I'm cautiously optimistic. I usually am with most film projects. Ben Affleck may or may not be a good Batman. I'm willing to give him a shot. His being Batman will not affect my eagerness for the film in the least. However, with all the Ben Affleck complaints I've heard around the internet, I decided it was time to put serious thought into ways the epic Dark Knight Trilogy could connect to the Man of Steel Universe. Christian Bale was great as Batman, and he's been accepted by fans and audiences alike. So after a good time for thought, (as well as re-watching all the movies), I came up with four and a half ways to connect the franchises and get Bale back.
1.) Man of Steel and the Aftermath
I liked Man of Steel. I admit it. I thought it was a fine movie, and I feel as if it was the perfect Superman reboot and just what Warner Brothers needed. One of my favorite parts about the movie were the dozens of Easter Eggs throughout. Of the many teases, there were a number of Batman Easter eggs.
Now these references proves that Batman/Bruce Wayne exists in this universe. Fine. Now for the connection. At the end of Man of Steel, Superman has destroyed a significant portion of the city of Metropolis, and pretty near razed Smallville to the ground. Sure he saved the earth, but he was the reason that the earth was being attacked. So don't think for one second that some Super-powered alien isn't going to have enemies. Media alone could create strong dislike and controversial public opinions. The government is unsure of how to stand, even if General Swanwick is in there pitching for him. But, what about other heroes? How is Batman going to react, now that we know he exists in the same universe? He would be so concerned and so determined keep him in check, he would almost be forced to come out of hiding to stop him. Stop him from doing what? He's a alien with god-like power. That kind of power should not go unchecked. Someone needs to minimize this threat. Who would be better than the "Always Prepared" Batman to take down the big blue boy scout?
That's one way, though it's not the best, but perhaps it's the most basic.
2.) Lex Luthor and Wayne Enterprises
Another way to tie in universes is to further explain the fate of Wayne Enterprises. At the end of the Dark Knight Rises, the company is down the tubes. Lucius Fox is left alone to breath life back into the Wayne name and the seemingly bankrupt company. Media will probably blame the company for the bomb in the first place, and scandals like that are hard (more like impossible) to overcome. So if the company is bankrupt (or quickly going bankrupt), what would happen? The company would probably get sold to another larger company. Another company like LexCorp, which is run by the rich and genius Superman villain: Lex Luthor. Luthor would be more than willing to purchase the company for the science division (scandals would reveal more than Fox would want). Fox is a great business man, and the Wayne name is a pretty famous one. Why wouldn't Luthor want it? (I feel as if this could have already happened by the time of Man of Steel, since I doubt very much that Wayne Enterprises was "rich enough" to maintain any satellites.
About that satellite: Why does Wayne Enterprises need a huge satellite with their logo on it in space? Yeah, really big companies might have huge satellites, but aren't the technological companies the ones with the logos? That satellite is in all likeliness a cover-up for Batman.
Now, Lex Luthor will almost undoubtedly head an anti-Superman movement, and will use any assets at his disposal to aid its success. His company and his influence on the corporate world will play a major role in the film. Despite the controversy, I'm confident Jesse Eisenberg can do justice to the role of a sneaky, manipulative billionaire in the public favor. Politics will be one of Superman's big enemies. Growing up on a farm may not have taught him how to handle sneaky businessmen who manipulate others with words and fancy toys. The reporter job at the Daily Planet will (over time) help Superman deal with that, bu tin the meantime, he'll be blunt and most likely fight against what he sees as a dangerous threat. But, will that be enough to stop someone who plays a big hand on saying what is a danger and what is not? Lex Luthor will definitely have an upper hand. Superman is used to fighting on a battlefield, not in an office or even a courtroom.
