BATFILMS OF THE FUTURE?
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.
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?
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.
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.
CHECK BACK FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES
Tuesday: Rob Marshall’s “Gotham!”; Brad Bird’s “Mr. Freeze’s Icy Revenge”; Guillermo del Toro’s “Batman”
Feb. 13: Vote for your favorite, and submit ideas.
— Geoff Boucher and Sean Hartter
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