Wednesday, October 27, 2010


By now everybody knows the Big News, straight from Christopher Nolan: The Riddler is NOT in the next (and presumably final) Batman movie, and the title is now "The Dark Knight Rises."

Awful, awful, awful fucking title. It sounds like its it's own fan film. Not that it matters, everyone is just gonna call it "the third Batman" anyway.

As for Riddler... yeah, probably would've been kinda redundant to do another master-planner criminal, and everything that makes Riddler not just a more conservatively-dressed Joker was likely to have been tossed in Nolan's stringently down-to-earth universe. Either way, the bad-guy speculation now goes back to square one; with the possible extra detail that the film is casting around for "a female lead." So... Catwoman? Talia al Ghul? Poison Ivy? Harley Quinn (a way of having Joker again without having Joker again)? Batgirl (no one says there can't be a decade or so in between in "movie-time" for Barbara Gordon to grow up)?

Serious question, now: Am I the only one getting the strong feeling that no matter how good this is it's going to be recieved as a kind of dissapointment?

"Dark Knight" being a cultural-phenomenon was lightning in a bottle, a one-time-only confluence of "wow, Joker!" and "wow, tragic actor death!" That's not going to happen again. So if this "fails" to outdraw the original (to say nothing of Avatar), the headline is pretty-much already written, yes? "Batman Can't Beat 3rd-Movie-Curse," "A Step Back After Inception," etc?


Danny said...

Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises

Doesn't really fit, does it?

'The Dark Knight Rises' just wreaks of studio intervention. It's as if Chris Nolan came up with a different title but WB said it needed to have 'The Dark Knight' in there.

Arturo said...

I guess you have a point there.
How about "Rise of the Dark Knight" or "Return of the Dark Knight?" See? a little tweaking of the words hear and a little better grammar there and it's better.
I mean, from the title alone you know Batman is gonna have a comeback after what happened at the end of TDK. Why yes, I do go by the name of Captain Obvious, TYVM.

I'm pretty sure this mysterious female lead won't be Harley Quinn, as much as I wish it was, dammit.
Talia al Ghul? Probably too redundant.

So with that out of the way, I got nothing.

Ryan Keys said...

Can't really call it 'The Dark Night Returns' can we? Lets hope this is a placeholder title, leaked to see the public reaction for it.

Personally, I'd rather see a Robin before I see a Batgirl. Not that I have anything against Batgirl, but it just seems more organic that way.

Personally, a more grounded, less 'controls plants with her PLANTYNESS! *dramatic sting*' Poison Ivy would be a great role.

Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

I think the "Return of the Dark Knight" would be a much better title.
It would've been cool if they had worked something out with Frank Miller(If he even own the title which I doubt).

9:15 PM

ZAENGO said...

God? i know you have alot of stuff to do. world hunger, and war, and snookie, and all that. but please, please, please make mr. nolan portray catwoman right. you know, like in the comics. thief with an abusive past, batmans true love, cool goggles, etc. thats all. i mean, of course, she might not be the "female lead" previously mentioned, but if thats the case, shes a wonderful character, and she deserves that much.

i know i might be pushing my luck here but...... kate beckinsale? just an idea is all.

mirage said...

I don't care about the name to much, I just want the villain to be the focus of the movie. Classic Bane is the best choice, which also allows for a few extra rogues like firefly and zsasz. I was thinking if the joker brought chaos to gotham then Bane should bring war to the streets, bane could also be backed by the corrupt interests of gotham. Bane is the only character that can make the third movie surpass the second in terms of action and story, no other rogue has a chance of doing that. You need to play to Bane's main intent as a character though to make this work, Bane was originally intended as a "dark mirror" of the highly disciplined and multi-skilled pulp hero Doc Savage. Also only a threat of this caliber gives any meaning to adding to the bat family, robin, batgirl, catwoman, ect.

Elessar said...

Poison Ivy is likely too far out there to work in the current Batman films, and doesn't function on her own as a lead villain anyway.

