With Christopher Nolan's remarkable Dark Knight trilogy ending this summer, Warner Bros. won't wait too long to bring the Caped Crusader back to the big screen. Another reboot of the Batman franchise has been rumored/discussed for some time, and it appears that the Dark Knight will get his next solo film after the next cinematic incarnation of the character appears in the proposed Justice League movie (reportedly eying a 2015 release). Warner Bros. will have to hire a really good director who can at least try to fill Nolan's enormous shoes, and create a new vision for the next series of Batman films.
As much as I love Nolan's take on Batman, I really want to see a film series that depicts a much more comic book oriented Dark Knight (a la Arkham City and The Animated Series). Below, I've listed six directors who I think can deliver both the gritty atmosphere of the Caped Crusader's next film and more of a fantasy/comic book foundation.
Recently, Johnson's highly anticipated science fiction thriller Looper (starring The Dark Knight Rises' Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was released to very positive word of mouth. The director has also mentioned that he would be open to helming a comic book movie at some point in the future, so why not the next movie starring the Caped Crusader? Looper's tone would work very well for a Batman film series, especially if it was inspired by the Arkham Asylum/City video game series. And after the critical success of Looper, I wouldn't be surprised if Johnson becomes the next Christopher Nolan.
The Bourne Identity
After helming the fantastic first Bourne movie (still my favorite in the trilogy) several years ago, Liman proved that he can direct an action thriller very successfully. Some of the fighting scenes in Bourne would be an excellent fit for a Batman movie, and Liman also properly develops a movie's characters. Plus, Liman is set to direct Warner Bros.' adaptation of the sci-fi graphic novel All You Need Is Kill, which will begin production this fall. So if that film is successful, then WB would be foolish not to consider Liman for one of their bigger properties.
After releasing The Town a couple years of ago, and with Argo garnering critical praise, Warner Bros. are obviously very proud of the actor/director. Recently, Affleck was rumored to be considered to helm WB's planned Justice League movie, but the former Daredevil confirmed that he isn't involved with the superhero ensemble. However, I think he would be an excellent choice to helm a Batman film. Batman would be a much better fit for Affleck than Justice League, as the director is accustomed to filming dark action movies. Also, his directing Batman would increase the possibility of his Argo co-star Bryan Cranston playing Jim Gordon.
This is a choice that I'm cautiously optimistic about, but there's no denying that a Batman film would be a good fit for Aronofsky's usual directorial style. He was actually attached to helm an adaptation of Year One several years ago, but the script was too far from the source material and was rated R (something that Warner Bros. didn't like). Aronofsky was more recently attached to 20th Century Fox's The Wolverine before eventually departing that project. So clearly, he's interested in directing a superhero film at some point in his career. As I said before, Batman would work well for Aronofsky's usual style. Plus, having an Oscar-nominated director helm your movie is rarely a bad idea.
A Batman movie needs to have a director who is very well experienced in shooting big action set pieces, as well as a good story. If the fantastic trailers for Skyfall (James Bond 23) suggest anything, it's that Mendes can do just that. He already helmed a crime thriller in the form of the graphic novel adaptation Road To Perdition, and a Batman movie should usually have some sort of crime thriller influence (depending on the movie's story, of course). If Skyfall is a big success, then I'm sure that Mendes will be wanted for more big movies.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
A typical choice, I know, but a solid one. Like Aronofsky, Fincher tends to have a distinct, stylized dark tone to his movies, which could work very well for a Batman flick. Also like Aronofsky, there's the concern of Fincher directing a comic book movie like Batman without being true to the source material (his vision for a Spider-Man movie was very different from what Sam Raimi did). However, there's no denying that Fincher is a very talented director who could do wonders with the Dark Knight. Just stay true to the source material, and you can have an awesome Batman film from David Fincher.
Well, there's my list of directors who I think Warner Bros. should consider for the next Batman movie. Feel free to vote in the poll below, and add any other suggestions/thoughts in the comments below.
Prior Installments In My "Directors" Editorial Series:
Nine Directors Who Should Be Considered For JUSTICE LEAGUE
Six Directors Who Should Be Considered For WONDER WOMAN
Six Directors Who Should Be Considered For THE FLASH
Six Directors Who Should Be Considered For The Next GREEN LANTERN Movie
Six Directors Who Should Be Considered For DOCTOR STRANGE
Six Directors Who Should Be Considered For The Next TRANSFORMERS Movie
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