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Old 04-05-2013, 06:40 PM   #89
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 7,670
Default Re: In hindsight what changes would you do - Part 1

Originally Posted by batfreakforever View Post
With the billions plus dollers raking in with The Dark Knight Trilogy will future comic book movies move further away from the material? Just because the character wears a bat-suit and is named Bruce wayne does that make him Batman? To the general public does it matter? If the general public go to see these movies and it rakes in big how close should they stick to the material? But the general public must be fans in some ways if they are going to these films?
In all honesty, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight didn't do that many major changes to the source material to the point where the only thing they have in common is that there's a guy in a Batsuit and he is named Bruce Wayne. In fact, some of the MCU movies deviated from the source material a lot more than BB and TDK. BB and TDK in fact pretty accurate to the source material if you look at what it was trying to adapt. The TDK trilogy is also overall the most faithful-to-the-comics version of Batman we got in live-action so far.

There are so many different versions and different ways of writing Batman that saying one adaptation is inaccurate while another one isn't is a very black and white way of looking at Batman. Thus whenever you look at a Batman adaptation and judge its faithfulness to the source material, first you have to be aware of what Batman it is trying to adapt.

Let's start with the Adam West show. You wouldn't watch it and complain that it is unfaithful because, for example, Batman isn't dark enough. You are aware going into the show that is is supposed to be a representation of the Silver Age Batman and you're supposed to judge it on how faithful it is to that particular version of Batman. And as a representation of the Silver Age Batman, it is a very accurate one.

Then there's Burton's Batman. Many people in the past (including me) have complained that Burton deviated too much from the comics by having Batman kill and stuff like that but you have to look at part of the Batman mythos Burton was trying to adapt. As a representation of the modern Batman, it is horrible but that it because the 1989 movie isn't meant to be a representation of the modern Batman (and I'm only talking about the '89 movie because I don't really care for Returns and the changes made there). The Burton movies, at least the first one, was based more on the Golden Age Batman that acted more like Burton's Batman (i.e. killing people). Even the look and feel of the movie was a lot more 1930's/40's ish. As a representation of the Golden Age Batman, Burton's Batman is not that inaccurate or at least the 1989 movie isn't that inaccurate (fans are more divided on Returns just like how they are on TDKR).

Then we get to Batman Forever which for the record, I don't think it is as bad as everyone says it is. A lot of people complain about the movie but when you analyze it, you begin to realize that it isn't that different from an early Bronze Age comic. The Bronze Age of comics was where the transition between the lighthearted silly comics and the more serious & mature comics occurred. Due to that, a lot of DC comics from the Bronze Age, they are somewhat of a mix between an adult comic of today and a more lighthearted silly comic of the Silver Age. Batman Forever is like that too. It has a lot of silly and lighthearted moments but it also has some serious moments like the part where Bruce talks about killing and the flashbacks. If you look at Forever as a representation of a Bronze Age comic, it isn't that bad. This is a bit of a different case though because Schumacher was probably not in the mindset that he was going to make a Bronze Age comic onto the big screen like how every other person that did Batman in live-action was under the mindset that they were going to adapt a specific part of the Batman mythos (I'll talk about Nolan in a sec). However, look at it this way. The Bronze Age is when writers tried to make comics more mature but the censorship from the Silver Age still got in the way a lot of the times. Schumacher wanted to make a more serious version of Batman from the beginning but WB forced him to include a lot of silly lighthearted things (and went even further in the next movie lol). It's a very similar situation to the early Bronze Age.

Then we get to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Technically, the Batman in these movies is the modern Batman we all know but isn't the modern Batman we all know almost simultaneously. He is based on a specific version of the modern Batman, which is the young inexperienced Batman from stories like Year One and The Long Halloween. Both films were heavily influenced by a lot of stories that took place in Batman's early career. Batman himself is not that different in terms of abilities in the Nolan films from his Year One counterpart of the comics either. Even the realistic/grounded feel of BB and TDK is something that all the stories that take place in Batman's very early career have as opposed to some revolutionary idea Nolan had like some people think - Frank Miller's Year One is specifically what they based the realism on. Year One is in fact even more grounded than both of the first Nolan films. BB and TDK were Batman at the beginning of his career still in his first year as Batman. He wasn't yet perfect or the Batgod that fights next to Superman from the comics but it made sense he wasn't that way yet due to that. However, if Nolan would've stuck with what he originally intended or at least with what it looked like he originally intended, Batman might've became the experienced Batman we all know and love by the end of the third movie (which obviously didn't happen for reasons we talked about over and over again). Looking at the Batman at the end of BB and then comparing him to the one at the beginning of TDK and at the end of TDK, you can see how much Bruce has grown in everything (abilities, intelligence, the way he operates, mentality, etc.). If you look at BB and TDK as an adaptation of the young Batman from Year One and Long Halloween, which is what that Batman was based on, it is not a bad adaptation at all. In fact, it may be the best adaptation we'll ever get of that specific version of Batman in live-action.

As you can see, almost every version of Batman we've had in live-action so far was based on a specific version of Batman from the comics and is an accurate portrayal of whatever version it was based on. And as dissapointed as I was with TDKR, its story borrows more from stories in the comics than any other Batman movie we've had so far despite the characters being bigger deviations from the source. That being said, I don't think further Batman movies will deviate more from the source material since most Batman films so far haven't deviated too far from the source material. If anything, the next Batman movie might be even closer to the source material than all the Batman movies we've had up till now since the Nolan franchise were even closer to the Batman of the comics we all know and love than any of the previous franchises. It would also seem like the natural next step for the next movie to have the "Batgod" of the comics. We've had the Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, and early Modern Age versions of Batman all adapted onto the big screen already. Only takes left to adapt are the standard/normal Modern Age version (AKA the one of the current comics) and the late Modern Age version (i.e. Batman Beyond). Assuming that WB doesn't want the reboot to be a rehash of anything from before especially of the Nolan films, we may finally get a James Bond version of Batman - basically movies with all his villains established that just keep going and going. As for the general public, I think they're irrelevant to this and wouldn't care as long as you tell good stories.

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