There have been some great adaptations of the characters we love in the last the few years. The Dark Knight is without a doubt my favorite out of all of them because it shows how much tyranny and chaos the Clown Prince can cause while the Batman can do nothing to truly end it. Movies like these remind me why I love these characters, but if you want movies that are completely faithful to the comics and strengthen the character more than any Hollywood budget could, you gotta look for some fan films. These are the five best fan films that I've seen, and I really think someone ought to make them into big budget films.
5. Power/Rangers Unauthorized
There aren't many fan films that have been as controversial as this take on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. If you look at the comments section of the video, a lot of fans despise this film, often calling it a disgrace to the original characters. Many think that it misses the meaning behind the original series, which was more light-hearted and meant to inspire hope in children.
However, many other fans recognize what those fans don't: this is a fan film. It's not meant to be exactly the same as the source material. It was the director's take on the characters, and I think it could work perfectly in Hollywood today. It's a Power Rangers movie if they were all adults and trapped in a war-stricken, violent world like ours today. It brings the characters we know into a world that reminds us of our own, and makes it excitingly fresh for the big screen. If Power Rangers met the Dark Knight, that's what this would be.
4. The Dark Knight Legacy
This is one of the coolest things to come out of the Dark Knight Trilogy. To sum up this 7-minute story, it takes place one year after Dark Knight Rises, with John Blake as Gotham's new protector. A new foe also presents himself: the Red Hood. He starts off by killing mob bosses and other high-risk criminals, and framing the Batman for them.
Whoever made this used the perfect blend of Christopher Nolan's characters and source material from the comics to make this film. It reminds me so much of the original films, by taking some of Batman's popular characters and refining them to fit into the real world. The director was smart enough to take the villains that could easily be seen in our world, like Penguin and Ventriloquist. It's got the three things every Dark Knight movie has required: it's dark, it's ground in reality, and it rediscovers our favorite rogues from the Bat-Family.
3. Nightwing: The Series
Ok, I know I'm cheating with this one. This is technically not a fan film, but it's hard not to talk about it. For those of you who don't know, Nightwing is the persona that Dick Grayson (the original Robin) took on when he no longer wanted to fight crime under Batman's shadow. This series starts roughly as Dick begins his crusade to protect the city of Bludhaven, with his first real foe being Deathstroke.
A story like this could fit perfectly into the upcoming DC movies. It fits right into that universe, and it even expands on the world and characters they're attempting to form. Plus, Nightwing has always been a relatable character for me. Like most of us, he just wants to be independent, and he needs to prove to everyone that he doesn't always need their help. That may be his fatal flaw, but it's also one of his greatest attributes. Hopefully we'll see a movie like this in the DCCU soon.
2. The Punisher: Dirty Laundry
I wouldn't be surprised if this never became a Marvel movie. It may be just a little too much for the kids expecting to see something like Guardians of the Galaxy. There's not too much explanation needed for this one; it's essentially a day in the Punisher's life, and it sees him struggling with the internal conflict of fighting or being a bystander, because it also makes him wonder if he's still at war.
It's one of the best Punisher stories that I've seen. It has everything you need in ten minutes. Plot, bloody action, internal conflict, and a cameo in the form of Ron Perlman. If we see a Punisher like this in Daredevil's second season the fans will be very happy.
1. Batman: City of Scars
This is my all-time favorite fan film, and, of course, it's a Batman film. It's a classic plot: Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum for what has to be the thirtieth time. But this is where it gets interesting; while in the process of causing mayhem in Gotham, Joker kidnaps a little boy and kills his parents.
How could this not be the perfect plot to a Batman movie? A conflict like this would hit the Dark Knight hard, because it goes back to the moment that made him Batman. It makes him question his crusade: is it saving lives or destroying them? Plus, there have been only three actors who I see as the true Batmen: Christian Bale, Kevin Conroy, and Kevin Porter. Kevin Porter has done this film and many Super Power Beatdowns with directer Aaron Schoenke, and he does an amazing job. These guys know the true face of the Batman, and they know how to do him justice.
These fan films show us that it can benefit Hollywood to be a little more thoughtful when sticking to the source material. Some of these films are better than anything Marvel or DC has offered thus far. And why shouldn't they be? They were made by fans, for fans.