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Make a Robin Movie

I've probably thrown this one out before, but hear me out anyway. Why does Batman have to come back in (or be the star of) specifically a Batman movie?

Robin the Boy Wonder has been (unfairly, in my estimation) treated like a hindrance personified for the last few decades' worth of Batman adaptations, his punishment from the Gods of Fandom for putting to bed their fixations on the post-Frank Miller "gritty psychopath" Batman being the one true vision of the character. But to a younger generation of fans just now reaching their teens (and their prime disposable income years) he's been handily rehabilitated in his own right. He was the leader of The Teen Titans, after all.

Might as well give the kid his own movie. If nothing else, it's probably better than trying to fit his origin into the B-story of a Batman film, and you'd get to have Batman as a supporting character where he can enter the story, do something cool, and exit whenever a shot in the arm is needed. Then, if this Batman goes over well ... hey, cool! You've got yourself a Batman ready for his close-up! And if not, you can recast him, since it's not like he was the main character this time.

The Dark Knight Rises ... Again

It's going to be nearly impossible to make another Batman movie in the same continuity as Christopher Nolan's now-concluded trilogy. Again, not because of anything that happens or doesn't happen in Rises, but because they were designed to resist that kind of continuation. It's spelled out explicitly, over the course of three films, that this is not a Gotham City where a hundreds-strong rotating crop of costumed criminals flit in and out of Arkham Asylum requiring nightly Batman battles, or where similar activities bedevil similar vigilantes in other cities across the country. This was a self-contained story, it's been told, the Cat Lady has sung.

But, then, there have been plenty of sequels to stories that were supposed to be over. Usually ill-advised, I'll grant, but there's precedent. The first Matrix ended decisively with Neo having become an all powerful digital god The Machines can't possibly stand against ... until The Matrix made enough money to demand a pair of sequels, and suddenly "all powerful" became a relative term.

So, yeah. You could try and "soft-reboot" the Nolanverse Batman into the bigger DC Universe people are assuming/hoping will be kicked off by Man of Steel. It would be difficult. It'd take some screenwriting gymnastics (no, I won't say how much) to get things back into place, and even then The Batman available to you still might not truly fit the "classical" version you want on that Justice League poster. Most of all, though, you'd probably have to do something really, really nice for Christopher Nolan to get him to publically "okay" your actions lest his teeming (and increasingly scary) fanbase damn the film before it came out.

Just Don't Do It

Batman movies are a license to print money. I get that. He's the only DC Universe hero who's been a proven box office draw since the 80s. I get that, too.

But the fact is, in terms of getting the rest of the DC stable into theaters, his reliability has become a crutch and a resource hog. You (Warners) are now on your second try in under a decade at making Superman movies work again, and fixtures like Wonder Woman or The Flash aren't going to be any easier. Maybe another Batman isn't where you need to be diverting your time and money at this stage, reliable hit or not.

At this point, everyone knows Batman. Everyone knows what he's about. Everyone knows his backstory, supporting cast, rogues gallery, etc. He's the only guy who can turn up in a Justice League without anyone wondering who he is or why he's there. So you might as well knuckle down and get the rest of the house in order ... Batman will be there when you need him.

And, if you must bring him back beforehand, there's nothing that says that he has to reemerge in his own dedicated movie. If nothing else, Bruce Wayne is more than wealthy enough to jet around the world showing up toward the end of other peoples' movies with invites to a get-together ... Just sayin'.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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