Hot on the heels of Marvel announcing its new Hulk TV show comes a rumor by way of Comic Book Movie, which states that Warner Bros. is planning to take Batman back to TV after Chris Nolan's third Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, has bowed out of theaters.
This not-so-small RUMOR of a new live-action Batman TV show has of course sparked some major reactions from the blogosphere. Consider the Screen Rant Rumor Patrol on the case!
Here's what Comic Book Movie's source is claiming:
WB has no plans to rush out another Batman Movie once Chris Nolan has completed The Dark Knight Rises. Instead, the heads in power are looking at something to do with TV.
The idea comes from the successful tv transitions of SmallVille and Sherlock Holmes--the Hartswood Films/BBC Television show of the same name starring Benedict Cumberbatch that screened recently.
So, WB is looking at putting together a live action Batman TV series. The Head Executive in charge (name removed to protect source) who has overseen the development and production of such notable hits as: "Two and a Half Men", "The Mentalist", "ER", "The West Wing", "Without A Trace" and "Friends", has been given the task. He would like to keep it in line with the Nolan movies. No word on any stories or script, but he wants a real world feel with young adult audiences in mind".
It has also been mentioned that this is a way to re-introduce The Joker as a completely new version and not step on Heath’s memory/version, as WB knows this is a sensitive subject. They believe that the Joker alone will garner ratings through the roof and are already planning on a closed set with extremely tight security to prevent any leaked footage.
The Actor they have mentioned as a "type" to play Batman/Bruce Wayne is Karl Urban. Karl plays Dr. McCoy in the new Star Trek franchise.
At first glance the rumor seems plausible - not TRUE, but at least plausible. However, sites like Bleeding Cool and The Playlist are tearing into this rumor like it's fresh meat tossed in a tiger cage, and they're pretty much ripping it to shreds.
Brendon Connelly over at Bleeding Cool goes so far as to break each quoted paragraph from the source down line by line to dissect it. Here are a few of the holes being poked in this rumor:
The most conspicuous discrepancy Connelly points to is that no executive within the WB camp can be matched to the list of hit shows CBM's source lists as a filmography. That's a big one, for sure. Another issue raised is that there seem to be a lot of conceptual ideas for the show already developing - way in advanced before The Dark Knight Rises is even done casting - which is not how the TV developmental process typically goes.
The mention of Karl Urban - who will be busy with both the Star Trek AND Dredd franchise in the next few years - is also viewed as highly dubious. Mention of the show being a vehicle for the return of The Joker and the high security being planned to protect the set is also making people question this rumor - from this report, it would seem that Batman TV show is about to start shooting next week!
Look, I'm not going to be as hard on CBM as some other sites are being right now. I know Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are working hard to cross-pollinate their superhero properties across many media platforms, and Batman is certainly leading that charge right now with popular movies, comics, cartoons and video games. Smallville is ending this season, so Clark Kent's time on the airwaves is done, but that show (despite being despised by some) has been a reasonable hit for WB/DCE/CW.
Nolan's Batman movie universe will close in 2012 with Dark Knight Rises and it's not hard to imagine that weekly hour-long detective procedural with superhero twist would be a logical step for WB/DCE. That all said, I'm not quite sure that this specific report from CBM is on the money; at most, I'd peg it as an early harbinger of something that could very become a reality somewhere down the line.
For now, rather than argue about whether this RUMOR is actually true or not, I'd rather hear about whether you guys want a Batman TV show to be a reality. Sound off in the comments section.
Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises will be in theaters on July 20, 2012.