What Will Batman 3 Be About?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 2nd, 2009 at 1:50 pm,

batman 3 question mark logo 1 What Will Batman 3 Be About?

In the last month or so, there have been rumblings that Batman Begins and The Dark Knight director Chris Nolan might not return to finish off the bat-trilogy many had assumed he would be a part of until the end. Nolan himself has said in the past that it would take one hell of a strong story and excellent script to lure him back to Gotham City after the crowning achievement (and arduous labor) that was The Dark Knight.

David S. Goyer, story writer of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, has been a little more glib about the progress of Batman 3 (as it’s being called), telling a crowd at Comic-Con that “Bat-musings” were currently in the works.

As writers wrack their brains, and directors question if there is any creative juice left in the tank, and all this drama unfolds before the inevitable and unstoppable release of the next Bat-sequel, I find myself wondering: At this point, is the plot of Batman 3 really that much of a mystery?

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BATMAN BEGINS / BATMAN: YEAR ONE

batman year one What Will Batman 3 Be About?

If viewers haven’t yet put the pieces together, some of the core storylines for Nolan’s Batman films have each found their inspiration in a famous Batman comic book storyline. Much of Batman Begins‘ take on Bruce Wayne’s early attempts to become the caped crusader was inspired by Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) and David Mazzucchelli’s “Year One” storyline, which first appeared in the pages of DC Comics’ Batman series (issues #404-407) in 1987. A re-imagining of Batman’s formative year, “Year One” was so popular that it was later reissued as the graphic novel Batman: Year One, which is still one of the most popular and enduring Batman stories to date.

Besides borrowing the “Bruce Wayne becoming Batman” storyline from Year One, Batman Begins similarly highlighted Carmine Falcone’s reign as crime-king of Gotham; Batman and (then) Lt. Gordon’s tenuous initial relationship; Gordon’s struggle to be a good cop in a corrupt department; and of course, the scene where Batman evades police by using a sonic transmitter in his boot to summon an army of bats.

Of course, Batman Begins had to also provide moviegoers with blockbuster thrills like a high speed rooftop chase and a (tacked-on?) third-act showdown with Ra’s al Ghul – but strip these big-budget spectacles away and much of what is left is purely Miller’s Year One. And, IMHO, Nolan’s film was better for the borrowing.

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THE DARK KNIGHT / THE LONG HALLOWEEN

harvey dent gordon batman What Will Batman 3 Be About?

Almost a decade after Frank Miller envisioned The Dark Knight’s early days, Jeph Loeb (Heroes) and artist Tim Sale decided to jump back into the Year One sandbox with a new installment of early Batman called The Long Halloween. Published between 1996 and 1997, The Long Halloween picked up right where Year One left off (starting to get the picture?), as Batman, Commissioner Gordon and a new “golden boy” D.A. known as Harvey Dent tried to eradicate the last remnants of the Falcone crime family. All goes well until a mysterious serial killer known as “Holiday” starts picking off members off the mob on each and every major holiday of the year. Like Year One, The Long Halloween was reissued as a graphic novel and is still one of most popular Batman stories there is.

While the whole “Holiday Killer” plotline might’ve been jettisoned, you surely recognize the Batman / Gordon / Harvey Dent triangle as the underlying basis for The Dark Knight. Other echoes of Long Halloween that made it into Nolan’s bat-sequel: the character of underboss Sal Maroni (Eric Roberts); the notion of “escalation” (i.e., Batman inspiring costumed villains); Harvey Dent maimed into Two-Face as punishment for going after the mob; that (tacked-on?) third act where Two-Face seeks vengeance on Batman and Gordon; and of course, the whole “I believe in Harvey Dent” slogan, which is the chilling (and revealing) final line of The Long Halloween.

Now, before I get lambasted: David S. Goyer and Chris and Jonathan Nolan all did exemplary jobs re-fitting the storylines of Year One and The Long Halloween for two awesome blockbuster films. No doubt, no argument. However, it’s undeniable that a considerable amounts of both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight had been envisioned (tested and proven) long before the filmmakers sat down to hammer out those scripts. The Nolans and Goyer simply recognized good storytelling when they saw it and decided to build on a strong foundation.