Harley Quinn is an EXTRAORDINARILY boring character when stripped of her only interesting relationships, Joker and Ivy (if you'd like to know more, go read Countdown to Final Crisis and try to remind yourself that Harley is occasionally interesting) and thus is likely not functional as a character in the movies.

Talia and large, just too boring even in comics. Her only interesting relationship, aside from the "Being in love with Bruce" is her constant desire to flip off her father who isn't around (never mind that Ra's said that his family was dead).

As for Batgirl, having a sidekick, on any level, would out and out murder the film. In the comics, our disbelief is suspended enough for to work (albeit not well; look at the quality difference between The Long Halloween and Dark Victory) but in a movie, especially one as violent as these ones have tended, it all boils down to "You're taking an undertrained, brightly dressed minor into combat," which is a bridge too far, in either the case of Batgirl or Robin.

So yeah, my money would be on Catwoman as a villain eventually turned ally (or maybe Batman starts seeing things from her point of view...he is on the run, remember?) As for direct villains, my idea would revolve around an unintelligent, unstable but physically threatening villain playing lead for most of the first half. Killer Croc works nicely and could work in the current theme of realistic villains, and Zsaz got name dropped in the first one. No really, go back and check, the guy Scarecrow is sending to the insane asylum is named Mr. Zsaz.

Eventually it's revealed that someone less physical, but more intelligent is manipulating all of this, in an attempt to bring Batman down for good, either for personal gain or maybe, working with the police? We could argue back and forth about who it should be (Bane would probably pop up once or twice) but I'm gonna throw down the name I'm hoping the most for:


akkuma420 said...

damn..... really wanted to see Joseph Gordon Levitt as The Riddler.

Bane would be awesome.

Hopefully Halle Berry brings her "Catwomen" to the movie..... that would be just awesome...... jk jk jk.
Should probably shut my mouth before I jinx it.

Sofie Liv Pedersen said...

Even without the joker and tragic actor death the third movie is bound to be an disappointment, this is how a good well build up trilogy goes.

"Hero sets out on his journey"

"What the heroes stands for falls and the Hero falls from grace."

"The hero rises and triumphs!"

And this is all good trilogies in the world! Star wars, Lord of the rings ect ect. it's the point of a trilogy and if it's pre-planned it's how it goes. (which is why it's so blatantly obvious when a trilogy is not pre-planned -_-;)

This means that the second movie will always by far be the best, the emotional value of seeing our hero falling and the dark rising will always be an utter fascination to us, and have the greatest impact, these second act movies is supposed to leave you in a state of anxious suspense, and when done well they really do, the Dark knight was indeed such a movie.
So when bats is going to triumph in the next movie, it probably will fell kind of hollow when compare the emotional value to the past, you will probably walk out of the cinema fell real good about yourself, in oppose to the last movie where you walked out feeling kind of horrid.. you were supposed to.

Then again, the bigger the fall the bigger the raise, maybe people would go into super duper hyper mood of feeling good about them selves? I dunno, but in any case when that feelings takes off you will sit back with a feeling.. yeah the second movie was better cause it's dark and stuff.

Bob said...

Eh... for me, Bane is up there with Doomsday and Venom in the roster of boring bad guys who're only (if ever) interesting in the context of that "moment" in comics or because of their role in stories that are NOT going to be made into movies.

As ever, I continue to fail to see why, if an army of quasi-mystical ninjas, a chemical that specifically makes you see your worst fear, a machine that vaporizes "all water" selectively, an omnicompetent homeless (?) serial-killer dressed like a clown outwitting an entire metropolitan police force and a cape that turns you into a kite when you run electricity through it are all perfectly acceptable in the realm of "realism"... yet, somehow, Batman having at least ONE "secondary operative" helping him out would be just "too much."

I mean, I "get" that Robin "sucks" because his presence reminds insecure fans that no matter how much "grim n' gritty" you slather on it's still a funnybook about a guy in a bat costume; fine. But what says he just "can't" work in the movies? It's not like you have to worry about the auspicious yellow cape or anything - you KNOW Nolan would just stick him in that same godawful black kevlar monstrosity Batman wears ;)

Popcorn Dave said...

