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.

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By Josh Wilding - 9/2/2013

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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THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 9/2/2013, 11:03 AM
It's not going to...
FOOM - 9/2/2013, 11:04 AM
No to a Nolan universe. Three films were enough. Me, I'm looking forward to finally seeing Batman on the screen in the upcoming World's Finest film. Been a long time coming.
SpectacularJoShFest - 9/2/2013, 11:04 AM
LOL exactly! Nolan already did his thing...which was ruin his own trilogy with that godawful third movie.I grant him one thing though...he did the best he could trying to end his trilogy after Ledger died incorporating Bane into his Universe...too bad he raped the character.Awesome villain...horrible adaptation.
ToddTex - 9/2/2013, 11:05 AM
oh boy, another on of THESE articles
SnapperCarr - 9/2/2013, 11:06 AM
We need a more comic book inspired Batman.

Also hell no to any inspiration from Frank Miller.
WYLEEJAY - 9/2/2013, 11:07 AM
I want to see villains like Killer Croc, and Clayface! The characters that couldn't fit into the Nolanverse.
thewonderer - 9/2/2013, 11:08 AM
I've always found it funny how people here cry about what a tragedy it was that Nolan didn't feature any supernatural villains in his films.

To be honest, with some major exceptions mind you, most of Batmans more realistic villains are the more popular and better ones.

Two Face, Scarecrow and Joker trump villains like Clayface or Killer Croc.

And dear god don't put Killer Croc in a film. It would be seen as a rip off of TASMs Lizard, no matter how terrible that film was.
DiggerNick - 9/2/2013, 11:08 AM
It was never going to be a part of the movie to begin with, useless article.
knocturnalzen10 - 9/2/2013, 11:08 AM
it make no sense for it to be that universe especially after what we just saw in the man of steel. biggest point is bat is a detective chris missed out a lil bit in that aspect of him. that's what makes him stand out in league the from others (tower of babel)...........
KarlAlden - 9/2/2013, 11:09 AM
@JoshWilding- they've cast another batman and said the Nolanverse is over, so this is wrapped up already.

@SnapperCarr - trolling troll is trolling, Miller wrote the epics quit trying to start a flame war.
upsidownman - 9/2/2013, 11:09 AM
Honesty, I loved Nolan's take but I for one don't want to revisit it. Think its time to move on and put the comic book back into Batman movies.
MightyZeus - 9/2/2013, 11:10 AM
Nolans trilogy will always remain but it should remain untouched. I love the Nolan trilogy but i think in my opinion future DC films should ignore and distance itself from the Nolanverse.

Man of Steel has started up a shared universe and i'm looking forward to seeing a new interpretation of Batman and a chance to bring in DC heroes and villains.
thewonderer - 9/2/2013, 11:10 AM
And TDKR was fantastic.

Don't understand why people have to attack the Nolanverse so much.

We're getting a new Batman now. The past Batman films were great. Lets hope this is too. Can't we leave it at that?
Brokensteel1228 - 9/2/2013, 11:13 AM
Yeah, i say hell no! this is one franchise that i cannot stand due to the butchering of batman, as well as the universe itself
MightyZeus - 9/2/2013, 11:14 AM
I'd want to see Mister Freeze as a villain in the Batman reboot. He's a sympathetic villain and these days audiences are beginning to love villains they can sympathize with most notably 'Loki' or 'Magneto'. Also, it would wash away the atrocity of what we saw in 'Batman and Robin'.
Dusk - 9/2/2013, 11:14 AM
"NO"lan!
Tainted87 - 9/2/2013, 11:15 AM
I actually really like Clayface. Trouble is, he doesn't stick around long enough to develop any.

Ironically, I had a Nolanized version in mind, very much like the Golden Age. He'd be a lot like 47, except instead of a clone, he'd be an actor who suffered a car wreck. No powers, but he'd have a plastic surgeon change his face.....

I really like Hush. I hope some day we'll see him. I really don't care about Killer Croc, but the more villains, the merrier. I remember this awesome episode from the animated series, called "Almost Got Em". Has Poison Ivy, Two-Face, Joker, Penguin, and Killer Croc sitting at a table playing poker, talking about their best Batman experiences. By the end of the episode, we find out that Batman is Killer Croc in disguise.
jp688 - 9/2/2013, 11:15 AM
I loved TDKR (far more than TDK), but I'm tired of Batman and want the Superman franchise to develop. Making MOS 2 a Batman movie just tells us that DC and WB have no idea how to handle the DCU, and are convinced (ala the comics, if you've noticed)_ that nothing DC has any chance of success without Batman in it. Without any faith whatsoever in Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern or anything else as far as the big screen goes, why on Earth should we give a crap about a Justice League film...WB and DC throwing a bunch of characters they have no faith in up onto the screen with a non developed, WAY too soon new Batman? BTW, why is Affleck throwing away the career he fought so hard to get back with "Gone Baby Gone", "The Town" and "Argo" for this ill advised move? A train wreck already, to be sure.
WYLEEJAY - 9/2/2013, 11:15 AM
I like Killer Croc and Clayface. Can I actually picture them in a film, probably not. My point was, I enjoy the villains that have a distinct advantage over Batman. Bane included. Its more entertaining for ME. My opinion. Nolans universe wouldn't go there. A new direction could if they want to. I agree with Mr Freeze. Give him another shot.
Irons - 9/2/2013, 11:16 AM
Trying to replicate what was done in the last three movies would be a spectacular failure. It was a tremendous trilogy from start to finish. I'm ready for someone else to bring their own vision to the character and leave their mark.
TheTrueAvenger - 9/2/2013, 11:17 AM
I think the best tone of any comic book franchise has to be the Raimi's Spiderman trilogy. He was able to capture the fantastical comic book feel, along with the grounded realistic elements. I also loved the humor, it didn't over power the dramatic moments like most Marvel films. I still think Spidey's one on one fight with the goblin at the end is one of the best stand offs of any comic book movie. It was dark, but not too much. Btw I think that's why Green Lantern and Amazing Spiderman suffered a bit. Neither of those films established a tone. Nolan's Trilogy and the Marvel films have their separate styles and stick to it.
NBAfanaddict - 9/2/2013, 11:17 AM
Woah...Josh with an editorial. This is different.

