Why Joseph Gordon-Levitt shouldn't be Batman

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Posted by k4tzm4n (39869 posts) - - Show Bio

We all know by now that Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character (Robin John Blake) becomes Batman at the end of The Dark Knight Rises or at least attempts to follow in his footsteps. Sometime later, rumors began to circulate that he'd play the Dark Knight in DC's future movies. I thought this was a horrid idea but never spoke up because JGL's camp shot down the notion. However, the internet has combusted once again with the rumor after the website Movieline asked director Christopher Nolan about the idea.

According to the site, they asked the talented director if we could expect to see JGL appear as a cameo in Man of Steel, or anyone else, as Batman. They then asked if said potential cameo would tie-in to the 2015 Justice League film. In response, Nolan apparently smiled and said "I can't talk about that. You know that," in a cheerful manner.

So because of his apparently positive emotion and not bluntly saying "no," people are once again speculating. As you can tell by the title of this article, I think this is a downright bad idea. Don't get me wrong, I think JGL is a terrific actor, but using him for the follow-up films seems to be a poor decision.

First and foremost, Batman needs to be Bruce Wayne. This isn't mindless fanboy rambling over minor changes. I can tolerate small changes -- altercations to origins, costume changes, etc -- as long as it's done well, I can handle it. Films are only inspired by the source material, after all. But if you're going to begin a new franchise with Batman, Bruce Wayne being under the cowl is simply a must have. We wouldn't have John F. Walker or Bucky as Captain America in the first Marvel's The Avengers. Eventually? Sure, a sidekick taking the mantle can be a powerful thing if handled well as a franchise progresses. But by all accounts, I view the trilogy as a standalone franchise. Additionally, Robin John Blake isn't even a comic book character. If you're going to have someone as the new Batman, shouldn't it at least stay remotely true to the source material?

== TEASER ==

"But what if Nolan's trilogy is in the same world as Man of Steel and Justice League?" Well, it shouldn't be. One of the many things that made Nolan's movieverse so exceptional was the fact it was grounded in reality. There wasn't a bigger picture outside of Gotham City. The notion of people flying or aliens invading just doesn't fit into the trilogy's universe and it was transparent Nolan didn't want his world to connect to DC's bigger picture. And if there were men flying around and all sorts of craziness taking place, we would have heard about it over the course of the films. However, Nolan made no attempt to draw any connections to the other (upcoming) franchises.

All of the easter eggs were Batman related. Everything was done in a manner that was remotely believable and we were supposed to think it could happen in real life. Bane wasn't a superhuman dude and there was a reason for his pain tolerance and edge in strength. Ra's al Ghul wasn't immortal and there wasn't a Lazarus Pit. Having this universe connected to the likes of Superman and others wouldn't work. In fact, the only way it would work is if all of these superhuman events started to conveniently happen after The Dark Knight Rises. It's a possibility and that would make things much easier to swallow , but then that brings us directly back to my point that Batman as a member of the Justice Leagueshould be Bruce Wayne.

Why? Because as much as I love JGL, his character is an atrocious Batman. Bruce Wayne traveled the world and studied with the League of Assassins. He trained for years and despite this, he was still barely able to overcome the odds Gotham threw at him. What did Robin do? He could barely handle two goons (not to mention he had to use his gun) and even though he's motivated (or a "hot head" as Foley loved to say), he sure felt like a rookie. Come on, a severely weakened Commissioner Gordon got the jump on him and then had to teach him to "check his corners." Know what happens to Batman if he doesn't check his corners? He dies. Robin's inspired and means well, but let's be real here, the kid's dead after a running the rooftops and trying to fight crime for a month (at most).

The Dark Knight Rises had a perfect ending for him. The notion of JGL following in Wayne's footsteps and sticking around to carry on Batman's legacy is a powerful and incredibly moving concept. But if we take a step back and think about what really happens after the credits stop, then the odds aren't exactly in his favor.

"What if they make him Bruce Wayne and disregard the other movies?" Well, that would just confuse a fair chunk of the general audience. To be blunt, I think there are better choices for Bruce Wayne out there, too. Frankly, casting JGL from Robin to Bruce would be puzzling to a good portion of people. I mean, it would be like casting The Human Torch as Captain America. How crazy would that be, right? Oh, wait... (just playing, I think Evans does an able job) Now, casting JGL as Dick Grayson is something I could absolutely get behind in spite of it confusing a portion of moviegoers.

