Welcome to the inaugural #HPNPCTOTW (Hashtag Hollywood Picture News Pop Culture Thought of the Week). Spun off from the PCTOTD’s (Pop Culture Thoughts of the Day) on our Twitter, this weekly(ish) column will allow for a deeper (at least deeper than 140 characters) dive into a specific pop culture topic. This week, I’m looking at Batman.
If you’re a listener to the podcast, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t be (it’s pretty awesome), you know the new Batman movie (aka Batfleck’s Batflick) is a mess. Affleck pulled out as director (but, will still star, write and produce, as of right now). Matt Reeves bailed on replacing him. No new director has been named. And rumor has it the script is being redeveloped from page one, though the studio denies that. Apparently, they are “very happy with it.”
So, I got to thinking about what I’d do with the Bat franchise (starting with starting over). First, I wouldn’t make it a planned trilogy or the seed for a larger cinematic universe. And we’ve already seen how Batman began. We’ve seen an older Batman, long established. My Bats is somewhere in the middle, between urban legend and superhero.
One of the few things Batman v. Superman (aka The Legal Proceeding) got right was the warehouse takedown (the other was Wonder Woman….everything else sucked). I want that, minus the murder, as a single movie. Just Batman (with a little Nightwing, Robin and Batgirl…) kicking ass for 2 hours. This Batflick is The Raid meets John Wick via Gotham City.
From behind its bars, Bane controls the very prison he grew up in. Taking on the sins of his father, it’s all he’s ever known. Uninterested and complacent, he has no more challenges, until reports of The Batman make their way south. This Bane is not someone’s lackey. He’s the brains & the muscle, and he’s Batman’s absolute physical and mental equivalent.
Gotham City has finally been cleaned up. Organized crime is at its lowest in decades. Arkham Asylum is nearly at capacity. Nightwing has moved onto Bludhaven. Barbara hung up her own Batgirl cowl. Robin (Tim Drake) isn’t sure what his purpose is anymore. And Batman is bored.
The night begins with breakouts all over Gotham City. Criminals from Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison flood the streets. Batman calls in Nightwing, Robin and even Batgirl to help. Studying his enemies from the shadows, Bane analyzes their every move. Documenting the smallest sign of weakness. Taking them out, one by one. Leaving Batman to the end. And when he takes out The Bat, he’ll know true victory.
This will be one of the worst days in Batman’s life. No team to support him. Every conceivable enemy of his on the streets causing havoc. By the end of this day, he will be beaten, broken, and at rock bottom. And only then will Bane finally appear to him.
Chad Stahelski (John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2)
Bruce Wayne/Batman (John Krasinski)
Dick Grayson/Nightwing (Zac Efron)
Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (Tessa Thompson)
Tim Drake/Robin (Asa Butterfield)
Alfred (Anthony Hopkins)
Commissioner Gordon (Denzel Washington)
Harvey Bullock (John Goodman)
Renee Montoya (Michelle Rodriguez)
Bane (Dave Bautista)
The Joker (Timothy Olyphant)
Harley Quinn (Michelle Williams)
The Riddler (David Tennant)
Two-Face (Jon Hamm)
Catwoman (Kerry Washington)
Poison Ivy (Elizabeth Banks)
The Penguin (Patton Oswalt)
Mr. Freeze (Ben Kingsley)
Scarecrow (Tim Robbins)
There you have it. No origins. No love story. Barely any Bruce Wayne. Just a simple, wall-to-wall, action flick with Batman doing what he does best, being Batman.
From Culver City,