Every week seems to bring news of some big-name actor or actress being in a film or television project that turns out to be a big flop. Some might even say that the ‘hockey stick’ approach to movie-making – where studios make lots of small, independent films with a small audience, and then spend big on a handful of blockbusters that make a lot of money – has led to an ‘over-saturation’ of the market, where audiences have become so accustomed to seeing actors and actresses in big-budget, mainstream movies that any project that isn’t a superhero blockbuster seems underwhelming … at best.
The most recent example of this phenomenon is Robert Pattinson. The Twilight star has been in several well-received indie films – including a terrific black comedy called Babysitting – and then took a major risk and appeared in a series of vampire-themed films directed by Chris Weitz. While the first two Twilight installments made a ton of money and were critical darlings, Chris Weitz’s Dracula Trilogy disappointed fans and critics alike.
Pattinson has always been a bit of a gambler, and it seems that even the success of Twilight hasn’t changed him. He recently took a leading role in an untitled David Cronenberg film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film itself has yet to find a US distributor, and it has a very limited release in theaters right now. In the meantime, we’ll all just have to wait and see what Pattinson does next.
Another actor whose work seems to suit the independent film scene is Batman. The Dark Knight star Christian Bale has been in several successful indies, and he even took a role in a Disney movie (for which he received an Oscar nomination). He’s now doing his best to prove that he can be more than just a one-hit-wonder by appearing in a series of films that reunite him with his Dark Knight co-star, director and producer, Christopher Nolan.
The first of these films, The Dark Knight Rises, will be released in theaters next month, just in time for the premiere of Batman vs. The Riddler, the newest animated flick based on the popular comic series. This week, the first teaser trailer was released, and it looks incredible. The animation is gorgeous and the character designs are on point. If you’re a fan of Batman, then you won’t want to miss your chance to see this movie when it comes out next month.
Finally, let’s not forget about The Riddler, the most memorable character from the classic 1960s TV show. The character’s most recent big-budget incarnation was in a 2013 film directed by Joel Schumacher and co-starring Jackie Chan. While some people may accuse Chan of stealing the spotlight, it’s hard to deny that The Riddler was a major part of the movie’s success. At least for a little while.
After that film’s disappointing box office performance, it was rumored that the character might not appear in any more big-budget Hollywood productions. However, Schumacher’s return to the big screen this year with The King’s Speech provides us with a perfect opportunity to see if he can recapture the magic of his previous collaborations with Jackie Chan. Let’s hope so. At the very least, we’ll get to see more villains from the classic TV series, which is always a plus.
With so much talk of gambling and risky endeavors, it’s only natural that we’d soon turn to discussing bets. Who would win in a fight between Batman and The Riddler? Or, between Twilight’s Robert Pattinson and Batman? Or, between Christian Bale’s Batman and The Riddler? These are questions that interest us because we’re fans of the film industry, and because we think that there are a few intriguing similarities between the four main characters in the above-mentioned films. We wanted to know who would win in a fight. So we set out to find out.
The Experts’ Opinions
Based on our research, we found some interesting statistics. While most people believe that Batman would beat The Riddler in a fight – and we can’t really argue with that – others think that the opposite would be true. According to combat statistician and strategist Mike Spleen, the odds are actually in favor of The Riddler, and not against him, like most people might guess. Here’s what Mike Spleen had to say about The Riddler and Batman’s chances of beating him in a fight:
“The smart money would be on The Riddler. Despite Batman’s reputation as a crime-fighter and all-around bad-ass, he has always been at a disadvantage against a traditional comic book character like The Riddler. While he can take down a bank robber with relative ease, the odds of him successfully stopping a maniac wielding sharp objects or hanging on for the entirety of a fight are not in his favor.”
“I predict that The Riddler will use his brains and ingenuity against Batman’s brawn and steel gear. He will toy with him, outwit him, and frustrate him, all while laughing at him. Much like J. Jonah Jameson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Riddler knows exactly what he is doing, and he is not afraid to use his intellect to the fullest. In the end, however, Batman’s reputation for being incorruptible and his technological prowess will be his undoing. Although The Riddler has been thwarted many times over the years by Batman, he will no doubt enjoy pushing and testing the Dark Knight. It’s safe to say that they would make a good match.”
How Did We Do?
While we don’t usually feature polls on this site, in this case we made an exception. Reddit user “Deathrobo” came up with the fascinating idea of holding a poll to determine who would win in a fight between the four protagonists above. The results were surprising:
74% of respondents said Christian Bale’s Batman would beat up The Riddler. 16% thought the opposite would happen, and 10% weren’t sure.
If we break down voter demographics, it turns out that men are far more likely to think that Batman would win in a fight (67% vs. 29% among women). Meanwhile, only 4% of women thought that Christian Bale’s Batman would lose to The Riddler, while 16% weren’t sure and 69% thought that the Riddler would win. Among men, the split was almost exactly the opposite (71% vs. 24% vs. 5%).
Let’s be honest, most of us have wondered at some point what would happen if these movie greats – who have all had successful and varied careers in film – really did cross paths in real life. It’s always fun to speculate about which famous film-maker would go head-to-head with which famous actor in a fight, or which director would take on which actor – but that’s mainly because we love watching movies. This week we got to see what would happen if these legends did actually fight each other, and the results were … surprising.
It seems that even though they’ve played in big-budget movies that made a lot of money and received critical acclaim, these four iconic film-makers might not be as famous as we think they are. It’s certainly an interesting point to make given the current state of affairs in the industry. While the year has been good for Hollywood – thanks in part to blockbuster films – it has also been a devastating one for acclaimed directors, who have had significant roles taken out of their hands by studio heads and financial backers, as well as for their actors and actresses, whose roles have at times been minimal or non-existent. This is the kind of thing that can happen when a movie goes through several pre-production drafts and dozens of rewrites, with all the blame typically falling on the director. It is not uncommon for prominent film-makers to be at the receiving end of such criticism.
What Does This Mean?
We have to be careful not to read too much into this. It’s always dangerous to make major conclusions based on a single online poll – even if the sample size is relatively large. Still, it’s interesting to note that these four iconic figures would seem to have a connection that goes beyond just their work in film. Consider this: