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The Storyline Thread


Jun 25, 2008
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Simply, I’m just curious about what storylines or arcs from the comics you’d like to see adapted for the Batman reboot and how you’d go about it. I would like to put more emphasis on just the first film but if you have ideas for an entire trilogy or even an entire series then feel free to share.

I guess it’s only fitting that I start …

Personally, I would love to see a full, loyal adaptation of Batman: Year One.

I know Batman Begins used many elements and even some scenes from that story but I would like a more loyal translation.

While some of the great narration of Year One would be lost, I think a lot of what happens can be conveyed just with good actors and good acting. All it would take is the right look and the right expression to convey some of that inner dialogue and narration.

To sort of separate itself from Batman Begins, I think starting off exactly like Year One, where Wayne and Gordon are first arriving in Gotham City, makes the most sense. What Wayne did while away could be shown in flashbacks.

Per Year One, I would want to leave in the parallel stories of Wayne and Gordon, their personal lives, their fight against corruption, etc. That would include Commissioner Loeb, Flass, Carmine Falcone, Sarah Essen, Branden, Barbara, and so on.

I would also love to see the cameos of Harvey Dent and Selina Kyle. I think including them would help to sort of show that Warner Brothers, for the first time, has some sort of plan; if not for an entire DC film universe then at least for the new trilogy or series.

To sort of let the audience know that a year is passing, I think showing simple things like the leaves falling for Autumn, the snow for Winter, etc. would be enough.

Some changes that would probably come from the executives would be the inclusion of a new Batmobile. They got to sell their toys, right? That’d be fine with me, honestly. I just hope it’s still tank-like to some extent.

I’d also love it if the suit similar to the suits in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Obviously it’d be redesigned to some extent but it just makes sense to me for the real world and on screen. Plus, we need to keep it so that the guy can turn his head.

I don’t have many ideas for a Year One cast at this point. In general, I would love to see Cranston take on Gordon. He’s a fantastic actor in general and I thought was great as Gordon in the recent animated adaptation of Year One.

For Carmine Falcone, I’ve always liked Dennis Farina. He’s a fantastic character actor and a role like Falcone wouldn’t be at all difficult for him.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Let me know what you think.

Also, feel free to start sharing.

Don’t feel limited to adapting full storylines and arcs. If you just want to take elements of several and mash them together, feel free to do so.
Based on: The Court of Owls, Earth One, Year One
Villains: Talon, The Court of Owls, Commissioner Loeb, Mayor Oswald Cobblepot.
Synopsis: Batman's been operating for a few weeks at the start of the film. With the help of Alfred, he's following the trail of his parent's murderer and has traced it back to a childhood boogey-man, The Court of Owls. While pursued by the police, with allies Jim Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth and Lucius Fox, Batman is going to have to brave the Court's challenged to uncover the killer of his parents.

Streets of Gotham
Based on: Prey, War Games, Earth One and Year One
Villains: Hugo Strange, Black Mask, Deadshot, Commissioner Loeb, Mayor Oswald Cobblepot, Salvatore Maroni, Riddler.
Synopsis: After discovering that there was no conspiracy behind the death of his parents, Batman has been protecting the streets from both random violence and organized crime. His actions have attracted the attention of psychiatrist Hugo Strange, who will stop at nothing to unravel the mystery of the Batman. Using up-and-coming crime boss, Black Mask, and hired assassin, Floyd Lawton, Strange takes over Gotham's underground and uses it to wear down Batman until he makes his fatal mistake.

Gotham's Guardian
Based on: The Killing Joke, Death of the Family, The Man Who Laughs, The Long Halloween, The Dark Knight Returns.
Villains: The Joker, Harley Quinn, Carmine Falcone, Mayor Oswald Cobblepot.
Synopsis: Four years into his career, Batman has made the streets of Gotham cleaner than ever before. Now, his greatest enemy, the Joker, has been released from his confinement at Arkham Asylum after being deemed as reformed and ready to return to society by psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel. But can the Joker really be reformed?

Gotham Knights
Based on: The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Venom, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth.
Villains: Scarecrow, Two Face, Carmine Falcone, Sofia Falcone, Mickey Sullivan, Riddler.
Synopsis: Three months after failing to save a child's parents being killed at the hands of The Joker, Batman has become addicted to a substance known as Venom in order to make sure it never happens again. But when his new enemy threatens the minds of the city, is it enough? Venom and the Scarecrow's fear toxin take their tolls on Batman's mind as he follows the trail of the drug to Arkham Asylum. With the help of Jim Gordon, Harvey Dent, Alfred Pennyworth, Barbara Gordon and Lucius Fox, can the Dark Knight uncover the dealer and manufacturer of the fear toxin with his mind intact? Somebody won't make it out in one piece.

