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What happened if Batman V Superman took place in the Nolan Franchise?

Posted on 5 May, 2016 at 16:10 Comments comments (2)

No, this will not be a piece bashing Batman V Superman. For all my thoughts has well as the other GeekVerse members' go listen to our Batman V Superman Review (which as I'm writing this, happens to be our biggest episode.....cheap plug).

 

This article will outline a 'what if' scenario; I will be writing a set up to Batman V Superman using elements from the NolanVerse and the current DCCU. Unlike some people, I think the current DC teams have a lot of great ideas; though maybe just lacking in execution.

 

I'm not rewriting the entire film. This is to see how Superman in the Nolan dark, gritty, and realistic world could've worked. Would it be for the better? We'll never know. It might be a stretch, but rearranging some things might work, and the DCCU would feel less forced.

 

Something I've thought about many times: What if Bale was back as Batman? What if Nolan had not grown tired of the superhero genre and took on the role many people wanted him for; the Leader of the DCCU. That's one thing I believe the current Warner Bro's/DC Venture could use: a Kevin Feige. Someone steering the ship. Christopher Nolan, fully invested, could've been that guy. You might be wondering, how could Superman work in the NolanVerse? Pretty easy if you ask my imagination.

 

Let's set the stage. The Dark Knight Rises comes out and becomes the most successful Batman Film of all time. It comes out to relatively good response from critics and fans. Yes, the film has flaws, but let's be serious, you could easily name 25 to 50 worse comic book films. It's a good film and box office success is the bottom line. Now Nolan is done until... Do you hear that? It's the beeping of the money truck being backed up to his house. Nolan would only do this if he was invested in the film. That has been shown with all his projects and work. If they got Nolan back, he gets a blank cheque, he signs on to create the DCCU and we're off to the races.

 

THE START OF THE NOLAN DCEU

 

Rises obviously can't change. Batman is retired, Blake/Robin has taken the mantle, Gordon is still the Commissioner. Now incorporate some of the current DCEU.

 

Jump 10 years forward. Robin has been killed; much like the current DCEU Robin is dead and the Joker did it. Now it gets tricky because we don't have access to Heath Ledger. They can either recast, keeping Leto and using tattoos and time to explain his personality and appearance change, or just use him as an evil in the shadows. The Joker returning is a ripple effect of Bruce deciding to leave with Selina. The Joker kept quiet during Rises, but now that he sees there is a new Batman, a fake Batman, he takes upon himself to dispatch of him. Perhaps just to get rid of a pretender. Perhaps he knows the real Batman is still out there. That's an idea for another time. In the end you still get a dead Robin with a suit that says "HAHAHA Jokes On You Batman". Blake could've easily died as he HAD NO TRAINING. It's believable that the Joker or another villain could kill him. That's one more thing that weighs on Bruce Wayne when he returns; He practically sent Blake out into the night of Gotham to die.

 

Man Of Steel happens. I am not a fan of the film (That's for another day), but it does set up what would be a perfect return for Bruce Wayne. If Metropolis is across the bay from Gotham do you think Batman could stand back and let a threat stay that close to his city?

 

MAKING THE MAN OF STEEL WORK IN THE NOLANVERSE

 

There are two things that Nolan's series did that make it difficult but I believe it's still possible. First: the gritty realism of Nolan's Films. Yes, they are still comic book films but Nolan created the most realistic comic book film world to date. How can Superman exists in that world? Well, we have to break the realism of Nolans world. If that's what you love about Nolan's films, it's fine because you still have the trilogy; this doesn't change those films. They'd still be in the continuity but in a time with no aliens.

 

The main reason I feel Superman in the Nolan World could work is because Zack Snyder and his team pushed the idea so hard of "What would a Superman look like in the real world?". Nolans World is the closest we have gotten to the real world in a comic book film and perhaps there's no better place to answer those questions than in the NolanVerse. How would government and society react to an Alien coming to this planet? We'd get to see the reaction of Bale's Batman; who, up until this point has just taken down criminals and ninjas.

 

However, the whole "Superman in the real world" thing doesn't have the same impact when there are other super humans out there. We don't know how much the public knows about the characters in the DCEU but let's use Suicide Squad as an example. On that team alone there is a witch, a man who can shoot fire from his body, and a HUMAN CROCODILE! I can't speak for everyone but if they existed in our world I would be like "An alien...ya I can see it." If Earth had that many messed up things why wouldn't the rest of the world.

 

In the NolanVerse it would truly be a shock. They could really play up the alien in the real world sense. We would get to see the characters of Bale, Oldman, Caine and others that we already have a connection to and how they would deal with this life altering event. If done right, I feel a good majority of people could've accepted it.

 

 

RESURRECTING BALES BATMAN

 

Now the second problem (and the tougher one in my opinion): How do you bring back a dead Bruce Wayne? Spoilers for a four year old film: Bruce Wayne fakes his death and runs away with Selina. Now this may be the weakest part of my idea, but, it could go two routes: Bruce comes back to Gotham just as Batman; His whole life is just being Batman now. We lose any scenes of him being Bruce Wayne. If this is the kick off to the DCEU they would likely want Bruce Wayne to be back, especially for solo films. I think there's a way to spin it if he were just doing the Robert Downy Jr thing and popping up in films just for action or character vs character moments, but I doubt this would happen.

