BATFILMS OF THE FUTURE?
The end is near — when the credits roll on “The Dark Knight Rises” this July, it will mark the close of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the final adventure for Christian Bale as the caped crusader of Gotham City. Warner Bros. executives have made it clear they won’t leave the iconic property sitting on a shelf, however, and a new director and star tandem could be inhabiting Wayne Manor by 2014. But how on earth will any filmmaker follow the work of Nolan and company? Working together, Hero Complex lead writer Geoff Boucher and graphic artist Sean Hartter came up with 15 imaginary Batman reboots — and, yes, they did it with tongue in cheek.
Martin Scorsese’s “Caped Fear”: The acclaimed director delivers a “Shutter Island”-style thriller as Batman (Jim Caviezel) is trapped in a Gothic castle by three of his greatest foes. To make matters worse, he’s pumped full of fear toxin that melts the lines between nightmare and reality. Even if the hero survives, will he regain his sanity after the madhouse moment of meeting his dead parents (Jon Hamm and Michelle Williams)? With Joe Pesci as the Penguin, Steve Buscemi as the Scarecrow, Leonardo DiCaprio as the Riddler and Nick Nolte as Dr. Jeremiah Arkham.
Hayao Miyazaki’s “Bat Mite”: The world-class dreamer of Studio Ghibli takes the Batman mythology into a strange and wonderful new direction with the tale of Bat Mite, a magical imp who is tethered to the life energy of Bruce Wayne and lives inside a giant penny in the Batcave. When the billionaire sleeps, Bat Mite goes on patrol in Gotham collecting the tears of orphans and protecting them from harm. When King Tut learns the magic power of those tears, Bat Mite becomes his quarry. The English version features voice actors Jamie Bell as Bat Mite, Matt Damon as Bruce Wayne, Tommy Lee Jones as Killer Croc, Jeremy Renner as Killer Moth and Elton John as King Tut.
Neill Blomkamp‘s “Arkham City“: Before the breakthrough success of “District 9,” South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp hoped to bring “Halo” to the screen with producer Peter Jackson, but that project fell apart. Now Blomkamp, a lover of gaming, turns to another iconic video game to adapt for this film starring Joe Manganiello (“True Blood”) as Batman. For Warner Bros., it makes perfect sense to turn away from comics and look at red-hot video games as the next fertile ground for source-material mythology and marketplace synergy. The film also stars Adrien Brody as the Joker, Michael C. Hall as the Riddler and Stanley Tucci as Hugo Strange.
— Geoff Boucher and Sean Hartter
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Monday, Feb. 13: Vote for your favorite — and submit your own Batfilm ideas.