July 23, 2013
Why The Batman-Superman Team-Up Movie Is A Huge Risk
I was at Comic Con with my fellow movie/comic book nerds when Zack Synder announced that Batman would be joining Superman in the sequel to "Man of Steel." And even though it had been spoiled on twitter hours before, my mind was still blown to pieces when I heard it. It's no secret I'm a big fan of the Batman movies and while there were some good parts in "Man of Steel," I generally thought it was too long, too emotionally cold, and had way too much unnecessary destruction. And I'm not alone in this, critically "Man of Steel" received a mix reaction and the hardcore fans were mainly distraught over the insane amount of violence that Superman dishes out compared to the amount of people he actually saved. Which is why I think Batman is being added to the next Superman movie to save the Superman franchise from itself. This is not a good thing.
You see, for all their flaws, the Batman that we all know and love these days is the Christopher Nolan Batman. This is a Batman that is grounded so firmly in reality, there is never any mention of anyone having super-powers EVER in the movies. And you know what, audiences loved it, ask anyone why the Batman movies are awesome and you'll get a response along the lines of "it's so gritty and real," which is true. And even though "The Dark Knight" trilogy ended with a firm conclusion, we all still identify with this Batman and hope/expect to see him again. And the character appearing on screen again, like it or not, we will be bringing our pre-conceptions of the Nolan Batman with us.
We're doing for a massive moment of reckoning when the Batman that appears in this epic team-up is different than Nolanized version of the character. The reason for this is that if you're playing by the rules established in "Man of Steel," he totally has to be. How the hell is a Nolan era Batman going to compete with a dude who can punch people through buildings? Hell, he barely could handle Bane and he was (super) human! The answer is that the Batman we get in this movie is going to be radically different, he'll probably have to be way more intelligent and have access to serious technology. A great comic book friend pointed out that there is no mention of Kryptonite in "Man of Steel" so maybe Batman creates/discovers it? But keep in mind that the Nolan Batman is very physical, or at least he was in "The Dark Knight Rises," and he's not that smart, he got duped by Miranda Tate and tricked into a weak fight by Bane! Are you ready for this somewhat nerdy version of Batman? I don't think I am. I'm concerned that this new hero will come across as cheesy and bizarre, which is the opposite of what the Nolan films were all about.
I realize that DC didn't really have much choice and that had to put the two characters together. After all they had to compete with the Marvel cinematic Universe somehow, I just extremely worried that whatever this mash-up looks like will come across and totally strange and foreign. Let's hope that Synder is up for the task, because let's be clear about this, in the eyes of everyone he's not making a sequel to "Man of Steel," he's making a follow up to "The Dark Knight" trilogy, which is a super-heroic undertaking itself.