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I think it's safe to say that Batman is the most popular DC hero of all time. He has headlined more movies than any other DC character (live-action or otherwise), and he has developed an intense following among mainstream audiences. Given his immense popularity, most fans would likely agree are that Batman movies are still far too rare these days. To remedy that fact, Kevin Smith recently proposed the idea of modeling the Batman franchise after the newly developed Star Wars business model. The director explained:
This character can sustain multiple ... interpretations, get on that schedule, and throw him around to everybody! ... Just make a bunch! Make that [kung fu] one, make a ridiculously expensive one, make one in space... make Justice League Dark. Every year, there needs to be a Batman movie.
Batman is arguably the most flexible character in the entire DC lore, and Kevin Smith's recent comments on an episode of Fatman on Batman cut to the core of that basic idea. Rather than model the DC slate after the Marvel model, Smith seems to think that DC should refocus its approach to the DCEU in the same way that Disney has set up its Star Wars slate: one new Batman movie every year in addition to the continuation of the main DC franchise. Batman can be the one constant (a Nick Fury-esque figure), and DC can branch out in entirely different directions for the anti-hero with each new installment.
We have already definitely seen that this business model works. Without using too many familiar characters or ideas, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was able to resonate with audiences when it debuted in December. Whether or not that model could work in a comic book universe like DC's remains to be seen, but it's certainly an option worth examining.
Of course, it doesn't seem likely that DC will heed Kevin Smith's advice at any point in the near future. The DCEU has gradually started to find its footing, and I seriously doubt that the folks at Warner Bros. and DC want to upend everything that they have accomplished thus far to try something as risky as this. Then there's also the fact that Ben Affleck likely wouldn't be able to sustain that physical role every year; the guy needs his rest. That said, as fans of the Batman mythos, the idea of an annual Batman movie series is simply too good to pass up.
We will bring you more information related to the future of The Dark Knight in the DCEU as more updates become available to us. The character is currently slated to make his next appearance on the silver screen when Zack Snyder's Justice League debuts later this year on November 17, 2017.
Check out the trailer for Justice League on the next page for a better look at the upcoming superhero epic!