So now, we again find ourselves faced with the question: What should Batman 3 be about?

Well, lucky for us all, the answer, as they say, is written:

Continue reading ‘What Should Batman 3 Be About?’

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TAGS: the dark knight, the dark knight rises

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  1. Batman Year One was decent but I think we should leave the script to Nolan. There are great ideas out there but originality is the best way to go. Give us something fresh and new even if it involves old characters from the comics like the Beast (the russian spy or whatever he was) or the Riddler.

  2. @Chris Nixon
    Though I agree if Batman should end, it should end with him bitter and old but more than likely someone is going to pick up where Nolan leaves off. Kofi is just suggesting the Nolan/Batman run comes full circle and goes out with a bang.

    Though I would prefer not to have Robin show up [for my own personal reasons: I have a spec. script on my desk that features Richard "Dick" Grayson], it might be a great bookend place to leave off.

  3. I liked Dark Victory; they even included Robin in a great way. I need to re-read it though and see what I’ve missed in the few years since I last went through it.

    Heath

  4. Oh and we don’t need an older Batman in the future, very bad idea. Please, no Robin just like Bale and Nolan said. That’s the worst idea possible.

    Pick up right where The Dark Knight Returns left off and pick up the pieces from there.

  5. If Batman 3 is really to be the last in a trilogy, I like to see a bitter, twisted old Batman at the end of his “career”, battling with his health and his cynicism. Maybe something along the lines of The Dark Knight Returns.

  6. if they’re going with the caped crusade… they better just call it the caped crusadeR… otherwise it will just sound silly.

  7. All very interesting ideas. I have maintained ever since ‘The Dark Knight’ that Harvey Dent probably is dead. As for Two-Face? Perhaps another matter …

  8. Mark Hamill returns as the Joker. I have no doubt he could pull it off and be the finest and closest (modern Comic version) interpretation of the Joker yet He’s under makeup anyway. But I’d like to see Bane. An honest to god intelligent and lethal Bane.

  9. I say Nolan should skip the third and someone from DC should be begging him to do Superman. The first two Batman are amazing. Without Ledger and the Enthusiasm of Nolan the third just doesnt seem right to me.

  10. I think the next Batman film should be about fish. The Fishermen of Gotham are being screwed over by the mob and only the Caped Crusader can stop them? Right? Right?

    Come on!

    In all seriousness (and because I’ve gotten in trouble before about this kind of stuff, yes, all I said above was a joke), I don’t really like the idea of Dent returning. Don’t get me wrong, Aaron Eckhart did an amazing job, but I just don’t like the “they weren’t really dead angle”. There are certain films that can get away with this, if in Spider-man 4 we were to learn that Harry is actually alive, I’d accept that (it’d be stupid, but acceptable) and while I know that Batman is a comic book and this stuff happens all the time in them, the films have carved out there own feel and the “not really dead” angle just doesn’t really fit with it.

    Plus it’s kind of a cop out.

    Ideally we’d have the Joker and personally, I am the kind of person who feels that, at least in this instance, the character outweighs the actor playing him/her. The Joker is a creature all on his own, he’s been played by many talented actors, all in their own way. Remember, many people thought Jack Nicholson’s Joker was the best ever (I was inclined to disagree considering Mark Hamill’s performance), now they’re saying Heath is the best and no one could do any better? Isn’t that a) somewhat of a crutch for the character as it seems his screen presence should die with Heath and b) a little bit of an insult to Heath considering he put in all this work to create this amazing character only to have him shelved for who knows how many years until someone has the balls to try it again?

    Yes, people are going to keep comparing whoever else plays him with Heaths performance, but at the end of the day, Heath wasn’t the be all end all of the Joker, someone out there may actually do a better job if given half the chance and frankly, people who refuse to consider that are being somewhat narrow minded.

  11. …I do like to go on don’t I? :p

  12. My issue it someone taking up The Joker mantle, pre-maturely. The role doesn’t really lend itself to be changed.

    Don’t you think some time should pass before we see a new Joker?

  13. The trick is making sure the movie isn’t simply a retread of the first two. With all the success of TDK, of course it seems like they should continue on with the Joker or Two-Face stories, but I think at the end of the day, both those characters got enough screentime and they’re stories are really done.

