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Aside from being the director of movies like Clerks, Chasing Amy and Tusk, Kevin Smith is also known for being one of Hollywood’s most enthusiastic comic book fans, with Batman being his favorite superhero. Besides consistently geeking out over the Caped Crusader like other fans, Smith is more steeped in the world of Batman, having interviewed creative talent on the Fatman on Batman podcast. He also wrote several Batman comics. Although Smith said in the past he’ll never direct a comic book movie, he was recently asked what his ideal Batman movie would be about, and he offered two big ideas, both based on established storylines from the comics.
In terms of a blockbuster that could include a lot of Batman’s enemies, he first suggested to Screen Junkies’ Movies Fights an adaptation of the Batman: Hush story arc, which saw the super villain Hush organizing many of Gotham City’s rogues together. Smith said:
I was going to say Hush, because you get all the characters. In a world where DC is trying to launch the DC cinematic universe, this would be a way to do it and introduce all of Batman's rogues' gallery in one movie. So naturally, that's your money decision right here.
Written by Jeph Loeb and penciled by Jim Lee from 2002-2003, the Batman: Hush story saw Batman dealing with the bandaged Hush’s attempts to destroy his life, using villains like Riddler, Ra’s al Ghul and Clayface as part of his grand plot. It was later reveled that Hush was actually Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Tommy Elliot, who gained similar skills as Bruce while traveling the world, but instead became a criminal and targeted Bruce for perceived slights when they were kids. Although Red Hood and Deadshot are rumored to be featured in the upcoming solo Batman movie, it’s practically guaranteed sequels will follow, so Hush may make a good villain to consider for the veteran Batman to take on as the DC Extended Universe moves further.
While Batman: Hush would be the clear moneymaker in Kevin Smith’s eyes, in his heart there’s a non-"studio" idea that he would want to see brought to life: a live action adaptation of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. However, it would need to be helmed by Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller. Smith elaborated:
Now, this is a great combination of material and filmmaker. The man can direct....Give the story of the old Batman to the 70-year-old director who made the amazing-looking Fury Road. It's a no-brainer.
Although next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is adapting elements of The Dark Knight Returns, from Ben Affleck playing an older Bruce Wayne to the Caped Crusader and Man of Steel duking it out, the acclaimed 1986 story has yet to be told in film form outside of the two-part, direct-to-video animated movie. Miller was set to direct Justice League: Mortal late last decade before the production was shut down, and he reportedly recently passed on helming Man of Steel 2. We won’t see The Dark Knight Returns directly told within the DCEU, but if Smith’s lucky, maybe Miller will agree to do another DC movie in the near future.
You can watch Smith’s full appearance on the Screen Junkies special below, including him pitching the ultimate DC vs. Marvel movie.
Moviegoers can catch the new cinematic Batman debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on March 25, 2016.