It has been four years since the last installment of the Batman series, and the wait for more is almost over.
It is safe to assume that director Matt Reeves’ upcoming film Batman will capture the same sense of wonder fans felt when Batman debuted in the late 1990s, and will satisfy the longtime fans who have been waiting for a cinematic adaptation of the Dark Knight for years.
The film will mark the first time the iconic trilogy’s complete story has been adapted for the big screen, officially bringing to a close the popular Batman saga which premiered in 2002 and shattered many of the rules that were set in place more than 70 years ago when the character first appeared on the big screen.
Batman embodies everything we hoped for from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film will open with a bang, as billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) suffers a fate worse than death when he is stabbed in the chest by one of his many enemies. The opening moments of the film, which is currently in post-production, find Wayne lying in a pool of his own blood before he is able to save himself and embrace his new dual identity as Batman.
What is fascinating, and perhaps a little bit sad, is that despite having lived through a time when video games were just games, the character of Batman was essentially created for the 21st century. His rich childhood, his status as the world’s greatest detective, his dedication to helping those who cannot help themselves, all of these elements which made up the Batman we knew and loved in the 1960s no longer work the same way they used to.
The Dark Knight is often credited with having ushered in a new era for movie super heroes, inspiring many to don the cape and cowl themselves and give it a go. It is no coincidence that some of the most successful films in recent memory were all based on the characters originally featured in the Batman films. Justice League, The Avengers, and now Batman are perhaps the most successful trilogies ever made, proving that there is still plenty of life in the old boy after all these years.
Whether or not you believe that the recent wave of superhero movies is here to stay, the fact is that it was kick-started by The Dark Knight, and it has only gotten bigger and better since then. Whether or not you love to play video games or watch them on television, the character of Batman definitely deserves a spot next to Ironman, Captain America, and Spiderman on your couch, ready to save the day.
A New Kind of Villain
It is interesting to note that even before The Dark Knight, Batman had already established himself as a character that you do not want to cross. For decades, Batman was never really considered a serious threat to anyone other than comic book villains, and it was not until the early part of the 21st century that the character truly became a force to be reckoned with.
In the new Batman movie, the story begins not long after the events of The Dark Knight, with billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne returning to Gotham to attend his cousin’s wedding. While he is there, he is attacked by a hired gun and almost killed. The assailant then flees, driven off by Wayne’s infamous bat signal. Soon after, Wayne is rescued by Batman, who has seen enough of this world and is ready to retire.
The man that Batman saved turns out to be Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, who is determined to kill Bruce Wayne for what he has done to her father, particularly since he denied her request to attend the wedding. For the past several years, Batman has been living a life of solitude thanks to a contract he had signed which kept him busy working anti-crime cases and taking on villains one by one.
Now, though, with Bruce Wayne alive but wounded, Talia has found her chance to enact revenge and put an end to forty years of Wayne family fun. She enlists the help of the Joker, whom she hopes will be able to help rid the world of its most beloved superhero. The plan goes awry, as Ra’s al Ghul possesses a power that far exceeds anything his daughter could have ever hoped for. With his death, Talia’s plan completely crumbles, and she is forced to flee Gotham with the help of the Penguin. The latter, who had always been secretly in love with her, offers her a chance to remain in Gotham and rule under his thumb. However, this is not what she truly wants. She had always seen her father’s empire as the way to create her own. In the end, she chooses to remain in Gotham and try to rebuild her father’s company, determined to make it stronger than ever before.
An All-New Cast Of Villains
Since Batman never really became a true super hero, it should come as no surprise that his rogues’ gallery is one of the largest of all time. The Dark Knight is certainly not lacking in the villains department, as it features no fewer than four current or former villains. One of the most interesting elements of the new Batman film is that it introduces us to a whole new crop of villains, including Joe Chill, a.k.a. the Penguin; Harley Quinn, the Joker’s faithful companion and love interest; Poison Ivy, whose criminal activities range from extortion to plant-based product tampering; and the list goes on.
Unlike past films in the series, where the focus is usually on the villains and their relationships with each other and the heroes, in The New Batman Robert Pattinson’s storyline we will see a lot more focus on Wayne’s life as Batman and his journey to become the hero Gotham needs. This being said, the film still manages to include plenty of scenes with the infamous villains from the DC universe, including Killer Croc, Firefly, and Solomon Grundy.
In the comics, Gotham is a city that never sleeps, making it the perfect place for someone like Batman to prowl the streets at night, seeking out danger and excitement. In reality, though, the city does not operate at full capacity during the day, meaning there are fewer people around to pose a threat to Wayne. The new Batman will make it perfectly clear which part of Gotham the protagonist prefers, as he will be seen frequently patrolling the streets during the day, investigating crimes and taking on the occasional crook or mugger.
More Than Meets The Eye
If there is one thing that is certain about the new Batman, it is that he will not be a typical superhero movie protagonist. From the very beginning, we are introduced to a much more complex and layered character. If you had to choose one word to describe the new Batman, it would be ‘inquisitive’.
The opening scenes of the film find a very wounded and tired Wayne nursing his injuries in bed, as he contemplates his next move. As we learn later in the film, this is not the first time that Wayne has been attacked, as he was once stabbed in the stomach and almost died. This experience has somehow made Wayne stronger, as he has since then dedicated his life to investigating crime and putting his skills to good use. Batman’s inquisitiveness is what leads him to discover that the same man he has been fighting for the past several years was responsible for his current situation and that someone by the name of Joseph Chill has been systematically working to destroy Gotham and everything it stands for.
As well as being determined to find out who this man is and why he wants to hurt him, Wayne is also curious about those who have been helping him. He asks Alfred for more information about Batman’s allies, and eventually learns that two of them, Lucius Fox and Harvey Dent, have been keeping secrets from him. Fox is CEO of the Batman-affiliated company Wayne Enterprises, while Dent used to be the Batman until he was arrested and jailed for theft. This caused Dent to fall from grace, as he is now widely considered a villain himself.
It is clear from the very start that Alfred is not at all pleased that his employer is going about asking questions about who is helping him and why. However, Batman is only doing this because he genuinely does not know who his friends are. This being said, he is not quite as trusting as we might like him to be, as he asks Alfred for his help in keeping an eye on those helping him.