How To Reboot Batman

My ideas regarding successfully rebooting the Bats...again

How do you reinvent something that has been reinvented countless times? Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins started probably the most successful “reboot franchise” in film history. Since the Begins trilogy was so successful, how could anyone come up with something both unique and fresh for the continuing on-screen adventures of the Caped Crusader?

The great thing about coming up with engaging screenplays for popular superhero characters has to be the massive wealth of pre-existing source material. Batman has existed through many decades, has transformed several times, has won, lost, and has battled the most recognizable of super villains. Whoever gets the job of writing the inevitable Batman reboot will inevitably ask, “Where to start?”

In what was a testament to the versatility of the character, Batman was hugely successful in two distinct mediums simultaneously (not including comic books since he always exists in several forms in different continuities): the gritty, hyper-realistic Nolan film universe, and the more comic book-influenced unrealistic Arkham video game universe. Both Batmen were both extremely pleasing to fans and remained true to the character, despite glaring differences.

So, here is my list of concepts that I feel, if executed properly, can make for another successful reboot of the character on film:

1. Casting, Casting, Casting: Okay, I’m going to get this one out of the way immediately. The casting of Bruce Wayne/Batman needs to be perfect. Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom. Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider. As history has shown us, bad casting can ruin a superhero flick. The casting of Gotham’s greatest hero will most likely be the largest deciding force regarding the film's success. The guy must be dark, brooding, and a great actor. He must be able to pull off intense fight scenes, along with the stereotypical ultra-rich playboy shtick Bruce Wayne uses to help hide his alter-ego. Christian Bale (whether you hated his gravelly Batman voice or not) was successful at being both the billionaire and the Bat, and a similar talent must be found for the reboot. My first casting choice would have to be Magneto himself, Michael Fassbender. With the addition of a little more muscle, he has all the right ingredients to play the part. My second choice may be a bit of a surprise to some: former Boardwalk Empire co-star Michael Pitt. Pitt may not be the first potential Bruce Wayne to pop into most fans’ minds, but I think, again with a little more muscle, he could really do the part justice. He has a darkness about him that he displayed with expert skill in both Boardwalk and a Sandra Bullock film called Murder By Numbers, and I think he could be a perfect fit. Sorry Winklevoss twin…I mean Armie Hammer.

2. Give Us Something Different: With the “superhero movie” being Hollywood’s biggest and most popular trend, we are seeing several comic book movie adaptations every year now. Unfortunately, what has the potential to happen (and some may argue has already happened) is that the comic book movie industry can become over-saturated with similar ideas. Of course, Hollywood is based on business, and what trends the most is what makes the most money. Marvel’s The Avengers was a huge, money-making success. So, what does DC/Warner Bros. do? They start production on a Justice League film. So this means we, as fans, will see many helpless civilians being saved from things that are either falling or burning, will sit through countless tales of reluctant heroes questioning whether or not to give it all up for a normal life, and relationships tested by secrets being kept to ensure someone’s safety. What was once original is now becoming cliché, and Batman MUST not fall into that trap.

My solution to this potential pitfall is as follows: put Batman in a situation his film self has never been in before. Skip his origin. We’ve all seen it before (sorry Amazing Spider-man).What I would like to see is something of a variation of the plot seen in the Batman Arkham Asylum video game. Imagine Batman getting trapped in the world’s worst asylum for the criminally insane by a villain that does not have to be the Joker. Imagine Batman fighting for his life; not struggling to save the love interest or Gotham City, but simply himself. Imagine Batman without most of his gadgets and having to defeat his captor with nothing else but his genius detective intellect and brute physical toughness. I like to think of it almost like a horror film, but instead of a helpless teenage girl being chased by a homicidal psychopath, IT’S THE FREAKING BATMAN! I think Batman is the perfect superhero to blend the horror genre with, since he is definitely the darkest of the upper echelon of superheroes. Which villain you ask? My choice would be Victor Zsasz. I know the character had some brief cameos in the Nolan films, but I think a fully fleshed-out version of the character could be intense on film. Since Batman would be trapped in a place full of bad guys, other villains could show up as well, as long as they serve a purpose and aren’t there simply just to please fanboys. Killer Croc anyone? He could be perfect to both make a Batman reboot feel more like the comic books and amp up the horror aspects.

