EDITORIAL: How Warner Brothers Could Reboot Batman Successfully

EDITORIAL: How Warner Brothers Could Reboot Batman Successfully

With Warner Bros. wanting to establish a DC cinematic universe, many believe the best way to go is to just reboot the franchise. I give my take on how this could be done right and possibly be the closest adaptation of Batman that we have ever received.

With Christopher Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY finished, there has been some debate on weather or not they should continue the story to later involve Batman in a Justice League movie. However many people, like myself, feel that although Christopher Nolan's films were great, a reboot is the way to go. But how should they do this? For the sake of argument, even if WB went ahead and rebooted the franchise, what should be done in order for this reboot to succeed? Here is my "formula" on how to successfully reboot Batman.

Do NOT Try To Beat Christopher Nolan's Films

Although these films were great and were centered around The Caped Crusader, in order for a reboot to be established they must not be used to compare/contrast because they will be too different. Nolan grounded his films in reality and although the newer films should have some realism and not be too fake (i.e. Batman and Robin), the objective is to stride away from Nolan's films and establish a new, independent franchise. It would be impossible to try and beat his films because they will be too different and if they are used as a "guideline", we will have a repeat of the Nolan films.

Show Future Villains

Now, what I mean by "showing them" is acknowledge that they exist. Once again, we want to try to further establish this is a different universe than Nolan's. A nod to Killer Croc or a mentioning of Poison Ivy would help do that and also open not only the DC Cinematic World, but also Batman's. By acknowledging them, continuity is created along with interest and could make for a pretty interesting movie. This brings me to my next point.

No Origin Story

Batman's origin is important. It definitely goes down as one of the most defining comic book moments in history and it would work great on film...Except it has been done already. Although it is an important part of Batman, everyone and there grandmother knows the story. It's been established in 3 movies, tons of comic book issues, all of the cartoons, movie novelizations, and even the animated films. Now, am I saying completely ignore it? No, but don't start off the movie or build it around the death of his parents because if anything, it is going to waste opportunities to tell other stories and many movie goers are going to be sitting in their seats knowing exactly what happens. Personally, I would start the franchise with an Arkham Asylum movie. Obviously not the exact same plot, but have a mass escape being attempted and Batman has to try and stop it. Scarecrow could use his gas to have him relieve it for a minute or so and other villains could be acknowledged.

Use The Comic Book Suit

Now this one is tricky. On one hand you could just continue to make an all black, armored suit like Nolan and Burton did. On the other hand, you could go the other route with a gray costume with black spandex and a black cape like the Adam West. Each one has it's pros and cons, but if they were to use a suit, I would use the New 52 version. It's dark grey color enhances the black Bat-symbol while not having the black underwear for people to laugh at. The gauntlets, cowl, and boots make sense being black because these could be customized to hold things like capsules for vaccines, a key pad to send coordinates, or a sonic transmitter to attract bats. Either way, it takes the best of both worlds and becomes classic, but awesome.

Use Easter Eggs

Now this is definitely a big one. Even though Easter Eggs are small on film, they usually have big meaning and are the little stitches that tie things together. Just look at the movie Thor with the Infinity Gauntlet and that leading to Thanos. Now am I saying they should add lines like "This is why Superman works alone."? No, not at all. However, a deal with Lex Corp being made through Wayne Enterprises or a mention of "possible Atlantis findings" would help ground this franchise in the comic book world, while also helping to lead to a Justice League movie.

In conclusion, if these things are executed in the Batman reboot, I believe it would succeed with fans and audiences alike. It would be dark and a little realistic, while also having that comic book feel to establish it's independence and not fell like a re-hash of a Christopher Nolan film. Who knows? Maybe one day we may even get this on screen:

I can only hope! I'm interested to hear what you all think about this and if you have any ideas on how WB could do a new Batman movie, let me know in the comments. Until next time, this is Hal Jordan signing off!
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TheDARKestKNIGHT - 7/31/2012, 9:31 AM
My thoughts exactly. Hopefully this is the route they'll go.
SoFresh - 7/31/2012, 9:31 AM
They should go for the Arkham games feel, where there is a balance bettween reality and fantasy, and I believe the best costume should be the new 52 one.
batmantattoo - 7/31/2012, 9:34 AM
It would be very very simple. You use Terry McGinnis and continue with JGL as Nigthwing.