I can't really see the female lead being anyone other than Catwoman. If Riddler, Penguin and Robin have been ruled out, she's the only character left who's really well-known outside of comic fandom. I can't see it being a second-tier character like Harley Quinn, unless it's a fairly minor role. Or maybe it's just another "average Jane" human type like Rachel Dawes was in the first two films. Snooooooore...

I guess Poison Ivy is a pretty big name as well, but we all know that Nolan isn't going to have giant flesh-eating plants in HIS precious Batman movies, so if she showed up she'd be doing something super-boring like releasing poisonous mushroom spores or whatever. I want to see Batman wrestling with giant vagina plants like in the animated series, dammit!

Of course you're ultimately right, Bob: No matter how good this thing is it's going to be seen as a disappointment after TDK. Some things just can't be repeated. We shouldn't sweat it.

swingsetknight said...

Yeah, they need someone connected with the "Batman" side of his life (since a leading lady on the Wayne side would just be cheesy this soon after Dawes got turned into lawyer-flambe), being on the run won't mesh well with training a sidekick, and Nolan probably wouldn't have let this slip out in close conjunction with "Riddler isn't the villain" if the part is supposed to be for a main female baddie. We've already finished with the jokers and al'ghuls: redoing them would just look like they didn't have any other ideas.

So if it walks like a cat, meows like a cat, and LOOKS like a cat...

Joseph Valencia said...


"The Dark Knight Rises" is consistent with the motif Nolan has established for the title cards, and it seems to be intended as a kind of bookend to tie the trilogy together. ("Batman Begins" -> "The Dark Knight Rises")

tyra menendez said...

The only really interesting thing from Talia is the Bat-Bastard. I think it was the late 80's/early 90's, they had a nudge-nudge panel that basically said she and Batman had a one off, and a kid.
Granted, I haven't kept up with the monthly comics, so I don't know if they ever did anything with it, but the potential was there to do something interesting.
Nolan might try to do something like the plot of Dark Victory, with Two Face.

A Tribe Called Helloween said...

Funny you mention the title as a "fan film title" because the official fan film title, Gotham City, was a much better title. I agree on the call of studio intervention, and it makes me fearful of what else Nolan let the studio get away with.

Rarer Monsters said...

Cat-woman really does not have much to recommend her for a good story; yes she'll have a love-interest subplot and S&M fanservice but beyond that she really doesn't have the kind of interesting depth that let him run with the joker or two-face.

Still, they're going to be using her because she's iconic and a girl-villain and I think it's a foregone conclusion at this point that a Batman trilogy is going to include Catwoman.

That said: Here's what I think they should do. So, they built up a big theme about the real importance being the cultural impact: Even though he foiled the Joker the Joker still won because he put a gaping scar of fear into Gotham. So, the dominant theme for the third movie: Batman coping with a post-Joker world.

So, instead of a new villain, why not take a page from Batman Beyond and turn the no-longer-castable Joker into a kind of criminal Patron Saint who inspired vicious gangs of clown-be'whited gangbangers who've replaced the calculated evil of organized crime with pure anarchism.

You should like this too Bob, since that would totally make it appropriate for, on the other side, one of these kids to instead be influenced be good and put on his own costume in service of Batman. Considering the Batman imitators of DK this is already almost canon in the Nalon Batmans.

Then, getting back to the girl casting, since you can't have Joker come back to lead the people, why not someone warped by the Joker psychosis, someone who plays into Joker's themes without just coming across as Joker-lilte, who could stand at the head of mobs of clowns oversized-mallet-mjolnir in hand as though it were the kind of climactic army that makes for a good trilogy conclusion. An interesting, well-liked character who the fandom adores and who has never been in a Batman movie before. Someone who with no super-science or magic requirements and who a costume maker would salivate over and every man under 40 would also salivate over.

Yes, Harley Quinn, she should be in this movie.

And I think semi-sane rants about love make for much more interesting drama than luke-warm feminism and cat puns.

But, again, this is a good idea so I'm sure they'll end up doing catwoman. Maybe they'll even cast Halle Barry.

beyrob said...

