What Will Batman 3 Be About?

Published 6 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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  1. @ Panda
    LoL i loved that part too. I also liked it when Two-Face said: Get outta my face clown! Joker: which one? (smiles) Do you remember the episode Almost Got’Em? I loved how Poison Ivy asked how Harvey was doin. Two-Face: Half of me wants to strangle ya. Poison Ivy: What does the other half want? Two-Face: To hit ya with a truck. Poison Ivy: We used to date. Penguin and Joker were like ahh. If DC Comics/WB plan to do what Marvel is doin by havin superheroes excist in the same universe, Id like to ask them to offer Bruce Timm and Co to make live action adaptions of the heroes that would eventually lead to a Justice League film. Like what they with the animated series. I wished JLU had one more season. That last fight between Superman & Darkseid was just as good as Legacy. And it was awesome to see agile Batman was to avoid Darkseid’s omega beams,lol.

  2. I completely agree with bringing back Two-Face. On my first viewing TDK I interpreted the ambiguity of Dent’s death as meaning he would be the next villain. Had Ledger not passed away I would not have been surprised if the next story involved the Joker pulling the strings from Arkham with Dent being the villain on the streets.

  3. @ Panda

    what are you guys referring to when talking about episode 36? Tv series? Is it on DVD?

  4. @chrisj

    Yah, almost got em was a good episode. I remember those two-face moments too, lol.

    Without spoiling it for those who might go back and watch it, Killer Croc’s story was the best… ;-)

  5. @M-Cat

    We’re talking about Batman TAS from the 90′s. The episode 36 I reference was an example of how the cartoon brought out how sadistic the Joker is without really ‘showing’ anything. Brilliant writing.

    BTW – I watched BB and TDK last night backt o back, and talking about the escalation and how that will play out in the 3rd movie, Nolan may be painted into a corner. In BB, Gotham is threatened by R’as and the League as they want to purify the city and not swayed by money or power; in TDK the Joker wants to ‘watch the world burn’ as Alfred implies and not swayed by money or power. How can this progress in the 3rd movie and what villain? I have no idea.

    Regarding villains, I wouldn’t be opposed to certain villains making cameos like Scarecrow did in TDK. Penguin and Clock King could make criminal cameos without a story arc and don’t really need an origin. Black Mask is still most likely as the main villain

  6. @ Ken J
    I loved the ending aswell. I remembered first watching it and thought it was him? lol. In my opinion Batman: TAS’s Joker was kinda both like Jack Nicolson/Heath Ledger’s Jokers rolled into one even though it was Mark Hamill. I wonder how old he was when the first Tim Burton film came out cause he’d had to be young enough for the part. In the Demon’s quest i liked how ticked off when Batman was shoved aside by Ubu. Batman: I think ill call that strike one. Batman: That’s strike two. Batman: And thats three! and crunches Ubu’s fists and knocks him down,lol. I forget what episode it was but loved how he scared Harlee Quinn when yelling at her in the Batmobile. Batman: You don’t do anything, Push anything, or say anything unless i say! GOT IT? Harlee Quinn; yeah. lol I liked how Lex talked to Joker when he said, Lex: lol, what makes you think you can kill Superman when you cant even handle a mere mortal in a halloween costume? Joker: grrr, theres nothin mere about that mortal.

  7. That was the episode where Harley was helping Batman catch Joker. Forgot the name too, but I remember that episode clearly.

  8. Chrisj, Mark Hamill would have been about 38 when Burton’s Batman came out: perfect age really. He’d have been an odd choice at the time, though certainly no odder than Keaton as Bruce Wayne. Nicholson was the obvious option, but the Nicholson of the ’70s up to and including The Shining would have been perfect. By 1989 I thought he was too old and tubby, and arguably had already shot his demonic bolt in The Witches Of Eastwick. I really think Hamill could have pulled off the look as well as the voice. Seeing the old “Skywalker smile” in that context would have been nicely unnerving, and he definitely hadn’t eaten as many pies as Jack at that point!

  9. @ The Big Dentist
    I wondered what the film would be like w/ Hamill,lol. I thought so too that Hamill has that smile that would be Joker’s. Still gets me till this day that Luke Skywalker is has been the voice of the Joker In every Bruce Timm animated series. Now i wonder how old Kevin Conroy would be when the Batman film came out.

  10. Conroy would’ve been 33 – exactly Bale’s sort of age! Where’s that time machine when you need it?

  11. @ The Big Dentist
    LOL. Thats a good question. Not sure what he’d look like that young as Bruce Wayne. One thing for sure is if he played Batman in the films, whats the chances of him still being the voice of Batman in all the animated series we adored?