    Even if Ledger were still around, all I’d want from him is a cameo, like maybe a quick visit to Arkham because Joker might know something about the new villain.

    But I think we really need to see someone new. I like Riddler as much as the next guy, and I think Nolan could do great work with him if he casted, say, Guy Pearce, but I’d prefer he bring in someone like Black Mask or maybe Bane.

    Oh, and Kofi, as cool as an Arkham breakout scene would be, it would really screw things up Joker-wise. If there’s a breakout, you know Joker would be involved, but his absence would seem kind of weird, unless you recast him, which you’ve said you’re against.

  14. @Joshi: Harvey Dent is indeed dead. But! I say but, because there is no news if Two-face died or not. And the reason they had the memorial service was because harvey was a popular guy, and since only two-face remained they said harvey dent died. Seems possible I think…

    I would like to see something in the lines of Penguin or a two-face/riddler story.

  15. On Batman 3 timeline: Continue on 6 months after “The Dark Knight”.

    On Two-Face/Harvey Dent: He’s dead, we see his funeral in nippets at the end of “The Dark Knight”, don’t go there. Eckhart was great, but the character is dead.

    On Joker: I think they should leave off, particularly since Heath Ledger is dead, though Joshi has a few good points there. Perhaps they could use some audio from out-takes of “The Dark Knight” to get some background for maybe an Arkham Asylum scene.

    On the plot themes:
    1) Isolation (Batman against all the crooks AND cops in Gotham with only Lucious and Alfred as allies),
    2) Subversion (the people of Gotham are still divided about Batman, including the police, some of whom are gunning for him and some of whom think he’s still a good thing),
    3) Identity (someone other than an accountant at Wayne Enterprises starts to put together the relationship between a well-equipped vigilante and the richest person in Gotham).

    On villains: Include two at most and they should be linked (much as Two-Face and the Joker were). I submit Cat-woman and the Riddler.

    1) Make the Riddler the antithesis of Batman. Make him the poor guy who makes all his own stuff in the basement with a welder and spare parts. Make him intelligent, but in a technical manner. He frames Batman for attacks on criminals that have much more lethal force than Batman would use, attacks that also target police, bringing the police down harder on Batman. His riddles are used to point the police towards who he thinks is financing Batman (Wayne) and to lure Batman into situations where he can make things worse. His goal is to get Batman to retire, not to kill him. If he ceases to be a power to motivate the populace, Bruce Wayne would consider retirement (considering the deaths of Rachel and Dent, he’s got plenty of reasons), particularly if the gangs stop being so powerful and the police seem to be doing their jobs. This would all be a lead up to the Riddler seizing control of the mobs under a unified leadership. I’d have that the Riddler uses a catburglar (Catwoman) to plant the evidence against Wayne/Batman and that the Riddler would be virtually an unknown entity for the first half of the film. Make him a Riddle for the audience to figure out. Cast an unknown and put him in a number of other shots in the first half, you know, as the plumber who leaves a place that ends up being a deathtrap for Batman and some police or the electrician who works at Wayne Enterprises.

    Plenty of things to work with, but I say, move forward with the themes, don’t look back too much except for inspiration and continuity.

  16. It would be cheap if they killed of Two-Face in the film and then declare him dead, but bring him back anyway, as for a viilian they should bring in Harley Quinn now that The Joker is in Arkham it would be perfect oppurtunity, and please don’t bring in The Riddler they need to use characters that haven’t been done before….heck Hush would be a good pick.

  17. I think they’re going to bring in bane n go wit the knightfall story in the beginning, but have batman defeat azrael in the end but then that sounds to predictible. They’ll prolly add some other stuff to make a much better story

