Walking into the premiere of The Batman on Friday feels like falling into a time warp. It’s the same old theater in the same old clothes, with people wearing costumes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
While it would be wonderful to see a revival of this classic superhero movie franchise, it’s worth remembering that these days, comic book movie fans live in a different world. The Harry Potter series has dominated the box office for the past decade, and today’s big-budget superhero films are often linked to a toy franchise. The Dark Knight Rises, in particular, was such a huge success that it helped push the Avengers movie into second place in box office history.
What is responsible for the recent boom in comic book movie franchises? Two words: Twitter.
Thanks to the worldwide phenomenon that is #BatmanvSuperman, we now live in a world where the greatest cinematic showdown between two of the most iconic superheroes in history is a trending topic on Twitter. The hype built up to a fever pitch as fans waited for Bats and Supes to finally cross paths on the big screen. And when they did finally face off in a battle that would decide the fate of the planet, the world was glued to their phones, computers, and TV screens, eager to see who would emerge victorious. The result was one of the biggest super hero movies of all time. And it made a ton of money.
Although The Batman was released in 1938, there are still plenty of references and inside jokes that moviegoers will catch on to. Director Tim Burton’s genius idea of putting Quiznos in the role of a fast-food restaurant has become an instant classic. And Christian Bale’s portrayal of the terrifying Batman was so memorable that it even earned him a second Academy Award nomination.
Then there’s also the matter of the Penguin. In the comics, Alfred Pennyworth is the butler and bodyguard of Bruce Wayne. But in the 1966 movie, Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone takes the role of Alfred’s boss, Thomas Wayne. The Penguin scene is one of the most iconic moments in movie history, where the disguised Batman beats the crap out of some guy in a rubber mask for no apparent reason. Everyone knows what happened next: the Bat-Signal was eventually installed on Wayne Manor’s roof, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Burton Returns To The Dark Knight
It’s been almost 80 years since Mr. Burton last suited up as the Dark Knight. But with the recent critical and commercial success of his Dark Shadows movie, it seems as if the wait was all worth it. At the very least, it was well worth it for comic book movie fans who were ecstatic to see Burton return to the world of comics and superheroes. Not to mention that he got to work with some of his favorite collaborators from the golden era of cinema. Besides, the chance to see Tim Burton return to his brilliant, unique take on Batman is more than enough reason for filmgoers to go see The Batman.
Although the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin is one of the most iconic comic book team-ups of all time, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen the caped crusaders work together. The Tim Burton version of Batman starred Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader in a total of eight films, with Mr. Keaton appearing in every single one as the Batman. But with the passing of time, and the emergence of new characters like Harry Potter and the recent live-action remake of Mulan, it’s time for Batman to evolve once again.
- While some fans want to see a complete change in direction for the character, and want to get rid of Batman’s darker elements, to make him more in line with the lighter tones of the modern era.
- Others want to see him return to his roots, and want to see more of an ageless Batman from the comics, akin to the character’s original incarnation, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger back in 1933.
- Still others want to see a reinvention of the character, and want to see something more along the lines of the Dark Knight franchise which emerged in the early aughts.
But whatever you want to call it, the fact remains that Batman will always be linked to the darker tones of the comics. When you think of the Dark Knight, you think of Gotham City, not some sunny suburban town. And that’s what makes him so special. Just as the city has never been more exciting, or more dangerous, than it is now, the Batman has never been more relevant.
And so, as we look forward to seeing Batman take on yet another villain in 2021, it’s essential for us to ask: does he still work?
Will 2021 Be The Year Of The Batman?
According to many pundits and fans, 2021 will be the year of the Batman. Not only has the character never been more relevant or more popular than he is now, he’s also got some amazing stories coming out this year that will ensure he stays at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
After years of speculation and anticipation, the wait is finally over. The final installment of the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Death of Skywalker, will be released in theaters on December 19, and will undoubtedly catapult the legendary Skywalker to the status of a classic superhero. But aside from being one of the most iconic characters in the history of cinema, what is Darth Vader really all about? Much of what we know about the character comes from a novel published in 1995, titled Empire Strikes Back, by James Kahn. In the book, Kahn paints an intimate picture of Vader and the events that led up to the creation of the infamous Death Star. Even those who haven’t read the book can glean important details about Vader’s life from the movie itself. Based on what is presented in the film, it is clear that Vader was once a Jedi knight, or at least had some affiliation with the order. And what is a Jedi knight without an apprentice? The truth is that Vader never had an apprentice, and his only living relative, Luke Skywalker, eventually became his enemy and lost his hand in the process. After the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Vader went on a journey of self-reflection, during which he decided that the only way to ensure peace in the universe was to eliminate the Jedi.
The Rise Of The Villains
While many fans were thrilled to see Harry Potter and the Justice League crossover movie, DCEU, Joker is still one of the most popular and well-liked villains in modern comics. After years of teasing, and speculation, that villain is finally set to make his big-screen debut on April 12, 2021. Joining the DC pantheon as one of the big four is undoubtedly Jokers, who continues to be supported by a massive and devoted fan base.
What is responsible for the recent surge in popularity of these iconic villains? One word: Twitter.
Thanks to the worldwide phenomenon that is #Jokertour, we now live in a world where the most famous clown prince of all time is one of the most popular and most talked-about topics on social media. The craze began with Jared Leto’s Joker performance in the 2019 film, and it didn’t take long for people to realize that this was something more than just another version of the villain. While some fans want to see a complete change in direction for the character, and want to get rid of Joker’s darker elements, to make him more in line with the lighter tones of the modern era, others want to see him return to his roots, and want to see more of an ageless Joker from the comics, akin to the character’s original incarnation, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger back in 1933.
But whatever you want to call him, the fact remains that Joker will always be the villain that stands for all that is evil and dangerous in the world. And that’s what makes him so special. Just as the city has never been more exciting, or more dangerous, than it is now, the Joker has never been more relevant or more popular than he is now. And as long as there is evil in the world, there will always be a place for the Joker.
And so, with 2019 drawing to a close, and the world eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next comic book movie franchise, it’s a good idea to revisit some of the biggest films of the year, and see which ones deserve to be on your mental list of all-time flicks.