JGL is a fantastic actor and if he does end up involved, I'll obviously do my best to keep an open mind until I see the final product. After all, I have no idea what Warner Bros. has up their sleeve for the expanding DC movieverse. That said, I'd really prefer if the Nolanverse ends with The Dark Knight Rises. Batman should be Bruce Wayne, TDKR should be the end of a great story, and Robin John Blake definitely isn't fit for the cowl.

Do you think Nolan's trilogy should connect to the upcoming DC films? Or do you think JGL should be Batman even if the films aren't connected? Once again, this is still just a rumor.

Source: Movieline

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. At the end of the day, he could probably stomach anyone being under the cowl if the movie's solid.

#1 Posted by RoboShark (2430 posts) - - Show Bio

Spoiler warning? Come on.

#2 Posted by sunhawk (650 posts) - - Show Bio

i would be happy to see a JGL Nightwing cameo in Man of Steel.

#3 Posted by k4tzm4n (39869 posts) - - Show Bio

@RoboShark said:

Spoiler warning? Come on.

I sincerely hope that's sarcasm.

#4 Posted by CBninja (175 posts) - - Show Bio

First let me say I JGL is a good actor and him as night wing with no ties to the Nolan verse is a good idea. But the ending of TDKR was the dumbest part of that movie. How is a cop with zero training going to do what Bruce did. Answer he's not he would die very shortly, and then Batman would be no more. Besides I've always seen Batman and Superman to be about the same size. JGL is no where close to Henry Cavils size.

#5 Posted by xAnimosity (202 posts) - - Show Bio

@sunhawk said:

i would be happy to see a JGL Nightwing cameo in Man of Steel.

This ^^^. He just doesnt have the look or style for Batman. Making a new character Batman, would be like making a new character Superman. It just doesnt work.

#6 Posted by inferiorego (24296 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait... There's a third Nolan Batman film? Where have I been?

#7 Posted by ME24601 (130 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the idea of Joseph Gordon Levitt being in the Justice League, but he definitely shouldn't be Batman. He would make a really good Green Lantern if they chose to not use Ryan Reynolds, and he would also make a pretty good Flash.

#9 Posted by MASFUEG0 (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Everything you said is absolutely dead on!!! I might boycott the Justice League film personally if JGL has anything related to batman in it.

#10 Posted by kingdomenic (216 posts) - - Show Bio

@RoboShark said:

Spoiler warning? Come on.

I know. The movie isn't even out on hologram disk or instant cerebral download!

#11 Posted by GothamRed (2615 posts) - - Show Bio

If they made him Dick Grayson and not ....ugh... Robin Blake, then I might be fine with him playing a further role in batman related media, but otherwise I think the ending of DKR should be it for all the actors in those films to be in Batman films.

#12 Posted by Gundam101 (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't see how this writer has such a negative attitude to this character. He probably hasn't reAd one batman comic Bruce Wayne hasn't always been batman there is splint we're dick Grayson becomes batman for a while. Even a boy named terry McGinnis has become batman in batman beyond due to batman being so old he can't fight anymore. I think if the character has the ability and the mentality to fight for Gotham he can become batman

#13 Posted by JLDoom (2358 posts) - - Show Bio

He definitely shouldnt be Batman

#14 Posted by paulcousins (30 posts) - - Show Bio

Another point I've heard which makes absolute sense is that Batman is actually two separate characters depending on the writer or series. Imagine the Nolanverse Batman with a space station and teleportation device. The Justice league Batman is a super genius that develops his own tech and can hack into alien technology; that genius level intellect carries over to his fighting ability. Bruce Wayne needs to be reinvented for the justice league movie; that Batman is more than a man he is the best of man.

#15 Posted by namtabmi (102 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree 100% Batman IS Bruce Wayne. If they want JGL involved make him Nightwing, but I'd prefer a fresh slate -- keep the Nolan trilogy in the Nolanverse.

#16 Posted by MuyJingo (2828 posts) - - Show Bio

I've never understood the argument that the trilogy would not work in an expanded universe. It's very silly.

