It seems these days, in the age of the reboot, that a franchises last film isn’t even able to make it to the network television circuit before it is already being rebooted. Tobey Maguire hasn’t even been able to live down his future “Dancing with the Stars” audition tape in Spiderman 3 before Marvel cast Andrew Garfield to play The Amazing Spiderman in 2012.
Actually he may never live this down
If that wasn’t bad enough, Warner Bros. has announced that they are already interested in going back to Bruce Wayne’s origins and rebooting Batman. Not only is interest in the caped crusader at an all time high due to the success of The Dark Knight; but Christopher Nolan’s third and final film in the franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, hasn’t even begun shooting. However, Christopher Nolan and his producing partner/wife Emma Thomas will remain attached to the Batman reboot as producers, suggesting that Warner Bros. is interested in maintaining some continuity with the saga, or at least maintaining the quality that we’ve come to expect from the current Batman franchise.
If it weren’t for Nolan and Thomas’s involvement in the reboot I would find this announcement extremely disrespectful to Nolan and all those involved in the current Batman trilogy, instead I find it just mildly obnoxious. With the upcoming release of Thor and Captain America, it seems that Warner Bros. is attempting to keep the potential of a Justice League movie in its sights; and with this being the last Batman film for Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, the WB needed to be prepared. Regardless, it would be appropriate for the company to be more focused on the current Batman film in production than looking past it for a potential reboot. The Dark Knight Rises is possibly the most anticipated comic book movie of all time, and with fans of the series chomping at the bit for next summer’s release, you’d think Warner Bros would concentrating all Batman efforts on making this the best (fiscally and critically) film possible.
They should just use this film's title and make a double reboot
Executive Jeff Robinov has stated that they are aiming for a 2013 team-up of the Justice League on-screen, and if this were a realistic goal then it would make sense for them to be considering a new Batman at this point. However, The Green Lantern is just making its debut this summer, and Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot won’t hit theaters until December 2012; additionally, Justice League members The Flash and Wonder Woman have proposed motion pictures but aren’t yet in development. To go the marketing route of The Avengers, Warner Bros would have to release a motion picture for each of these four superheroes and reboot Batman into a new film before releasing a Justice League movie in 2013, impossible.
As a final thought, here’s a suggestion for following up the current Batman trilogy. Rather than reboot the franchise with a new Bruce Wayne and a re-telling of the origin story, why not pick up where Nolan leaves off. With Christian Bale not returning for a fourth film either; you’d have to re-cast Batman, but not necessarily Bruce Wayne. At two separate instances in the Batman comics Dick Grayson, formerly Robin and Nightwing, has taken up the Batman mantle. Once after Bruce Wayne’s “death” and once after his back was broken by Bane (a villain in Nolan’s upcoming film). It might anger a lot of fans of current and past Batman films to see someone other than Bruce Wayne parading as the Caped Crusader, but it would maintain continuity within the franchise and eliminate some of the stigma of a reboot.
What do you think? Do you find it justifiable that Warner Bros. is already considering a Batman reboot a year before TDKR is released? Do you want to see a Justice League movie in 2013? How would you like to see the Batman legacy carried on in film?