With the financial success of #SuicideSquad, the DCEU isn't going anywhere. Speaking as a fan of superhero movies, that's wonderful, but for those who have been feeling unsettling with DC's latest attempts, that may come as a drag. I happened to be in a comic shop last week, Stand Up Comics in El Cerrito, CA, and I overheard a group of teens talking about the DCEU and the DC animated films and how one universe is dominant over the other. As I do when I'm in a comic shop, I browsed through a few Batman books to see what stories, characters and settings they could use for future movies. I picked up Under the Red Hood because I wanted to see how it differs from the animated adaptation, and I also read the Hush arc. Ben Affleck stated that though his upcoming Batman film would be original, it would contain certain elements from past Batman comics.
While reading Under the Red Hood, a character appeared that was not present in the animated movie: Deathstroke. Just last week, Joe Manganiello, who would go on to play Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, said that filming would begin next year in Spring. Deathstroke is basically an assassin with a healing factor. Sound familiar? Anyway, I would have preferred Deathstroke to appear in a Teen Titans movie because I was introduced to him by his cartoon appearance and, funnily enough, he was introduced to the comic book world in the first issue of Teen Titans.
After the news broke about the recent casting, many fans were excited that Batman would have an evenly matched foe in his next movie and suggested that the movie be akin to the video game Batman: Arkham Origins or the animated movie Son of Batman.
Shortly after repeatedly watching that clip, I started to think of three more things that I'd like to see in Ben Afleck's Batman film.
Last time we saw Batman have a sidekick on the big screen was in The Dark Knight Rises, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. We as the audience didn't realize Joseph portrayed the most famous sidekick until the end, when a social worker said that she preferred the name, Robin. Prior to that, I remember Christopher Nolan saying that Robin is probably in a crib somewhere, implying that he may not exist in the trilogy.
Fast forward to 2016, it was hinted twice this year that Robin exists in the current DCEU. Firstly, in a scene where Bruce Wayne looks at Robin's costume with a little message written all over it from a certain "jokester." The second encounter took place briefly in Suicide Squad during each member's introduction, specifically Harley's. In the description, it stated that she was an accomplice in the "Robin murder." With Deathstroke being in the film, they could go the route of Son of Batman, which featured former Robin, Dick Grayson as Nightwing and introduced a new Robin: Damian Wayne.
2. Supernatural Elements
I have the utmost respect for Christopher Nolan and his Dark Knight Trilogy, but if you are familiar with Batman's mythos, you know that Batman has many supernatural elements within his arcs. I know that Nolan wanted to keep his stories grounded in reality, but no one wants to be reminded of reality when watching a movie, unless of course, you're watching a drama or a period piece.
The only time we were able to see a glimpse of unrealistic measures was in Batman Begins, by way of Scarecrow's poison. A major supernormal aspect in Batman mythology is the Lazarus Pit, which could either heal or revive an individual. Seems as though this cinematic universe is going in that direction with the inclusion of Man-Bat in Bruce's nightmare in Dawn of Justice. Since Deathstroke is in the film, he has a healing factor akin to Wolverine's and Deadpool's, with the latter character being inspired by Deathstroke. A majority of Batman's villains contain unrealistic abilities, so why get rid of that?
1. Arkham Asylum
Speaking of villains, it would be nice to visit the famous Arkham Asylum where Batman's rogue gallery is detained. Last time the audience entered the special slammer was briefly in Suicide Squad during Harley's first encounter with Joker. It would be nice to see a cameo from his rogues, especially the supernatural ones, such as: Poison Ivy, ClayFace, Mr. Freeze or The Ventriloquist.
Whatever Affleck plans to do, he already has my ticket. With Geoff Johns on script duty and overseeing the DC Extended Universe as a whole, I'm sure this movie will be excellent. Though no released date has been announced, Warner Bros. has an untitled DC project slated for October 2018, so that may be Batman's slot.
What would you like to see in Ben Affleck's film?