Welcome to The Debate Club. Before you we have two opposing views and two members of the Screen Invasion team that would happily proclaim themselves to be the “People’s Champion”, a title that only you can decide. Both writers have taken the time to illustrate their points and neither has seen the film at the center of this debate, The Dark Knight Rises. Who will come out ahead, will it be Kyle Moody or Jason Tabrys?
[box_dark] A New Batman: The Hero’s Ending that Gotham Deserves. By Kyle Moody[/box_dark]
The way that I see the trilogy is an actual tripartite story, one that consists of several acts that stand on their own as singular stories as well. But what Christopher Nolan has done is something impressive: He’s managed to take a character who dresses like an animal and turn him into the hero of our times.
That’s why I’m sure he’ll kill him in the end and replace him with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character.
I know, crazy, right? But this could tie up so many threads. Nolan and lighting director fan Christian Bale have stated that they don’t want to return for a sequel. But if Gordon-Levitt’s character becomes a Bat-like figure, then the people at Warner Bros. and DC Comics get a chance to share their universe with other DC heroes.
Yes, it may be a crazy move that upsets fans, but at this point Warner Bros. is in the unenviable position of trying to catch up with Marvel Studios in terms of output and heroes. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers have our attention right now, so maybe Warner Bros. is looking for a new way to create enough buzz to make a Justice League movie feasible.
Or maybe it’ll all happen in Zach Snyder’s new Superman. Either way, go WB!
But let’s say that Bale’s gravel-voiced Batman lives to scare further crooked cops and criminals. How can he possibly have the story end? Well, based on the popular comics arc “Knightfall,” somebody else takes the mantle. That would be where JGL’s character comes in.
Possibly Nolan & Co. are turning to The Dark Knight Returns for their inspiration. After all, we see that eight years have passed since The Dark Knight and the death of Harvey Dent, so we could easily go to an influence by Frank Miller here. Also, at the end of the story, Batman fakes his own death to go underground and become a rogue. I can accept that happening in this story, giving up the Bruce Wayne identity to wholly begin again. This leaves room for a reboot as a satisfying end to the movie.
Or they’ll have the requisite tag at the end of the film. To me, this is a cheat because it strips away the sheen of Nolan-dom that these movies have been allowed to have. One of the reasons that these films succeed with other audiences is that they are largely self-contained in terms of story and universe. Adding new, more fantastic characters to the universe in any way may affect the standing of these films in the future.
But I ultimately predict that I will wet my pants because of a three-hour Batman movie. Seriously? What can possibly happen in a three-hour Bats flick? And why do I get the feeling I’ll start referring to CBale as “Bruce Wayne of Gotham” a la Lawrence of Arabia?
[box_dark]The Old Batman: The Hero’s Ending that Gotham Needs Now. By Jason Tabrys[/box_dark]
If Christopher Nolan kills the Bat-Man, I will stand up and applaud while surrounded by people who will judge me for this act and possibly pelt me with empty nacho cheese cups and unwanted Milk Duds. I will do this because I love an unexpected ending and I love it when a filmmaker puts their vision above our contentment. That may sound mildly masochistic, but it’s how I get down.
Nolan is, among many other things, a thoroughly contrary filmmaker. He likes to zig when we’ve got bills down on zag. So in that respect, it’s hard to dismiss Kyle’s Bat-death/500 Days of JGL theory completely, but it is easy-peasy-lemon-squeasy to illustrate the many reasons why this isn’t going to be the way that things play out when we all, at long last, get our first full look at Nolan’s final Bat-film.
Issue One: Nolan has a boss.
We all do really, and Chris Nolan isn’t immune. Batman isn’t just a character in a Nolan film, he is one of the most well known brands in the world — appearing on lunch boxes, apparel, and in comic books. Sure, Nolan’s Batman is allegedly “darker” (oh, that’s a whole other rant.) but he is still an action figure. In short, Batman is a cash cow and that brand would be hurt if Chris Nolan killed him. Yes, yes, the institution would live on, but try selling Warner Bros. on the brand loyalty of parents who have to explain to their kids why Batman died a brutal death at the hands of Bane. And yes, I know he died in the comics, but seeing it in live action is different. Imagine you had seen the Joker throw Batman off a church in Batman, how would that have affected you? Why I bet you’d be a lot gother.
Issue Two: Maybe he’ll come back.
No matter what they say, there is always a chance. This is the way I view any and all denials, promises, and vows by actors, writers, and directors when they say that they won’t make a movie. There is always a chance. So while journalist after journalist feels the need to ask both Nolan and Christian Bale if they will come back for another Batman film, their denials have to be taken with a grain of salt. Warner Bros. has a lot of money and Nolan knows this and he might also realize that an in-tact Batman/Bruce Wayne combo is worth more than yet another origin story.
Issue Three: Continuity.
Okay, remember when I say I love when a filmmaker puts their vision above our contentment? Okay, slight addendum to that — I love it UNLESS THEY ARE SCREWING WITH THE COMIC OR ANOTHER ESTABLISHED CONTINUITY.
Slay the trope, but respect the history is what I’m saying. Yes, the cowl has been worn by the likes of Dick Grayson and Jean Paul Valley (aka Azreal), but John Blake is not them. What’s in a name though right? Alright, so say Blake is really Valley and Nolan just wanted to throw a curveball and not make it obvious that he was following Knightfall that closely, it still doesn’t work in terms of continuity. Azreal wasn’t exactly a great Batman, actually he was terrible and turned into a super violent p-s-y-c-h-o that makes Bruce Wayne look like a teddy bear. That isn’t the kind of Batman that rolls seamlessly into The Justice League, and frankly the DC fanboy (and girl) reaction to that might look something like… well, remember in Mars Attacks when the Martians heard Slim Whitman’s “Indian Love Call”? We’re the Martians, The WB is Lukas Haas, and Nolan is the little old lady. There, that makes perfect sense.
Nonetheless, me and Kyle really don’t know what the hell is going to happen, so until next week when one of us is crowned all knowing psychic champion of the internet, abuse the comment section below and let us know if you are Team Moody, Team Tabrys, or team whatever your name is, and by that I mean, Will Bruce Wayne still be Batman at the end of The Dark Knight Rises?