The fact that there was no mention of flying men or aliens or lanterns or other stuff does not mean it doesn't exist. It just means it didn't need to be mentioned. Most of the time when you read a Batman story consisting of a few issues, there is no mention of any of that stuff. Because the focus in on Batman in Gotham, there doesn't need to be a mention of it.

The films also were not as grounded in reality as people like to think. Could the Nolan Batman work in a JL universe? I think it could, the problem would be that the Nolan Batman isn't a strategist or detective so I can't really see him as being useful.

As far as the article, hell no JGL should not be Batman. Give us Bruce Wayne, as a Detective. Give us some matchstick malone undercover work. The grey and black. Investigate and outwit someone, on screen.

I feel like the JL movie is already doomed if they tie it into Man of Steel, a nolanized superman.

#17 Posted by Superbat420 (280 posts) - - Show Bio

Who cares, it's a great idea. People should stop complaining and embrace it, if it's a good movie who cares who's behind the mask? Wasn't that the point of dkr that anybody could be batman? I love batman and all and hated John Blake but if justice league turns out to be a good movie I'll support it.

#18 Posted by k4tzm4n (39869 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gundam101 said:

I don't see how this writer has such a negative attitude to this character. He probably hasn't reAd one batman comic Bruce Wayne hasn't always been batman there is splint we're dick Grayson becomes batman for a while. Even a boy named terry McGinnis has become batman in batman beyond due to batman being so old he can't fight anymore. I think if the character has the ability and the mentality to fight for Gotham he can become batman

To be blunt, the entire 7th paragraph makes it more than clear why I don't believe Robin John Blake is ready to be Batman.

I think it's hilarious you believe I haven't read a Batman comic because I think he's a poor fit for the cowl. Nowhere did I ever say "no one else can ever be Batman."

#19 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1395 posts) - - Show Bio

Bruce Wayne = Batman agree, definately can see him as a true Robin or something in the future!

#20 Posted by Lvenger (25695 posts) - - Show Bio
Loading Video...

ItsjustsomeRandomguy's latest video makes some excellent points too on this subject matter. And it's funny to boot.

#21 Posted by MonarchofMotion (289 posts) - - Show Bio

“Why don’t you use your full name…. Dick Robin John Blake Grayson.”

#22 Posted by k4tzm4n (39869 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger said:

Loading Video...

ItsjustsomeRandomguy's latest video makes some excellent points too on this subject matter. And it's funny to boot.

Ha! That's great!

#23 Edited by SimonM7 (108 posts) - - Show Bio

I think there are reasons they shouldn't bring "Robin John Blake" into Justice League, but none of them are brought up in this article, I reckon.

Nolan's Batman movies weren't built with Justice League in mind, and all the stuff that exists in them exists within their own frame of what feels plausible. This is true, but it's definitely not deal breakingly true. In Iron Man, there were no actual allusions to super human strength or fantastical abilities, and even though Iron Man as a movie exists wall-to-wall with stories that feature infinitely more outlandish stakes, Tony Stark's struggles with reasonably human predicaments aren't at all cheapened. You buy that missiles = considerably bad, even though the Hulk could prolly just chew them up in his movie.

Avengers had mental things happening, and now that the Iron Man 3 trailer is out, surely blowing up Tony's fancy apartment shouldn't faze us at all? Of course it does. It's because of tone and the language a movie speaks - a tone and language that a movie can re-establish just as easily as it establishes them.

Sticking Nolan's Batman in Justice League would be a puzzle the writers would have to solve, but it's nowhere near as unsolvable as this article - and many others - suggest. When you reinsert Nolan's Batman back into its own context, you just need to make that boundary clear through the storytelling techniques employed.

I also don't think Justice League Batman necessarily needs to be Bruce Wayne, but it sure as hell can't be their cobbled together fanservice name "Robin John Blake". It made zero sense as a name in TDKR, and if you're gonna have a different Batman than Bruce Wayne on the big screen, you really better make it Dick Grayson, or someone fucked up somewhere. They, um... arguably already did when they didn't let him be Dick Grayson in TDKR I guess.

And finally, I just don't think a Batman moving forward should need the "baggage" of Nolan's films. This is technically a great opportunity to get the character of Batman - and even to a degree Bruce Wayne - right. If you told mainstream people that Batman is a detective, I think they would go "Nnnnooo.. that doesn't sound right.. I'm pretty sure he's a self employed, one man PMC that wages war on crime with his tanks and jets and stuff".

