Batman may not have been the most successful of the DC Comics movies, but it certainly defined a generation. The caped crusader not only inspired a cult following but also helped popularise the genre, paving the way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to emerge.

The director of the second installment, Christopher Nolan, is now pursuing an unprecedented ninth installment in the franchise. While many thought that Batman’s ten-year-old story arc concluded with Batman Begins in 2005, Warner Bros. are moving forward with plans for a sequel.

Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow spent over $100 million on global marketing costs for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it appears to have been a wise investment as the audience survey firm, CinemaScore, give the film an A- rating. Critics are also chiming in, with Dawn of Justice holding a 75% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 4th March.

While most expected the third entry in the Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, to be the series finale, Christopher Nolan chose a completely different course. Having completed the first two films in a so-called ‘Batman trilogy’, Batman: The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, the director announced that he would be taking a break from the series, planning to spend six months writing and three months directing an as-yet-untold story. He described the new film, due for release in 2017, as a’soft’ entry into the DC Cinematic Universe, set several years after the events of The Dark Knight Rises and preceding 2017’s Suicide Squad by a year.

A Brave New World

It’s fair to say that after ten years, Batman is no longer the edgy, innovative character he once was. When the Dark Knight was first unleashed upon the world, its director, Christopher Nolan, had something different in mind when he conceived of the character.

“I wanted to show the complexity of the character,” he stated in an interview with Empire magazine. “I didn’t want to portray the character as a one-dimensional trickster. I wanted to explore his psychology and explore what makes him tick.”

With the creation of Robin, Harvey Dent and the idea of Two-Face, it’s clear that Nolan was on the right track. While the early Batman movies are renowned for their dark, gritty atmosphere and visual style, in recent years the franchise has leaned more and more into nostalgia, reflecting the character’s decade-long absence during which time he has been presumed dead.

From the bright neon of Gotham City to the cool breezes of the Arctic Circle, the world of Batman has changed beyond all recognition. A new director will be taking the reins for the next instalment, with the possibility of a reboot still on the table following mixed reactions to the first footage from a brand-new storyboard.

It appears that Warner Bros. are fully committed to the Batman franchise moving forward, even if this brings with it a risk of overexposure. As long as Christopher Nolan and co. continue to push the boundaries of the genre and deliver fresh tales into the Batman mythos, there’s still plenty of life left in these iconic characters for many more films to come.