At the tender age of 7, I discovered the Gothic perfection of the Batman animated series. Immediately, a life-long love affair with The Dark Knight began, one that incorporated an undying passion for Tim Burton's Batman Returns, and every comic book that I could lay my ink-stained hands on. Hell, I even watched the horrifically bad yet enjoyable Batman Forever more than any sane human would care to admit.
It may come as a surprise, then, that I actively resent the idea of Warner Bros. developing another Batman movie, particularly now that its very existence has pushed back the release of Justice League 2. Before you consider incarcerating me in Arkham Asylum though, bear in mind that these aren't the ramblings of a DC hater, but of a Batman fan who just wants the best for the DCEU. Let's face it; sometimes, superheroes need saving too.
Do We Need Another Batman Movie?
This year alone, Batman captured Harley Quinn in #SuicideSquad, made out with Batgirl in The Killing Joke, and took a lead role in Justice League Action, all while stealing the show in the double-billed #BatmanvSuperman. Oh, and then there's Gotham, which is also a thing, apparently.
When you throw in the fact that there have been seven Batman movies released in cinemas over the past few decades (not even counting Adam West's camp masterpiece), then it may be time to reevaluate whether we really need another Batman movie just yet.
Do we need to see Bruce Wayne's parents killed yet again?:
After all, Batman may be one of the most popular superheroes out there, but that doesn't mean he's entirely immune to the problem of over-saturation. Critics were far from kind to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — hello Sad Affleck — and the third film from Christopher Nolan's acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy received more negative reviews than expected, despite grossing over $1 billion. To hammer the point home, current rumors also suggest that even Affleck himself is on the fence regarding the future of this solo Batman venture.
Darker Is Not Always Better
"I'm just gonna hurt ya... reaaaaal bad."
A quote from Suicide Squad's Joker, or the critics who ripped the film apart in their reviews?
Whether you're a fan of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, it's hard to deny that the DCEU has experienced its fair share of problems over the past year. Impressive box office aside, critics ripped both films apart faster than Slipknot met his untimely demise, which has led many to suggest that the DCEU should adopt a new approach.
While there's nothing inherently wrong with creating more films in the 'darker' vein of Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman, the suits over at Warner Bros. should consider injecting some much-needed variety into their upcoming release slate. #WonderWoman and Aquaman will hopefully start the process, but the last thing we need is a solo Batman film that will continue the needlessly gritty aesthetic of Batman v Superman. When audiences are generally more excited about the Lego Batman movie than #BenAffleck's live action Caped Crusader, you know that there's a problem.
Give Someone Else A Chance
For comic book fans everywhere, the idea of forging a DCEU without Batman is crazier than Harley Quinn off her meds, but that doesn't mean the Dark Knight deserves yet another solo movie.
Wonder Woman has been around for just as long in the comics, and The Flash is more popular than ever before, thanks to Grant Gustin's portrayal of the Scarlet Speedster on The CW. Sure, both characters are set to star in their own solo films too, but they're featured across the DCEU as a whole far less than Batman has been up until now. Either The Flash or Wonder Woman could become the focal point of the DCEU for a change, drawing in similar numbers to the Dark Knight.
Instead of focusing on another solo Batman film, Warner Bros. should utilize the Caped Crusader across the rest of their release slate instead, using him as the glue that binds the DCEU together. We've seen many versions of Batman onscreen so far, but one that hasn't been explored properly yet is his role as a team player. In the comics, Bruce Wayne is an integral member of the #JusticeLeague, so it wouldn't be much of a stretch to position him as the DCEU's answer to Nick Fury, popping up in other films while remaining at the forefront of the Justice League films.
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Ben Affleck was far better in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice than anyone could have hoped for, but that doesn't mean Warner Bros. should rush into giving him his own movie, especially at the expense of Justice League Part 2. By featuring the Caped Crusader in key roles across other DCEU films instead, audiences won't tire of Batman and other iconic heroes will finally be given the chance that they deserve.
After all, isn't it time that someone else stood in the spotlight for once? Batman prefers to stick to the shadows, anyhow.