A Sequel Reboot?

7/22/2013 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments



As I've said in the past, Warner Bros and DC are in a tight spot when it comes to expanding their DC Movie Universe.  Now that Man of Steel has come out and has been pretty well accepted (I was disappointed the first time, liked it a lot more the second time... I still have friends that think it was downright awful), what's the next step to establishing a larger continuity?  As I wrote before Man of Steel came out, it will be really hard to expand this universe and reboot Batman, when the creators of The Dark Knight Trilogy have their hands all over Man of Steel.

Well, the Man of Steel sequel was announced at Comic-Con last week to glorious applause, except for one problem.  It will be written by David S. Goyer, and Christopher Nolan will executive produce.  Just a little awkward in my book.  Christian Bale has pretty definitively said he won't be coming back, they (without being explicit) are saying the Batman side of things will be reboot and recast, and The Dark Knight Rises seemed to put a rather permanent ending to that Batman story arc.

So the question is, how will they do it this time?  Do we have to watch Mr. and Mrs. Wayne get shot again? Do we have to watch another Batman origins film?  Will this be Batman the Ninja, or Batman the detective?  There are a lot of directions they can take this, but how will audiences respond to a new Batman being introduced so soon?  Fans will probably accept it, because it's been done often enough in the comics, but what about the rest of the general population that contributed to making The Dark Knight Rises a billion dollar box office draw?  Man of Steel was just a little more than half that.  Will adding in Batman be enough to double that number?  Who will be more offended at the end of the movie, Superman fans, or Batman fans?

So many questions.  I don't have many answers (well, I have none, but I like to act like an expert sometimes...)

I have one theory as to how I would like to see this done.  I have enough faith in those involved to know that they will do it well, but I can still have an opinion.

When the WB/Legendary/DC panel at Comic-Con announced the movie, they read an excerpt from The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

This clip is the entirety of the quotation [SPOILER ALERT: Go read the graphic novel, or watch the two part adaptation if you haven't yet.  It's one of my favorite Batman stories and it's worth not spoiling.  I'm also going to spoil Man of Steel and the entire Dark Knight Trilogy.  Basically, if you've read this far I assume you've seen/read it all.  If not, then what are you doing here again?]



The exciting part about this reference to me, is I think this is a phenomenal solution to the reboot problem.  The Dark Knight Returns story solves all the hurdles established by the way Chris Nolan wrapped up The Dark Knight Rises.

First: Where was Superman/Batman during the attack on Gotham/Metropolis?  There are significant gaps in both stories where this could be explained, the easiest of which is that Gotham was held hostage while Clark Kent was roaming the world aimlessly and the destruction of Metropolis (or most of it) occurred after the end of The Dark Knight Rises.  That's really the biggest issue.  All of The Dark Knight Trilogy could exist in the Man of Steel universe right up to Zod's exposure.

Second: Nolan retired Bruce Wayne at the end of the TDK Rises.  That is the perfect setup for the story of Miller's TDK Returns.  The Batman established in Nolan's trilogy is also a great lead up to the weary Batman found in TDK Returns.

Third: Christian Bale can either return or be recast.  Bale will likely not return (but you know, Michael Jordan), but it doesn't really matter.  We need to see an aged Batman anyway.  This is a version of Batman that has NEVER been seen on the big screen, and I for one would love to see it.

Fourth: Why are Chris Nolan and David S. Goyer both involved in The Dark Knight trilogy and the new Batman?  There's nothing inherently wrong with this, it's just weird.  The Dark Knight Returns gives them an opportunity to loosely continue their established Batman (even if loosely, it doesn't have to be a direct sequel).

Fifth: This isn't really an independent point, I just feel unbalanced with 4 points.  5 is a nice solid number, but I was going to say Zach Snyder loves working with Frank Miller's material.  He did a good job with Sin City and 300. After seeing the action in Man of Steel, who doesn't want to see the finale from The Dark Knight Returns directed by Zack Snyder?

It makes a lot of sense to me.  It also solves a lot of issues that exist in the two established universes.  It is a good tool to help ground Superman, and a great tool to help show just how resourceful Batman can be.  It's also a timely political story that I feels ties into the established Superman/Batman characters and the related Governments in their respective universes.

My desires from this movie obviously have a lot to do with the fact that I'm a Batman fan.  I'm sure some Superman fans would not be all about this seeing as Superman gets owned, but I think this is exactly what both characters need in order to be properly poised to blow this DC Universe up.  It's likely a pipe dream, but until this dream is dashed, I once again can be excited about the DC Movie Universe.  This is currently the best way I can see the Justice League competing with the Avengers.can

UPDATE: It looks like there was more to this than I originally wrote. Screen Rant has an article now that suggests a very similar theory. http//screenrant.com/batman-superman-movie-title-discussion/.  Remember where you read it first!

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