I think that Nolan's skill in making the right tone for Batman should be taken. That's about it.
KNIGHT3000 - 9/2/2013, 11:18 AM
If Christian Bale came back I would say "STICK", especially since this is a mature Batman. But since he isn't, NO
WYLEEJAY - 9/2/2013, 11:19 AM
@Tainted. Was that the episode when Croc kept saying" I almost crushed him under a boulder"? He said it several times. Was pretty funny.
CaptainObvious - 9/2/2013, 11:20 AM
Do people still think The Dark Knight trilogy will have anything to do with Man of Steel? It's painfully obvious those movies were there own thing.

I loved the Nolan Batman film, but it is time for something new. Especially in a world where studios want to create shared film universes out of these comics to cash in on The Avengers' success.
thalidomide - 9/2/2013, 11:20 AM
Hell yeah!
80sFace - 9/2/2013, 11:20 AM
Is it a "verse?" That implies connectivity across multiple properties. It's just Batman. Is any sequel a verse? The Godfather verse? The Before/After Sunrise verse? It's the world Nolan created, but MOS doesn't connect to the Nolan Batman films.

...that said, since they're going with a new Batman and he's going to exist in the MOS world, not Nolan's TDK world, sounds like Nolan's model is dead. Batman is dead, long live Batman.
anthonyEstark - 9/2/2013, 11:21 AM
Sorry Nolanites, its time to move forward.
CouchTater - 9/2/2013, 11:24 AM
It's a fine line to walk without falling into camp like the Schumacher films. The garish colorful characters often don't translate well to film without looking like Kickass. The introduction of Superman into the universe gives them a nexus upon which to build as long as they don't get too carried away and become comical. Marvel has managed to do it DC can find the right balance between fantasy and realism.
JDUKE25 - 9/2/2013, 11:26 AM
Definitely needs to have more of a fantasy element than realism.

Looking forward to seeing what they do with Batman.
UncleDrew - 9/2/2013, 11:28 AM
You guys are hating on the Nolanverse after the 3rd Batman, which was a good ending to an amazing trilogy. Just more hardcore comic fans who need to calm the f down because once the films come out, you will come out in droves and love the films. Mark my words
Wallymelon - 9/2/2013, 11:29 AM
super stoked on affleck as batman. didnt love bale but thought he did a great job. i think affleck is going to be the closest to my favorite iteration of batman, the animated series from the 90s. like mask of phantasm style. get mark hamil to be the joker and we have ourselves a movie.
ALmazing - 9/2/2013, 11:29 AM
Wow, DC fans turning their back on Nolan to justify loyalty to the new Snyder age, sad.
kinghulk - 9/2/2013, 11:30 AM
i enjoyed nolands trilogy but i think hes overated and shouldent be a part of the DCCU. i really want a flash, wonder woman or even an aqua man film i want to see DC WB stop relying purely on batman and superman.
KingEmperor - 9/2/2013, 11:30 AM
I love the Nolanverse, but I don't think it should be connected to MoS. That trilogy ended perfectly for me.

Also, just to nitpick, it's Robin John Blake, not John "Robin" Blake.
MightyZeus - 9/2/2013, 11:32 AM
@HydraBobReturns, I thought you where banned.
Jhuntdaprodigy - 9/2/2013, 11:35 AM
I'm pretty sure they aren't going to revisit the Nolan universe anyway. It would be a terrible idea anyway. Afleck should not play Bale's Batman, it's time for a new one. I really hope they make this Batman more similar to the one who appears in the Arkham games. It's time to dead this whole "realistic" Batman thing. My ideal Batman Reboot would feature Black Mask as the main villain, Killer Croc as the secondary, and Zucco as a minor antagonist similar to Falcone in Batman Begins or Maroni in TDK.
Liderc - 9/2/2013, 11:38 AM
Killer Croc? Sorry, no I don't want to see that. I like the "Nolanverse," it's grounded and feels like it's possible, unlike what Snyder has done which is to implode an entire city in one fight.

I don't mind Ben Affleck being cast, I just don't see how they're going to make our current Superman work with Batman. They're too different, who needs Batman when you have Superman? Just seems like the path WB is going is set up for failure.

Man of Steel didn't come close to being as high quality writing as Batman Begins, so I'm just curious how he plans on improving upon the DC universe.
Gjedi - 9/2/2013, 11:41 AM
Well, some good points in this article, and at some point, Nolan's trilogy should left as it is( icluding Bale). Its time for a more comic-book oriented Batman. Furthermore I think WB needs to get less Nolan involvement and more Bruce Timm, Geoff Johns or even Greg Weisman in their DC live action movies. Nolan is one of the best filmakers out there, and I respect what he did with batman. That is why I hope that the new vision of Batman, will please most of the comic fans out there, because as we know, All of the Batman comic fans( including me)out there have a different take of the batman that they want to see on the big screen.
Tainted87 - 9/2/2013, 11:42 AM
@WYLEEJAY
Yeah that's the one. Or it might be the Trial, I forget.

@Liderc
You mean like this?


Seems like Snyder has a different problem...
Like, giving fanboys what they want.
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