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)...........
KarlRobinofEarth2 - 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
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