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  1. #1
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    Default Batman reboot: Series or episodic format?

    I've been giving this a fair bit of thought lately and I've been wondering...long-term, what would be a better approach to a future Batman franchise. A continuing series, like the Nolan trilogy, with strong continuity and each installment pretty much building upon the previous ones? Or something more episodic; stand-alone films bound by a loose continuity but otherwise independent of each other (ala James Bond)?

    While the former is the approach which is usually favored as it is what leads to building a strong and lasting film franchise, the latter does have its merits. For starters, an episodic format might allow for creative and tonal shifts that would be difficult (if not impossible) in a regular series. It would also allow for less troublesome cast changes and the possibility of having the series go on for years, even decades, without a 'hard' reboot'...

    Besides, the episodic format has worked well for WB's animated DTV'S...

  2. #2
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    Series. I didn't really get the trilogy vibe from the Nolan flicks until they decided to make it one with the third movie. Unfortunate too since it does that whole thing where the second, and best, installment becomes the movie that doesn't really fit.

  3. #3

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    The 'series' format kind of gives you both. Episodes just vary in length. And it's up to each new creative team to decide how much they want to dive into the origin.

    With the overall theme of Nolan's movies being about the Bruce/Batman relationship, I hope the next series deals more with the Batman/Robin relationship. Batman's origin is completely unnecessary for the new series. Instead, we could get Robin's origin. Imagine the debut trailer: Well dressed man is invited to take a seat in a woman's office. They are about to finalize some paperwork. The woman says she still isn't sure it's a good idea. The man says "I know what he's going through. I can help him." Cut to flashes of the two training, fighting each other. Back to the office. "And maybe he can help me too." Cut to them fighting a bunch of thugs as B and R.
    Spider-Man from the beginning! Last ish: ASM #15 - Chameleon hires Kraven (first appearance!) to kill Spidey.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam.walters View Post
    The 'series' format kind of gives you both. Episodes just vary in length. And it's up to each new creative team to decide how much they want to dive into the origin.

    With the overall theme of Nolan's movies being about the Bruce/Batman relationship, I hope the next series deals more with the Batman/Robin relationship. Batman's origin is completely unnecessary for the new series. Instead, we could get Robin's origin. Imagine the debut trailer: Well dressed man is invited to take a seat in a woman's office. They are about to finalize some paperwork. The woman says she still isn't sure it's a good idea. The man says "I know what he's going through. I can help him." Cut to flashes of the two training, fighting each other. Back to the office. "And maybe he can help me too." Cut to them fighting a bunch of thugs as B and R.
    Yeah, that's a pretty good take on Robin's origin.

    Personally, I too have a vision for what the first reboot film should be, and that involves Robin's origin. But once the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin have been established, I'm not sure where the series should go from there. Should the movie's simply focus on stand-alone Batman stories within the 'sandbox' that the reboot creates, or should there be some evolution of the character and setting over time. For instance, the Nolan films tell a complete story from Batman's creation till the time he truly becomes a legend and a martyr. Should the reboot also follow some kind of story-line?

    In the comics, broadly, it works both ways. All the Batman stories cumulatively tell a decades-long saga of Batman's career, with characters and status quos constantly shifting and changing. But there is a broad status quo of the Batman universe which is broadly maintained and for the most part the various story arcs are just episodes within the larger franchise, many of which can stand alone.

  5. #5

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    I think it would be awesome if character growth happened over several movies. Robin becomes Nightwing. New Robins. Robin 'dies'. Batman 'dies'. Nightwing becomes Batman.
    Spider-Man from the beginning! Last ish: ASM #15 - Chameleon hires Kraven (first appearance!) to kill Spidey.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam.walters View Post
    I think it would be awesome if character growth happened over several movies. Robin becomes Nightwing. New Robins. Robin 'dies'. Batman 'dies'. Nightwing becomes Batman.
    I think that is the most logical step, for sure. We've already seen the paradigmatic Batman origin and development for what I'm sure will be a very long time with Nolan's trilogy and with that character still freshly etched in the minds of viewers I think it's time for a strong portrayal of Robin as well. Think about how good the Under the Red Hood animated movie was; the growth of that premise, as well as the emotional attachment surrounding it on the big screen could be phenomenal if done right.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bionics View Post
    I think that is the most logical step, for sure. We've already seen the paradigmatic Batman origin and development for what I'm sure will be a very long time with Nolan's trilogy and with that character still freshly etched in the minds of viewers I think it's time for a strong portrayal of Robin as well. Think about how good the Under the Red Hood animated movie was; the growth of that premise, as well as the emotional attachment surrounding it on the big screen could be phenomenal if done right.
    Agreed. But if we were to even get to a point where the story of 'Under the Red Hood' could be told on screen, it would take something like five to six movies MINIMUM. You'd have to do Dick's origin as Robin, Dick's career as Robin, Dick becoming Nightwing and being replaced as Robin by Jason, Jason's career as Robin, Jason dying, and finally Jason 'coming back' years later as Red Hood...There's no way WB will be able to retain the same cast and crew for that long, and maintain the same creative tone and standards.

    Which is where the more 'episodic' format would work...where directors come and go, doing either stand-alones or 2-3 film story arcs that all fit into the same loose continuity, but otherwise have creative freedom. That way, actors can come and go, but the 'universe' can continue more or less indefinitely...

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