When you have a superhero movie like The Dark Knight, that so successfully breaks out of its niche and genre that people are clamoring for a best picture nomination, it becomes obvious that the next step for the reinvigorated Batman franchise will be something big. The demand is there, the money’s there, the potential’s there.
And sure enough, over at ComicBookMovie.com, editor Brent Sprecher has reportedly been contacted by a plot outliner at Warner Bros. who has been mapping out the basic elements of the next Batman film. Startling elements that suggest a big twist coming soon to Gotham City. (More at Techland: The 10 worst superhero films)
And given that screenwriter David Goyer has recently been pulled of FlashForward to get his Batman juices flowing once again, there’s no reason to think that these rumors aren’t true.
According to Sprecher, there are five key plot points to the Batman 3 premise:
1. The primary villain will be The Riddler, who will discover Batman’s true identity.
2. Arkham Asylum makes a return from Batman Begins as a key locale.
3. Other classic Batman villains will be injected into the story, including the Penguin and Mr. Freeze (who will be Dr. Fries).
4. Barbara Gordon will be featured prominently in the story.
5. Commissioner Gordon will reference Metropolis – and perhaps Lex Luthor by name – in the story.
Now first off, we are so early in the process here that even if these rumors are true, things could change dramatically before the movie ever makes it to the theater. The script might require more or fewer characters, to make things gel. Injecting Superman elements may be too jagged or jarring. Perhaps they could have casting issues, filling Barbara Gordon’s shoes. (More at Techland: The top 10 sci-fi films of the decade)
That said, if these five elements do indeed move forward, and make their way through the scripting, filming and editing phases, I have a few thoughts on what a possible Batman 3 might look like:
1. The character of the Riddler could be compelling, depending on the casting. We need another Heath Ledger home run, that’s for sure. And as for the plot twist about the Riddler’s discovery of Bruce Wayne, this could be a great game changer. Christopher Nolan started to set this up at the end of the last film, making Batman an enemy of the people, and if he can make Bruce Wayne an enemy of the people as well, things could really get interesting.
2. Bringing back Arkham only makes sense, given the crazy success of the game and the fact that a sequel’s on the way. Fans clearly love the venue, and as we all know, merchandising can move mountains.
3. This is the development that concerns me the most. Why are they throwing in all these other assorted characters? Why the need for an array of cameos? Is this going to become another Batman Returns or Batman & Robin situation? I’m genuiney intrigued to see how a capable director like Nolan protects the tone and feel of his franchise, when he’s forced to divide screen time between so many different foes. This is where most franchises start to go astray.
4. Barbara Gordon: All about the casting.
5. Breaking these walls, between the Superman and Batman franchises, could be epic. Particularly if the next Batman film is as good as the Nolan’s two previous efforts, and if the next Superman reboot meets expectations. Could we be at a place where two of the most popular movie franchises of all time are poised to collide? For better or worse, it would be one of the bolder decisions in Hollywood history. (we’ll just pretend like Aliens Vs. Predator never happened)
All things considered, though, these rumors leave me optimistic about where this latest chapter is headed. No reason to think it will be any less daring or dramatic than The Dark Knight. Your thoughts?
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