I'd love it if Nolan threw the fans a real curveball and made the "female character" Baby Doll from TAS. Which would mean killer Croc might show up too. Thought that might be TOO obsurce and ridiculous for the grim and gritty Nolan

Kyle said...

I too would have loved to see a Joseph Gordon-Levitt Riddler. Shame.

I wouldn't mind seeing Catwoman and Robin in the next film. I like the hey-did-Batman-do-that public reaction to the awesome stealthy acrobatic characters shenanigans. :)

Dave Kraft said...

It's Harley, but not the Harley you all know.

What they've done to the character, in essence, is turn her into a Hush-like, cold, calculative killer as the psychotic psychiatrist, who views the Batman as the true cause of the escalation of crime and the very Arkham inmates she treats, as he should really be the one locked up in the Asylum.

So, believing the Joker not to be crazy but exhibit a kind of super-sanity with regard to the state of affairs in Gotham (the craziness is just a gimmick given his clownish appearance), she sets out to finish up the Joker's dirty work, and by the end of it, goes insane herself, cutting a Glasgow smile in her own face before meeting her end.

Remember, Chris Nolan has made practically his entire career out of making movies that are at once psychological thrillers and melodramas ("psychodramas?" I like that term!). Since Nolan has said this is a conclusion to the Bruce Wayne saga as a STORY ARC and one could only presume he'll complete his evolution into the Batman we all know and love from the comics and - shedding his own sanity in the process, becoming more than just a man as the criminals become "wise to his act" as Maroni said - carry over the theme of madness and sanity from the end of the last film.

As such, a shotgun/knife/scalpul-wielding Dr. Harleen Quinzell, the psychotic psychiatrist, is not only the perfect literary foil for Batman (moreso than the Riddler, who would've just been a side-character anyway because he can't carry enough weight on his own), but possibly the most evil villain Batman has ever had to face.

For her outfit, don't think of her in any jester getup. Think blonde ponytail, white blouse, grey suit skirt, black heels, steely gaze and a shotgun/knife. And think of her cutting out Catwoman's heart.

Dr. Harleen Quinzell = the Queen of Hearts = the Harley Quinn. Just to give you an idea.

And I don't doubt that Catwoman will be in the film, but definitely not as a villain; instead as a misguided vigilante/love interest for Batman who engages in the occasional cat burglary, but much like in the '90s cartoon is a member of Gotham's aristocracy.

Dave Kraft said...

Also keep in mind that the script was in the works since before Heath died, in which case his Joker would've probably returned and escaped from Gotham in Batman 3. A return of the Joker would suggest two things:

1) we'd probably learn more about him and how he got his scars (even if in his own flashbacks a la the Killing Joke, which creates the ambiguity as to whether or not they're valid memories or all in his head because he's crazy). We probably wouldn't have a Joker like in TDK whose motives and supposed origin were untold, as we've already got a taste of that and to not take it further would not only be stupid but very un-Nolan-like.

2) If that were the case, then we would empathize with the Joker as an audience and could no longer see him as villainous or evil as we once may have. That's where Dr. Quinzell comes in, and she would take on a very different, more gritty/realistic form a la the Nolanverse, and step up to the plate as though she's a female Thomas Elliot. She would break the Joker out of jail after falling in love with him.

The point here is two-fold:

1) It seems more likely that the original script has been adapted to accommodate Heath not being in the film, and that in spite of the Joker's absence, expect copious reference to me made of him.

2) Having a psychiatrist with medical/surgical know-how who is also perhaps a member of Gotham's aristocracy poses a dual threat to Batman: 1) she's amazingly smart, and perhaps can psychoanalyze him from afar, deducing his secret identity and threatening to expose it. And 2) she's extremely deadly and perhaps several steps ahead of him.

Also she's hot. Hot murderous women = my ticket has already been bought.

And expect a few homages here and there with regard to her "classic" version, be it a scene in which she wears pigtails and does an impression of her cartoon self before slaughtering a bunch of guys, or perhaps a red and black dress in the pattern of her comic book costume.

