If Batman Is In Man Of Steel, Can We Please Shut Up About It Until Then?
If you've never endured the hell for yourself, here's how red carpet interviews work. A famous or moderately famous is brought to stand in front of you, the reporter, and you have a certain amount of time-- usually about two minutes or less-- to ask them questions as quickly as possible, with hopes of getting a good reaction. The best and most devious way to get a good reaction is to ask them something incendiary and run whatever they say-- even if it's just a "no comment" and walking away-- as their "reaction" to that thing. Pretty diabolical, right?
So when Movieline caught Christopher Nolan on a red carpet and asked him about rumors that Batman would pop up at the end of next summer's Man of Steel, he did pretty much the only reasonable thing he could: smiled and said "I can't talk about that. You know that." But Movieline's reporter, eager to make it something, said Nolan "grew an enormous Cheshire-Cat grin" when asked about Batman's potential cameo, hinting that Nolan does in fact know that Batman is making an appearance, and he's sure not telling.
With the rumor still swirling that Joseph Gordon-Levitt might be the next person to wear Batman's cowl, it's natural for everyone to be wondering if we'll get a hint at the Bat's future in next summer's Superman story Man of Steel-- and Nolan, who's producing the movie, certainly knows what's up. But there's a big difference between speculation and heckling the people with actual knowledge about what will happen. It's the difference between shaking your presents under the Christmas tree and wondering what's in them, and poking your parents in the arm until they finally give in and tell you.
Why would you even want to know if Batman will appear at the end of Man of Steel? If it's being held as a surprise, like Nick Fury popping up at the end of Iron Man, wouldn't you rather have an actual surprise awaiting you? The world of superhero movies is already far too absent of mystery-- the minute a character is cast, the Internet is full of biographies and back stories about these characters, and usually pretty solid speculation about what that character's fate will be. Superman and Batman and the upcoming Justice League movie are already operating in a very well-defined world with only so many stories to tell; why would you want to narrow things down even further by knowing a huge plot detail months before you see the movie?
It's a relief to know that the people behind some of the most anticipated upcoming geek properties, Man of Steel and Star Trek Into Darkness, value secrecy as much as the Pentagon, and whether or not Batman is making a cameo next summer, we're definitely not going to know about it until Christopher Nolan says so. Tease him or J.J. Abrams all you want about their love of secrecy, but they're doing the right thing for the sake of moviegoers everywhere. We could return the favor by not interpreting their every smile and gesture to mean something, but that would require actually learning our lesson: we don't really want to know this stuff, much as we think we do.
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