Beyond ‘Dark Knight’: What if Wes Anderson made Batman reboot?

Feb. 06, 2012 | 6:36 p.m.


The end is near — when the credits roll on “The Dark Knight Rises” this July, it will mark the end 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.

1vaughn batman hartter final1 Beyond Dark Knight: What if Wes Anderson made Batman reboot?

Matthew Vaughn: "Batman: Mad City" (Sean Hartter / For Hero Complex)

Matthew Vaughn’s “Batman: Mad City”: Maybe the future of Gotham is in the past? That approach worked in a big way for Fox’s Marvel mutant franchise, which was losing its mojo before “X-Men: First Class” found a retro energy that managed to channel both Jack Kennedy and Jack Kirby. How great would it be to see “First Class” director Matthew Vaughn and star Michael Fassbender jump over to the DC Universe to give us a Bruce Wayne of the “Mad Men” era that might sync up nicely with Darwyn Cooke’s vintage vision of the caped crusader in comics?

1phillips batman hartter final1 Beyond Dark Knight: What if Wes Anderson made Batman reboot?

Todd Phillips: "Dude, Where's My Batmobile?" (Sean Hartter / For Hero Complex)

Todd Phillips’ “Dude, Where’s My Batmobile?”: After the grimmer-than-grim Nolan films, maybe we could all use a laugh. When Batman (Bradley Cooper) goes on vacation, his housesitter, Billy “Matches” Malone (Ashton Kutcher) decides to smoke up and take the ultimate joyride at the wheel of the Batmobile — but what happens when the villains of Gotham City mistakenly think the affable pothead is the real caped crusader? With Dwayne Johnson as Killer Croc, Zach Galifianakis as the Penguin, Emma Stone as Barbara Gordon and Elisha Cuthbert as Harley Quinn.

1anderson batman hartter draft1 Beyond Dark Knight: What if Wes Anderson made Batman reboot?

Wes Anderson's "Alfred Pennyworth: The Life Nocturnal" (Sean Hartter / For Hero Complex)

Wes Anderson’s “Alfred Pennyworth, the Life Nocturnal”: Hey Gotham City, why so serious? Bill Murray stars in this quirky, existential Wes Anderson film about the aging manservant who keeps an eye on the demons and delusions of a billionaire recluse named Bruce Wayne (Luke Wilson) who likes to wear a cape and pretend he is a masked vigilante. The film also stars as Danny Glover as Jim Gordon, Gwyneth Paltrow as Selina Kyle, Jason Schwartzman as Dick Grayson and Owen Wilson as Harvey Dent. Gene Hackman makes a cameo appearance as the ghost of Thomas Wayne.

hero complex wax pack hartter 2 Beyond Dark Knight: What if Wes Anderson made Batman reboot?Tuesday: Rob Marshall’s “Gotham!”; Brad Bird’s “Mr. Freeze’s Icy Revenge”; Guillermo del Toro’s “Batman”

Wednesday: Ang Lee’s “Wayne Manor”; Catherine Hardwicke’s “Batman: Moonlight”; Guy Ritchie’s “Gotham by Gaslight”

Thursday: Martin Scorsese’s “Batman: Caped Fear”; Hayao Miyazaki’s “Batmite”; Neill Blomkamp’s “Batman: Arkham City”

Friday: Tim Burton’s “The Dark Knight Returns”; Zack Snyder’s “World’s Finest”; Ridley Scott’s “Batman Beyond”

Feb. 13: Vote for your favorite, and submit ideas.

— Geoff Boucher and Sean Hartter


christophernolan tall Beyond Dark Knight: What if Wes Anderson made Batman reboot?Christopher Nolan opens up about Bane choice

Hathaway: Catwoman modeled on Hedy Lamarr

Christian Bale says goodbye to Gotham

‘Dark Knight Rises’: Tom Hardy as Bane

Nolan on his favorite scene in ‘Dark Knight’

‘DKR’: Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

‘DKR’: The Bat, the Rat and the Cat

Michael Keaton’s dark memories of ‘Batman’

Nolan: Hollywood takes too many shortcuts

FIRST LOOK: ‘Dark Knight Rises’ toys


16 Responses to Beyond ‘Dark Knight’: What if Wes Anderson made Batman reboot?

  1. shadowboxer says:

    I think it should definitely go in a direction with a little more "fantasy" but not campy. I think for a BIG name.. GUILLERMO DEL TORO would be great because look at his work of blending reality/fantasy …i.e. PAN'S LABRYNTH. Del Toro & Chris also did a Q & A last year that was great. They seemed to get on well… Look it up.

