Welcome to Gotham. It’s a setting we’ve seen pop up in several Batman films over the years, and now, with the impending release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we’re seeing the iconic city come to life like never before.
The upcoming film sees Henry Cavill return as Superman and Armie Hammer join the cast as The Caped Crusader. But it’s not just the big screen that is bringing Gotham to life, as the city has always been a major inspiration for the creative teams behind the movies. In fact, we’ve ranked the most influential Batman comics and movies based on their impact on the city’s landscape.
Most Influential Batman Comic
It’s no secret that the Batman mythos has inspired countless stories, both on the big and small screen, but it’s not until now, with the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, that we’re seeing the impact of the Dark Knight on Gotham City in a truly great display.
There’s a reason why the Dark Knight has been the inspiration for many a creative team over the years: not only can Batman pose a threat to the bad guys in spades, but he can be quite the motivational speaker as well. While many comics feature Batman’s battles with the Joker and other villains, it’s his interactions with the Gotham City Police Department that provide much of the story’s drama, as well. And it’s the team work that makes up the GPD that provides the inspiration for this year’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. (You can kind of see the evolution of the police force from the original animated series, Batman: The Animated Series.)
Most Influential Batman Movie
Speaking of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, there are numerous ways in which the movie will reinvent the DC Comics cinematic universe. From the radically different approach to storytelling to the inclusion of real world elements like sports and politics, there’s a lot going on in the upcoming film.
While many people might compare Batman V Superman to the recent Justice League solo film, the DC Comics cinematic universe didn’t really have a standalone film prior to this year’s Batman V Superman. Prior to this year, the last standalone superhero film was 2012’s The Avengers, which featured the team up of Ironman, Captain America, The Hulk and other Marvel superheroes. Even The Dark Knight, which is often touted as the greatest Batman movie ever made, is technically a Team Batman/Team Superman film, as it’s divided the action into two halves: one, where Harvey Dent (played by Jack Nicholson) is the prosecutor, and two, where he’s turned into Two-Face. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that the majority of the film sees Batman and Superman working together as allies during the fight against the Joker and his rogue’s gallery.
With Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, things are going to be a bit different. Not only does it feature the two biggest movie heroes of all time, but it also has an eclectic group of supporting characters, ranging from Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons) to Dick Grayson (Bryan Cranston) and even an entire Bat-family. This is an incredible group of actors, and it’s great to see them all working together after so long.
But what is it that makes this particular Batman movie so special? The combination of Batman and Superman is something that never really been done before in live action. In addition, the way Batman is used in this film will be fascinating to watch. Usually reserved for comic book films, Batman has emerged as a major player in the cinematic universe, with a role that far exceeds his traditional comic book origins. He’s no longer the stoic, cold-hearted vigilante that we know and love. This is a Batman that has been shaped by a life in Gotham and the many tragedies that befall the city. He’s someone who has grown with the times and is ready to take on the world.
Inspiration For The Design Of Gotham
The city of Gotham will be familiar to anyone who has watched the Batman franchise. One of the first images that comes to mind is most likely the bat signal hung in the clouds, beckoning the Dark Knight to swoop in and save the day. However, much like the original comic book series, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will see the city’s skyline evolve and change, based on the times in which it is set.
The design of Gotham will be distinctive, reminiscent of an Italian Renaissance palazzo, with round turrets and colorful marbles. And like the movies, it will be populated by the Caped Crusader’s greatest adversaries, including the Penguin, the Joker and the Riddler. While many of the characters will be based on their comics counterparts, some will be slightly adapted for the big screen, like Mr. Freeze from Batman: The Animated Series and Harley Quinn, who makes her big screen debut in this installment, and her eventual transition into a founding member of the Suicide Squad. (We can only wonder how things might have turned out if Harley Quinn had decided to go down the villainous route. Think about it: the Clown Princess of Crime didn’t even have to dress up as a man to fight crime in Gotham City. She’d already morphed into a human cannonball!)
Most Influential Character
Batman is one of the most recognizable characters in all of fiction, and it is safe to assume that most people know what he looks like, even if they’ve never set foot in a comic book store.
It is fairly easy to pinpoint the most influential character in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s the Caped Crusader himself, of course, which makes sense, as the character has been the inspiration for much of the story’s content. However, it is fair to assume that the character will evolve the most over the course of the film. After all, he is Batman, and he has been for quite some time.
There will be a lot that the audience sees of the Dark Knight that they have never, ever seen before. Whether it is a new version of the familiar Batsuit, a revamped Alfred Pennyworth, or even an entire new outfit, the designers behind the upcoming Batman V Superman movie will have their work cut out for them. Luckily, they have a cinematic universe to draw from.