“Batman” Gets Director

The next installment in the Batman film franchise will be directed by Christopher Nolan, according this Reuters report. Nolan is best known for his work directing “Memento” and “Insomnia.”

I haven’t seen “Insomnia,” but it got good buzz. “Memento” stands out as one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

16 replies on ““Batman” Gets Director”

  1. Daemonik says:

    Hrmmm
    Mental Image: Sleep deprived Batman tatooing clues to mystery on himself due to amnesia. Film will have to be played in reverse to be understood.

    Seriously, as long as there’s no friggen day-glo colors, George Clooney isn’t in the cast and no one makes a big deal over their plastic batsuit enhanced nippleage, it might be cool. But it’ll have to be a damn talented pig before I forget the prison rape that was the Schumacher movies, may he fester in hell.

    I was hoping Burton would take over again, but then Planet Of the Apes springs to mind.

    • MrGoofy says:

      Re: Hrmmm
      I have to disagree. Neither of the Burton Batman films are very good, save a few Jack Nicholson moments as an elderly version of the Joker.

      Keaton was so wildly miscast and Burton so incapable of creating compelling characters in any of films but two (Ed Scissorhands and Ed Wood – must be the Ed), I was sadly disappointed at how hack the first film was. The second was an improvement, but still very stale, boring and uninspired. All the films suffer from origin-itis, the need to constantly film up precious movie time showing character origins. Villain origins are not interesting enough to take up 30 minutes of screen time, unless it’s Dr. Doom, since his origin is so much a part of the FF (hoping HWood does a REAL movie version this time)

      You’ll find few people who have lambasted Schumacher’s many films as I have for nearly twenty years now, but I will give him this much – he at least tried to put the Batman character back as a powerful, dynamic superhero, not some mumbling weasel in a bad rubber suit. Burton had the right idea in regards to art direction, but his cinematographer got it all wrong, the action was almost non-existent, and what was there was ham-handed and flat.

      The opening action sequence of “Batman Forever” was better than anything else in any of the four movies. The animated series, just pick an episode, is better than any of the movies, because it’s the true Batman character. Clooney, for all his silly head-bobbing, at least approached being the handsome, heroic character. I’m not saying I’d have him back, but he was more Batman than Keaton or Kilmer. Kilmer would make a really good Aquaman, though.

      I’d also like to point out that back in 1988, when Burton was announced as director, I cringed. I, and many others, cried out for either James Cameron or Sam Raimi. Well, Sam just proved how badass he is with a superhero movie. If only he’d been there to stop Warners from creating such a dismal movie franchise.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: Hrmmm
        I have to ask this question, because it’s answer would explain to me whether you’re trolling or if you actually believe what you typed out: Are you on crack?

        The first two Batman films were pure Genius. Keaton was perfect as Batman, and he knew it, which was why he stopped doing it – he wants to be known for something other than being the Batman (so far he isn’t doing to well at that, but I think that’s because he still can’t shake the Batman image). Burton’s take on Gotham was likewise perfect: a vision of our own world in a somewhat distorted, dark mirror, not a satire of it like we got in the Schumacher movies.

        As to the villains, Nicholson, DeVitto, Walken, Pfeiffer were all at the top of their games with their respective characters. Out of the other movies, the only bad guy who springs to mind as halfway decent is Jim Carrey’s Riddler (but even that was more of his take on the Riddler from the Sixties TV show). Villain Origins are important, especially if you know anything about the Batman-Joker relationship (you did watch the movie, right? Does the line “You made me first” spring to mind?).

        I do concede that the opening sequence of Batman: Forever was quite good, but what about the opening of Batman Returns? That scene has loads of action, as well as one of the best lines from the series: “Wow, THE Batman — or is it just ‘Batman’?”

