With the release of The Dark Knight Rises Christopher Nolan's Bat-trilogy comes to an end, which of course means it's time to immediately start working on the next Batman trilogy! Nolan's trilogy drew heavily on the Batman: Year One, Dark Victory and Knightfall storylines, but there are plenty of other epic Batman tales that could potentially be transformed into money-printing movie trilogies.
Once they're done with their caviar food fights and Uncle Scrooge-style money swimming, the bosses at Warner Bros. really ought to consider one of the following five Batman trilogy ideas...
Movie producers seem to be super afraid of Robin, but they really shouldn't be. I mean, yeah, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin completely fumbled Robin by casting a 35-year-old Chris O'Donnell and ramping the gay up to unprecedented levels, but kid superheroes can work on film. People seemed to think Kick-Ass was pretty okay, and the comic it was based on was not very good. By comparison Robin has some much better comics to draw inspiration from...
Movie 1 - The first movie would be based on Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty and Javier Pulido's Robin: Year One. Dick Grayson is taken in by Bruce Wayne after his parents die and becomes Robin. As Robin tackles villains like Mad Hatter and Two-Face his bond with Batman and Alfred grow.
Movie 2 - Based on A Death in the Family. Dick Grayson has grown up and is trying to forge his own identity as Nightwing. Batman takes on Jason Todd as the new Robin, but the two clash, and ultimately Jason is killed by the Joker.
Movie 3 - Based on A Lonely Place of Dying. Batman is distraught and acting in a wreckless manner after the death of Jason Todd. Dick Grayson returns to help Batman take on Two-Face, but they're both nearly killed. Ultimately Bruce and Dick are saved by Tim Drake, a teenager who managed to discover Batman's secret identity. Tim becomes the new Robin and the core Bat-family is in place.
This would combine two of Hollywood's favorite things -- superheroes and disasters where people get sick and buildings fall down and stuff. I mean, it's actually kind of shocking that a superhero disaster movie hasn't happened before.
Move 1 - Based on the Contagion storyline. Gotham is stricken by a plague unleashed by that jerk Ra's al Ghul.
Movie 2 - Based on the Cataclysm storyline. Aw s--t, now there's an earthquake! Just uh, maybe use somebody slightly cooler than "Quakemaster" for the villain.
Movie 3 - Based on the No Man's Land storyline. Dayum, now Gotham's been declared a lawless no man's land! The city gets divided up between rival gangs Warriors-style, which is always awesome.
If producers decide regular old Batman isn't with it/hip/up on the scene enough for the kids today, then can always go with the futuristic Batman Beyond universe. I mean, Paul Dini actually wrote a Batman Beyond script back in early 2000s before it was ultimately decided to go the Batman Begins route. Just dig that script out of your filing cabinet Warners.
Movie 1 - Based on the two-part Batman Begins pilot episode The Call. It's more than 20-years in the future, and Batman is retired and very cranky. Terry McGinnis discovers Batman's secret identity and is eventually hired as the new Batman. Villains would be the Jokerz street gang and asshole business guy Derek Powers.
Movie 2 - Based on the episode Out of the Past. Bruce Wayne is tired of being old and cranky and accepts Talia's offer to let him use the Lazarus pit. Except Talia is actually Ra's al Ghul hoping to control a rejuvenated Bruce Wayne's mind. Globe hopping adventure ensues.
Movie 3 - Based on the direct-to-DVD movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. The Joker is back, and in the future! But that can't be -- he was killed by Robin 40 years ago! That's just the beginning of the craziness. This may be my favorite non-comic Joker story (and that includes The Dark Knight).
Okay, so probably a lot of Grant Morrison's run would have to be cut due to excessive craziness. I just don't see Bruce Wayne fighting cavemen or pushing a shopping cart around as the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh being embraced by casual movie-going Batman fans. But I think there's enough good, not totally insane stuff in Grant Morrison's run to support a trilogy...
Movie 1 - Based on Morrison's early Batman issues and the less wacky elements of the Black Glove storyline. Batman discovers he has a son named Damian with Ra's al Ghul's daughter Talia. Trains him as the new Robin. The Black Glove, lead by Doctor Hurt, a man claiming to be Bruce Wayne's father, try to take down Batman and the Wayne family. They fail.
Movie 2 - Based on the first Batman Incorporated series. Batman recruits Batmen from around the world to do battle with a criminal organization known as The Leviathan, which it turns out is run by Damian's mom. Awkward.
Movie 3 - Based on the second Batman Incorporated series. We don't yet know where this series is going to end up since there have only been two issues so far, but I imagine Team Batman will eventually save the world. Hollywood is totally into super-hero team-ups these days -- how could they say no to one made up entirely of Batmen?
This story, like Grant Morrison's Batman stuff, is still in progress, but it's still the story I'd most like to see made into a new Batman trilogy. Why? Because it's really super great, that's why.
Movie 1 - Based on Batman: Gates of Gotham. The history of Gotham city, and its important families the Waynes, Kanes, Elliots and others are explored. Meanwhile, in present day a villain known as The Architect is destroying Gotham landmarks. Hints and references to the Court of Owls can be laced throughout.
Movie 2 - Based on The Court of Owls storyline. Legend has it Gotham City is actually controlled by a shadowy organization known as The Court of Owls. Batman doesn't believe it. He should. The Owls push Batman to the brink as he discovers Gotham City and even his family have managed to hide secrets from him.
Movie 3 - Based on, uh, whatever Scott Snyder's working on for the future. After a couple straight years of great Batman comics from Snyder, I'm sure it'll be rad.
So, how about you folks? Any good ideas for Bat-trilogies you'd like to see?