Batman is one of the most well-known heroes of all time, his cinematic career has spanned quite a long time, l from the Adam West movies of the '60s, all the way up to today. We’ve had some great movies, and others that weren’t so great, but in that time we’ve covered some substantial ground in Batman history. With the not so great reception of Batman v Superman, there are some things I think Ben Affleck should do, or at least consider doing in order to really deliver an excellent solo Batman film to the DC Cinematic Universe. Below are the top 10 things I would really like to see happen with the solo Batman film.
10. No More Origin Stories
OK, so I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of seeing Thomas and Martha Wayne gunned down in front of Bruce. We get it — his parents were killed and that’s what drove him to be Batman. We’ve seen the origin in Tim Burton’s first film, we dwelled on it in Batman Forever as Val Kilmer’s Bruce Wayne was still shaken up about it, presumably awhile after it had already happened. We saw it drawn out a bit more in Batman Begins, and finally we saw it happen in Batman v Superman.
By now, everyone knows Bruce Wayne’s back story, and to keep dwelling on it would just be overkill and poor script writing. We need a Batman movie that in no way refers to the death of Thomas and Martha, or takes more than 30 seconds of a shot of the headstone to explain that his parents are dead. Enough with the gunning down, Hollywood — we get it. It’s completely unnecessary now to explain it to us again, stop casting for the Wayne family and let it go.
Just see how many times the Waynes have met their demise in the video below:
9. No More Joker As The Main Villain
I get the appeal of the Joker, and I am a huge fan of the Clown Prince of Crime, but he has been done way too much and needs to be retired from the films. Cesar Romero played him with Adam West, then we had Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and now Jared Leto. I know what you’re thinking, “what about Mark Hamill?” I’m not counting the cartoon universe in this article, so Mark Hamill’s legendary run as Joker is irrelevant.
OK, I understand that the Joker is a fascinating character to explore, and I get that he is Batman’s arch-nemesis and he’s probably the most lethal of all the rogues in Batman’s history, but he has been done too often at the expense of equally interesting villains. The Penguin could stand for a redo or even the Riddler. Have you read any of the stories where the Riddler takes over Gotham and Batman is just completely lost? They are amazing, and the Riddler is a great mental foe for Batman.
But not just the Riddler, there are a ton of truly unexplored Batman rogues. Mad-hatter, Man-Bat, Calendar Man, Ventriloquist, Black Mask, the Parliament of Owls, Talon, Talia al Ghul (her quick stint in Dark Knight Rises doesn’t count), Clayface, Hush, and Red Hood, just to name a few. Batman has an amazing collection of great rogues that we could explore without ever having to mention the Joker. But, even if you did feel like mentioning the Joker in some way, have Batman walk past his cell in Arkham or have him name dropped or something. That way, people know he is there if they didn’t already. You can develop any number of the other equally interesting villains in Batman’s storied history.
8. Let's Take An Actual Look At Bruce Wayne
There has never been a really good development of Bruce Wayne. I mean, all the movies have tried to develop his persona, but all have fallen short. I would really like to see a movie where Bruce Wayne isn’t just some kind of hollow, boring, rich kid. They need to work on developing his suave, charismatic personality more.
Give him an interesting and compelling love life without making the woman a mindless, obsessed drone. Make Bruce seem human, so when we see Batman we fully believe that they are two different people and that Bruce isn’t just Batman’s disguise. Give us a Bruce we can empathize with on every level, give us a great look at a great character finally.
7. Will The World's Greatest Detective Please Stand Up?
Not since Adam West has Hollywood really focused on showcasing Batman’s detection skills, instead they focus on him beating the crap out of people with the occasional educated guess here and there and the glorified Googling (Yes, Batman v Superman, I’m looking at you). Batman is an amazing fighter, yes, but we see that. He’s also the world’s greatest detective and we have yet to see him do any actual detective work. He was in the Batcave working out clues a few times in the first Tim Burton movie, and did a little investigating in Batman Returns, but do you remember much, if any, detective work in anything after that?
I remember a lot of educated guesses that turned out to be right, but I don’t remember any clue gathering or scene analysis. Even in Batman v Superman the time he spent doing any actual spy work was as Bruce Wayne, and even then it was only at the party. Batman has amazing detective skills, and I wish they would showcase that in the new Batman solo film. Give us an ass kicker and an analytical genius. Give us a fully developed caped crusader.
