Yet another reboot of Batman?

The latest, enormously successful reincarnation of Batman isn’t even done – the third movie, The Dark Knight Rises is just starting production – and already Warner Brothers is talking about rebooting the franchise. I suppose that on top of the upcoming Spiderman and Superman reboots, this could be a sign that Hollywood is more desperate than ever for material, as well as acknowledgment that comic book movies are still a good bet.

But, really? Christian Bale redefined the Caped Crusader in Batman Begins, then director Chris Nolan took him to new dramatic and critically acclaimed heights in The Dark Knight and Warner Brothers is already eager to try to cash in again? That just seems crazy.

But it turns out there’s a decent reason for the strange strategy. The striking thing about Chris Nolan’s take on Batman was the hyper-realism. Far from the campy ’60s Batman or the surreal ’80s/’90s take on the comic book superhero, Nolan’s Batman lived in a world not all that different from our own. That was the key to the dramatic heft.

But it also makes integrating Batman into the planned Justice League movie a difficult artistic challenge. Nolan’s Batman doesn’t belong in the same world as Superman and Wonder Woman. But Batman has to be an integral part of Justice League – so, look for a “reinvented” Batman who will fit in better with the rest of the superheroes.

Let’s just hope the Wonder Twins don’t make the cut.

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