Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Open Note to Christopher Nolan on Batman 3

I love Batman, particularly his rogues gallery. I think he has some of the best villains of any of the super hero titles I used to (semi) regularly read. I gave up on the comics a while back because the story lines started feeling repetitive, but I really enjoyed the last two Christopher Nolan Batman movies. And I was equally excited for the third installment. Until now.

A post (albeit unconfirmed so far) from ComicBookMovie.com indicates that the Riddler will be the next primary villain in the franchise. And that several Arkham Asylum characters will also appear (Penguin, Mr Freeze). And maybe Batgirl and Robin. Oh, and let's ALSO throw in an appearance or reference to Lex Luthor/Metropolis.

I have two big issues with these "supposed to be's" and if I could get Nolan's ear -- or any of the screenwriters for that matter -- here's what I'd want to talk about.

1) Haven't we already seen the Riddler as a primary villain back in Joel Schumacher's "Batman Forever"? Regardless of how you feel about Jim Carrey as the Riddler, it happened, we've been there and done that. And honestly, it was kind of passe even back in 1995. (And, of course, we've already seen both Penguin, played by the amazing Danny DeVito, and Mr. Freeze, played by Ah-nuld.) With the amazing rogues gallery available in the Batman universe, is there really no one else? I think I'd rather see a re-make of Poison Ivy as an eco-terrorist.

2) Next, what is the goal of trying to cram so many characters and plot points all into one movie? I think this is one of the (many) big mistakes of the later Batman movies from the late 90's. Riddler, Two Face, and the origin of Robin all gets shoved into the 3rd movie. And then Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, and continued character development of Robin are all crowbarred into another 2-hour story in the 4th installment. And Bane, a great comic book villain, was treated as a second-class sidekick, totally wasted in the 4th movie. It's just too much.

I'm worried Nolan will go down the road (or be forced to) of cramming more characters and plot lines into the movie to create more marketing opportunities (toys) and establish more franchises or spin-offs (rumor has it Nolan may helm the next Superman movie).

Because that's what every good STORY needs is marketing and franchise demands. Sigh. Seriously, you might consider listening to the fans, at least a little. I've already read 6-8 other great ideas in response to these articles that trump the Riddler.

Let's hope I am wrong, and we get a nice, clean story for the 3rd movie.

(image courtesy of ComicBookMovie.com)

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