  18. For the Batman # story line, they could have the Riddler be the main villain. In the time between Batman Begins and Batman 3, the man who is going to become the Riddler has hit bad times, where he has lost his job as a computer programmer, is about to lose his home and everything he owns, and his wife and the only person in his life is unfortunately dying of cancer. So he gets together with others who plan to rob a bank, so he can get money to get treatment to save his wife and his home. When he attempts to rob the bank, Batman comes in and stops them all. The “pre Riddler” becomes desperate and tries to shoot Batman but Batman throws a Batarang at his legs and cripples him where he has to have metal bolts put in his legs and have a cane for the rest of his life. His wife dies, he loses everything, and goes to prison. In Batman 3, this man, Edward Nigma or whoever, decides to vow the rest of his life to try to destroy Batman. So he becomes the Riddler. Batman has gone off the grid due to the events and ending of the Dark Knight and has not been seen for a long time. He has also become depressed and down on himself due to Rachel’s death and has become a recluse and a drunkard and has lost Wayne Enterprises, since Lucious may have left at the end of the Dark Knight and others took his place and bought it out. Crime has become more rampant since the Joker was on the scene and a new crime boss, known as the Penguin in some circles due to a big nose and being fat perhaps, is trying to come into Gotham and take control of it since all the other crime bosses died in the Dark Knight. Catwoman is also in Gotham but as a hero inspired by Batman trying to put away crime since Batman slipped away. The police are also trying to capture Batman at this point. Since Batman is gone, the Riddler has kidnapped various government officials like the mayor and such, and put them in death traps, similiar to Saw but where they have to solve puzzles if they want to live, and showing it on television while they are suffering psychological and physical torture and pain. The Riddler has done this so he can try to draw Batman out of hiding so he can have his revenge and kill him for what happened years ago and is also calling Batman out on television to reappear so he can kill him. The Riddler is also blowing up various buildings and such in order to draw Batman out. Batman is having to fight his inner demons and finally dawns the cape and cowl one last time to save Gotham. The Penguin also has a mercenary running around killing off any opposition toward him as well as trying to kill Batman. This man is known as Mr. Freeze because he collects bounties on his contracts and places their bodies on meat hooks in freezers of wearhouses as trophies for his accomplishments. Mr Freeze also has alot of high tech technology, weapons, and vehicles at his disposal. So Batman has to fight The Riddler who could just be wearing green and maybe a mask over his eyes to conceal his identity without the question marks, the Penguin, and Mr. Freeze running around that he has to stop, while contending with corrupt cops and politicians. He could also have Selina Kyle as his new love interest and have Catwoman trying to help him when he returns to Gotham. In the end, Batman saves the day and it is known that he took responsibilities for Two Faces murders in order to let Gotham have hope. He could finally be seen as a hero and get Wayne Enterprises back and be the hero of Gotham forever. Or he could possibly die and sacrifice his life in order to save Gotham from the villains, while the two face information is still released and Batman is seen as a hero once again and praised for doing what he did with two face and the others in order to give the citizens of Gotham hope and something to believe in. The theme of this story his redemption and whether Batman can really be a hero to Gotham City. Or it could be vengeance and trying to get back at the person who destroyed your life. Maybe there could be a parallel where Batman had his life destroyed when Joe Chill killed his parents and instead after many years became a hero, while the Riddler lost his wife and every thing else and still decided to become a villain anyway. Names for the story could possible be Batman Eternal, Batman the last stand, the Dark Knight forever, Batman the final crusade, or anything else like that if this is to be the final Batman story and Batman is recognized as Gotham’s hero forever in life or death, depending on how it is written and is redeemed, while peace, law, and order is finally bestowed upon Gotham and it is kept safe forever, while Batman is forever recognized and is given a place in society and is accepted whether Batman lives or dies at the end of this movie. They could also perhaps throw Bane in there but i’m not sure where it would fit, but anyway this story could work whether this is the final Batman movie in the trilogy. But if they keep it going, then the peace, law, and order would only be temporary and Batman, accepted by all in Gotham and a real hero, faces a new threat in Batman 4, if there is one. I also think that Johnny Depp should be the Riddler, since he is a good actor and he and bale have worked good together as hero and villain in public enemies. I think that ONLY Depp could make a riddler that would have any chance of topping Heath Ledger’s Joker and make the story really dark. Also Phillip Seymour Hoffman could possibly be the Penguin, maybe Angeling jolie or whoever as Catwoman and someone really good as Mr. Freeze.

  19. @Carl Lee

    I’m not suggesting a new Joker, just a new actor. I know Heath made the role his own, but the mark of a good actor is being able to turn themselves into anybody. A decent actor should be able to bring to life the same Joker we saw in TDK. Yes, people may be pissed off that someone is essentially “copying” Heath, but at the end of the day, it’s about what the movie requires.