Also, you're eventually coming up on Batman stuff that would just be diminished by viewing it through Nolan's lens, because you suck the fun out of it by forcing it to adhere to such strict rules of realism.

It's disappointing that Nolan ended on a pretty weak film, but I still think they should leave his trilogy alone and create a more charismatic Batman universe. In it you would be able to have sideways wide shots of his silhouette, jumping over rooftops and stuff - and standing atop buildings makes an impressionistic sort of sense, as opposed to ZERO SENSE in Nolan's films. Seriously, how did he even get up there?

So, yeah. I'm opposed to JGL in Justice League, too, but for different reasons.

#24 Posted by Atary77 (88 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree 100%. The Nolan movies need to exist in their own dark little bubble and be left alone! Man of Steel needs to be the start of something NEW not just connecting things just because of popularity!

#25 Posted by ComicAddict2814 (71 posts) - - Show Bio

Well written, I agree with this completely. JGL great for DKR, bad for Batman in upcoming films for all the reasons pointed out here. Great article Katz! I'm happy someone put this out there.

#26 Edited by TheMultiverse (160 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree over 9000%. nuff said. Well Written. Don't do it. Just. Don't. Do. it. JGL is the man, but he can't be THAT man. that man being Bruce Wayne. It's not up to us though, They'll do what they want anyway.

If the first time Supe meets batman, and it's NOT Bruce............ they'll be finished in our eyes from there. I wouldn't be able to take that seriously at all. (pun intended)

#27 Edited by War Killer (21012 posts) - - Show Bio
@Lvenger said:
Loading Video...

ItsjustsomeRandomguy's latest video makes some excellent points too on this subject matter. And it's funny to boot.

Pretty much explains why he wouldn't work as Batman. Really good points.
#28 Posted by LeaderVladimir (195 posts) - - Show Bio

JGL would indeed be a horrible Batman. Sure, John Blake was great, but if the JL movie is made, Bruce Wayne has to be Batman in order to mark the differences between him and Superman.

#29 Posted by TDK_1997 (16362 posts) - - Show Bio

The whole plot of Joseph following Bruce's steps was really powerful and it touched me deep but I also don't wnat him to be the new actor that will play Batman.I want him to become Nightwing or Robin.That's what fits him better.

#30 Posted by SynCig (959 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with everyone saying that JGL would be a poor fit. Every point that the article made was spot on. I would be cool with a JGL Nightwing because his physique and stature match that character much better. With that said, I personally wouldn't want to see Nightwing in the first Justice League movie or even the first Batman solo film afterwards so I hope the rumors aren't true.

#31 Posted by velvetmeds (85 posts) - - Show Bio

I definitely DISAGREE about Batman needing to be Bruce wayne....as long as the cowl was first worn by him. Which does bring a few problems to the table...but as long as they are creative enough to get around it without ruining the Nolan trilogy or the JL movie itself, i don't mind seeing JGL playing the part. I do agree that he'd make a better Nightwing though..

#32 Posted by sora_thekey (8694 posts) - - Show Bio

@kingdomenic said:

@RoboShark said:

Spoiler warning? Come on.

I know. The movie isn't even out on hologram disk or instant cerebral download!

Haha! ^This^ made me laugh!!!

#33 Posted by sentryman555 (883 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree that Batman in the JL movie should be Bruce Wayne thats common sense but if they did a stand alone movie after TDKR then John Blake could definitely work! The one thing I didn't like about your argument here was that John Blake didn't have the skills to be batman. That whole problem can be written out with a time skip. Since he leaves the gotham police at the end of the movie nothing is holding him down and who's to say he wouldn't try to go on a journey like Bruce did?

#34 Edited by kid Apollo (856 posts) - - Show Bio

straight up Batman should be intimidating, JGL is about 5'8. Cavill is about 6 foot even and who ever they get to play WW is probably going to be statuesque. no one finds Batman frightening when he's standing on a phone book!

#35 Posted by Pokeysteve (9700 posts) - - Show Bio

Cause he's a 110lbs and goofy looking.....

