If you, like many others, felt a little underwhelmed by [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) then take heart from the knowledge that the DC Extended Universe is only just getting started. The highly anticipated and pretty exciting looking Suicide Squad is set to land a mere month from now, and Wonder Woman follows up next year.
But the next outing of one of the most explored superheroes of contemporary cinema might actually be one of our most anticipated instalments. The proposed Batman solo outing — starring the DCEU's Batfleck, Ben Affleck — doesn't yet have many details confirmed, but according to Warner Brothers CEO Kevin Tsujihara it is definitely happening.
And not only is Affleck starring in and directing the solo Bat-venture, he's also writing it. According to talent agency WME-IMG, he's already got a completed script that — whilst not cemented as the backbone for the movie — is apparently "a really cool [Batman] idea".
Whilst it's tempting to dive into the excellent back catalogue of Batman comics to look for storylines and characters we could see, Affleck told Cines Argentinos back in March that we should expect to see something a little bit new this time around:
"I think what I would do is, I would probably do in some ways what Zack [Snyder] did with this movie, which is to borrow certain things from great comic books but create an original story around it. Because I wouldn’t want fans to already know the story and be familiar, but I would borrow and steal great things that have been done before in the comics."
There's a few things we can take from this statement. Gunning for an original story is a good, if tricky concept. Emulating Snyder though might not be the best idea after the poor performance of Batman v Superman, but Affleck's back catalogue gives us strength.
So, how could the Batman solo movie capitalize upon the mistakes of its predecessor? Although we thought Affleck's take on Batman was one of the best parts of Dawn of Justice, it's hard to argue with the fact that there was many missed opportunities, particularly those inherent to the character.
The DC films — even Christopher Nolan's trilogy — still feel like they're missing a fully rounded Batman. He's not just a rich vigilante with a penchant for Bat memorabilia: He's a son and a father, a detective and a genius who doesn't always have to rely on his fists and gadgets to resolve situations.
Here's a few things we think should make good additions to the DCEU at this stage, let's break it down.
1. Make It A Prequel
Who exactly is the DCEU Batman? Why is he so moody? What's with the tiny little bat ears? Did he get the idea for the voice-modulating unit after laughing at Christian Bale's growly Batman voice?
We're not talking origins — let's not go that basic here, c'mon. But there's a lot of backstory still needing filled in around our DCEU Batman — especially in regards to that Jokerized fallen-Robin suit. The Batman solo movie seems an excellent place to explore that (we can do without seeing Thomas and Martha Wayne dying again though).
2. Get The Batfamily On The Go
We've never really seen a proper representation of the Batman Family on-screen (Batman & Robin doesn't count and you know it) and yet they comprise a huge part of the Batman mythology.
Not only that, but they provide a perfect sounding board for exploring the part of Batman/Bruce Wayne we don't usually see on-screen. From his troubled relationship with his son Damien Wayne/Robin to the driving guilt he feels from what happened to Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in The Killing Joke, the Batfamily bring out the best in Batman, but sometimes drive him to do the worst.
3. Lay Down Your Guns
Batman. Doesn't. Use. Guns.
Okay, I know. Yes there have been instances in the comics where he has bent or broken his "no guns" rule, especially in the early issues of Detective Comics when the character was still being defined. But the early days Batman also said things like "Quiet or papa spank!" when apprehending Catwoman, so we're not taking any advice from this guy.
The best Batman is a Batman who doesn't rely on firearms, instead using his instinct, intelligence and skills honed from years of hard work. As he says in The Dark Knight Returns:
"A gun is a coward's weapon. A liar's weapon. We kill too often because we've made it easy... too easy... sparing ourselves the mess and the work."
4. World's Greatest Detective
Another thing that often gets pushed to the wayside in Batman adaptations is the fact that he does more than just go around punching people in a cape. One of his monikers, after all, is the World's Greatest Detective. Remember that little-known title named Detective Comics? The clue is in the name.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did a pretty good job of showing us a least a portion of Batman's analytical skills, particularly in his undercover investigation of Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Again The Dark Knight trilogy spent some time glancing at this aspect of Batman's personality, but his analytical skills tended to be glossed over in favor of having fancy equipment do the work for him.
As the only member of the Justice League Seven without super-powers, Batman has gained his founding member status by means other than inherent powers. Instead his superhero status is based upon his intelligence, analytical skills and detective work. It would be good to see more of this, especially as we move towards the first representation of the Justice League on screen.
5. More Alfred Pennyworth, Please
Finally, I think we can all agree that we need more Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons) going forward. Despite his small role, he was one of the best parts of Batman v Superman, and his presence ties into many of the aformentioned points.
His active assistance in Batman's adventures — remotely piloting the Batplane and taking a strong hand in the creation of Batman's suit and gadgets — serves to further justify how Batman manages to do what he does without being in possession of superpowers.
He's also an important member of the Batfamily, especially in modern iterations of the comic books such as Death of the Family and Injustice: Gods Among Us. Jeremy Irons's sasspot Alfred provides a welcome foil to the pressing seriousness of Affleck's Batman, a modicum of a father figure in the background.
And he's another character introduced in the DCEU who still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Where did he learn to craft suits and armor? Is he, as in Batman: Earth One, actually an ex-military bodyguard for the Wayne family rather than a butler?
We didn't get to see a whole lot of him in Batman v Superman with the central focus being pushed upon the titular characters, but Irons recently confirmed that he'll be returning for the Justice League movie — maybe we'll get to see him punch Superman (Henry Cavill) in the face? Here's to hoping.
What do you want to see in the DCEU Batman solo movie? Tell us in the comments below!
Source: Cines Argentinos