You refer to the legend that Bruce has laid down. Terry McGinnis sees these heroes banding together and wants to use that legend to be a part and make a difference and Johnathan Nolan would be a amazing director. Has anyone seen Person Of Interest. Johnathan would have the direction, which worked so amazingly, in mind. I hope he moves forward with at least JGL in the Nightwing role movie. It would be a shame to see it wasted in my opinion.
GreenHalJordan - 7/31/2012, 9:35 AM
@PORNOGRAPHER, thats why I said they should use the New 52 because that one does not have Spandex, atleast not what it looks like in Justice league.
@Grif, I didn't realize I put it in the news. I'll fix that.
GoILL - 7/31/2012, 9:36 AM
Awesome write up Hal. The one thing I don't see them doing is the comic book suit but you never know.
AutobotCommander84 - 7/31/2012, 9:36 AM
The New 52 one (well, at least the JL version by Jim Lee) would probably be rubber or plastic on fabric or something of the sort. It probably wouldn't be fabric.
GreenHalJordan - 7/31/2012, 9:41 AM
The reason why I chose the New 52 JL version was because it looked believable and it looks a bit armored without have a whole lot of emphasis on each armored detail. Obviously it would in the movies, but not as much as Nolan's (not saying I minded it) This way we get a classic look, but a believable one and without spandex.
GoILL - 7/31/2012, 9:45 AM
Looking back at the picture again I can see what you're talking about.
GreenHalJordan - 7/31/2012, 9:54 AM
The adam west movie. I thought they established it in the beginning. or maybe it was just the show im thinking of.
SimyJo - 7/31/2012, 9:55 AM
I don't understand why people think Movies are the only medium. The silver screen is in no way big enough to accomplish the muliple villains, storylines and scenarios that people are expecting from more Batman.

Multi-million dollar TV series is the only way to go.
Get people tuning into a great Batman TV show again with cliffhangers and multiple-episode villain-arcs.
Tainted87 - 7/31/2012, 10:39 AM
Avoid realism.

Sure, Batman can keep the look that has been around in the movies since 1989 - no underpants on the outside, but Batman is a larger-than-life character. He does not need to find common ground with you and me - he's a billionaire trained in pretty much every martial art known to man.

Can you imagine how awesome the ending WOULD have been, had Bane actually been hired by Lex Luthor, and not just Talia's dragon?
Angelus - 7/31/2012, 10:43 AM
I wanna see Black Mask and Killer Croc as villains soon!
Tainted87 - 7/31/2012, 10:50 AM
A television series would be boss, and would DEFINITELY allow for the more involving storylines, like the Long Halloween and Hush - pretty much every Jeph Loeb story. Make it happen!
Advocate - 7/31/2012, 12:40 PM
I agree with a lot of your comments as I alluded to the same points in my past editorial, assessing the possible directions Batman could take in future films.

However, I feel the origin story (while done before) is necessary. If this Batman is supposed to stand out from Nolan's, the origin story has to have a completely different evocation of feeling among the audience. Watching Batman Begins, I found myself disconnected from the scene that changed Bruce's life forever. I wanted to root for the parents' survival (regardless of the known outcome), and I wanted to really feel the pain Bruce felt as a kid and growing up. None of that came through. There was anger, sure, but there wasn't much to connect with the audience.

Bruce Wayne doesn't have to be grounded so we feel alike, but his origin does. He needs to stand out as a "super" human, the peak of human capabilities, apart from the rest of the world. Nolan's Batman, to me, suggested that anyone (as long as you had the means to do so) could become a vigilante, or for that matter a villain.
SimyJo - 7/31/2012, 3:50 PM
I don't agree that Batman Begins lacked in Bruce's motive to become Batman, or the hardwork it took.
Aside from his fortune, in Nolan's origin film the scenes in the Chinese gulag showed his grit and anger and the monestary scenes showed his training with the other ninjas. I thought it was spot-on as an origin film and definately my favourite of the trilogy.
Supes17 - 7/31/2012, 3:51 PM
gravedigger9906 - 7/31/2012, 4:45 PM
I think you definately need to keep the dark vibe and the realism. This is what made Nolans movies a success. Realism is why all cbm's are becoming popular. Its like pro wrestling, we know its fake but you need the believe ability or it doesnt work, its corny. Believing these heroes exist in our world is why they succeed. There are certain aspects of comics that just dont work on the big screen, so we have to adapt it for us to be drawn into the world they are trying to give us.
As far as the dark aspect, Batman stories are a cross between horror, thrillers, action and csi type dramas. His villans are physcological and scary, Batman uses fear as a mental weapon. It wouldnt be true to his character without the creepy, dark atmosphere. I agree we need to move forward with new ideas but lets not lose the ground we've made.
SCOURGE - 7/31/2012, 4:56 PM
Get rid of the 30's feel. Bring Batman into the 21st Century.
Advocate - 7/31/2012, 6:06 PM
@SimyJo Batman Begins is still one of my favorites, but there's this huge time gap where it becomes less believable that Bruce Wayne could all-of-a-sudden leave and train. Knowing what it takes to become a prime martial artist, it's almost unfathomable seeing Bruce Wayne train with the League of Shadows and somehow becoming the best. Bruce didn't lose himself for a decent amount of his youth and then finally realized what he needed to do. He was driven from the start. And Batman Begins' origin definitely lacks that.

But you have to establish that drive as something, a catalyst, that would push a normal person (like us) to do beyond normal things (like Bruce Wayne). And then after his "formal" training, his pursuit and constant obsession with having to work the body as well as the mind as wallet to take down such criminals wasn't shown. The wallet, yes. But that doesn't establish a superhero. That establishes a vigilante.
Knightrider - 7/31/2012, 6:43 PM
I guess in terms of a reboot, the best way to avoid Nolan comparison is too set it years into an established Batman's career, which could also give you the chance to start with Dick Grayson as Robin, but closer to the end of his career, so that we can progress to Nightwing, or even have him start out as Nightwing and via flashbacks we learn why Dick moved on from being Batmans partner.