#36 Posted by spidershamrock (1729 posts) - - Show Bio

I only like the idea of Batman in a JL movie if he took a supervisory/commanding role and stayed behind in base to coordinate or if they came to him half way through the movie for help with formulating a plan. He doesnt fit in the super world unless he invents some strength enhancing device that works for a limited time only for the movie. JGL should not play Nightwing either as he is too old, I think Nightwing should be some 21 year old who still looks younger and is agile, JGL doesnt look thta agile

#37 Posted by Grey56 (806 posts) - - Show Bio

Agreed, sir. Word for word.

#38 Posted by Chaos Burn (1897 posts) - - Show Bio

don't care about who is who as long as the film is good

#39 Edited by leokearon (1960 posts) - - Show Bio

Where did it say that Blake was going to be Batman in Dark Knight Rises? He could become Nightwing or even Azarel for all we know.

Also saying that only Bruce Wayne can be Batman is a lie and very short minded, especially since he wasn't the first Batman

#40 Posted by fodigg (6229 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, the Batman of the Nolanverse is more of a commando who uses gadgets anyway, so I could see the RJB character building himself into that at least.

I don't think it's a terrible idea. I think they could do worse than expand from the groundwork laid by the Nolan Batman films, especially if Superman is supposed to be a thematic continuation of that at least to some degree. They could do it and it could be good, but it wouldn't necessarily be better than rebooting with a new Bruce in JL. Either method would work depending on implementation. I just disagree that the RJB batman idea is entirely without merit.

#41 Posted by HempKnight757 (157 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate this whole notion about "Nolan's world is grounded in reality". It is Batman. Anytime anyone starts the conversation about what if superheroes were real the first guy usually brought up is Batman. If you got the money you could do it. With lots of training of course. Batman's villains are all kinda of grounded or can be. It isn't like say Spider-Man. I would say all Batman comics are kinda of grounded if done properly. Court of Owls for instant would be a great believable story taken to film. I will laugh when it just ends up being Bale & everyone assumed he wouldn't. Or maybe they establish the new Batman not JGL. I think if they did use JGL they could just say it was Bruce's idea to start the Justice League. Then maybe Bruce eventually comes back for the cowl cause JGL can't handle it. Doubt Bale would do it though. Just get Armie Hammer. I am hoping that introduce WW, but after news of the show who knows.

#42 Posted by Lvenger (25695 posts) - - Show Bio

@fodigg: Rebooting the Batman franchise to fit with the Justice League universe would certainly be a far better strategy than continuing JGL as Batman. Besides a film of this kind should at least keep in touch with the source material and there's also the fact JGL would make a terrible Batman based on his showings in TDKR. And he doesn't have the money to wage war on crime like Bruce did. Just the cave, costume and batmobile.

#43 Edited by ComicMan24 (147511 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, I would rather see someone else portray Batman in future movies. Have nothing against JGL but I just can't imagine him as Batman.

@inferiorego said:

Wait... There's a third Nolan Batman film? Where have I been?

Nah, that was just an internet rumour. Don't listen to people saying that it exists.

#44 Posted by evilvegeta74 (4673 posts) - - Show Bio

He should play Batman!

#45 Posted by Novemberx2 (505 posts) - - Show Bio

surely the pit in the Dark Knight Rises is the Lazarus Pit, but its effect are metaphorical? you come out of the pits of hell reborn with purpose

#46 Posted by Spideycap (326 posts) - - Show Bio

Even if you want to underestimate Blake, you can't underestimate Bruce. I guarantee that Bruce had some kind of training program waiting for Blake in the cave. Batman finds a way to win, and I personally thing Blake showed all the qualities of someone capable of donning the mantle. With all of that said though, I don't think he should appear as Batman in JL either.

#47 Posted by evilvegeta74 (4673 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman,yeah ok!!!!

#48 Posted by stumpy49er (965 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, I've been a fan of JGL ever since I saw him in Manic about 9 years ago.

That said, the whole 'Robin' thing in DKR really irked me. I have a few friends that actually stood up in the theater and booed when they heard that part.

If 'Robin' John Blake appears as Batman, I will not see this movie.

#49 Posted by OutlawRenegade (1394 posts) - - Show Bio
The Batman/Bruce Wayne
#50 Posted by fables87 (1488 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the Batman movies just just end. Their is way too many of them. Same with Superman. DC Comics should focus on doing movies with new characters we haven't really seen on the big screen like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, or Flash. Enough with the remakes and sequels. It's time for some new heroes to step in the spotlight.

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