Why DC should scrap the solo Batman film

DC Entertainment announced its DC Cinematic Universe schedule a while back, and notably missing was a solo Batman film. The logic was obvious: after Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, a solo Batman film would not be a good idea, given the instant comparison between the previous films and the new one. The post-Man of Steel announcement of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice polarized Batman fans who loved the Nolan trilogy, especially in comparison with the debacle of the Joel Schumacher films. Perhaps even more polarizing was the announcement of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman; some people remember him as the guy who appeared in a few Michael Bay movies and rocked the teen heartthrob mantle for a while; some other people, me included, see him as an actor who matured beyond those years and actually became a damn good director, in addition to a better actor. One of my buddies pointed out that few versions of Batman have focused more on Batman and less on Bruce Wayne; The Lego Movie made jokes about this too. While the initial trailer seems to depict Batman more traditionally, I like to think that Zach Synder will at least focus more on Bruce Wayne than the Nolan trilogy did.

Perhaps one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s assets is that they have a few characters who float in between movies, without having films on their own. Iron Man, for instance, only appears in Iron Man and Avengers films, the Incredible Hulk cameo notwithstanding.; obviously Captain America: Civil War will be an exception, but given that everyone and their mother will be appearing, it’s not that big a deal. On the other hand, Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Hawkeye link the various films they are in and provide continuity; Fury provided the SHIELD angle and command, and even in Age of Ultron provides a sense of authority that helps refocus the second and third acts of the film. Black Widow and Hawkeye both provide the boots on the ground feel of experienced soldiers, people who have been there, done that, and have the experience to advise others; namely Black Widow advising Steve Rogers in Winter Soldier, which allows the audience to buy that Cap can make it through the rough events despite his inexperience. For his part, Jeremy Renner has stated he doesn’t mind being a supporting actor within the MCU, which hints at the power Marvel brings to an actor’s resume.

Ben Affleck as Batman

Ben Affleck as Batman

Now, take the high air authority of Nick Fury, the brutal capabilities and expertise of Black Widow, and the ability to move quickly and lightly on one’s feet of Hawkeye, and merge all that together: you know what you have: Batman. Assuming Ben Affleck would be game for it, Batman would be the ideal character to tie together the various films DC wants to make. Given that Batman is implied to appear in Suicide Squad, and that most of the DC lineup will appear in some form in Dawn of Justice, it would make sense for him to come around and help out from time to time. It makes sense and develops the universe more; just like the MCU benefitted from crossovers and cross-pollination, the DC Cinematic Universe would benefit as well. Alas, things are not going this way, as it seems like DC is hellbent on getting a Batman film out there.

All this being said, it looks like DC is trying to rein things in and prevent a disaster on their huge gamble. Whereas Marvel took their sweet time with their building, DC wants to build quickly, and they cannot afford a slip up in the first major outing. They recently scrapped Man of Steel 2, which made sense, given that Superman is damn near impossible to get right, and they don’t want to push their luck; it makes sense for a Batman film from that perspective, but there is something special about the two towers of DC looming over all the other heroes, with the possibility of their arrival. If DC wishes to pursue this course, then they need to make sure that they handle all the films, not just the Batman one, properly. Considering that Marvel’s biggest lapse in its films has been The Incredible Hulk, which is more mediocre than horrific (I mean, I’d watch it if it were on cable, but not actively seek it out), DC cannot afford a horrific film, especially with its biggest and most famous entity.

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About brettryanclu

I reside in California, and I am a graduate from California Lutheran University, where I received my Masters in Public Policy and Administration. I like to write, talk politics, and exchange comments and opinions.
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