How Ben Affleck Can Set His Batman Movie Apart From Previous Films
By now, it has become fairly clear that DC fans are seriously excited for Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie. New details continue to trickle in regarding the mysterious project, and each new morsel of information only gets us more pumped. Batfleck has two successful stints as The Caped Crusader under his utility belt so far, and the future looks incredibly bright for this dark hero. That being said, the upcoming Batman movie has a long silver screen legacy to contend with.
With that in mind, Joe Manganiello's recent comments about the Batman movie have us scratching our heads. The Deathstroke actor has asserted that the upcoming film will be unlike any Batman movie in history. That's a tall order when we consider the fact that The Dark Knight is arguably the most well-worn comic book character in the history of cinema. To help Mr. Affleck out, we've compiled a list of ways for him to set his solo movie apart from everything that has come before him. Check out our entries and let us know what you think the upcoming Batman movie needs to do in order to keep itself distinct from its predecessors!
Move Away From Frank Miller
For decades, Frank Miller's dark and psychologically tormented version of The Caped Crusader has remained the go-to version of Batman on the silver screen. While it's certainly a tried and true method, we would like to see Ben Affleck strike out in a new direction and draw inspiration from other legendary Batman writers. From Scott Snyder's brooding, yet eternally optimistic, take on the character in The New 52 run to Grant Morrison's swashbuckling playboy version of Gotham's protector, it's all gold. Batfleck can still retain certain aspects of Miller's anguished version of the hero, but it's time to start drawing inspiration from other Batman creative legends.
Place More Emphasis On The Bat Family
While Batman has definitely had a few sidekicks throughout the course of his silver screen career, the Batman movies have never really delved deep into the overall dynamic of The Bat Family. This ever-growing familial unit of crime fighters serves as Batman's core support base throughout his war on Gotham's underworld, and each member brings something different to the table. From Dick Grayson's upbeat demeanor, to Jason Todd's anti-heroic sense of rage, to Tim Drake's sheer intellect, we want to see thorough exploration of the other costumed heroes that support Batman and make him a better protector for Gotham City. Few other Batman movies have ever placed much emphasis on his supporting cast, and that creative decision could really help set the next Batman movie apart.
Explore The History Of Gotham City
Gotham City existed long before the creation of Batman, and it will continue to exist long after he's gone. That's an idea that is echoed consistently throughout the comics, but it's not really something that gets repeated very often in Batman's movies. If Ben Affleck wants to craft a genuinely cerebral story that bucks tradition, he shouldn't be afraid to delve deep into the history of Gotham City as a character. He could show us the tragic origins of Arkham Asylum, or tease the existence of the Court of Owls, or even take a crack at the "Pale Man" origin story for The Joker.
Don't Focus On Thomas & Martha Wayne
As an audience, we can only watch the pearls hit the pavement so many times before we stop caring about the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne. The origin of The Dark Knight has generally become common knowledge to even the most cursory comic book movie fan, and the death of Bruce Wayne's parents was already covered by Zack Snyder during the events of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. We do NOT need the solo Batman movie to remind us why Bruce Wayne has chosen the life of a crime fighter, and we do not need the film to spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on his survivor's guilt. Instead, Affleck should focus that psychology on other things that torment Bruce Wayne, such as the death of Jason Todd, the betrayal of a good friend like Harvey Dent, or the fact that he likely will never have a normal relationship.
Examine Bruce Wayne's Relationship With Gotham City
During Scott Snyder's beautiful run on Batman during The New 52, he allowed the character to properly express why he stays in Gotham City, and why he's so dead set on defending it. In the eyes of Bruce Wayne, Gotham is a crucible; if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. That's a sentiment that Ben Affleck should really focus on, because few Batman movies have ever really tackled the reasons why Bruce Wayne actually wants to be in Gotham. Sure, it's his home, but most of the previous Batman movies have taken that idea for granted. With a beautiful city like Metropolis waiting across the bay, there needs to be a reason for a billionaire to want to stick around.
Bring In Non-Batman DC Characters
Up until now, Batman movies have been forced to rely almost exclusively on characters solely from the Batman mythos. However, the creation of a cohesive DC cinematic universe has fundamentally altered how characters can appear in The Dark Knight's next solo movie. We already know that Deathstroke -- a villain not exclusive to The Dark Knight's rogue's gallery -- will appear in the upcoming film, and Ben Affleck should double down on that idea to include an army of non-Batman DC characters. Maybe he will pay Amanda Waller a visit, or jet over to Metropolis to see Clark Kent and Lois Lane (a la Hush). No matter what, we want the Batman solo movie to genuinely feel like it exists within a larger universe.
What do you think Ben Affleck's Batman movie should do to set itself apart from previous Batman films? Let us know what you think in the comments section below to keep this conversation going! We will bring you more information related to the solo Batman movie as new details become available to us.
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.