    Anyway, this could all be a moot point, but I feel if it was a natural progression from TDK for the 3rd film to feature the Joker, they shouldn’t shy away from that. The Joker started something in TDK, I feel they should let him finish it.

    @Joakim Möller

    I’m not saying it’s isn’t plausible, we all thought when we saw him die that there’s a chance he might have survived and they just covered it up. What I’m talking about is simply the very convention of bringing back a character people thought was dead. Movies have been doing this for years and it’s become something of a gimmick now, a way to make people excited and give a twist to the story by bringing in someone originally thought to be dead. I feel the Nolan-verse could probably do something a little more interesting than that.

    And this is coming from someone who watched a lot of Buffy/Angel back in the day and loved it when pretty much every single person who ever died came back at some point, but I feel if I were to see Dent back in Batman 3, even as a sort of twist at the end, I’d be disappointed.

  20. Also, i ask that Batman 3 have some type of Batwing and Batboat in it, it would be awesome, since they reinterpreted the Batmobile, which was destroyed, and the Batpod.

  21. For the Batman 3 story line, they could have the Riddler be the main villain. In the time between Batman Begins and Batman 3, the man who is going to become the Riddler has hit bad times, where he has lost his job as a computer programmer, is about to lose his home and everything he owns, and his wife and the only person in his life is unfortunately dying of cancer. So he gets together with others who plan to rob a bank, so he can get money to get treatment to save his wife and his home. When he attempts to rob the bank, Batman comes in and stops them all. The “pre Riddler” becomes desperate and tries to shoot Batman but Batman throws a Batarang at his legs and cripples him where he has to have metal bolts put in his legs and have a cane for the rest of his life. His wife dies, he loses everything, and goes to prison. In Batman 3, this man, Edward Nigma or whoever, decides to vow the rest of his life to try to destroy Batman. So he becomes the Riddler. Batman has gone off the grid due to the events and ending of the Dark Knight and has not been seen for a long time. He has also become depressed and down on himself due to Rachel’s death and has become a recluse and a drunkard and has lost Wayne Enterprises, since Lucious may have left at the end of the Dark Knight and others took his place and bought it out. Crime has become more rampant since the Joker was on the scene and a new crime boss, known as the Penguin in some circles due to a big nose and being fat perhaps, is trying to come into Gotham and take control of it since all the other crime bosses died in the Dark Knight. Catwoman is also in Gotham but as a hero inspired by Batman trying to put away crime since Batman slipped away. The police are also trying to capture Batman at this point. Since Batman is gone, the Riddler has kidnapped various government officials like the mayor and such, and put them in death traps, similiar to Saw but where they have to solve puzzles if they want to live, and showing it on television while they are suffering psychological and physical torture and pain. The Riddler has done this so he can try to draw Batman out of hiding so he can have his revenge and kill him for what happened years ago and is also calling Batman out on television to reappear so he can kill him. The Riddler is also blowing up various buildings and such in order to draw Batman out. Batman is having to fight his inner demons and finally dawns the cape and cowl one last time to save Gotham. The Penguin also has a mercenary running around killing off any opposition toward him as well as trying to kill Batman. This man is known as Mr. Freeze because he collects bounties on his contracts and places their bodies on meat hooks in freezers of wearhouses as trophies for his accomplishments. Mr Freeze also has alot of high tech technology, weapons, and vehicles at his disposal. So Batman has to fight The Riddler who could just be wearing green and maybe a mask over his eyes to conceal his identity without the question marks, the Penguin, and Mr. Freeze running around that he has to stop, while contending with corrupt cops and politicians. He could also have Selina Kyle as his new love interest and have Catwoman trying to help him when he returns to Gotham. In the end, Batman saves the day and it is known that he took responsibilities for Two Faces murders in order to let Gotham have hope. He could finally be seen as a hero and get Wayne Enterprises back and be the hero of Gotham forever. Or he could possibly die and sacrifice his life in order to save Gotham from the villains, while the two face information is still released and Batman is seen as a hero once again and praised for doing what he did with two face and the others in order to give the citizens of Gotham hope and something to believe in. The theme of this story his redemption and whether Batman can really be a hero to Gotham City. Or it could be vengeance and trying to get back at the person who destroyed your life. Maybe there could be a parallel where Batman had his life destroyed when Joe Chill killed his parents and instead after many years became a hero, while the Riddler lost his wife and every thing else and still decided to become a villain anyway. Names for the story could possible be Batman Eternal, Batman the last stand, the Dark Knight forever, Batman the final crusade, or anything else like that if this is to be the final Batman story and Batman is recognized as Gotham’s hero forever in life or death, depending on how it is written and is redeemed, while peace, law, and order is finally bestowed upon Gotham and it is kept safe forever, while Batman is forever recognized and is given a place in society and is accepted whether Batman lives or dies at the end of this movie. They could also perhaps throw Bane in there but i’m not sure where it would fit, but anyway this story could work whether this is the final Batman movie in the trilogy. But if they keep it going, then the peace, law, and order would only be temporary and Batman, accepted by all in Gotham and a real hero, faces a new threat in Batman 4, if there is one. I also think that Johnny Depp should be the Riddler, since he is a good actor and he and bale have worked good together as hero and villain in public enemies. I think that only Depp could make a riddler that would have any chance of topping Heath Ledger’s Joker and make the story really dark. Also Phillip Seymour Hoffman could possibly be the Penguin, maybe Angeling jolie or whoever as Catwoman and someone really good as Mr. Freeze. Also, i ask that Batman 3 have some type of Batwing and Batboat in it, it would be awesome, since they reinterpreted the Batmobile, which was destroyed, and the Batpod.

