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By Gordon! Is Commissioner Gordon the Central Character of Nolan’s Batman?

We have to save Dent! I… have to save Dent!

– Commissioner Gordon, at the climax of The Dark Knight

It was Joss Whedon himself – the man now helming The Avengers – who once argued that the problem in bringing DC adaptations to the screen was that the traditional line-up was somewhat difficult for the audience to relate to and engage with (as compared to identifying with the X-Men’s status as social outcasts or Peter Parker’s nerdy little troubles):

Because, with that one big exception (Batman), DC’s heroes are from a different era. They’re from the era when they were creating gods.

And the thing that made [rival publisher] Marvel Comics extraordinary was that they created people. Their characters didn’t living in mythical cities, they lived in New York. They absolutely were a part of the world. Peter Parker’s character (Spider-Man) was a tortured adolescent.

DC’s characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to.

Of course, he cites Batman as the excpetion, but you can’t help but wonder just how easy it is to relate a billionaire playboy who is focused on avenging the loss of his parents to the exclusion of all else. The wonderful thing that Christopher Nolan has done with the Batman mythos is to render it so wonderfully accessible. And perhaps he’s done that by making James Gordon, as wonderfully played by Gary Oldman, the centre of his saga.

Gordon lights up the movie...

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In Defense of Jim Carrey’s Riddler…

I had the misfortune of sitting through Batman Forever a few weeks ago. I also stumbled upon it at the weekend with the better half, who was curious to know what a “terrible” Batman film looked like. We got as far as the intimate “Bat-ass shot” before we simply gave up and tried to wipe our short-term memories. However, I found myself sticking up for a most unlikely part of the production: Jim Carrey as the Riddler.

Surprise! Something's that not that terrible about Batman Forever!

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Taking the Joker Out of the Pack: No Joker in Batman 3

Christopher Nolan confirmed over the weekend that the Joker would not be recast for the sequel to The Dark Knight. Which I suppose means we can rule him off the “list of potential villains” we’ve all been putting together in our heads as Batman 3 approaches. As much as I get the sense (and as much as rumours about the ‘trilogy’ that emerged before The Dark Knight was released would suggest) that the Joker was clearly imagined as playing a fairly lerge role in the conclusion of Nolan’s Batman saga, I can see the reasons for and respect his decision to not to recast the role.

This card is off the table...

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Why Nolan Saying ‘No’ To The Justice League Is A Good Idea…

An interesting snippet of news came out during the week regarding Christopher Nolan, the director of the two recent Batman films and now godfather to a to-be-relaunched Superman franchise (we’re hoping he can figure out how to make it a good film). The director, usually unbelievably coy about his work (he’ll flat out refuse to answer any particularly prying questions, which is great in an era of spoilers and speculation and so on), gave a succinct answer on whether his Batman and Superman will exist within the same universe. His answer was a flat-out ‘no’. And I think that’s great.

This looks like a job for Christopher Nolan!

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Batman 3 and Superman Reboot Confirmed…

Wow. It looks like getting Nolan to sign on for Batman 3 wasn’t the hard part. It was getting him to sign on to be the brains behind the new Superman reboot. Yes, there’s a new Superman reboot coming. Guess DC is finally doing something with the Man of Steel. Looks like it’s no longer just fanboy hopes riding on Christopher Nolan – it’s the future of DC comics on film.

Forget Clark Kent, Christopher Nolan is the real Superman...

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Is Iron Man 2 a thematic successor to The Dark Knight?

As anyone who reads this blog is probably aware, we’re still eagerly awaiting news of any sort of announcement about Batman 3, the sequel to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight that was rumoured to arrive this January. Be it that he was leaving or staying or what have you. Still, part of me wonders if there might be quite a significant amount of stuff in Iron Man 2 for those looking for a further exploration of the themes in the 2008 blockbuster. With recent discussions about the project and the first trailer, I can’t help but get the fantastic feeling that the second Iron Man movie may pick up and explore some of the wonderful threads which Nolan’s dark epic set up. That’s not to say that there isn’t reason to get excited for the film in it’s own right – Robert Downey Jnr! Sam Rockwell! Mickey Rourke! Jon Favreau! – but it’ll be interesting to see if the themes overlap or echo with the film’s 2008 summer rival as well.

Who says darker and edgier is the way forward?

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Riddle Me This… Is The Riddler Really An Ideal Choice for Batman 3?

Last week I outlined why I didn’t think that Harvey Dent should be brought back for the sequel to The Dark Knight. If Nolan comes back, I trust him to do whatever he feels like doing with the franchise – he’s demonstrated that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to directing Batman. If he wants to recast the role of the Joker – or if he doesn’t – that’s fine with me. So, it’s ultimately futile to speculate about films that haven’t even entered production, but that’s never really stopped me before, has it? It keeps coming down to the Riddler – Johnny Depp or Eddie Murphy or whoever. It seems that everyone is expecting The Riddler to be the villain (or at least play a supporting role) in the next film. But I’m skeptical.

When the Riddler heard he was the new host of Bullseye, he didn't know that people would take the title so literally...

When the Riddler heard he was the new host of Bullseye, he didn't know that people would take the title so literally...

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Should Harvey Dent Return in Batman 3?

I’m having what might be termed ‘a Batman day’. I finally managed too tear open and read my copy of Absolute Batman: The Long Halloween and I’m a little giddy about it – and the fact Batman was just named Britain’s favourite superhero. In fact, it reminds me of just how much I want a sequel to The Dark Knight to at least be announced officially – the steady stream of increasingly inane rumours (Eddie Murphy, Megan Fox, yeesh) aren’t quite satiating my thirst. There’s been (understandably) a lot of discussion about the villains in the new film. I honestly don’t know who Nolan will pick (though my money is on Catwoman if only to adjust the gender ratio), but I am fascinated by the on-line discussion surrounding whether the characters of Harvey Dent and The Joker will (or should) return. My opinion of the Joker is simply: if he does, he does. Heath Ledger won an Oscar and gave us a fantastic portrayal of the character. If Nolan wants to bring him back recast, I’m cool. On Dent, I’m more sure: I don’t want to see him again.

Bringing back Harvey is a half-brained idea...

Bringing back Harvey is a half-brained idea...

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Comic Con – It’s Like All My Geek Christmases Have Come at Once…

I’ll do a retrospective of this year’s comic con when it’s finished, but today has been a big day for news at Comic Con. These are two of my favourite discoveries:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Random Thoughts on the Dark Knight Sequel…

We don’t know if Nolan’s coming back. We don’t know (though we doubt) if they’ll recast the Joker. We don’t know that Johnny Depp is the Riddler (though we know he’d like to be). We know nothing about the third film in the Batman trilogy.

Except know that there will be a third film.

You'll believe a man can glide...

You'll believe a man can glide...

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