With the announcement of a brand new Batman in Ben Affleck, and a continuation of the story and universe established in Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel it’s already pretty obvious that Warner Bros. are planning on sweeping Christopher Nolan’s previous Bat-flicks under the rug, and rebooting the franchise; BUT, I’m not sure that’s the best way to go.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think a direct follow up to The Dark Knight Rises would be a big mistake, and I don’t even want Ben Affleck to play the same character that Christian Bale did — but there are ways to give us a new take, new tone, new universe even; without completely disregarding what came before.
Depending on how many Batman regulars will be used in the movie, Zack Snyder’s Batman/Superman sequel will undoubtedly bring us a new cast for all of the established characters, and place them in an entirely new setting..and that’s great, that’s the way to go — but does he have to completely disregard everything that happened in Nolan’s movies? How can Snyder and WB reboot the franchise while maintaining ties to it? Well, it’s actually very simple..they just leave it up to us!
Snyder and co. don’t have to be a slave to the continuity established in the Nolanverse, they just don’t have to completely contradict it either. This won’t be a “reboot” in the traditional sense as we’re not getting another origin story; Batman will be a “seasoned crimefighter”, so who’s to say the story can’t be set after the events of TDKR..even if no direct association is ever mentioned? And — if necessary — a small connection can be made with something as simple as a single line, acting as a nod to the previous movies: Bruce could say “I tried passing on the mantle before, didn’t work out so well”, for example, but the possibilities are endless of course. Man Of Steel had a fairly similar tone to Nolan’s Batman movies anyway, despite introducing actual superpowers, and who’s to say that can’t continue in Bruce Wayne’s new world? Okay so the Dark Knight trilogy was “reality based”, and didn’t contain any supernatural/super-powered characters..so what! Just because we never saw any, doesn’t mean they couldn’t have existed.
I understand the need for a new take on Batman, all I’m saying is let’s not pretend the previous movies didn’t exist when delivering it. After all, just look at James Bond — every actor brought something completely different to their interpretation of 007, and the movies even mixed up real-world, sci-fi, and supernatural elements while still being seen as “canon”. Now if you weren’t a fan of Nolan’s movies I’m sure you’re very happy that all ties will be severed, but if you loved them as much as I do wouldn’t you want SOME element of those great stories to carry over? Or at the very least the option to believe that’s the case by having it left ambiguous? That’s just my take on it, please sound off in the usual place with yours.
Originally published on ComicBookMovie