It’s been made clear by writer/director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale that ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is their last Batman film. ‘Dark Knight Rises’, which releases next summer, is the final chapter in Nolan’s trilogy of bat-films. Nolan has told the story that he intended to be and is done with the franchise.
Actor Gary Oldman, who plays Commissioner Gordon in the Dark Knight trilogy also stated recently that it’s his last go at the bat-movies as well. But, in his statement, Oldman also hinted that Warner Brothers might be continuing the bat-films after ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ Here is what Oldman had to say on the subject:
“Yeah, yeah. For us I think it’s the end. Whether they will make more, my guess is probably. I mean, they don’t have Potter anymore. So, there could be a Batman 4 a 5. It may be Chris overseeing it in a producorial position, but for us and for Chris I think that’s it. It’s a great way to go out though. It’s a great story. Epic, epic thing it is.”
Okay… I’ll let the anger and shock subside for a second. After all, that statement above is merely one actor stating the obvious. Warner Brothers’ cash cow Harry Potter series has already wrapped. Now its second big hit, Batman, is coming to a close as well. It would only make sense from a business standpoint to milk both of these properties for all that they’re worth. Warner Brothers has already stated that there will be limited DVD and Blu-ray editions of the Harry Potter films as early as the end of 2011. That way they can release special edition discs every year or so and keep the moolah flowing in from that franchise.
But what to do with Batman? Unlike Harry Potter, which is based on a finite book series and has no more story to tell, Batman could technically go on indefinitely. So it would make sense to just continue the series. And it definitely wouldn’t be the first time that Batman has been recast with different actors. The last series of Batman films had three different actors beneath the cowl over the course of four films.
But for those of us who remember the 90s era Batman films, the idea of continuing to make movies without the original stars and directors is a sore point. Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ (1989) and ‘Batman Returns’ (1992) were both great bat-films. But Joel Schumacher’s atrocious ‘Batman Forever’ and ‘Batman and Robin’ showed us why Hollywood should’ve just stopped while they were ahead.
Such is the case with Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. It’s over. Nolan has told the Batman tale that he intended to tell. There’s absolutely no reason to continue the story, other than to keep the dough rolling in. There’s a rumor floating around the internet that Nolan will kill off Batman at the end of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ so maybe that will end this debate once and for all. Of course, the death of a character means nothing to Hollywood or we would’ve never had the atrocity that was ‘Terminator 3’ after Arnie’s glorious death scene in the second film. I vote that, if Hollywood has to keep Batman going after ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, they follow in the footsteps of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ and just reboot the whole thing again. That way, Nolan’s films could stand alone as the singular tale that they are intended to be.
What do you think? Would more Dark Knight movies work without the creators/actors involved or would it turn into a bat-disaster? If they do go the reboot route, would it confuse the regular movie-going public being so hot on the heels of Nolan’s films? Or should Hollywood and DC just drop the idea of Batman movies altogether for a while and focus on other DC properties?