Rebooting the Batman Movie Franchise

Posted by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

So a while back my buddy Sam wrote a post on his blog about female superheroes who could helm a movie. Among his pics was Black Canary (I disagreed about headlining, but I would like to see her in one). That got me to this response in which I map out an entire series of Batman films, including spinoffs. I've done a few touchups to make it a little easier to follow, I hope. It's not super in depth, but I think it could work because Batman has a built in audience more than any other comic book character. There are a few basic rules if you have the guts to commit to a giant series: you don't need to worry about it getting stale and needing to be rebooted every few years if you have the stories to back it up, you can get away with casting changes (Rhodey in Iron Man 2) but unlike comics, never kill off any villains (Two-Face's death in Dark Knight was its biggest problem).

Follow along closely, it’s a long winding path. FIRST let me just say, Batman shouldn’t be in the Justice League (he wasn’t in the original lineup, it’s not that far fetched). He should be in the movie, but at the end he should decide not to join. He could say something about “not being a team player” or “not getting along with others” even though that’s not true, as we’ll see coming up (it’s his compulsive need to be in control). Then we spinoff into the Batman movie, which ends with signs showing “Halley’s Circus Coming Soon to Gotham!” Batman 2 introduces Robin, and Batman 3 introduces Batgirl and ends with Dick Grayson moving on to become Nightwing. Then we spinoff into the Batgirl movie, which gets followed up by the Birds of Prey (based on the old DCU line up. None of this Poison Ivy as a good guy, New52 bullshit). Obviously, Black Canary would a pretty huge role, as she and Barbara formed the Birds of Prey together. At the same time we can have Batman 4: A Death in the Family. That gets followed up by Batgirl 2: The Killing Joke. I know “The Killing Joke” isn’t actually a Batgirl story, but that’s why I think it would succeed. The first two acts would just be some generic Batgirl story, then that the end of act two, the Joker shows up and shoots civilian Barbara Gordon and kidnaps her. To have a villain take out the protagonist’s secret identity without knowing about her alter ego would be a great twist, and knowledge of a Batman “cameo” which turns out to be for the entire 3rd act would put butts in seats. After that movie you get Batman 5, introducing Tim Drake’s Robin, and then Birds of Prey 2, with the debut of Oracle. This time the team is led by Black Canary (not sure if you could say she “helms” it), who is getting intel from the mysterious, puts-Wikileaks-to-shame, information broker, Oracle who isn’t revealed to be Barbara until sometime in the second act. And with Barbara as Oracle, and Tim is Robin we can finally have Batgirl 3 starring Cassandra Cain, the greatest Batgirl ever, and one of the greatest comic book characters ever. I’ve just mapped out 6 to 10 years worth of Batman movies! All of which could be stories loved by comic fans and able to be adapted from mainstream audience!

Here's where I think New52 also screwed up their timeline: ages. This is the timeline as I see it and it totally works in this movie series timeline too. Bruce starts being Batman at 22. He Batman for a year before Dick becomes Robin. Bruce is 8 years older than Dick. Dick is Robin at age 15 for 3 years, before he becomes Nightwing at 18. Jason is 2 years younger than Dick and is Robin for less than 2 years, and Bruce has no Robin for maybe 6 months. Tim is between 5 and 6 years younger than Dick, so when Tim is Robin, Dick is around 21, Tim's 15 or 16, and Bruce is about 28 creeping on 29. The age range is very important because it explains the relationship dynamics. Dick can't be too young when he becomes Robin or it gets really awkward around child endangerment. He needs to be old enough that teenage angst and could drive him to attempt to take vengeance without having Batman to channel that grief/rage and young enough that he thinks he's invincible (not literally). But Bruce can't be so old that they'd have an actual father-son dynamic, more like a mentor/big brother. And once he's kinda set the precedent, the other Robins start at the same age. And the Robins need to be close enough in age with each other to have a brother-brother relationship.

#1 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

For a Batman movie reboot, just continue with no Robins. For a first Batman movie, better to start with Joker again. Lots of good Joker comic book stories that can be used for a Batman movie.

#2 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells: as lame as it sounds, I didn't want to get bogged down in those details when I first wrote out this timeline, but I think because we're skipping an origin and a year one story, I'd probably start with The Man Who Laughs. GREAT Joker story, defines their relationship, takes place early in his Batman career.

#3 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells said:

For a Batman movie reboot, just continue with no Robins. For a first Batman movie, better to start with Joker again. Lots of good Joker comic book stories that can be used for a Batman movie.

im sure alot of people are gonna make comparisons you know...

#4 Edited by Weddep (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@Fantasgasmic said:

FIRST let me just say, Batman shouldn’t be in the Justice League (he wasn’t in the original lineup, it’s not that far fetched).

Huh?

#5 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

@Fantasgasmic said:

FIRST let me just say, Batman shouldn’t be in the Justice League (he wasn’t in the original lineup, it’s not that far fetched).

Well, i doubt many people give a little damn about the original line up, which dates several decades...

#6 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

For the reboot of Batman movies, can do villains like Dr Death, Hugo Strange and save Joker for the 3rd movie. Maybe let the early Batman use a machine gun on criminals.

#7 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

@Weddep: Back in the calssic DCU the original Justice League lineup didn't contain Batman.

@FatihBATMAN: I'm not saying the movies should follow the original Starro lineup, I'm not saying it should even follow a specific comic book era lineup, I'm just saying that in my mind, which was heavily influenced by the 90s when I got into comics and the Timm-verse DCAU, Batman would decide against joining up. Batman likes to be in control, and would be hesitant to trust the Leaguers with his secrets.

#8 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

i agree also with u

#9 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6134 posts) - - Show Bio

Where did you hear that Batman wasn't in the original line-up? Everywhere I've seen states that it was Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter.

#10 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

@V_Scarlotte_Rose: IIRC, neither Superman nor Batman were in the lineup in The Brave and the Bold 28. When I was younger (i.e. the 90s) I remember reading the story in a book of reprints a friend's brother had. As a young Batman fanatic it stood out to me.

#11 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6134 posts) - - Show Bio

@Fantasgasmic: According to the description on here, "The Justice League of America first appear with Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter teaming to spare the denizens of Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, from the mental thrall of Starro the Conquerer. Superman and Batman are revealed as fellow JLA members, although they do not aid in the adventure."

#12 Posted by The Stegman (23160 posts) - - Show Bio

I say don't do an origins story, we don't need it, people know how Batman became Batman, I would do what Burton did and just start a movie with the Caped Crusader already in action in Gotham.

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