Gotham: City of Scars
Based on: The Dark Knight Returns, Hush, Heart of Hush, Streets of Gotham.
Villains: Riddler, Hush, Mayor Oswald Cobblepot, Deadshot, Roland Daggett, Ellen Yindel.
Synopsis: Ten years after a near-fatal heart attack, Batman has retired and turned his attention to charity work as Bruce Wayne. But when his friend, Thomas Elliot, is murdered by Deadshot, it forces him to return to the city to track down his killer. But the city is no longer the same and a new vigilante, the Huntress, operates at night. But as he pursues Deadshot, he stumbles upon a larger plan lead by someone who has been pulling the strings for years: The Riddler. But what can Batman do when the one they attack is Alfred Pennyworth.

Gotham: No Man's Land
Based on: No Man's Land, Knightfall, The Dark Knight Returns, Hush, Streets of Gotham.
Villains: Riddler, Hush, Two Face, Deadshot, The Mutant Leader, Christopher.
Synopsis: After being beaten by Hush, Batman is forced to travel the world to recover and train. While away, Gotham goes to hell. The city has been split into gangs that fight for territory, food and water. When Batman returns to find his city split up by Hush, Gordon and the GCPD, Two Face and the Mutant Leader, how can he repair the damage?
have you not seen the Year One animated movie?

I think a year one adaptation would be waste, personally. Given that we pretty much already have a straight adaption, and many elements of it in Batman Begins.
Personally, I'd want a movie that explores different themes than the ones in the Nolan films.

Perhaps obsession (and it's link with insanity) can be explored this time around?

I think this would work with the Riddler.

I'd like a movie that has Batman desperately trying to solve his many riddles/scenarios, going several days without sleeping, getting more and more on edge as the movie goes on, eventually hallucinating, etc. In the end, Bats needs to learn to trust others, like Nightwing (or Robin), to do the job when he can't anymore.
I would love to see an adaptation of The Long Halloween. The only things I would change are the characterizations of Riddler, Scarecrow, and Mad Hatter since Jeph Loeb has a horrible take on each.

As for Year One, we already got an animated movie that was very faithful to it so I don't know if I would want to see it again. Plus, I don't think people will respond too well to a Batman movie with no supervillains whatsoever and just mobsters (Catwoman doesn't count).

If they do ever adapt Year One into live-action, I want Selina Kyle altered. The prostitute thing is the only problem the book has IMO. It was such a bad idea that every other writer either ignores it completely or says that she was just pretending to be a prostitute.
I'd love Selina Kyle to start out as a prostitute who builds up a power base and works her way up in the underworld. Her arc would culminate in a challenge to her sister, Sophia "Gigante" Falcone, for the Falcone empire.

Anyway, I had some villain plots sketched out. I haven't broken them up by film; just know that these threads would stretch over several films!

Roman Sionis is a business rival to Bruce Wayne. He moonlights as the mobster known as Black Mask and is working as a distributor for the South American drug kingpin known as Poison Ivy. Ivy's narcotics trigger a hyper-addiction in the user, which can drive them to become quite violent if they aren't sated with the drug.

Black Mask uses this to build himself a veritable coalition of drug addicts, whom he sends to war against shipping yards owned by rival businessmen. Black Mask is soon challenged by Rupert Thorne, who owns several chemical plants in Gotham.

Under Thorne's employ is the scientist Hugo Strange, who creates the forumla which gives birth to Clayface. Strange is fascinated by the games Gotham's elite play, and is using his position in Thorne's company to study the psychological condition of the elite who have their hands in the underworld.

While Thorne has Clayface infiltrate Sionis' company, Strange arranges a meeting with Boss Sophia "Gigante" Falcone to cover his tracks and eliminate incriminating evidence of his association with Thorne.

Clayface learns of the advanced weapons R&D going on at Sionis' facilities and reports it to Thorne. Thorne has Clayface return to the facilities to destroy the research. In the process, Victor Fries' wife is killed. Fries tries to fight Clayface, but is beaten and thrown for dead into the stuff that makes him dependent on the cold-suit.

Freeze emerges with a want for revenge against the Gotham Underworld. His information gathering brings him into contact with a spy-for-hire known to the Underworld as the Catwoman.

Catwoman-Selina Kyle-is the rightful heir to the Falcone Syndicate. Not Sophia. Catwoman decides to provide Freeze with evidence incriminating Sionis, Thorne and Sophia in his wife's death and his current condition. While Freeze pursues his vendetta, Catwoman schemes to retake the Falcone Syndicate.
Robin Blake is the new Batman, Scarecrow is on the loose, and Gordon waits beside the new bat signal. That is where the next film begins if they continue.


Villains: Scarecrow, Riddler, and Penguin

The Scarecrow character serves as a metaphor for the terrorist in his obsession with fear. The Riddler, however, could be misconstrued as a terrorist by detonating an EMP, descending the city of Gotham into darkness on Halloween (with obvious references to The Long Halloween story and the real life blackout caused by hurricane Sandy last year) when in fact he is planning a huge heist (or some other crime) and the blackout and chaos that follows are purely a distraction. It would draw a contrast between a terrorist and someone who does something for money or other gain.