        As to Schumacher, he dumbed down Batman, gave him nipples and a complex about Robin’s codpeice, and essentially destroyed what was a great superhero series. If it had been Burton helming Batman Forever we would have gotten the origin of Two-Face, something that would have been great to watch, (the onset of madness/evil personality in the otherwise outstanding character of Harvey Dent, DA) and which would have given Tommy Lee Jones something to work with, instead of the pap that he (and we) were given. As to Batman & Robin, Schumacher had Bane to work with, so why exactly didn’t he use the Knightfall storyline or something like it? I have yet to be able to sit through that movie, it’s just so bad. I felt sorry for Arnie, as he was the perfect Mr. Freeze, but he had absolutely nothing to work with (wait, I said that about Tommy Lee Jones – do you see a pattern forming?)

        Seriously, I the first two Batman movies to be the epitome of what a comic-to-movie adaptation should go for, as they stand well on their own and can be veiwed by people unfamiliar with the comic books. I hope the assorted superhero movies we’re getting this year can reach that kind of caliber.

        • Daemonik says:

          Re: Hrmmm

          I felt sorry for Arnie, as he was the perfect Mr. Freeze, but he had absolutely nothing to work with (wait, I said that about Tommy Lee Jones – do you see a pattern forming?)

          Actually I was seriously pissed about Arnold’s interpretation of Mr. Freeze (and you know it was Arnold’s, with his salary no one tells him how a character is played). Cracking jokes, smoking cigars… it was a serious betrayal of the character.

          • fiziko says:

            Re: Hrmmm

            Actually I was seriously pissed about Arnold’s interpretation of Mr. Freeze (and you know it was Arnold’s, with his salary no one tells him how a character is played). Cracking jokes, smoking cigars… it was a serious betrayal of the character.

            Actually, the first draft had that when they were still courting Patrick Stewart for the role. Arnold agreed to play it that way, but he didn’t suggest it first.

        • MrGoofy says:

          Re: Hrmmm
          Fine. To me, anyone who thinks that Burton’s two BM films are anything beyond 2 1/2 stars shows their lack of taste and knowledge in film. Sorry, but those films are weak. I’m not putting Schumacher above Burton, mind you, as I’ve already stated that I’ve angrily followed hacks like Schumacher and Joe Eszterhas for years, while most of you were still sucking your mommies’ teats.

          Keaton cannot act. He’s severely limited in his range. His best roles were 80’s comedies like “Night Shift” and “Mr. Mom”. He obviously had a lot of fun with the Beetlejuice role, but the film was also weak in story and character.

          I already noted that the art direction, by the late great Anton Furst, was top-notch. Burton, who does not have a strong cinematic eye, misused the sets. The Batman costume was awkward and un-intimidating. Batman is supposed to be scary to criminals, not goofy. And the action was stunted. When Batman fights, it’s supposed to be awe-inspiring. It was a dull, boring film. The fact that people are defending it saddens me, as it displays the lack of intelligence of the average American filmgoer.

          Yes, Batman is supposed to be conflicted, yes, he is supposed to be “split” like any vigilante should be, and the “dark” angle of the film is supposed to be there, but there was no depth to the characters as played by the actors, any of them, and it is Burton’s responsibility as director to bring out the best in the actors. Keaton looked out of touch with the character. Bruce Wayne is a handsome playboy. Keaton is neither handsome nor playboyish. Batman is supposed to be large and overpowering, someone you don’t want to mess with. Keaton looked like he had a sore neck and an oversized head. I could kick his 5-foot ass with my left nut.

          What I wanted was NOT a typical action movie (was Superman a typical action movie? No? That’s right, it was a great character and a great story.) No, I wanted what I read in Sam Hamm’s exciting Batman script months before shooting began, not what Burton did to it. The script was good, but Burton blew it.

          Again, don’t misunderstand me, Schumacher sucks (I almost went on a killing spree after seeing “St. Elmo’s Fire” when it came out) but Clooney is a better actor than Keaton, and Kilmer is actually better than both of them put together, but he’s not right for Bruce Wayne.

          In his prime (1982-84), Harrison Ford would have been the perfect Batman. He was just as the character is supposed to be: handsome, aloof, heroic and believable. But, it wouldn’t be realistic to expect Ford to play yet another fantasy hero, and 1988 (shooting time) he was probably considered a tad older than they wanted.

