make enough money for Scrooge McDuck to swim in for a year. That kind of success gets Hollywood rubbing its hands and stomping its feet for more, More, MORE! It makes sense for them, but not for your average moviegoer. I don’t get a check for a million dollars by watching a Batman film (although I’d gladly take my money back for Schumacher’s films). I just enjoy them and have no stake beyond that.
The tendency for any successful business is to go with what sells. And right now, Batman f*cking sells. But, it’s important to remember that it sells because of the thought, care, and vision of the filmmakers, not simply because it’s a man in a batsuit. Despite what many may believe, audiences aren’t drones marching to the beat of the Batman theme song. We want quality and will prove it with our pocketbooks. That’s why Nolan’s Batfilms have been as great as they have.
The talk has already begun to reboot Batman after Nolan’s finale hits theaters and it rattles my nerves. The body’s not even f*cking cold yet and names like Affleck, Vaughn, Aronofsky, Blomkamp, Rithie, Yates, etc., are already being tossed around as contenders to take over. Why can’t we simply enjoy an outstanding trilogy for a little while? Why can’t we let it sit, age a bit, like a fine wine? Give us time to get excited again!
DC is chomping at the bit to make some headway in the feature film market, but can’t seem to do it without Batman. GREEN LANTERN is the perfect example of that. Half-assed and aping the tone of IRON MAN, it failed on every level. SUPERMAN RETURNS was a modest success and it’s too soon to tell if MAN OF STEEL will measure up. With Batman being their cash cow, seeing it come to a close is like euthanizing their golden goose at the end of its life.
I’m all for Batman gracing the big screen again, but it needs to happen at the right time with a smart and creative crew behind it. It shouldn’t be rushed into theaters in order to keep the Bat-pulse pumping. If anything, Warner Bros. should heed the lesson so gracefully taught by Nolan and co., which is approaching the character with a vision, not a timeline.
One of the chief complaints about Sony’s upcoming THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN reboot is that it’s too soon for another one (which, I agree with) and that people are bored with seeing the origin of the character retold. Most average moviegoers know Spidey’s origin at this point. Do we really need another exploration? Consider James Bond. While it would be cool to see an origin story of Bond, it’s not necessary to continue the franchise. His character tells the tale strongly enough.
Now, imagine if you had to sit through an origin of the character every time he graced the screen. It would be an exercise in tedium. And that’s what we’re getting to with these reboots. By that token, I’d love to see the Batman films pick up like a Bond film, foregoing the endless tirade of origin explorations and become a serialized set of films. Whoever said everything has to be a damn trilogy anyway? Hurrying Batman to the screen again, while forcing another origin story down our throats (which has been covered at least 3-4 times at this point) is the equivalent of a hamster on a wheel. Is anyone confused about how or why Batman became Batman? If so, there’s this new invention called Google that will get you all kinds of caught up.
We don’t know what direction the studio will go once Nolan’s trilogy wraps, but I think it’s imperative for them to take stock of what made the films as successful as they were/are and let us fully enjoy them before ramping up another. We love the character and look forward to seeing him in all his Dark Knight glory again, but how about a nice break and some time to rally a kick ass team to handle it before jumping the gun and shooting your wad on something half-assed? Both Batman and audiences deserve that much.
|Extra Tidbit:||All right...go ahead...let's hear your dream team for the next Batman film. I'd personally like to see Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns adapted by someone like Aronofsky or Proyas. It'll never happen, but there it is.|