6. Nostalgia For The Longtime Fans
One of my favorite things about the animated series and the movies is that whenever we see the Batcave, we see a collection of old suits worn by Batman throughout his time as the caped crusader, and I feel it really adds a nice touch to Batman’s human side. I mean why save all those suits except to remind yourself of how far you’ve come? I think it would be great to have a Batcave with kind of a collection of old Batman and Robin suits as a thank you to the fans who have stuck through for so long, and it would add just a little bit of fun to the movie without making it campy. This leads me to my next point.
5. Cave Collection
Batman is a hoarder. I mean, the mechanical dinosaur, the giant penny, and the giant Joker card? Those things were great, and they’ve always been staples in the Batcave. I would love to see them in the cave at some point along with other memorabilia from past cases. Not only would it be a great way to kind of pay an homage to the other Batman films, but it would add a subtle nuance to Batman that has always been lacking: his more human and nostalgic side. The little mementos Batman keeps in the cave are important to remind Batman of how far he has come and how far he has still to go.
4. Where's Robin/Nightwing?
Robin has become so ingrained in the Batman mythos that he is as integral to the story as Batman himself. Ben Affleck plays an older Batman who has gone through at least two Robins (Dick Grayson and Jason Todd), which leads us to surmise that Timothy Drake is there somewhere in the background waiting to come out. They should use this opportunity to introduce (or at least name drop) Dick Grayson/Nightwing and definitely introduce Tim Drake as Robin into the DCCU.
Tim is one of my favorite Robins because he’s a genius. He’s a whiz with computers and building things to help him and Batman in their war on crime, and I think to have someone there with Batman while he’s investigating things would be amazing. Besides (and with no offense to Chris O'Donnell), it’s about time the Boy Wonder was done correctly in the live-action universe. Introducing these two would also be a great way to introduce a bigger part of Batman’s history.
3. Family Is Everything
Batman is in his element when he is in control of his own army of crime fighters. When he is forced to think on his feet for the safety of the group it makes for a way more compelling Batman than when Batman is just a one-man army. Introducing Nightwing/Robin would be an excellent primer to the Bat family at large. This includes Oracle, Huntress, Black Canary, Spoiler, Azrael, and even Batwoman.
By bringing us into a fully developed world where all these people exist, we could truly come to understand the depth and impact Batman’s mission has made on Gotham, and it would be a great chance to explore otherwise ignored characters in the DCCU. I think it’s about time that we expand Batman’s world and take him outside of Wayne Manor and the cave into a fully developed Gotham City.
2. Where Is The GCPD?
The GCPD has always been kind of portrayed as some inept group of people who can’t function without Batman, but in stories like Gotham Central, we see a fully developed and very interesting GCPD. One that can not only exist, but thrive without help from Batman. The GCPD are cops — they investigate things as well, and they really don’t like Batman too much because they never know whose side he is on or when he will snap.
It’s because of Gotham Central and because they know they are a force to be reckoned with without Batman backing them, that the GCPD are so strong in the Gotham Central stories. It’s about time in the DCCU that we see the GCPD acting like, well, acting like cops. Can we finally have a police department acting like a police department? I mean, if they need an example of how it is done, they can look to the television show Gotham, which focuses entirely on the GCPD, as Batman isn’t even a thought yet.
1. Give Us A Compelling Story
Batman has so many amazing and compelling stories to choose from in the comics that could easily be repurposed for the cinematic universe. From any of the stories leading up to and including Final Crisis, Batman Earth One, The Long Halloween, any of the New 52 Batman stories with the Parliament of Owls, to Arkham Asylum. There are some amazing stories to be told, and a lot of ground that has gone unexplored.
I think it is entirely possible to give us a story with all the elements included above and deliver an all-around amazing Batman story. Let’s finally deliver a story that both critics and fans can be proud of and praise highly without too much grit and gore and without too much if any camp. Give us a gritty, and entertaining story that people will want to watch over and over again because it’s a damned good story.
Batman is one of the most well-known heroes in comic book history, and as such he has someone of the best stories ever written down on paper. Along with that, he has an amazing group of rogues and allies to choose from in order to deliver an amazing story. With Batman v Superman not doing as well as Warner Brothers had hoped, there’s a lot riding on this solo Batman outing, and I hope Ben Affleck can deliver. The fans want a Batman done right, and so far, Ben has been outstanding in the cape and cowl. I for one don’t want to see him become another pawn in Warner Brothers’ bid for dollars instead of interesting and well-told stories.
What do you want to see in the next solo Batman film?