          And no, villain origins are not all that interesting. I like comics because of the superheroes and their superiority to human beings. Again, did you see a Lex Luthor “origin” in Superman? No, and that film is the benchmark. Spider-Man met that mark. Batman fell far below it. Also, the reader who claims Batman gave re-birth to good superhero movies is incorrect. That honor goes to X-Men. Batman gave birth to some of the worst superhero movies in existence: the Phantom, the Shadow, Captain America, and Fantastic Four. Horrendously bad, all of them.

          Finally, Joker did not “make” Batman. The whole “Jack Napier” identity was created for Killing Joke, but the guy who killed BW’s parents was a regular mob thug, not the Joker. It was a weak cliched plot device to say that Joker killed Batman’s parents (Joker may as well have said “I am your father, Bruce”, really annoying)

          • GrimSean says:

            Re: Hrmmm

            Fine. To me, anyone who thinks that Burton’s two BM films are anything beyond 2 1/2 stars shows their lack of taste and knowledge in film.

            Guess I better get rid of all those Kurosawa films sitting on my shelf. Amelie and The Royal Tenenbaums better go too. I’m the first to admit that some of my tastes are a little odd (The Big Hit, Final Fantasy and Orange County are sitting up there too) but I do know movies. I’m not saying that Batman and Batman Returns are great movies, just that they’re better than the other two.

            The Batman costume was awkward and un-intimidating. Batman is supposed to be scary to criminals, not goofy. And the action was stunted. When Batman fights, it’s supposed to be awe-inspiring. It was a dull, boring film. The fact that people are defending it saddens me, as it displays the lack of intelligence of the average American filmgoer.

            As I’ve stated elsewhere, Schumacher put NIPPLES on the Batman costume. NIPPLES. How is that intimidating?

            As to your disparaging remarks about the defence for the first two Batman films: 1) Your defence of Schumacher’s destruction of a great series saddens me, and 2) I’m Canadian.

            And no, villain origins are not all that interesting. I like comics because of the superheroes and their superiority to human beings. Again, did you see a Lex Luthor “origin” in Superman? No, and that film is the benchmark. Spider-Man met that mark. Batman fell far below it. Also, the reader who claims Batman gave re-birth to good superhero movies is incorrect. That honor goes to X-Men. Batman gave birth to some of the worst superhero movies in existence: the Phantom, the Shadow, Captain America, and Fantastic Four. Horrendously bad, all of them.

            Let me guess, you hated Kingdom Come and The Watchmen didn’t you? The comics I like showcase extraordinary circumstances and extraordinary people, which is why I like Batman – he’s human and can still stand his own with villians with superpowers. As to villian origins, they advance the plot and allow those unfamiliar with the mythos surrounding the character to be drawn in (in both movies and comics – it doesn’t really make sense for a bad guy to just be intrinsically bad, he needs motive). Would Spider-man have been as good without the Green Goblin origin sequence, and subsequent madness of Norman Osbourn? No. As to the spawning of the bad movies, yes, Batman can be held responsible for that, as much as Transformers were responsible for Go-Bots – in the end, it all comes down to the studio’s greed.

            As to the rebirth of the Superhero movie, that honour goes to Mystery Men, not X-Men – most people tend to forget it for some unknown reason (my money is on the satirical edge it had – some of my friends dislike it because of that).

            Finally, Joker did not “make” Batman. The whole “Jack Napier” identity was created for Killing Joke

            All the more reason to use it – Alan Moore had a hand in creating it, and, let’s face it, that man is a god when it comes to comics.

      • y42 says:

        Re: Hrmmm

        I have to disagree. Neither of the Burton Batman films are very good,

        I have to disagree too.

        Both the Burton Batmans were very good, and Joel Shumacker killed the series.

        The ones without ubiquitous suit-nipples, without bright neon colours, and where Batman wears a dark suit and has a weight limit on his gizmos were good. Not the ones where he wears a shiny silver suit and where the entrance to the batcave is the first door on the left when you walk in the Wayne mannor’s front door.

        Gorram reaver…

  2. y42 says:

    original
    So long as someone takes the time to tell him that those camp 60’s batman sitcoms weren’t the “original batman” like so many boomers think they were, we ought to be safe.

    Oh, and somebody drop that bitch Shumaker in a tank of chemicals already will ya!

