PG Cooper: Batman: Beyond The Dark Knight Rises Part Three

Posted: August 7, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Commentary

Welcome back to “Beyond The Dark Knight Rises”. In Part One, I talked about the potential of Warner Bros. continuing the story of John Blake, while in Part Two I talked about the more likely scenario of Warner Bros. simply rebooting the series. Now in Part Three, conclusion to my “Beyond The Dark Knight Rises” series, I talk about the potential route that I find most interesting; direct adaptations of comic book and graphic novel storylines.

All of the live action Batman films have taken influence from the comics, and some have taken key elements from famous graphic novels. So instead of just pulling inspiration from various stories, why not go right to the source? In other words, instead of taking influence from “Batman: The Long Halloween”, why not adapt “Batman: The Long Halloween”? It’s the strategy the DC animated films have taken and it’s worked pretty well for them so far.

Opening up the doors to direct adaptations leads to a lot of possibilities. With classic stories dating as far back as 1939, there are a lot of stories to choose from.  It’s also interesting that some of the more iconic stories just scream certain directors. For example, “Batman: Year One” is the story of Batman and Gordon’s first year set in a despicable city with an overall dark and gritty tone. Doesn’t that sound like something Martin Scorsese would be perfect for? Next, “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” is the story of a dystopian future where an aging Batman returns. The tone at times is quite bleak and hopeless. Anyone who has seen Blade Runner knows Ridley Scott can deliver material like that. “Batman: The Long Halloween” is a murder mystery/thriller involving bizarre and eccentric characters. Sounds like David Fincher to me too. “Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth” is an almost other worldly take with fantastic visuals which is a fascinating study on the various characters. Who better for that than Guillermo del Toro? These are just a few random ideas. They could also do a collection of short story adaptations; call it something like Tales of The Dark Knight.


Can you imagine how exciting this would be as a fan? Instead of seeing a release of a few superhero films following the same story and tone, we get a string of vastly different films covering a wide range of stories, characters, and tones. Fans would be able to potentially see any and every type of Batman story they’d ever wanted on the big screen. It’s also worth nothing that the start of every major live action Batman film has been a game changer. Tim Burton’s first film was the first good superhero film in almost ten years and pushed the tone of mainstream superhero stories into darker and more mature territory. Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins pushed superhero stories into more realistic territory and also brought up the ante as far as quality goes. If the next Batman films follow this idea of being graphic novel adaptations, the Batman series will be a game changer again.

All that said, I’m fairly certain Warner Bros. will just decide to reboot the entire series. Exciting as the possibility of multiple adaptations is, it’s also a bigger risk than the extremely self alternative of rebooting everything. Still, it’s fun to think about, and maybe one day we’ll see these direct adaptations. This concludes my “Beyond The Dark Knight Rises” series. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and now I turn the question to you. What do you want to see in the next batch of Batman films? Let me know in the comments.

  1. r361n4 says:

    Interesting directorial choices, I haven’t read the graphic novel stories you described but I think that as long as a competent writer is put behind the scenes there is no reason why anothe reboot couldn’t be acceptable. There is nearly no way it will measure up to Nolan’s and in my opinion the wait between reboots should be at least 6-10 years but who knows how long it will actually be

  2. MC Wishchitz says:

    Guillermo Del Toro doing a take on A Serious House on Serious Earth would be nothing short of perfection.

    As for what I’d like to see, I’ve made no secret of my desire to see Penguin again, and after some thinking, I believe Timothy “Wormtail” Spall would be an excellent guy for the job. I’d also like to see Benicio Del Toro or John Leguizamo as Black Mask.

    I was also contemplating Terry Crews as Killer Croc or Danny Trejo as Bane. The latter isn’t so much of a long shot, since he voices him in Young Justice. That, and the man himself is a total beast.

    • pgcooper1939 says:

      Those are some good casting choices. The only two I question are Crewes and Trejo. They’re good actors, but their personalities overshadow their characters. Good choices though.

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