  12. That’s true enough, chrisj. It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other, as they say. Ah well…

  13. of course dark victory was really about Batman finding his partner. and begins already had an arkham breakout. And if two face is dead, leave him dead and find another good villain, don’t go X3 on us

  14. LOL Big D, Jack Pies! I’ll have to remember that one…

  15. I reckon Harley Quinn to come into it to help the joker but will never see him just do the laugh and harley Quinn to be played by Kristen bell. And bane to be the main villan and not poison make him jacked up on steroids and bane brecks his back and burce gives up the bat and bane and Harley Quinn take over the underworld and gothom gets wrorse than ever and the city needs the batman and he comes back better than ever

  16. I really think Christian Slater would make a good Joker. He’s got the same facial shape and eyes as Heath Ledger. Were I Chris Nolan, he would be an obvious choice.

    If he wanted to go that route.

    • isnt he ten years older then Heath
      plus he looks nothing like heath,looks alone doesnt mean any1 can replace him

  17. The only actor out there that could fill Heath Ledger’s shoes as the Joker,(in my own opinion). Would be the multi-talented Johhny Depp. He could take the Joker to the same level as Heath Ledger, maybe even mimic him perfectly.
    Put him and Christian Bale in another movie together and watch the fans come in and the wallets open up.

  18. I’m sorry, but to have one actor try to act like another actor is basically asking for it to suck. I say if they are going to recast Joker, get another talented actor, but let him make Joker his own. Even if it’s slightly different, as long as Joker’s core “principles” remain the same, it could be good…

  19. i feel if there would be a batman 3, it would be extremely difficult. for i have thought about this on my own in the first place. Dent is dead, get over it. aaron eckheart is alive, but his character is not. joker is alive. heath is dead. I DO NOT, want to see someone trying to top heath ledger. not only do i see it as almost disgraceful but i believe that for this series, joker should just be almost… plot-holed. (i.e. goes to arkham asylum) yes… this would be cheesy but lets face it… out of respect for ledger, nolan, and the batman begins movies in general… it is ok to have this one plot-hole. i would gratefully accept it. then i think they should bring in another iconic villian, riddler portrayed by jhonny depp anyone?

    • not really, batman survived the fall so it wouldnt be a stretch to say the dent is alive, and if you see the imaginarium of doctor parnassus, s. baker(the dude who wrote above you) is right, johnny depp could fill in the role. and as for another villian, the penguin minus the whole danny devito crap. have mark hamill play him, and have dent be another. hell ras al ghul can come back cause ra cant die or he can but he can cme back to life.

  20. i feel if there would be a batman 3, it would be extremely difficult. for i have thought about this on my own in the first place. Dent is dead, get over it. aaron eckheart is alive, but his character is not. joker is alive. heath is dead. I DO NOT, want to see someone trying to top heath ledger. not only do i see it as almost disgraceful but i believe that for this series, joker should just be almost… plot-holed. (i.e. goes to arkham asylum) yes… this would be cheesy but lets face it… out of respect for ledger, nolan, and the batman begins movies in general… it is ok to have this one plot-hole. i would gratefully accept it. then i think they should bring in another iconic villian, riddler portrayed by jhonny depp anyone?

  21. Whatever they do, I just hope that they don't put Catwoman in it…I don't care who plays her! I know that she's an integral part of the Batman universe, but I am so tired of seeing her in the movies/TV series! Let's give another villain a chance…

    I was so happy when they had Ra's al Ghul and the Scarecrow in Batman Begins! Hey! There's an idea…let's bring Ra's back and have him reign hell upon Batman! They could even bring in Talia (Ra's' daughter) as a love interest for him instead of Catwoman…

    I also think that the Black Mask would be an awesome villain to bring in. He's not too far out there like Mr. Freeze or the Penguin, so he would work in that regard. But he'd also be a good foil for Bruce Wayne in the movie.

  22. i would like to see the riddler in the next batman movie, not catwoman or ra’s al ghul again.. nor penguin, well it could work but nah. maybe Ian somerhalder as the riddler? i think he could pull it off..

  23. Sign Crispin Glover as the Joker, Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin, and Johnny Depp as the Riddler. Also sign Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Hayden Christensen. Bring back Bale, Oldman, Freeman, and Caine. Also bring back Lau!!!!! Some characters from the past 2 films should have cameos in flashbacks.
    Enough said. Carry the plan out.
    Any objections? I only want to hear Chris Nolan’s.

  24. Really nice post here – I don’t know why you don’t just get the most out of these tools whilst they are free.

  25. im all for going into dark victory trade the hangman character for riddler…joker can be killed in the arkam escape or lay low therefore not needed maybe harley but not necessary…keep catwoman in the story as a cat burglar who steals from the remaining crime family i believe its roman that she targets who is black mask? not sure…but run most of dark victory