That's my piece. Hope you can all see the logic in it.

And please, don't say "that's stupid" because perhaps if you could see her as I'm thinking it, you'd agree. Seeing is believing, and if Heath's Joker could be radically different than the comic or cartoon versions, so can she.

I'll try to draw something up in the near future to show you all what I'm thinking. Just kind of bogged down with deadlines for the next two weeks.....

Alexander said...
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Alexander said...

Like everyone else has said - name sucks sloth balls. Now, to the interesting stuff...

'As ever, I continue to fail to see why, if an army of quasi-mystical ninjas, a chemical that specifically makes you see your worst fear, a machine that vaporizes "all water" selectively, an omnicompetent homeless (?) serial-killer dressed like a clown outwitting an entire metropolitan police force and a cape that turns you into a kite when you run electricity through it are all perfectly acceptable in the realm of "realism"... yet, somehow, Batman having at least ONE "secondary operative" helping him out would be just "too much."'

One secondary operative isn't too much...a secondary operative who has barely started puberty whose qualifications for fighting hardened criminals can be summed up as "gymnastics" might be. When you look at it from the perspective of people who don't have any invested interest in seeing Robin in this movie, it's obvious that he wouldn't work. You forget that when people say "realistic" all they really mean is believable, and once you take away the fascetious phrasing those things may not be any more "real" than chirpy teenage sidekicks for hardened vigilantes, but they have a place in the internal logic of the films.

Anyway, as setups for the third film go, I'm liking the idea of a "Jokerz" gang led by a reimagined Harley Quinn. I've never bought the bimbo character she becomes whenever the Joker's around - she's a qualified psychiatrist fer chrissakes'. It would also be a nice break from the "new villain in town" plots that Batman films have been continuously locked into like straightjackets picked out by their mum.

Either way, I'm cautiously optimistic but I can't shake the feeling nobody will be satisfied by this last installment. People who liked the Dark Knight can expect to see it fail to live up to its predecessor, and people who didn't like the Dark Knight (like moi) can expect to see the same, except we didn't even give a shit about the predecessor.

Arty O said...

Really a shame that you stopped reading that Batman books. Because that Bat-Bastard you brought up has been introduced. His name is Daimen, and he is the new Robin.

He is probably the most popular new character introduced in the past decade.

Honestly I would like to see Tasha just because there would be a chance that Daimen would be in the movie, and that would be a cool story arch.

But that is hopeless dreaming that will never happen.

Every Second said...

Man I realllllllly hope Dave's prediction is spot on.

deviant0ne113 said...

Alright, here is my two cents on possible plot.

I don't think Harley is going to be bought in as a major villain. Frankly, we have already had our psycho-logist in the Scarecrow and we have already had the Joker. That, to me, makes Harley a redundant and self-derivative choice for a villain.

I think for the Batman persona to reach its conclusion thus ending Bruce Wayne, we need to see his penchant for spawning copies of himself. We need to see him reach out for help in one way or another and get a side kick. To do this, I'm thinking Bane.

Imagine this: Movie opens with Batman cleaning up minor criminals. Cue news stories demonizing Batman for the death of Harvey and grip of terror that Gotham is left in after the Joker's crime spree. Batman's doing his thankless job and feeling that his name is too dirty to do what he originally intended. Giving us the first glimpse of where a side-kick is needed.

Enter Bane, in a dirty south American prison. He's a small, but scrappy guy who is murderous and determined not to be shanked by some random low-life. Gets the warden's attention for a new 'super-soldier' program financed by a cartel. Bane survives and starts cage fighting. Becomes great and obsessed with being the best. Hears about Batman.

Prison break. Bane travels to Gotham and jumps Bats while he is patrolling. Fight ensues. Bane breaks Bats back. All hell breaks lose in Gotham. Police can't do shit, Mob hooks up with Bane.

Enter sidekick trying to keep the peace while Bats is in traction. Bats heals and comes back with the realization that this is never going to end and with a renewed sense of his own mortality. Reaches out to sidekick, cue training montage. End with Bane getting his ass kicked.