Demythify: Stage Set For The Dark Knight Rises Sequel AND Batman Movie Franchise Reboot (Spoilers)

First off, I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives in the senseless shooting in Colorado at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Returns last week. It was a senseless, tragic act and leaves us all scarred.

The weekend box office figures will not be available until later on Monday. This is unusual as studios like to get their bragging rights in early over the course of the weekend. All studios have agreed to forgo box office sales figures over the weekend in a virtual weekend of silence to honor the lives lost in Colorado. The Dark Knight Rises movie appears on pace to surpasss $161 million, but we’ll know the exact weekend box office hauls later on Monday.

The shooting tragedy also appears to be causing changes to be made to the September debuting Gangster Squad period piece starring Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Sean Penn.

While the developments and the ending of The Dark Knight Rises is postioned as an ending by the director and lead actor in the film, it certainly sets the stage for more offerings in this cmovue continuiy. Please note that there are SPOILERS for The Dark Knight Rises all through this week’s Demythify column.

In the Entertainment Weekly #1216, the July 20, 2012 edition, The Dark Knight Rises Director Christopher Nolan and Batman / Bruce Wayne actor Christian Bale make their own views known. Whether this is also the studio’s and DC Entertainment’s remain to be seen.

In addition to talking about where the movie starts and Heath Ledger’s Joker, they also talked about the inevitable Batman movie franchise reboot after the final part of the Nolan / Bale Dark Knight trilogy (likely something more akin to the DC Comics Relaunch’s New 52?).

Christopher Nolan had this to say:

    The director insists that Rises marks his final descent into the Batcave, and that he’d have no problem with Warner Bros… rebooting the franchise with another helmer. “I loved doing these movies, but you can’t be creatively greedy about it,” says Nolan, who is one of the producers on director Zack Snyder’s new Superman movie, Man of Steel. “It’s time to move on.”

Christian Bale, portraying Bruce Wayne and Batman, when asked whether it would be difficult to watch another actor play Batman on the silver screen that this to day:

    “No, no, no. That wouldn’t be hard. I’m going to have to do it with Batman. They’re going to rejuvinate it soon, and I’ll have to be watching someone else play it. I’ll be fascinated to see which way they go, which choices that actor takes.”

Clearly very classy and professional responses from both.

However, the ending of The Dark Knight Rises does leave a lot open for another director and lead actor to continue the “Dark Knight” adventures. The movie ending does pose interesting questions for the future about Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Detective John Blake – a character new to Batman lore who has not been in any of the comics in any role let alone a prominent one. The film ends with him in the Batcave after earlier in the movie discerning that Batman and Bruce Wayne were one in the same – a la Tim Drake’s pre-Flashpoint discovery. (For the uninitiated, in the comics Tim Drake was Batman’s third Robin behind Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, but in the DC Comics New 52 Relaunch he was not Robin, just Red Robin, while Dick and Jason evolved from their Robin roles are still the adult Nightwing and Red Hood respectively.)

Also, other fanboy moments in the Dark Knight Rises include the potential for Damian Wayne to be born – Batman and Talia Al’ Ghul’s son – and current Robin the Batman comics. Since Ra’s Al Ghul – the head of the League of Shadows in the movie and League of Assassins in the comics – had access to a Lazarus Pit that could make him virtually immortal, something like Talia’s percieved death in the Dark Knight Rises may be fleeting if she were to be immersed in the pit and brought back to life.

Lastly, with Bruce Wayne travelling the world with Selina Kyle, a Huntress movie move would be cool. In the comics Helena Kyle Wayne is the daughter of Batman and Catwoman on Earth 2. The Huntress appears in her own monthly comic book series called Worlds’ Finest alongside Power Girl (the Supergirl of Earth 2) stranded on the main DC Comics Earth with its mightiest and most recognizable heroes including Batman, Superman, the Justice League and more.

For a director and actor who insist this Dark Knight film was the last in a trilogy, DC Entertainment has several choices ahead. Continue with a new Batman in a reboot more akin to the DC Comics Relaunch’s New 52 version, or stick with an older Dark Knight Batman, or feature a futuristic heroine in Huntress, or a brand new Batman/Robin/Nightwing with John Blake under the mask.

Reboot or continuation or both?

All that said, I am curious about what form that Batman movie “reboot” or “rejuvination” as mentioned by Nolan and Bale would take.

A big “thank you” to Nolan, Bale and team for making Batman deadly cool and righting the Batman movie ship that began sinking the moment Michael Keaton left the role.

The Demythify column appears weekly on Mondays. For more Demythify click here. Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome.

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