 

The second route is bring Bruce Wayne back. They write some ham fisted way out of it. His life was threatened so he faked his death to be safe or he was so scared from the events he just wanted to get away from Gotham as much as possible. It might be an eye roller but if written well, it could be enough. Bale could turn his egotistical Bruce Wayne up to one hundred. The people of Gotham could buy it as Bruce Wayne being that strange, annoying rich boy. Remember, this is a man that didn't leave his house for eight years; I'm sure they already think he's a little off. At the end of the day we pick one of the above reasons, cover it quickly, and move along. A newspaper or website headline and a couple lines of dialogue could fix it. Yes, it waters down the end of Rises a bit, but it's a sacrifice worth making to get Bale and Nolan back. You know the studio would think it's worth it.

 

THE FILM

 

I'm not going to write a full script here, just some overall plot points to show how it could've worked. Man Of Steel happens. Bruce, feeling he needs represent humans in this potential war, decides to head back to Gotham when Zod sends his message. Hell, in Rises he practically saved an entire city by himself. If Bruce didn't come back, Gotham would've literally been in ashes. If Nolan was coming back they would've known during Man Of Steel and that's where you get a chance to drop headlines like: "Billionaire still alive, Bruce Wayne Emerges" or something like that.

 

Now you can still start a Nolan BVS in the same way; buildings coming down, Superman and Zod fighting and Bruce running through the streets. Like I said, I will not get into too many small details but here is one big one: When buildings are coming down Lucius Fox aka Morgan Freeman replaces this Jack guy. This is a character that dies in BVS and we have no connection to him whatsoever. Bruce seems heart broken about this but it's never mentioned again nor does Bruce seem to care. If Fox from the NolanVerse dies, it becomes personal.

 

Bruce, at this point, takes up the mantle again. Cleaning up the streets of Gotham which resorted back to it's old dangerous ways in his absence. He's crime fighting but not killing. Yes, in the NolanVerse Batman ended up taking a life or two, but it was in the vain of stopping a nuke or saving a boys life. It's a discussion for another day. The way he effortlessly takes life while it could easily be avoided in BVS doesn't need to happen in this version. In my opinion it makes Batman a little boring and doesn't make him stand out; plus in this version there still comes a point where Batman does consider killing Superman. In the NolanVerse this would cause a lot of internal struggle with Batman; instead of rushing to the decision and not considering all the options.

 

And that's how you set it up. The point of this article was to show it could work and maybe one or two things would change with the film. I'm not going to write what Nolan would do with those characters and I'm not re-writing the current ,as there are good and even great parts in the film. BVS could still be used that as a template, but with changes. Nolan brings back Michael Cain as Alfred; now he's more accepting of the situation, considering Superman. Superman is still struggling with the public and Lex is still in it,though likely a different take on the character and actor.

 

The movie is about BATMAN V SUPERMAN. This is where Nolan would excel because Begins and Dark Knight still work as standalone. Yes, we wanted more but they both could've ended and it would've worked. There is a need to set things up for a DCEU, but a strong foundation is needed and that's not what the Batman V Superman that has been released is. It doesn't feel like it's own movie many times; it's juggling too many things. With what I proposed you wouldn't be juggling Batman anymore and that's a huge part of it. Instead of a Batman dream sequences and pointless getting to know him plots we can focus on a conflict and a resolution.

 

CONCLUSION

 

This is just me thinking out loud. With Bale, Nolan, and using that Universe it might be too much trouble to do. At the end of the day maybe it's better we started over with a clean slate, but then again it would be nice to have that Star Wars like continuity, where you see characters and locations you remember. Every time superhero films reboot we lose that. We won't get goosebumps seeing Keaton in the Batcave again because that world is gone. One day Iron Man will be recast and instead of seeing an aged RDJ who we've been through years and years of adventures with, we'll see some young version of the on screen Iron Man we know and who will seem like a complete stranger. Nolan's films may be the biggest, most untactful thing to happen to the superhero genre. Those 3 films, The Dark Knight in particular raised the bar and gave us this one of kind world. Which we'll never see again.

 

It's fun to think about, the 'What If's'. What would a Nolan DCEU look like? Would he be the Kevin Feige of DC? Would Bale have done more solo films? or just team ups? As of right now Marvel has no reason to worry. DC just took their two biggest Heroes in history and the film may not even hit a billion dollars. Does adding Nolan or Bale change that?

 

I use her a lot as an example on my podcast but, my Mother is the embodiment of the average movie fan. If the trailer looks good, she'll see it. If it's actors she likes or a sequel, she'll see it. She went to see the first two Nolan's with me. When I moved out and wasn't updating her on my superhero obsession, she still went to see The Dark Knight Rises. She didn't go see Batman V Superman. She has no intention to go see it. Knowing my Mother, there's a good chance she would've went if it was the returning NolanVerse; purely because of familiarity. Does adding Nolan and Bale even with a mediocre film add $20-$50 million? I think so.

 

Tell me what you think below. Have you thought about similar things? Do you agree? Do you feel I'm some BVS hater who is completely wrong? (For the record I like BVS. I also extremely dislike parts of it as well) Did you like BVS? Are you excited for the future of the DCEU? Let me know below.

 

Thanks to anyone who took a few moments out of their day to read this. Remember to check out the GeekVerse Podcast Every Saturday and if you like comics, I also host Dynamic Duo, a GeekVerse spin-off show dedicated to all things comic related.


Article written by Travis Snell.


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