With all of the questions, theories, and hooplah surrounding the upcoming DC answer to The Avengers, BvsS: Dawn of Justice, it is easy to overlook other things that are beginning to take shape in the newly formed DCMU. Competing with the massive success of Marvel's Movie Universe, the uphill battle for DC begins with Zack Snyder and company attempting to bring to life one of the most iconic scenes in Batman history. But what will they do past that? Of course, Jason Mamoa's Aquaman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman will get their own solo projects, and most likely they will be multiple films. But where do you go with Batman? Ben Affleck is portraying an older, seasoned Bruce Wayne, so origin stories and introducing famous villains for the first time seem like a little bit of a stretch. So . . .where do you go?
One of the biggest pieces of information on that front was the decision that Ben Affleck will be at the helm, writing, directing, starring . . .who knows, maybe editing and casting and composing. With one solo film slated, there are all kinds of fan theories about where the movie will go, what direction it will take, and what follows. If I had Batfleck's ear . . .I know what I would do. Beginning with the first movie, and setting up not just a Batman trilogy, but a few spin-offs that could expand the DCMU in ways that could compete with Marvel for a decade.
Movie One: The Court of the Owls
With so many villains in the Batman universe, there is little room for a shadowy organization that shares a lot of similarities with The League of Shadows. However, it is possible that with Batman having finally chased all of the organized crime and super villains out of the city, the revival of an ancient organization hell bent on the progression of Gotham makes sense.
Starting with a flashback scene of Batman and Robin taking down Two-Face, and Dick Grayson dropping the news that he was headed off to Bludhaven as Nightwing. Flash forward to the present, where the Court's Talon (Tip of the Spear type of assassin) begins taking out the corrupt politicians. Once Wayne begins to investigate, it takes him deep into the legends of Gotham, where the Court has surfaced time and again to destroy the city and rebuild. It is a race against time and not only his past, the Wayne family's connection to the Court, but the past of his former ward, Dick Grayson's past as well, and his destiny to be the Court's Talon.
The cast would be as follows.
Obviously Ben Affleck and Jeremy Irons would be reprising their rolls as Bruce and Alfred, in the interest of keeping this a consistent shared universe. But the new rolls not yet established . . .
Forget the young and lively Dick Greyson, and the light sided Robin. This is the older and distinguished version. The darker side of the character. JG is more than capable of pulling off the look and the persona of pretty much any character he wants. But Greyson is the acrobat . . .the high flying fighter that the other versions never captured. If you don't think he can do that . . .re-watch Prince of Persia and think again.
I know, he has already played a character in a Batman movie. But, these movies are separate from the Nolan trilogy and this guy deserves a bigger role, more notoriety, and the opportunity to bring to life one of the cogs in the universe.
Am I the only one that thinks that we deserve the Harvey Dent from the Animated Series? Idris Elba could be the best version of Dent that we have ever seen. And just like Fichtner, he deserves a larger role in the comic book movie universes.
For all of you who have never read The Court of the Owls, the finale is a veritable all hands on deck for the Batman family. Batman needs all of his allies to stop the threat, and the youngest, most agile of the group, and love interest for Dick Greyson, is the daughter of Gordon. Rachel Nichols not only has the look and the ability to make the action scenes realistic, but she is also versatile enough to play both the butt-kicking bad girl of Batgirl, and the tech savvy genius of Brabara Gordon's other alter-ego. (Soon to be revealed)
Mayoral Candidate March
Who better to both serve as a corrupt politician and the leader of the biggest threat than Christoph Waltz? He can be funny and charming enough to convince the people of Gotham to vote him into office. And at the same time, ruthless enough to sit at the head of the table of the Court.
I mean, c'mon . . .he has been a Sith, a G.I. Joe, and an X-Men villain. Is there any athletic villain this guy couldn't play?
Spin Off One
Movie Two would be the first spin-off. And, you guessed it, how could we possibly cast Jake Gyllanhaal without giving him his own movie? That is right, after almost a decade of begging, the fans would get a big budget, top tier star, Oscar worthy writer/director, Nightwing Movie. There are not all that many iconic Nightwing stories (before any of you die-hard Nightwing fans tear me down, I said iconic.) to choose from, so the story needs to be villain driven. And who could be better to go up against a long awaited solo movie protagonist, than a long awaited solo movie antagonist? Deathstroke.
Obviously, without JG it wouldn't work. But as for the rest . . .
We have already seen Mads wield a blade in King Arthur and Clash of the Titans so we know he has the physical ability, and with his villainous portrayal in Casino Royal and Hannibal, we know he definitely has the clout to pull it off as well.
I may or not be the only one in the world who thinks she could pull this off, and if I am, I will take those odds. With most comic book movies, success happens after bold casting. For example, Micheal Keaton as Batman, Heath Ledger as The Joker, etc. So, for any ney sayers, give it a chance.
