So it’s official: Matt Reeves is going to direct The Batman. I love his work on the Planet of the Apes films and Cloverfield, so I think it’s safe to say that I’m excited for what he plans on doing for this new Batman movie. That said, I do not envy him since the amount of work he’ll have to put into it in order to keep the desire for this new interpretation alive is not going to be easy. On top of that, I’m sure he’s going to be questioned non stop about the film until it’s released, which is super annoying. To take some tension off of his shoulders, I’d like to throw my hat into the ring as to what I’d like to see in this project. After consulting internally for what I like as well as poking the brains of other nerds, I think I have found two ways to execute The Batman.
I’ll first start with an idea that stuck out to me after hearing it discussed on Kevin Smith’s Youtube channel: do a cheap detective/noir story. This is such a perfect concept for 3 reasons: 1. Doing it cheaper means it doesn’t need to do well financially to be successful. 2. A real mystery story would be nice to help change up what we’ve seen on the screen already. We can all count the times we’ve seen Bruce take down a whole gang of men to struggle on a final fight and win last second. To make it work,however, we would need a movie with a juicy enigma like Zodiac for example where we see regular comic artist Jake Gyllenhaal strain himself to solve the Zodiac Killer murders. Now imagine that type of crazy mystery but with Batman using all of his bat-tools. Commence mind being blown. Finally, 3. Putting restraints on the creative process, in my mind, allows filmmakers to really shine. Just look at Logan, an excellent movie that was able to be deeper and take risks since the creative team didn’t have to juggle as many responsibilities. They could more easily focus on the story and action without losing their grip on the other important proponents of the film such as scope or characters.
So what specifically could the plot for this movie be? If we want to keep it cheap, let’s allow the mystery to be simple yet deep: Someone stole the crowbar/weapon used to kill Jason Todd from the Batcave. Batman might find some clues that lead him Arkham Asylum where he discovers that someone has been living in the catacombs beneath it with seemingly one goal in mind: Kill Bruce Wayne. Batman is then scowering the city based on clues from the catacombs of potential points of attack while uncovering the identity of the person he follows until, in the final act, he finds out who it is: Jason Todd, alive. To keep from things getting crazy, maybe instead of the Lazarus Pit bringing him back, have Hugo Strange be the one that secretly kept him alive for years. He was trying to get Todd to tell him who Batman is so that the information can be sold to the highest bidder. Finally gone crazy from the years of torture, Todd escapes and decides to take down Bruce Wayne. He has no idea what he is doing and gets the crowbar out of confusion. Bruce finally confronts Jason with the help of Gordon and Nightwing as he tries to bring his sanity back, which only causes the ex-Robin to kill innocent people until he is finally sedated. Bruce realizes his defeat, but decides to continue to move forward and help not only Jason but Arkham in general to make sure that everyone is getting the legitimate help they need to be cured of what ills them. Aaaaaaaaaand scene.
So how would I personally execute the Batman? Easy: as a straight up action film. This hasn’t really been done with Batman and for good reason: we want to see the struggle of Bruce Wayne and all that entails. But in my mind, there is a way of showing his struggle while also just delivering on the awesome action that was seen in that one warehouse scene in Batman V Superman. Just imagine something like John Wick or Die Hard but with Batman. Put him on a singular quest, just let the characters and environment speak for themselves. I’m not saying toss all character development and story out of the window, I’m just saying keep a faster pace with a simpler story so that you can provide the audience with something different. I’d personally recommend the villain like Mr. Freeze being the perfect vehicle to show the new type of science fiction in this world while also playing on the whole idea that this Batman is trying to come back from being an isolated and cold superhero. Also do your best to expand the background and history of this interpretation of Gotham in dialogue and locations. We’ve already had the basics of this world explained to us, so just expand from there to make a more straightforward adventure.
Enough deliberation, here’s my plot for a more action oriented Batman movie: Bruce Wayne is still reeling from the massive changes in his life due to Superman and the Justice League when Mr. Freeze starts going on a rampage when his wife dies in cryosleep. Not only that, but Victor also managed to get a ton of hired goons as well as Firefly and Killer Moth to raise hell so that he can be given enough time to place bombs that will take out the Mayor’s office (since the was the CEO at one point that didn’t allow Mr. Freeze to continue his research when his wife got sick). Batman has to get his head back into the game to utilize every gadget and trick he’s learn to quickly take down the bad buys before the bombs are activated. This also allows Gordon and Alfred to have bigger roles, you could even have Nightwing or Catwoman jump in if you want some diversity in the action. And that’s the key word here: diversity. Have each fight or location be unique and intense so that when Batman finally makes it to Freeze (the strongest of the group), you don’t know how he’ll save the day. Don’t be afraid to also have him question his take down tactics and whether or not he should be tamer since joining the Justice League. Is he still Bat Man-slaughter, or has he truly become a new (Bat)man?
I also have a very quick idea for the sequel: Court of Owls. I love the arc and it works perfectly for the world of the DCEU. Batman has been around for a while and the Court is supposedly acting up. Bruce never thought they existed and ignored them for years. But more signs keep popping up that they exist until their killer, Talon, finally shows up. Batman then has to find out who is pulling all of the strings before Talon finally catches up with him. Go ahead and keep that one DC, it would be awesome to see. Just give me a producer credit and $10,000,000. Please and thank you.
Thanks for giving this a read. I know these ideas won’t be made, but it’s just fun to imagine what kind of movie could be on the way from a talented creative team. What do you think? Do you have any ideas for the new Batman movie? Comment below and get some discussions going.
I’ve been Superguy and you have all been Bat-tacular!