3. Include more of the Bat-family: Okay, I’ll get this out of the way now: Joseph Gordon-Levitt was not Robin in The Dark Knight Rises. Yes, Christopher Nolan intended for him to ultimately be playing that character as we find out toward the film’s end, but the real Batman fans know he was not Robin. He was a cop who believed in Batman and all that other stuff. I want to see the real Robin. I know many Bat-fans hate the Boy Wonder, but I think he can be cool if presented the right way. Once again, I would take inspiration from the video games. The Robin seen in Batman Arkham City was indisputably awesome. The simple additions of a black hood and retractable staff weapon made Robin a badass not to be f*cked with (the removal of green in his costume’s color palette was spot-on as well). I would love to see an on-screen Robin that’s almost more dangerous than Batman himself. He should be lightning quick, agile as hell, and a bit of a smartass. Any gamer who has experienced the nuanced differences of playing as either Batman or Robin can attest to the potential awesomeness of the character. He may not have the brute strength or intelligence of the Batman, but he definitely has the visual flare in his fighting abilities.

Imagine seeing the evolution of Robin into Nightwing on film. There is enormous potential for great drama in that transformation of the character and dissolution of a partnership. Imagine seeing the Red Hood plot line unfold in live-action. The animated film, Batman: Under the Red Hood showed just some of the huge potential for entertaining stories involving Robin and Nightwing. Okay, now for my casting choice. I think a relative unknown would be the best choice for the role. The actor needs to have astounding acrobatic abilities and must at least look like he’s a little on the younger side. As of right now, I can’t think of any current Hollywood actors that are either young or look young and can pull off Jackie Chan-style acrobatics in a fight scene context. A paralyzed Barbara Gordon becoming Oracle would be pretty sweet on screen as well.

Well, there you have it. That’s how you successfully reboot the Batman film franchise. Simple, right? Thanks for reading, and let me know your ideas in the comments below!
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EdgyOutsider - 10/15/2012, 7:13 AM
I say have a darker Batman but without the origin and include Dick Grayson (an older dick grayson, close to the end of his Robin career) and at the end of the first movie have him become Nightwing. That's really my only real idea other than having the third movie being based off of the Red Hood. But, have the difference be they explain how Jason Todd survived.

That's all I got.
Darklypse - 10/15/2012, 7:56 AM
I'm really beginning to grow an intense dislike of Nolan's overrate as hell "Batman" films. Hell, the theme itself isn't very well done. Gotham didn't feel like Gotham, Batman/Bruce Wayne as portrayed horribily by Bale. Go for more of a Animated Series and Arkham City vibe, the vibe of the comics.
EdgyOutsider - 10/15/2012, 8:16 AM
@Darklypse: Nolan's Batman trilogy is a great trilogy. I don't see how you can dislike it. Bale was good as Bruce Wayne/Batman, despite what you think of his Batman voice. There is no denying Ledger was phenomenal as The Joker. I can honestly go on forever but I think you get the point.
EdgyOutsider - 10/15/2012, 8:46 AM
I agree with SotoJuiceMan, the Michael Fassbender casts as Batman is fricking old and ridiculous. Plus, he is already Magneto.
Psyche - 10/15/2012, 9:18 AM
I say in the rebooted bat franchise, start dick grayson off at the age of 15. He is still young and shaping his career as a hero, so he has different ideals then batman. That could be one of the main plot points. For the sequel, set it 3 years later, he is tired of being in the bats shadow and ready to be his own man. He quits midway through the film and that preps his spin-off film.
evilness - 10/15/2012, 11:56 AM
i enjoyed the nolan films. i am happy that they successfully brought the batman franchise back from the dead and re-established the fact that batman can and should be done as a dark and mature superhero.

anyways, looking forward to the reboot. i'd prefer if it's akin to batman-tas and the arkham games.

"I know many Bat-fans hate the Boy Wonder" --i think the people who hate robin are mostly those who are ignorant to the character outside of the 60s tv show and the schumacher films. they feel that it doesn't fit with the dark batman. they forget that batman too was "gay" in the 60s show and the schumacher films. in the comics, robin has been done seriously whenever batman has.
ollyollyolly - 10/15/2012, 11:57 AM
Is it just me that thinks that a TV series would be a better platform for the continuation of the dark knight legend?

