Welcome to Breaking Geek, a weekly column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week, using his expansive knowledge of all things geek!
Today I offer my opinion about the future of Batgirl, draft a letter to DC about their Joker standalone movie, and discover the absolute perfect actor to next play Batman, in this rare, DC only edition of Breaking Geek! Where your opinion matters as much as mine, so let us discuss in the comments afterward, shall we?
Joss Whedon Leaves Batgirl — Cancel Or Push Forward?
Earlier this week, there was news that DC’s next two projects, following Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 2 (in that order), would be Flashpoint and Batgirl. Then, days later, Joss Whedon, the writer and director not only attached to the Batgirl, but also the one who pitched it to DC, dropped out of the film because he couldn’t crack a story.
I’ll leave the discussion of whether Whedon deserved another superhero film or not up to you, but now the question is, drop Batgirl from the slate or find a director to take over Joss Whedon’s project?
Because it is… or was… Joss Whedon’s project. Before the official announcement as a contributor to Justice League, DC had a meeting with Whedon about what character he would be interested on working on, so he pitched them Batgirl. After The Avengers, and recognizing the writer/director’s experience with strong female characters, of course DC was all in!
So, if Whedon is out, pull the plug?
Though Batgirl is not a personal priority (this will come up again, but I’m all about that Justice League Dark), it seems to me like it could be important in a way similar to Black Panther or Wonder Woman. I don’t know how young DC dare make Batgirl, but for those little girls who like Batman more than Wonder Woman (and there are certainly girls who do… because he’s f–king Batman), this gives them another strong female character to relate to. Perhaps one closer to their age.
DC should find a strong but underutilized woman writer and director, and make Batgirl for all those little would-be heroes, I say…
… Then, get to Justice League Dark.
The Joker Movie Is Shooting In May? My Open Letter To DC
This week we also learned that DC’s standalone Joker movie — not a part of the larger DC Extended Universe, but rather a film under a new “banner”–was closer to reality than we thought, with production looking like it will start in May. I have strong feelings about this project (obviously), so I want to take this chance to address DC directly in the following letter:
What the hell are you doing? I love the Joker. You, too love the Joker, perhaps to an unhealthy degree. We all love the Joker!
I get it. He’s awesome. Perhaps the best villain in comics you could hope for, and certainly a seller of tickets, from Jack Nicholson, to Heath Ledger, and even Jared Leto (come on, we all know Suicide Squad only crossed $700 million worldwide because Joker was advertised as a major part, you liars).
But, like with Uncle Ben’s origin story, we get it. We’ve seen three big-screen, live-action Jokers in 30 years. If you count whatever is happening on Gotham (which I am not caught up on), you potentially have two currently. Have we seen more live-action cinematic Spider-Mans (Spider-Men)? Yes. But that is beside the point, and for Marvel Studios, third time was the charm (Leto as the third Joker — not counting Batman ’66 — not so much).
Even after Heath Ledger, is there room to improve in the Joker department? Absolutely. Just because Ledger nailed it doesn’t mean it can’t be topped… but you don’t have to rush it!
Instead, I plea that you take time to invest in your floundering DCEU. Why bet so much on the Joker when you can’t pull off the Justice League?
Give the DCEU a chance before creating a second Joker. Yes, the DCEU may be in trouble, but wait for that full reboot before you give us another Joker. I hate Jared Leto as much as you, but let’s focus elsewhere for a while. Batman is my main tie to the DCEU, but give the regulars a rest.
The enticement of the DCEU now, after Batman V. Superman and Justice League, is seeing new characters brought to life… and more Wonder Woman! Shazam! is an interesting way to go, not my first choice, but I’ll take something fresh over yet another Joker. Maybe Justice League Dark? (I write you often, you know I love Justice League Dark.) #MattRyanIsConstantine
Yes, I look forward to The Batman (please use the actor from the section below instead of Jake Gyllenhaal), but even there, give us a fresh villain! Not original, as the comics have much that needs to be mined, but someone we haven’t seen on the big screen. Maybe Dr. Hugo Strange? I’ll leave that up to you.
Thank you, as always, for accepting and responding to my letter. Hail Hydra, eh comrades? Down with Marvel!
P.S. If you really have to recast the Joker, give Michael B. Jordan a try. That guy is scary good at playing a villain. Nearly Heath Ledger good… Give it a thought!
And The Absolute Best Actor Possible To Play Batman Is…
Several weeks ago, when Breaking Geek was still a toddler, it was rumored that if Ben Affleck were to step away from the role of Batman, the director of The Batman, Matt Reeves, wanted Jake Gyllenhaal for the role.
While I offered several actors I thought would make a better Batman (and Bruce Wayne), none of the choices were quite perfect. I would rather have seen any of them than Gyllenhaal don the cape and cowl, but I’d still prefer to stick with Affleck. But…this week I came across a candidate I like so much I would replace Affleck — my favorite live-action Batman of all — with this actor.
Lee Pace, ladies and gentleman:
Now, when I told my editor about this choice he replied, “My nose wrinkled at that suggestion,” so I may be fighting an uphill battle to convince you.
Suggested by Bryan Edward Hill, a writer on Ash Vs Evil Dead and DC’s upcoming Titans show, on Twitter (@bryanedwardhill), once I read this interesting casting choice, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I still can’t! I literally had an “eureka” moment when I read the tweet, jumping out of my chair (I imagine, I can’t remember if I literally jumped out of said chair or not) and yelling “Yeeeessss!” (Again, I can’t remember if this last part actually took place).
Lee Pace would make a phenomenal BATMAN. pic.twitter.com/L4dRshYndn
— BryanEdwardHill (@bryanedwardhill) February 18, 2018
If you are picturing Lee Pace’s characters from Pushing Daisies, The Lord of the Rings, or even Guardians of the Galaxy, I agree, he doesn’t seem like a great Batman candidate. But if you’ve seen AMC’s brilliant show Halt and Catch Fire, then we might actually be on the same page.
I’ve included a clip from the series that may as well be a speech by Bruce Wayne. Pace certainly has the skill, the charm, and the intensity needed to play both Batman and Bruce Wayne, but I feel he can bring more emotion than the typical angry/cynical/cold Bruce Wayne we often see interacting with Alfred.
That’s so Batman!
I don’t want a Bruce Wayne who cries like the Spider-Mans of old (again… Spider-Men?), but the Bruce Wayne in the comics often is more openly upset and saddened by his plight, not simply shut off from his emotions as we often see in Bruce Wayne performances. We’ve been given nothing but stoic and seemingly unemotional cinematic versions of the character, but Batman in the comics can sometimes really open up to Alfred and some of the Bat-family, and certainly shows emotion when alone in the batcave.
One of the best Batman scenes comes from The Dark Knight, after the death of Rachel Dawes. You know the one; pieces of the batsuit scattered across the floor as Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne stares at his mask. I want more Batman moments like that, with even more emotion, and Pace can do it all, from intimidating on the job, to a Batman with more depth in the cave.
Warner Bros., make this happen!
Do you agree with me, or did you too wrinkle your nose? Let’s discuss below!
Now, I want to hear from YOU! Agree with my opinions? Think I’m wrong about everything? Let me know! Let’s get some fun discussions and arguments going in the comment section below.