If yesterday's Hot Rumor turns out to be correct, then Ben Affleck stepping down as director for The Batman last week was only the beginning of what looks like a large scale overhaul. I'll spare you a recap of what the latest rumors are (if you're interested you can CLICK HERE), and instead...dive right into the fun stuff.
Since it's looking very possible that an entirely new creative team is going to be installed for The Batman, complete with a new script, we'd like to take this opportunity to let the incoming team know what we want (and don't want) to see in this movie.
And this isn't a final list. We expect YOU to add to it in the Comments. We're not intending to speak for you here, so please feel free to add (or subtract) from our list of suggestions for The Batman.
Let's get to it!
What We Want (And Don't Want) To See In THE BATMAN
I. Detective Work
For many Batman fans, there's one particular skill in his set of abilities that has gone vastly underutilized in his cinematic outings. In the comics, and in the beloved cartoon Batman: The Animated Series, much is made about what a brilliant detective The Dark Knight is. He's like Sherlock Holmes with a cape and cowl. We've seen glimpses of it, of course. In films like Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, there have been key sequences where he did solid detective work to track someone down.
For The Batman it would be nice for the film to focus on one central mystery that forces Bruce Wayne to put his detective skills to the ultimate test. He'll have to analyze clues, interrogate possible informants, use his vast array of gadgets, and piece together a puzzle that'll lead to the film's big climax.
II. Borrow Heavily From The ARKHAM Games
One of the reasons that Rocksteady's recent run of Arkham games were such a hit with Bat fans and gamers alike was because they found a way to combine all of the best elements of the Dark Knight mythos. They were dark, gritty, tense games, where Batman had to solve a major crisis all within one night. Due to the nature of the threats in the games, he also had to encounter several of his most famous villains. For a character with a Rogues Gallery as legendary as Batman's, this was a huge treat.
Structuring the film in a similar way, where he has X amount of hours to figure something out and save Gotham, and so he must seek out several of his past nemeses in order to get the answers he needs, would be very exciting. And it would give us new ground to explore in a Batman movie. It would also provide sequences that feel really fresh and different, depending on the villain.
When he goes to question arms-dealer Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepott, it could feel like something out of John Wick; When he discovers that a rare toxin was used and has to ask Jonathan "Scarecrow" Crane if he knows anything about it, exposure to his nightmare gas can lead to a horrifying hallucinogenic sequence right out of a Darren Aronofksy movie.
The beauty of his list of rogues is that there are so many to choose from, and they all bring such different things to the table. I could go on and on, but you get the point.
III. No Joker!!
Look, we get it. The Joker is an iconic character that has crossed over into general mainstream, pop culture notoriety. He's also Batman's most famous baddie. But enough! He was the main villain in Batman and The Dark Knight, and he was even front-and-center in several of the revered DC animated movies that have come out. We'd love for The Batman to not center on The Joker, despite how tempting it'll likely be for the new writers.
If he must be in the film, have him lurking in the shadows. Have him serving as some sort of puppet master, pulling the strings and orchestrating Batman's bad night. But don't actually make him the villain. Save that for a sequel.
No offense, Mr. Leto.
IV. More Of The Awesome Alfred/Bruce Dynamic From "Dawn of Justice"
One of the elements from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that was universally praised was the great dynamic between Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons). Assuming Affleck sticks around for The Batman (which we have our doubts about), we'd love to see more of his great chemistry with Irons. Luckily, if they borrow from the Arkham series, there's a ready-made place for Alfred in this story, as he'll be the voice in Bruce's ear as he tries to solve the film's central mystery. And they can share key sequences in the middle of the film as he goes to the Batcave to figure out what to do next.
V. Don't Have The Fate Of The World At Stake!
One of David Ayer's biggest regrets with Suicide Squad, as he recently revealed, was that he wishes he would've made it more grounded. He has said that if he could do it again he would've made The Joker the central villain of that film, for example, instead of Enchantress. We couldn't agree more. Too often, these days, comic book movies raise the stakes way too high. Things get overblown and, especially when they've established that there are demigods flying around in these vast shared worlds, it brings certain logistical challenges to the storytelling.
We don't want that for The Batman. We want a contained, intimate threat for our hero to deal with on his own. Nothing where the world is at stake, or there's a dark portal looming over Gotham, or millions of people might die. None of that stuff. Make a movie that's simply about Bruce getting his man, and stopping him before something awful happens. Maybe they have Dick Grayson hostage; Maybe they've taken over the Wayne Enterprises building, and are holding a bunch of employees and their families hostage Die Hard-style; Maybe they've simply figured out Batman's true identity, and he must stop them before they share it with the world.
There's a ton of ways to keep the scope of the threat scaled down while still making the personal stakes very high. Do that.
Now, this one's just for me. While Jammer put out his excellent list of directors he'd love to see considered for The Batman now that Affleck is out (CLICK HERE), I've been somewhat mum on the subject. On this week's LOS FANBOYS Podcast I even went so far as to say that I'd like just about any of the rumored candidates that Warner Bros. is looking at. In preparing for this feature, though, I realized that there's one man- and one man alone- who I would kill to see behind the camera of The Batman. I think he could combine all of the elements I listed above to make a truly breathtaking movie that would blow Nolan's trilogy away.
Get DAVID FINCHER To Direct!!!
Come on. How amazing would it be to the have the man that gave us Se7en and Zodiac give us an epic Batman thriller with crime and mystery elements? We know he's got ties to Affleck, since the two made the acclaimed Gone Girl together. We also know he's not above signing up for a genre film (or a sequel!), as his latest dance with the World War Z sequel has shown us.
I'd be in my glory if Warner Bros. ever managed to pull off signing Fincher (and leaving him alone!!!) to make The Batman.