  22. @ Kofi,

    Wow maybve they should get you to help em out as a creative producer…

    all things aside i was wondering why you did not mention how they should tie in a DC Universe Twist (much like Martval is Doing) like a cameo of Brandon Roth as Clark Kent Interviewing Bruce Wayne about how he is saving Gotham and Maybe a News report in the Backround of a bar about Superman or Green Lantern…
    Like after the interview the Anchor says “and in other news U.S. Airman Hal Jorden survived a Test flight Accident today blah blah bloah” or something like that…

    Also Dark Victory, Robin is kind of a central Charecter….
    (i do not want to say anymore, everyone here hates Robin)

  23. Batman: Blind Justice. Excellent character driven story. Stays grounded in believability like the previous films.

  24. LMAO ‘The Caped Crusade’. You couldn’t come up with something better !

    Just joking. Good Title !

    Here’s my idea – Since Heath Ledger is Dead i think this joker might as well be dead too. I think they should make a story line about some copycat in Gotham who goes under the Alias- Joker but much much worse than the precessor and looks like Joker in the comics.Jim Carrey looks like a candidate.

    what do you think?

  25. They should also change the batsuit again, a different one for every movie.

  26. Or go with ANoN above me ! Changing the batsuit is a good idea

  27. I know that I am going to be lambasted for this, but I wouldn’t mind the introduction of Robin in the film. Use this final Bats film to segway into Nightwing.

    That being said, I would love to see Bane be the next villain. However, I think it’s going to be a more traditional guy, like Riddler or Penguin.

  28. I think that using a copy cat Joker is a good idea, I mean they made copy cat batmen. If this series is supposed to be a trilogy why don’t they use Frank Millers The Dark Knight Returns just remove Robin and change the ending, they have already said in Dark Knight that the Batman can’t do this forever. I don’t mind if they get a new Joker personally Phillip Seymour Hoffman could do a great Joker just watch MI3. Thats all I have to say about that

  29. No Robin, No Joker, No Two Face, No Catwoman, No Riddler, No other overused/totally stupid bad guys(Penguin, Mr. Freeze), No anything at all, NO THIRD FILM.

    But seriously Nolan said he had a vision, he said it comprised of three films with one story arc, and that story arc involved The Joker being in the second and last movies, Heath Ledger is gone now. And anyone who would truly try and say that anybody could reprise that role is lacking on a few levels. Heath Ledger made that movie what it is, he made the Joker what it was, and to think of trying to rethink and entire ending to an amazing storyline like BB and TDK is stupid. Nolan can’t do his ending now, so why even try to suddenly veer off the path of the original story just to make a few fanboys happy?

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