At the end of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, John “Robin” Blake (as played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was given the keys to the Batcave, which seemed to strongly hint that he would take up the mantle of Batman in Bruce Wayne’s absence. The ending gave way to rumors that JGL might reprise that role, Batsuit and all, in Man of Steel, Justice League, and the next Batman film(s). His reps, of course, denied the possibility, but the rumors persist regardless.
Recently, while talking about joining the cast for Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Levitt was asked about the validity of the Batman rumor. And in other Man of Steel news, there’s a rumor doing the rounds that Zack Snyder’s version of Jimmy Olsen is a girl … and her name is Jenny Olsen.
On the rumor that he might have a cameo as Batman in Man of Steel – courtesy of MTV – Joseph Gordon-Levitt said:
“I hadn’t heard that one. It just goes to show how much you can believe rumors … I don’t think you should believe in any of them. If there’s something I’m going to be in, I’m going to tell you about it. I put it on my Twitter that I was in ‘Sin City 2′ – so TRUST me, I’ll tell you.”
The one thing that’s extremely difficult to believe here is that JGL somehow managed to not hear about the rumor that he might show up in Man of Steel (or Justice League) as Batman. As previously stated, his reps certainly heard about it. So does that mean that he’s hiding something? Or are we just looking too hard for something that’s not there?
Aside from the denials, the one bit of evidence that truly pushes back against the Batman/Man of Steel rumor is that (according to reports) Levitt was seriously considering taking on the role of Star-Lord in Marvel’s forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film. It seems unlikely that Levitt would even mull over signing on with the other team, much less in a sizable role for a sizable film, if he’d already shot a cameo for Man of Steel (with the intent to become Movie Star Batman for the next half-decade at least).
Whether or not JGL’s going to play Batman or even considering the possibility, the question remains: Should he? Should the Batman who shares the big screen with Superman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the Justice League be a strange movie version hybrid of all the Robins from the comic book? A man whose training starts and stops at the Gotham Police Academy?
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises from start to finish. I had no problem whatsoever with the character of John Blake (though I confess I cringed just a little bit when the lady at the end yelled at the audience, “HEY EVERYBODY, LOOK, IT’S ROBIN”). That said, the Batman sharing the big screen with the Man of Steel for the very first time should, in my opinion, be Bruce Wayne. He’s the only Batman who can hold his own against gods and aliens and fish-people. That’s because he’s a genius. That’s because he honed his skills – from detection to hand-to-hand fighting and beyond – to nigh-on inhuman perfection, for years and years on end. That’s because he’s Bat-God.
There are those, of course, who hear the word “reboot” and immediately recoil at the thought. It’s an understandable reaction, given the quality of a number of reboots. But the thing about Batman is – he’s infinitely rebootable! It’s in his very nature. There are literally thousands of versions of the character, many of which have been quite successful.
Batman can be extremely campy, a la the Adam West TV series and movie. He can be gritty, a la Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. He can be a gothic detective, as he was in the comic books made by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams. Or he can be all of the above, as he was in Grant Morrison’s legendary run on the character.
He’s a lot of different things, and that’s what makes him so interesting as a character. But that’s just my take on it.