Just Sayin'
evilness - 10/15/2012, 11:58 AM
and i don't know if i see batman or bruce wayne in michael pitt. to me, he seems like a druggy delinquent guy.

fassbender, although MANY have already recommended him, i can see in both the roles.
evilness - 10/15/2012, 12:00 PM

i think TV's perfect for batman. but i don't think WB would do that. films are just a better investment for a character as big as batman

but then again, they made a superman show for tv. so i don't know...
nihcamja - 10/15/2012, 1:33 PM
Im tired of seeing Fassbender as Batman in fancasts.He's a good actor but not ment for every role.
Tainted87 - 10/15/2012, 3:26 PM
Manhunter style TELEVISION show:

Keep the cool stuff from the comics - it's television, not real life. Develop the characters. Present MYSTERY, and actually make Batman a detective, not just someone who has "The Complete Idiot's Guide to _____".

Manhunter and its remake Red Dragon are among my all-time favorite crime thrillers, as is the book.

And avoid CW like the plague.
Darklypse - 10/15/2012, 11:50 PM
A Batman television series would definitely work. Could even be the most successful thing on television if it's done right, but I seriously doubt they'll do that.
dezdigi - 10/17/2012, 3:00 PM
I'd be afraid that a TV series would be poorly done.
If it attracted the best writers, actors, and costume design, it could be great.
And it would need, like, an HBO budget.
Tone5 - 10/21/2012, 11:15 AM
I would like to see a younger Bruce Wayne portrayed on the big screen, I mean bale was good in all but every batman actor is always pushing forty i wanna see a hulking batman 6'2 with a muscular build and fighting style like night owl in the watchmen I think liam hemsworth is a good choice to play the dark knight, he's around 6'2 big build and let's face it foreign actors always play the best Americans, they can start the film the way Nolan toned it to be but instead of batman fighting ras al Ghul have him only be trained by him then once Bruce shows his displeasure in how ras conducts his motives Bruce totally betrays and escapes the assassins. I also like the way Nolan shows which villians are more important to the story and the ones whom are just good cameos or additions aside from bane and scarecrow cause I fill bane had too much of a big role and scarecrow didn't, well back to the story once Bruce escapes he obviously becomes the batman and starts to clean up Gotham but in doing so messes with ras' plans to destroy Gotham and in this calls one of the assassins to kill the batman which would be bane, after bane is neutralized ras proceeds in his plan to destroy Gotham in which batman ultimately defeats ras' plan, then as other comicbook movies do in a clip between credits have the falcones discuss a heist involving some push over that works at a chemical, in the conversation have one of them say what about this bat character then one them sets a red helmet on the table, the cut scene awesome :)
Tone5 - 10/21/2012, 12:06 PM
"The Batman"
Batman/ Wayne - Liam hemsworth
Alfred Pennyworth - Ian Mckellen
Ras al Ghul - Ralph Fiennes
Lucious Fox - Forest Whitaker
Bane - Dwayne - Johnson
James Gordon - Jeff Bridges
Carmine Falcone - Gene Hackman
Sal Maroni - John Malkovich
Rachel Dawes - Ashley Greene

These are just the headliners that I had in mind
jumpingJellybeans - 10/22/2012, 5:28 PM
Tired of people saying that Batman is the darkest hero out there... [frick] sakes, Spider-Man and the Green Lantern still hold up better written and darker stories than he does... Just because he's all black doesn't mean he has to be [frick]ing dark and depressing.
Sevairity - 10/24/2012, 3:23 PM
As long as it includes the family, I'm happy.

Nightwing - Matt Bomer
Red Robin - Josh Hutcherson

I really can't think of anyone perfect enough for Damien or Barbara.

Even though she'd really fit in nowhere Kate Beckinsale would be an AMAZING Huntress

Obviously, I prefer the family of the New 52 because I've always preferred Tim Drake as his own character as opposed to a sidekick.
cld247 - 11/2/2012, 11:29 PM
How about Scott Adkins for Batman for JLA movie what do you think
alfreak2000 - 11/7/2012, 7:35 PM
I reckon in the Reeboot, Have Jackie Earle Haley as Man-Bat
e93gsx - 11/23/2012, 6:55 AM
Why all these younger actors? What about a 40-50 year old Bats using his veteran experience and know how to get the job done? We just had a young Batman we don’t need another.

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