    2nd idea, I think it should also be MUCH darker. Never found Batman to be as dark or imitimdating as he could be. He should be full of RAGE as the bat. Remember this is the guy who walks a fine line, where he should be portrayed as the guy that any minute can cross over & BE the villian. My 2nd idea for a director (well out there) would be ROB ZOMBIE. Look at his work & then when you see LORDS OF SALEM. I think that will sell you on it.

    3rd choice.. like Çhris (who only had 3 films under his belt at the time of his hiring)… I suggest ZAL BATMANGLIJ. I think he's the next Christopher Nolan in general. Don't believe me? Wait till 2012 is over. SOUND OF MY VOICE & THE EAST. Enough will be said after that & he'l be on ALL of your radars.

    Out of the above choices that were suggested… I dig RIDLEY SCOTT'S the most.



    • random person says:

      Rob Zombie????????
      HE WOULD RUIN the movie. Rob Zombie is one of the worst directors ever. His reboot of Halloween was pathetic.
      Seriously, was that a joke????
      Do you even want the movie to be good?
      Rob Zombie should be the last person on the list that you contact. I'd rather have someone who has only directed spanish soap operas as director that Rob Zombie.

  2. Madeline says:

    There are experssions batman makes in the Hush series that look like Bale. I'll never like any other Batman, considering I know every possible actor in the world right now and they all just don't have what it takes. It's too bad they can't just go from movie to tv, with the way the writing and directing is on person of interest, it might be smarter than letting some idiot nephew of some exec make a new batman.

    • John says:

      There are over a hundred thousand actors in SAG. You know them all? Or just the fifty most common faces of the lot? And I'm glad producers don't think like you; otherwise, we never would have seen a new Batman in the form of Christian Bale. In fact, there might be a seven-year-old out there who will one day don the cape crusader's cowl and when he does someone like you will say, "…I'll never like any other Batman…"

  3. Hart D. Fisher says:

    Fantastic! Love the concept poster art by American Horrors artist Sean S. Hartter!

    Hart D. Fisher

  4. hazel cote says:

    all of those ideas sound terrible. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T MAKE ANY OF THAT CRAP!

    • brad says:

      i have to say ur right they need to talk nolan into something were he over looks the movies i even think azreal needs to be add and make three more movies and let batman heal up and then they wont have to replace bale,as well i would love to see nolans take on scar face,the mad hatter,killer croc and depending on the end of rises have bane come back in the thrid one as well and even try to get bale back and now they could use azreal losing his mind with bane wanting pay back and batman forced out of retirement to bring both of them down and they could push it father.

    • brad says:

      and in the next three movie have little cameos were it shows bruce training a young man not robin but nightwing forming and molding him to take the mantal but at the end of the 3rd movie have him tell bruce there will never be another batman and he dont want to try to fill in that he well make his own name and now they have more movies and it leaves bale and nolans batman alone without worry.then they could use pinguen moving in the city to take over as a mob boss,ridder but make him more like arkham city ridder there just so many ways they could do it and leave nolans batman world alone,but they always need to have nolan over looking the making of these movies couse nobody wants to relive the 90s batman

    • noelenecy says:

      aw, c'mon. these are really fun. lighten up.

  5. tadeu says:

    awesome article :)
    i would change one thing: Emma Stone as Harley Quinn and Elisha Cuthbert as Barbara Gordon :)

  6. The Retroist says:

    Great to see more Hartter art. I would watch a movie about Alfred.

  7. zackof all trades says:

    all the above ideas are so stupid I would burn any studio that filmed such crap to the ground

  8. Hipalien says:

    Wow people take things so seriously! I love all the above ideas and so much fun going on!;)

  9. Mark Nelson says:

    Uh, yeah. These are supposed to be jokes, not actual films being readied for production.

  10. joshuare5768 says:

    Christopher Nolan didn't just reboot Batman – he reboot movies. After Batman Begins, his movies have been mentioned as inspiration for nearly every superhero and sci-fi movie to have been released since, including The Amazing Spider-Man. The thing Nolan avoided though was something that got away from the realistic tone of the movies. He had to ditch the immortality of Ras al-Ghul and the chemical bath the Joker got. Now he has shifted Bane from a chemically-induced strong-man into an asthmatic with radical headgear. It all works, but the approach essentially eliminated a number of characters whose realistic version would have been difficult to render.

    No matter what approach the next version takes (even though it should ride very close if not parallel to Chris Nolan's), as so long as the filmmakers care enough about having a story to tell and characters to develop, as the Nolans have, then it should be fine. And on that note, Chris Nolan is rumored to be producing the next version for Warner Brothers. Honestly, give the director's chair to Jonathan Nolan. I don't want anyone else having creative control over this character other than the Nolans and maybe David S Goyer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

E-mail It
Powered by ShareThis