So I'm not excited about Superman v. Batman: The Dawn of Grittiness, like, at all.
After this weekend, however, I am potentially excited about the next Batman movie.
Well, Ben Affleck is directing it, and while he's a mediocre actor at best, the last few years have shown that he's actually a pretty good director.
Also, Geoff Johns is writing it. Yup- the same guy who made the Justice Society a thing again and wrote my all-time favorite run (ha) on the Flash is writing a Batman movie.
What I'm saying is this movie might be good. I know, I know. There have been too many Batman movies. Do we really need to see another movie where Batman mopes around and then punches the Joker or Two-Face a few times before retreating to the Bat Cave to glower some more? Well, probably not. Here's the thing though: Batman has been around since 1939. There have been dozens of different, really neat takes on the character. The movies, on the other hand, have almost all been slight variations on Frank Miller's version of the character.
What I'm getting at here is if they play their cards right, we might get a really neat movie with a really fresh take on Batman. Here are 10 things I'd like to see in an Affleck/Johns Batman joint.
1. Detective Work. If you're a fan of the comics and not the movies, you might not know that one of Batman's nicknames is "the world's greatest detective." Batman is an expert martial artist, an inventor, and a master of criminal psychology, but his best skill is his deeply analytical mind. In (many) of his comics and on shows like Batman the Animated Series and even Adam West's Batman to an extent, Batman is portrayed as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. I'd love to see a movie where Batman needs to use his detective skills to solve a problem. I'd love it even more if that was the central focus of the whole movie.
2. No origin story. Batman Begins is probably going to end up as the definitive take on Batman's origin story. Christopher Nolan took half the film to show how Batman went from a rich kid whose parents got shot in an alley to a terrifying symbol of vigilante justice. We don't need to see that again because A) Batman Begins and B) everybody knows that story. Everybody knows Batman's origin. We don't need it rehashed in a movie for the umptee-bajillionth time. Just get on with the action/mystery.
3. Bruce Wayne: Superhero. Speaking of great takes on Batman that we seldom see in films- from time to time comic book writers (like Grant Morrison in the brilliant "Batman Inc.) remember that "crime is caused by systemic disenfranchisement and poverty and lack of access to job opportunities." What Batman does as a vigilante is essentially a bandaid on the issue of crime. What Bruce Wayne CAN do is use his billions to create industry in Gotham to provide jobs, donate to charities that help the poor, and help develop the sort of urban infrastructure that makes the lives of regular people better- stopping crime before it happens. Let's see THAT Bruce Wayne instead of the "pretend idiot playboy" that the movies normally give us.