EDITORIAL: "No!" To The Nolanverse; Why BATMAN/SUPERMAN Should Herald A New Beginning
Christopher Nolan's Batman universe is extremely divisive, but regardless of whether or not you liked his take on the Caped Crusader's world, here's why I think Zack Snyder's upcoming Batman/Superman movie needs to forge its own path with a NEW take on the iconic DC superhero and his supporting cast.
The “Nolanverse”. It’s got to be up there with Fox’s X-Men Universe (which should arguably be called the “Donnerverse” thanks to the machinations of the dreadful Lauren Shuler Donner) as one of the most controversial takes on a comic book character’s world ever. After all, it committed the sin of taking Batman and placing him in a realistic and grounded world. Gone were the outlandish gadgets and colourful rogues gallery, and in were – the still fairly ludicrous – creations of Lucius Fox and foes who (worryingly) could very easily exist in OUR world. Those are of course just a couple of examples, but the point is that Christopher Nolan’s take on the Caped Crusader will forever divide fans. Some were able to forgive the differences to the comic books for what was ultimately one hell of a trilogy, while others simply could not get over the fact that this wasn’t THEIR Batman. Arguments on both sides are justified. Regardless of whether you loved or hated it though, the fact remains; it’s time for the “Nolanverse” to die.
Of course, it could be argued that the “Nolanverse” is already dead. It died with The Dark Knight Rises, didn't it? Zack Snyder’s Batman/Superman movie will feature neither Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne nor Joseph Gordon Levitt’s John “Robin” Blake. However, there are those that believe the team-up movie either could or should feature some sort of connection to what’s come before. After all, it really isn’t all that hard to believe, especially as we're talking about a critically acclaimed franchise whose final two instalments grossed over $1 billion each. Why not connect the two Batman’s with a throwaway line or something more? Christopher Nolan will be serving as an executive producer, and with Arrow’s Stephen Amell recently revealing that the show had to ask his permission to introduce The Flash, a godfather to the DC Cinematic Universe too by all accounts.
Let me be honest. I loved Nolan’s take on Batman and you would have heard no complaints from me if Bale had returned to don the cape and cowl. However, it’s time for a change. With Ben Affleck suiting up as the iconic DC superhero, I’m hoping his team-up with Superman will lead not only to a Justice League movie, but also his own new franchise. We’ve had a weird Tim Burton helmed Batman, an incredibly camp take from George Clooney and Nolan’s realistic version. NOW it’s time for a Batman who at least somehow resembles the version from the comics. Scott Snyder’s “The New 52” series seems like the perfect place to start for inspiration as does Frank Miller’s critically acclaimed contributions to the DC Universe. Hell, even video games like Arkham Asylum and Arkham City would translate beautifully to the big screen, as would various other animates series’ and comic book arcs.
Regardless of what your preference is, would you REALLY want to see the return of the “Nolanverse”? Yes, there are arguments which could be made to the contrary...why start all over again when just three years prior to the release of Batman/Superman, there was a universe including a set of established characters and relationships? Fair point, but that will restrict both the future of a potential new franchise and Ben Affleck’s performance. I don’t want to see Ben Affleck playing Christian Bale’s Batman. I want a new, fresh and exciting take on the Caped Crusader, one which will finally adapt all those well-known elements of the character we all know and love. Imagine seeing THE Batcave (and not just a cave with a computer in it) or a villain like Clayface or Killer Croc. The potential is endless. If Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. don’t cut ties with the “Nolanverse”, they risk restricting us, Batman, and themselves, and that would be a huge mistake.
R.I.P. to the “Nolanverse”. The legend begins anew...
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