Either way, I would love a balance between Nolan-world and Arkham City-World to really give it a unique look.

Speaking of which I cannot wait for Rocksteadys prequel, which is to feature all the Justice League.
Caedus137 - 8/1/2012, 6:13 AM
If it were up to me (which it clearly isn't...) I'd push ahead and try to fast-track 1 or 2 Nightwing films with Joseph Gordon Levitt first... Film them both together and release them a year apart, then go for a full Batman rehash. It would be a shame if JGL never got to 'suit-up'...

But that's just me.
relentless1 - 8/2/2012, 5:22 PM
the best way to make the next batman film series different from nolans is to make it a detective story first, superhero story second, he is after all the worlds greatest detective, play that angle up and play up the fact that hes smart on his own, have him make his own gadgets not lucius fox, have him be the never lose martial artist that hes so famous for being, id love to see him crash through a skylight, throwing smoke bombs and dropping in the middle a squad of goons, taking three out at a time with crazy mix of martial arts and acrobatics, at the same time disarming gunmen with batarangs, i didnt see batman throw a batarang once NOT ONE TIME in all of the dark knight trilogy, so if they make him a detective, inventor and peerless martial artist they will make him excatly like he should be while also steering him away from the nolan version, everybody wins :)
Carloshll726 - 8/2/2012, 7:29 PM
Yes! Use the suit from the comics, please!
newdisc416 - 8/2/2012, 8:49 PM
what i would suggest is do something that is a reboot but don't act lake Nolan's films never happened and although i agree batman should have a bit more of a spandex like suit it still needs some for of protective function after all hes not bullet proof he can become intangible or has indestructible armor or can conger energy constructs made of light hes a dude who can beat people up and has fancy toys and hi next villains need to be more supernatural like Mr freeze or clay-face or poison ivy if he is going to be hanging with the justice league and be looked at as a threat to the villains then we need to show that he can handle baddies like that.
GreenHalJordan - 8/2/2012, 9:15 PM
Full disclosure: I don't want spandex, I meant that many people want the older costume version, but the spandex look isnt going to cut it for a human being going up against people like bane and mobsters.
GreenHalJordan - 8/2/2012, 9:15 PM
clayface or Mr.Freeze would be awesome though!
thebug022 - 6/17/2013, 3:32 AM
Man of Steel ushered in a tone for the future DC Cinematic Universe that allows for supernatural elements while maintaining it's real-world integrity. Man of Steel may be a superhero film, but it felt more like a sci fi film, a "first contact" or "how would we react" film.

With this tone in place, we COULD see the more bizarre rogues like Poison Ivy or Killer Croc. However, I would PREFER that it was toned down or "Nolanized" slightly: Poison Ivy would be an herbalist and tree-hugger a la the animated series (I was never a fan of super-powered Ivy), Croc would be an African American carnival strong-man/freakshow with epidermolytic hyperkeratosis (a skin disease), Bane would be high functioning sociopath with an addiction to a certain steroid. Mr. Freeze (my FAVORITE villain, hopefully played by Benedict Cumberbatch) would be a sympathetic, lost soul yearning for the cure to save his dear wife, before nearly dying in an accident that leaves him having to where a breastplate/suit that keeps his core temperature below freezing.

I agree. I think it should take place about year 2, with Batman still seen as a vigilante in the eyes of the people, and Gordon trying to maintain a secret alliance with Batman while heading up a task force to catch him.

While the reboot would take place prior to the events of Justice League, I would love to see Batman be the thread between the individual films, featuring him studying the members as they appear, setting up a Justice League: Doom-esque storyline for Justice League 2. Batman would be the last member inducted due to the League's varying opinions on his methods.

While I love the idea of a gray suit, I would prefer that it wasn't the NEW 52 suit. I'm hoping for something more along the lines of the Arkham Origins suit, or the suit as drawn by Lee Bermejo, or a mixture of the two.

Batman Begins had the best cape of ALL the Batman films: it was LONG, DRAMATIC, STRIKING! Why the other Nolan films didn't have that same quality, I have no idea. I love the idea of a long cape, one that extends beyond his heels, dragging on the ground. I also love the image of the cape flowing over his chest like in the animated series, to give the impression that he is a single dark mass. While probably possible with real fabric, I think that the cape should be CGI a la Man of Steel to maintain optimum epicness.

Now, I HAVE to include this. I have no choice...

Armie Hammer

I am a heavy Armie for Batman! activist. I can see no other person AS Batman. He can play the billionaire playboy! He has the range. He will show some kick-assery in next month's The Lone Ranger. He has kickass voice that would sound even more kickass if he added a little smoke to it for Batman... We are going to get to see his and Henry Cavill's on-screen chemistry in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which I think/hope is a big reason that they cast Cavill as Tom Cruise' replacement.

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