As for Bruce Wayne, well, he could "miraculously return" yet again. (Remember Batman Begins?) He could provide brilliant insight to LexCorp's campaign against the Man of Steel, and their partnership would gain public favor. (Or, what I think is more likely, Wayne might be Luthor's secret partner in the project.) His death isn't exactly explained at the end of the Dark Knight Rises. I watched the ending three times and there was never any signs of saying or showing how Bruce Wayne's death is explained. Not everyone knows he was Batman, otherwise the statue unveiling would tell his identity, and there would definitely be a lot more people at his funeral. There's obviously no body in the grave, and Alfred knows he's alive anyway. Is it so implausible that he would come back? After already having been "dead" during a seven year absence. (I won't even mention the 8 years he spent in seclusion in Wayne Manor). Wayne's a mysterious guy. Billionaires can afford to be.
That was reason number two. So far it doesn't affect the Man of Steel sequel plans with or without Ben Affleck. Reason number three does the opposite.
3.) John Blake and the Bat-Cave
This had to be coming. At the end of the Dark Knight Rises (if anyone still hasn't seen this yet, you had better, it came out two years ago) John Blake (whose first name is revealed to be Robin), is given the "keys" to the Bat-Cave.
First, let me say that this is not Robin. He's not meant to be the actual Robin from comics. If anything, this is Christopher Nolan's version of Robin, which is really just an Easter Egg to his comics counterpart. The ending obviously had me very excited. (And I know I wasn't alone.) Everyone assumed that this "Robin" would get his own follow-up film or some kind of story told afterward. Well, that is impossible for the following reasons:
1.) He's just a cop, not some super genius, highly trained billionaire-ninja.
2.) Even if he did figure out how to use all the hi-tech equipment and manage to fight crime, he would be so in-experienced he would literally die.
3.) He's not Batman, heck, he's not even Robin. His first name is Robin so that makes him the famous sidekick? Not even close. He's not the real Robin, he's not even Nightwing. If anything he's the Bat Cave/Wayne Manor's Caretaker.
Before anyone begins to get upset at my rather blunt description of JGL's character, let me explain the connection to Batman. And the clues are in the end of the Dark Knight Rises. At the very end, Wayne Manor is given to the orphans, and Alfred gets a ton dough he had when Bruce Wayne was dead before. Commissioner Gordon, who is still Commissioner at the end, is stuck with the problem of cleaning up the city of all the criminals freed by Bane. Bruce Wayne has finally stopped pouting about a woman who didn't even love him and after 8 years of pouting (dude, just man up) he decides to leave it all behind for some lady he just met, mainly because she's a crook and wants a clean slate, so that means she's going straight for life and he wants to spend the rest of his life with her even though she betrayed him and stole his mother's pearls. Seriously, Bruce, "There's more to you than that."
Wayne Manor was never really a huge deal to Bruce, since for most of the movies/his life he's hardly there. Losing his fortune is also no big deal, because he was willing to hide with all the scum in Batman Begins and he knows how to live poor. Losing his company has never been a problem, since he never controlled it. Letting Alfred have some money for his services is no problem, since he won't be needing it. Now two things might be a problem. The first, is the fact that the city is a horrible mess, tons of cops are dead, and thousands of prisoners are running rampant in the streets, (including Scarecrow, and possibly the Joker) not to mention the aftermath of the bomb that went off.
Would Batman leave his beloved city that he's saved a lot of times in a huge mess with just a rookie ex-cop (with "keys" to the Bat Cave) and Commissioner Gordon to clean up? The bigger question: Would he leave a rookie cop the keys to the Bat Cave with no training whatsoever? If he is, Batman's basically killing the kid. NO. Robin in the comics is his partner, and is trained by Batman. So if this "Robin" really is supposed to be Robin, than let him be Batman's partner. Let Batman return and train him and help clean the city. Batman must have some sort of plan for returning and helping this kid. Everyone seems to think Batman's dead. Or is he? Also in the very end, it's shown that the Bat-Symbol has been repaired mysteriously. If it's not for Batman than who is it for? It can't be for "Robin" because he's not able to replace Batman. It must mean he plans to come back or at least train the new Batman. He can't just stay retired with an ex-con who he just met.
