Sotto Voce -> RE: Batman after Nolan (5/3/2012 1:21:41 PM)
The versus films tend to happen when people have no ideas left.
I suggest evolution. Not Revolution.
Nolan will have put together the building blocks of the character, his mission, his morals, the fact that no matter what, he will find a way, and returning from injuries that would ruin other men for life, and the ending of Batman as a legend and beginning of him as Gotham's fully fledged caped crusader.
The 'psychological journey' of Batman ends with TDKR. The character is completed. detective, brawler, patient hunter, fighting seemingly invincible foes. Batman will endure, because he will always have options about how he approaches his work. But the films can continue to put him through a different sort of hell, every single time,
Reboot as if it's essentially a 'parallel' continuation of Nolan's work, as if the new actors had been going through the events of the first three films at the same time. The first scenes of the fourth film familiar enough stylistically to where Nolan left it to smooth the transition and let us see the new faces. The incident that kicks off the main plot of the film marks a gradual shift in film style, marginally different from one scene to the next, so the change towards the new visual style is almost too gradual to notice until at some point, a different one for all viewers, realisation strikes that the film is 'evolving' before our eyes.
The nature of the threat decides what the look of the film will settle down to become, and this can easily be gotten away with because Nolan will have done three differently styled films that suit the threat/tone of the respective films.
Nolan has established the precedent that it is possible to make a series of films where the look of the film can change from film to film and a mystery is created each time as to what each film will feel like. That can encompass the gothic look of that suits a particular story, something more realistic, or whatever, for the same reason.
WB would be crazy to squander the freedom earned by Nolan to expect the audience to accept and expect a different type of film every time. You simply cannot buy this freedom to surprise people every time, but Nolan has earned it for WB. Keep this as a touchstone to keep the prominence of Batman movies as event movies of the kind nobody else can live up to. Keep the films smelling fresh by never letting the dust settle on a style. And let the freedom with the style be rooted in keeping the characters solid and responding as someone actually would in reality, to whatever occurs in a particular film, while the things that happen don;t HAVE to be possible in actual reality. Let the directors queue up for their chance to helm the most risk taking, yet guaranteed box office behemoth. They'll wait.
Start pretty much as a slight development of the 'real world' (ish) Batmans from Nolan, escalate the scope of what can happen just a little higher. Keep the 'trope' of Batman not really knowing what he is up against at first and having to adapt and learn and regroup, and then triumph.
From film to film up the stakes. In terms of how the bad guys will behave. Eventually you can have your supernatural or magical elements. All you have to do is have them introduced in a way that has Batman seek to investigate knowing only what he has learned so far, until the new threat, for as long as possible is something Batman encounters for the first time, has to assess...for example...This can't be real, it has to be some kind of trick....But the world's greatest detective knows full well, once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable (etc).
Supernatural or magical elements apparently entering the equation, then take things a step further. After being dismissed as tricks and theatricality (his turf) things that cannot be explained by any other conclusion than 'this is really happening' transpire,after well enough made lead in scenes so that the audience doubt with Batman, dismiss the impossible with Batman, then learn with Batman:
The word impossible no longer applies, Master Bruce. If you persist in discounting even the thought that this may in fact be the truth of what is going in Gotham, you will always be one step behind. And that's not where Batman is supposed to be
It's just a little,,,
Hard to believe?
Just a little.
You're the one who's always talking about leaps of faith, though aren't you, sir?
Faith in me. Faith in you, Alfred...Gordon, Gotham...not...
Say the word, sir.
You say it.
It's just a word...Faith. In...
I wrote that with Bale and Caine in mind, but change the actors, the relationship stays the same. Keep what keeps the soul of the films together. Everything else is negotiable. Every single time a new Batman film comes out, nobody knows precisely to expect, but will get enough of what they know to keep the faith with whatever decisions have been made.
And this gives a further freedom films don;t normally have. The freedom to fail. Because even if one film isn't quite 'right' establishing the 'build the story from the ground up every time' principle means the next one will once again be a different kind of Batman film.
Three, maybe four years after Nolan, and every three, maybe four years after that...Batman is Reborn. No need churn em out any faster. What's worth waiting for is worth waiting for.
I'm not really feeling this approach. Having one foot in Nolan-world, and the other in fantasy territory, or trying to transition from one to the other within the film, doesn't seem like it would work to me. You could do something similar to Nolan's take, but that might come across as just trying to drag out the series after the story has ended, and probably not as good. You could do something with an element of Nolan's realism, but allowing for somewhat more far-fetched stuff. What I hope they do is move on completely from Nolan's version and give it a clean slate.
Come to think of it, is there anything supernatural in Batman anyway? Science-fantasy, yes, but is there anything supernatural?