My first blog was over on LiveJournal, a half-baked concept called Half-Told Stories where I basically pitched the ideas for all the comics, movies, novels, and RPGS that I would never really write out into the ether so that they lived on apart from me (in some sense, at least). Some of the half-told stories I’m most proud of are my Batman pitches (including what I still think is a great plot for a fifth film in Burton/Schumacher series) and my Lone Ranger pitch. On the way to work today, an idea of this style just popped into my head unbidden, so I thought I’d start sharing those on this blog too.
The name is Batman… The Batman.
Internet wisdom is that Warner Brothers will be launching a new series of Batman films sooner than later, and that these films will be more “comic book-y” to fit the mood of a shared universe with Superman, Green Lantern, and the Justice League. There will be less “realism” and less angst than the Nolan films, more colorful villains, and a more open-ended approach. What I hope is that Warner Brothers has learned the lesson from the Nolan trilogy that Batman himself is the most interesting character in the franchise; I hope they keep the focus on Batman and treat the villains as supporting characters. I hope they treat Batman like James Bond.
And one way to keep that focus on Batman is to steal the James Bond pre-credits action scene the same way “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” did.
You could set up the transition from Nolan’s world to a more optimistic (dare I say heroic?) Bat-universe with the opening scene of the first new movie. You begin with a precision bank burglary ala “The Dark Knight” with a set of essentially normal burglars in just slightly outlandish outfits (like the Terrible Trio, perhaps?) breaking in and going through their specialized routines – except Batman’s already there. One guy goes to take out the security and Batman swoops out of the shadows to stop him. Another guy is tackling the vault, there’s a tap on his shoulder, and Batman punches him out. The third guy is taking hostages, and suddenly Batman’s there to put the fear in him. And maybe Batman hasn’t said a word yet, so the last burglar is babbling “Who are you?” and Batman says “The Batman.” Cut to credits and jangly, surf music-infused theme…
There’s a lot of Bat-villains that are just too goofy or one-dimensional to work for a whole movie. I’m sure everyone has their own thoughts on who those would be, but the ones that jump out to me are Firefly, Killer Croc, the Ventriloquist, and Victor Zsasz. Those characters would be great as pre-credits one-offs (well, maybe not Zsasz) who get locked up and later join the hijinks in a big Arkham Asylum breakout movie (or another adaptation of “Knightfall”).
Anyway, it’s just a thought I felt like sharing. Feel free to use it, Warner Brothers.