The writers for the Man of Steel sequel have said that they're looking for a seasoned Batman. Bale isn't seasoned? He had no cartilage in his knee and needed a cane. He had his back broken. He's going to have a successor in JGL. He's pretty seasoned to me. Affleck has the age factor, but Bale definitely has the experience.
That was reason 3. Now for the final, and my personal favorite.
4.) Riddle Me This:
Whatever happened to Coleman Reese?
For those of you who remember, in The Dark Knight, former Wayne Enterprises worker, Coleman Reese, figures out Batman's Identity. He than proceeds to attempt to blackmail him. After that doesn't work he intends to reveal his identity to the public on tv. Well, because of the Joker's threat, and because Bruce Wayne saves his life, he suddenly has a change of heart and then disappears forever. To me, this was the biggest plot hole in the trilogy, because he literally disappears. It was revealed after the movie that Reese was indeed an Easter Egg. (Kind of like the John Blake Easter Egg)
He was a Riddler Easter Egg. The Longtime Batman villain/ex-worker for Wayne Enterprises was really named Edward Nygma a play on words for Enigma (which means Mystery). (Mystery or Mysteries or Mr. Reese.) That was what the character was meant to be.
First Option: Well I propose to take that a step further and actually make him the Riddler. I know I'm sort of contradicting myself since I've already said that Blake is not Robin, but hear me out. After the Joker blows up the hospital, he could be the target of many people for various reasons, and for that he would need to disappear. Well why not have him change his name to Edward Nygma because of the already said Easter Egg? He could return to Gotham and find in ruins decide to trap Batman into returning by finding out for himself that Bruce Wayne is not dead. He could send riddles to have him return.
Second option: Have him change his name to Nygma, and have him team up with Lex Luthor in the Man of Steel sequel, and share the secret with him of Batman's identity, and together they find him and force him to come back.
Third Option: Have him sought out by a number of criminals or people and he's forced to reveal the answer, and for that, Batman comes back to top the criminals. Seriously, everyone just seems to forget about this guy. Villains would love to buy this man a drink.
Fourth Option: Have Reese tell Edward Nygma himself. To me, it makes more sense to simply just have him be the Riddler, but this could allow for a better casting and a more warped reason to chase Batman. The proof that Batman survives is all over the place, not to mention the fact that Alfred saw him and knows he's still there. What better way to bring back Batman than to threaten Alfred, his only family?
4.5) Celebrity Batman
This isn't exactly a reason, but it's plausible. It seems that Batman has become sort of a celebrity at the end of the DKR. Statues of him are erected, he just saved a whole city. Wouldn't be surprised if there was some sort of "Batman Day" in Gotham now. Batman's celebrity status would enable him to focus more on the global scale, like super-powered aliens for example. The sign "Keep Calm..." in MOS shows that Batman has been put on marketing items. He's a celebrity. Perfect for joining the Justice League, and the possibly the people's first option for an opposing Superman figure. When Nolan says the universes don't or can't co-exist, I'm not buying it. The proof is on the screen. Almost like it was set up for it.
Well, Those are the four (and a half) ways to bring back Christopher Nolan's realistic and epic Dark Knight Trilogy. Is it the best thing to do? Well, as far as money and fans, yes it probably is. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." A fresh take would be cool, but at the same time, no need to take unnecessary risks. Christian Bale was a good Batman (he's no Adam West, but he was a good Batman). Why let Daredevil actor Ben Affleck be Batman when he could ruin the whole series. He could be a hit, but it's hard to tell, especially so soon after the trilogy. Bring Back Batman.
Actually, to be fair, I think Affleck will probably be fine. All the same, I'd still love to see Bale in there and the DKT cast.
Well, that's what I have to say. Love it? Hate it? Am I a total idiot for trying to add on to an already awesome trilogy? Let me know in the comments below.