    • MrGoofy says:

      Re: original
      Someone should tell Burton that characters in action are what make a movie, not watching Michael Keaton try to figure out what character he’s supposed to be playing.

      The Batman films deserved to become ridiculous, because Burton’s were so boring and inactive. I understand what Burton was shooting for (classic golden-age Batman) but he missed it by a mile, because he’s not a very consistent talent.

      • y42 says:

        Re: original

        Someone should tell Burton that characters in action are what make a movie […] Burton’s were so boring and inactive.

        You wanted a run of the mill action movie didn’t you?

        • MrGoofy says:

          Re: original

          You wanted a run of the mill action movie didn’t you?

          You don’t understand, clearly. “Characters in action”. Not “action movie”. Big difference. Batman was very static. “Pulp Fiction”, though mostly just dialogue, has intensity and energy. “T2” was exciting, action-packed, but far more thoughtful and deep than what Burton can ever muster. Batman was very static, boring, uninspired, uninteresting.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: original

        Someone should tell Burton that characters in action are what make a movie, not watching Michael Keaton try to figure out what character he’s supposed to be playing.

        That’s called acting, and is probably the reason that most people consider the first two movies to be the superior ones. Batman/Bruce Wayne is a deeply troubled individual who saw his parents gunned down infront of him at a young age, causing him to become the Batman, an alterego, in order to get revenge. I think it would be rather obvious that he is unsure as to who, exactly, he is, which is how Keaton played it.

        • fiziko says:

          Re: original

          I think it would be rather obvious that he is unsure as to who, exactly, he is, which is how Keaton played it.

          This is one of the things that Batman: The Dark Knight Returns does extremely well. Bruce Wayne’s thoughts make it clear that there are two personalities, and that Batman is constantly trying to break out into Bruce Wayne. On the other hand, when in the Batsuit, Bruce Wayne has no input at all.

  3. Fett_III says:

    I’m here to set the record straight….
    All valid points folks, but….. What do you remember about 1989? Me, two things. BLEACH, Nirvana’s 1st record and BATMAN and it’s infamous tagline….Scared Thug 1: What are you? BATMAN: I’m Batman. Duh duh duh duuuuuuh dun. My God people, Burton brought the genre back from it’s lowest point in film history. Give me one other watchable superhero/comic movie from the previous 10 yrs (Superman doesn’t count cause it’s apples and oranges)and I’l eat the next batch of Batman movie figures. There was a Spiderman that was so awful TV couldn’t show it. A Capt. America that was just plain ridiculous, those terrible Hulk movies on TV and my own personal thorn Flash Gordon. Burton stepped up and gave us a fantastic, dark film delivering Batman from the twisted clutches of those serials and Adam West. Read a Batman comic, any one you want, and you’ll see that Batman is f*c%ed up. Who in that position wouldn’t be? You go fight a battle you can’t win and see how chipper you feel each day. But I digress. I think this director (though I’ve forgotten his name) will bring back the dark flavor of Gotham and it’s sentinel, at least I hope he does. Anyone who can make Robin Williams into a believable, creepy, murderous pedophile should be able to do just fine with the darkness in Batman. As well, anyone who can play a story in reverse and make it just as good and just as much a mystery and develop characters backwards will make a better film than Schumacher’s 2 hr sitcoms The Wayne Bunch 1 and 2. Who greenlighted those movies? Who was in charge of explaining the holes. Batman and Gordon went from 2 steps ahead/behind each other to buddies. Why not explain that sh!t, man? OK. now that I’ve gotten that out…

    • MrGoofy says:

      Re: I’m here to set the record straight….

      Burton stepped up and gave us a fantastic, dark film delivering Batman from the twisted clutches of those serials and Adam West.

      Burton aimed for something worthwhile that he failed to hit, but that the animated series nailed on the head, so Burton deserves some credit for inspiring that interpretation, though I think he ripped off the idea from “Streets of Fire”. I don’t know anyone who liked the Batman films, save for Nicholson’s performance.

      That said, I wish Nolan well. He’s a real filmmaker, so hopefully he’ll work with a good script.

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