With BvsS: DOJ being loosely based on an iconic Batman novel, and the first movie being based on The Court of the Owls, it is only fitting that the second in the Batfleck Trilogy also be based on an iconic Batman Novel. In Hush, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, Tommy Elliot looses his billionaire parents as well, albeit in a more nefarious way. He becomes the polar opposite of Bruce, using his anger and his genius to hurt others, and most importantly, attack Wayne and Batman. He brings together a group of some of Batman's most notorious villains to bring him down. And again, Batman would need a little help in facing them.
Cast, Batman, Alfred, Gordon, and Deathstroke would be cast the same as always, and Deadshot and Harley Quinn would also be cast from the Suicide Squad movie, Will Smith and Margot Robbie would reprise.
There are few people in Hollywood who can embody both a genius level intellect and an intense physical threat with the same convincing portrayal. Karl Urban is one of them, if not the best of them.
He wants it, we want it, why fight it? He would be perfect for the role, very few people would argue it . . .
Roman Sionis/Black Mask
Roman Sionis is another one of Bruce Wayne's childhood friends that looses his parents at a young age under questionable circumstances. He squandered his fortune and detests Wayne. With so many things in common with Eliot, why wouldn't he join the crusade to destroy Batman? With that in mind, who better to portray anger, jealousy, and murderous rage than Thomas Jane?
Jason Todd/Red Hood
When Batman needs help, and Dick Greyson and Barbera Gordon are away in Bludhaven, it is an uneasy alliance between him and an old failure. When Jason Todd returns to Gotham, he faces the choice to join the Hush campaign, or ally himself with the man who got him killed. ZQ has proven again and again that he is capable of gathering a nerd herd following with Heroes and Star Trek, why break an already impressive streak?
After the events of Hush, Bruce and Jason are at odds with how they deal with threats. While Batman still considers Todd a criminal, he gives him a chance to leave in return for his assistance. Todd uses the opportunity to form an alliance with two others that have been excommunicated, Roy Harper AKA Arsenal, and Huntress. Together, they formed The Outlaws.
After Todd was killed by the Joker, he was taken by the League of Shadows and put in the Lazarus Pit, bringing him back to life. He returns to the League of Shadows in hopes of furthering his training, only to find Grant Wilson, the son of Slade Wilson murdering Talia al-Ghoul and reinventing the League of Shadows and calling it H.I.V.E. The Outlaws band together to take them down before he can take any innocent lives.
Jason Todd and Huntress are reprised by Zachery Quinto and Michelle Trachtenberg
I already used three actors from the Star Trek reboot, why not a fourth? I would swear that you would think that Star Trek is my favorite movie, but it's more accurately just a stellar cast. A young and impulsive man just like Todd, Harper needs someone who can portray the rage that is needed. Anton is one of the best in the business and as long as he can master a bow, I believe he is the best choice out there.
If you put this guy next to Mads, it is uncanny. They could be related. In this universe, he would be . . .directly. Even though their ages aren't that far off, Luke could portray someone a little younger than himself, while Mads could play a little older. In any case . . .no one stages a coup better.
With all that would have gone into this Batverse . . .a big finale would be needed. This would be an all hands on deck from the rest of the movies. Almost all of the actors from the previous movies would come together to make a gigantic final movie that would cap it off in style.
An earthquake rocks Gotham, leaving thousands dead, and even more missing. One of those missing is more tragic than most, Batman. And when the earthquake cracks the foundation of Arkham Asylum, it releases some of the most ruthless inmates inside. As Riddler, Two-Face, and Black Mask set up their own empires in a dystopian Gotham, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood swoop in to stem the flow of carnage and chaos.
While the movie is loosely based on the No Man's Land Novel, there would be another comic that would get a nod. A huge scene from one of the most iconic Batman comics in history.
If you are a Batman fanatic like I am, you probably already know what I am talking about. There is one scene from here that would make for a very emotional scene on film. When the Joker breaks out of Arkham following the earthquake, he has one goal, and accomplishes it with deadly accuracy. You know the scene I am talking about I think . . .
The attack that paralyzes Barbara Gordon right in front of her father. The Joker shows up at the home of Gordon, and when she answers the door, he shoots her in the spine. What ensues is a kidnapping of Gordon, the rescue by Batman, and the death of the Joker. Followed by Red Hood, Nightwing, and Batman taking down the rest of the villains, bringing order back to Gotham. And what talented actor would portray the elderly Joker that encapsulates that scene??
Damn right, fan favorite Willem DeFoe.
So, regardless of what is on the ledger for the rest of the DCMU, this would be the best BatFleck-Verse that combines comic cannon with blockbuster plausibility. Would the actors sign on for such a project? Who knows. Would they run into problems with the cast the way Marvel did with RDJ? Undoubtedly. But, if they pulled it off, would Batman once again be the focal point to a Detective Comics Movie Universe? The answer to that is in the hands of Ben Affleck.
Leave your thoughts below.