Sure Feels Like 'The Batman's Just Redoing 'Dark Knight Rises'
The Japanese trailer for The Batman, released back in December, opens with an interesting statement: "The shocking Joker was just the prologue." This may just be The Batman Babe Ruth-ing and proclaiming that it's going to be even darker than the highest-grossing R-rated movie in history (by, one would assume, showing The Riddler eating a baby.) Buuuut it could also point to The Batman and Joker existing in the same cinematic universe.
It would bizarrely make a lot of sense. Later in the trailer, we see a clearly Joker-inspired gang asking Batman who the hell he is, which forces Bruce to punch the answer into one confused Jokerling's face using Morse Code. So this is obviously a world where the Joker predates Batman. I actually hope it means that Todd Phillips' and Matt Reeves' films are connected because, without that, the latter appears to have nothing original going for it. In fact, every plot synopsis and detail that emerges about The Batman makes it sound like a remake of Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.
In an interview with Empire, Reeves has revealed that his Bruce Wayne will not be a partying playboy but rather a gloomy recluse. So … very similar to the third Nolan movie, but only worse cause in The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce earned the right to Howard Hughes around his mansion after years in the public eye as a hotel-buying, ballet-kidnapping rich guy. That's why no one ever thought to connect him to Batman. On the other hand, it's not exactly a big leap from, and I quote, a "fictionalized version of Kurt Cobain … in this kind of decaying manor" to a guy who dresses up as a bat and goes through bullet car washes.
The official synopsis of the movie also says that The Riddler will specifically target Gotham's "elites," which was a big part of Bane's plan in The Dark Knight Rises (because he was inspired by a French knitting granny.) Add to that The Riddler's brand-new, weird-ass mask plus the presence of Catwoman (thankfully not the awful erotic-basketball-playing lich version), and it starts to look like instead of coming up with an original story, The Batman merely adopted the dark … Knight Rises' plot.
Now, there are comic-book stories where a killer goes against Gotham's elites, but it's usually Batman who hunts them while delivering awesome lines like in Year One.
At least, that scene used to be awesome until Kevin Smith retconned it by having Bruce piss himself during it. But even without it, you still have roughly a batzillion badass Batman stories never done in live-action. How about Court of Owls? That story was super fun. Just do anything besides remaking a movie that's barely 10 years old.
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Top Image: Warner Bros. Pictures