Featuring Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts, Cillian Murphy, Anthony Michael Hall, Nestor Carbonnell, Michael Jai White, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger
Synopsis the further adventures of Batman, begun
Brought to you by Warner Bros & DC
Expected release date July 18th, 2008
Nathaniel: I count Batman Returns as my favorite entry in this multiple personality franchise but I understand... to a degree, why people got so hot and bothered about Batman Begins, the reboot.
In this new entry Christian Bale faces off against two villains: Harvey Dent/Two Face played by Aaron Eckhart, so far mostly missing from the brilliant ad campaign but we hear he is actually the chief foe; Heath Ledger plays The Joker and commands all the powers of the ad campaign (thus far)
Answer me these questions three...
- Who is your favorite Batman thus far? (West. Keaton. Kilmer. Clooney. Bale?)
- Which Batman character are you still hankering to see in a movie or do you think they've tapped out the rogues gallery since The Joker and Two Face are now on repeat?
- If you wore a utility belt to the movies what gadget would you make sure it held?
Glenn: Batman Returns is most definitely my favourite, but I think Bale was my favourite Batman. Can't really explain why, I just preferred him is all.I can't exactly say I'm in the comic universe so I'm not sure what villains haven't been used. Michelle Pfeiffer could still fill in that Catwoman costume though surely, so bring her back!
I would like to ask a question though, if you don't mind. Is it just me or anybody else getting a bit sick of these big "summer" (they're winter for me) blockbusters going all dark on us? I worry for The Dark Knight because everytime I think about it I get big giant flashing warning bells in my brain. Warning bells that scream "SPIDER-MAN 3! SPIDER-MAN 3!" eep
MaryAnn: I like that the summer blockbusters have gone dark. Batman/Bruce Wayne is a dark character. I don't want to see the return of Adam West.
Gabriel: You're reading my mind, Glenn...sometimes I sit in a movie theatre and say "enough with the weak plot points and the hipster dark overtones!" (Sometime I'll have to tell you about the moment halfway through Cloverfield where I realized I might prefer to have my brain scooped out with an ice cream scoop than watch it all the way to the end.) But the Bat-Franchise is best when its dark...it's a tale of broken people trying to do great things, and that isn't a narrative that leans toward brightness...as Joel Schumacher proved when his candy-colored vision nearly destroyed this series. (Strangely enough, though, I think my favorite caped crusader might have been George Clooney. He's a natural born superhero. It's a shame he got saddled with the absolute worst of the Batman films.)
As a child, I was a Batman fan, but the truth is, I was a Joker fan, so I'm thrilled to see how Chris Nolan interprets comicdom's greatest psychopath. As for my utility belt for the movies: if there was an electromagnetic pulse that would render all text-messaging cell phones dead, I'd be in heaven.
Joe: So we're all ignoring the elephant in the room, then? Okay.
My favorite Batman changes with the time of day; sometimes I think we still haven't seen a truly perfect one. I think today I'm in a Val Kilmer mood, but tomorrow who knows? Not Adam West, though. I don't know if I'm totally sold on Christopher Nolan's version of Batman yet, but I'm willing to hear him pitch it again.
As for BatVillains, I have very little knowledge of the greater landscape of the comic books, but I'd maybe like to see someone take a run at the Riddler. Or perhaps another female villain that viewers can love to hate. Besides Katie Holmes.
As for my utility belt, it seems too easy to request any number of weapons to slice, bludgeon, and pepper spray theater loudmouths to death with, Maybe something that prevents people from showing up five minutes late with a group of seven who all want to sit next to each other? Something in a force-field orb of some sort.
Glenn: The "elephant in the room" will surely be discussed plenty more in the coming months - and I'm sure in the comments section of Nathaniel's blog - so I think for now it's best to play dressups with the batsuit (sans nipples, of course).
Gabriel: Since Joe sees some aversion in our conversation so far of Heath Ledger's untimely and sad passing, let's discuss it. Beyond it being a marketing challenge for The Dark Knight, I don't see it as a major problem artistically. In fact, people will probably elevate the performance to some degree...I'm guessing if critics have problems with the movie, they won't blame them on Ledger.
Go ahead and draw your weapons now: I wasn't as big a fan of Ledger's as some around these parts (Nathaniel and Joe both wrote beautiful elegies last month, extended over the course of multiple posts). And I wasn't emotionally devastated by his death (not the way I was for, say, Ossie Davis). And I didn't bond with Ledger in Brokeback Mountain (I think Gyllenhaal did the heavy lifting in that movie, personally. Insert midnight-in-the-tent joke here.) So when it comes to The Dark Knight, I'm not more or less excited now than I was a few months ago...I still think Ledger was a fine actor, and am intrigued to see what he'll do with this difficult, challenging character.
Joe: Well clearly it's not going to affect the film artistically since the film is completed. I guess I'm more interested in the mechanics of marketing film than most, but I'm also interested in the ways Ledger's death is going to affect the way we (the public) are going to consume the film. It's not the new Batman movie anymore, it's the Heath Ledger movie (even moreso than it was already going to be, given the marketing). I think seeing as it's Batman -- already a dark and moody character/aesthetic -- it won't be quite as jarring as it could be, but I know speaking for me personally it's going to be a challenge to separate the man from the movie when I go see it. And it's completely affected my enthusiasm for the film (this was way higher on my anticipated list a month ago).
MaryAnn: I was flipping around the TV last night and came across the 2005 Casanova, which I love. And I couldn't watch it: it was too sad seeing Heath Ledger. I hope I feel less like that come The Dark Knight, but I know it will be impossible for me to see this movie in quite the same way I would have were Ledger still alive...
Glenn: I think the more interesting piece of the marketing puzzle will arise when the cast take to the talkshow circuit. They'll certainly have Bale and Eckhart out there, and maybe Maggie Gyllenhaal (to erase the stink of Katie Holmes) and you just know what the very first question is going to be about. It's unignorable. I just hope they treat it with dignity. Unlike the Entertainment Tonights of this world which moved straight from dragging Ledger's name through the mud to discussing the exclusing images of Jessica Alba getting a juice!
Taking a cue from MaryAnn I think I'd like a utility belt gadget that could send an electronic pulse throughout cinemas so that people wouldn't be able to play with their god damned phones in the dark cinema. grrr!
Nathaniel: Your turn readers. Favorite man in the cowl? Favorite movie in the series? Your fantasy bat gadget? And which Bat enemy do you think they're really missing out on movie-fying?
<-- Sister Aloysius prays for your wicked soul if you haven't been reading the "we can't wait" countdown #1 Synecdoche, New York / #2 Burn After Reading / #3 Australia / #4 Milk / #5 Blindness / # 6 Doubt / #7 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button / #8 Revolutionary Road / #9 The Dark Knight / #10 Sex & The City: The Movie / #11 The Lovely Bones / #12 Wall-E / #13 Stop-Loss / #14 The Women / #15 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince / Introduction / Orphans