Penguin's role is simple-- he is the marriage of the organized criminal and politician; two different character types in the background of all three of Nolan's previous Batman films. The Penguin's motive should be to achieve the office of mayor under the pretense of bringing security (read, Brother Eye) to the city. He could be in league with The Riddler or he could simply exploit him; as well as Batman, to rise to power and profit.

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I'd just make a Batman Beyond movie. I would get around the whole futuristic Judge Dredd stuff by setting it in modern day with the context being that this Bruce Wayne was Batman in the 60's-70's. And yes, the only casting choice I have Bruce Wayne is Michael Keaton. I know this wouldn't be a sequel to the Keaton films and that may confuse some people, but I don't care. Let them think what they want, if it's a good movie who cares! Keaton deserves this role if it would happen and the script is great. It's not his fault that his Batman films were cartoony camp and Burton-esque. Keaton was a great Batman in crappy movies when compared to Begins. I will always wonder how he would have done in Nolan's films. So I'm throwing Keaton a bone, he deserves it.
Elements from...

Prey (Hugo Strange's obsession)

Death in the Family /Under the Hood

Court of Owls/Hush/Dark Victory (Tommy Elliot instead of Lincoln March/Dick Grayson orgin)

The Killing Joke (Oracle orgin)

Have the first film in the series be an adaptation of The Monster Men:

A strange fog besets Gotham. Many robberies happen and inmates are taken from Arkham Asylum. Batman almost tracks the "concentrated lightning" machine at Hugo Stranges 'lair' but Strange sees him coming and moves the machine.

Now more crimes are being committed but; these are different. At the crimes scenes, mutilated bodies are left with clues that lead no where. Strange develops several monsters including Solomon Grundy and Killer Croc.

Batman confronts Killer Croc, but Croc escapes into the sewers. (He will appear in later films). Strange has to keep robbing banks to pay back Carmine Falcone who has been funding Strange's experiments.

Batman finally pieces together the clues and uncovers Strange's 'lair'. He rushes in unprepared and Strange sets Grundy and his other monsters with a "rage virus". Batman barely escapes and Strange becomes very interested in him.

Batman then has to take down the monster men. Croc remains at large and Strange escapes. Also, have Julie Madison be the recurring love interest until the 3rd film.

Also, somewhere in there, Batman needs to recognize Strange as "the most dangerous man on the planet"

Strange would be a great rival to Batman's intelligence and detective skills
I'm going withe the idea we meet a new Batman in Justice League and including all relevant details from the new solo film on.

Film one: Established Batman investigates Prof. Hugo Strange, Arkham Asylum's new operator, and his ties to the deaths of the Flying Graysons. Batman uncovers that Strange had them killed to punish the Penguin, who was hosting their circus in the Ice Berg Lounge, via bad publicity. Strange's power play in the Underworld also unleashes both his monster men and uses Eco terrorist Pamela "Poison Ivy" Isely's unique immune system and his TITAN formula for biological warfare. The climax features Batman and Dick Grayson as Robin revealing Strange's duplicity and evil right before Poison Ivy, now at full power, destroys his new prison complex and has a plant seemingly eat Strange before Batman takes her down. Subplots include Catwoman coming into her own and beginning her flirtatious banter with Batman, and Bruce Wayne building his playboy reputation by flirting with both Selina Kyle and Vicky Vale at the same time. Joker has five minutes to scare everyone.

Film 2: Main conflict is Riddler versus Batman, with Riddler being employed by Penguin to terrorize sections of the city and keep Batman occupied, but acting mostly on his own after catching the "who is Batman?" bug. Killer Croc acts as Penguin's bodyguard and hit man when Batman comes after both villains alongside Dick Grayson. Dick, meanwhile, is cultivating his own contacts with two computer hackers, one the unseen Internet detective Red Bird and the other the super hacker Barbara Gordon and Batman encounters a ballsy Jason Todd who tries to jack the tire off the Batmobile in Crime Alley. Batman also reunites with his old lover Talia Damon while continuing to flirt with Selina Kyle, and ends the film with both women realizing his secret identity and Riddler defeated while Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing and Jason Todd gets training to become Robin.

Justice League 2: Ra's Al Ghul, as part of the leading council of the Legion of Doom, implements stolen contingency plans from Batman, leading Batman to realize that Talia is his daughter. Warning the Flash, Batman manages to stop the plans, and the League saves the day.

Film 3: A Trinity film with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman as the heroes. More of an inter-quel between two Justice League films as the heroes try and end Lex Luthor's presidential campaign, while he also tries to take over the Legion of Doom where he is allied with The Joker and the Cheetah. Batman tangles with a defeats the bad guys' trump card Parasite, but Luthor reveals he has one more ace up his sleeve. The Joker, financed by the bad guys, plants multiple bombs all across the world with darkly humorous targets taken into account. The grounded Jason Todd gets in contact with Red Robin and Oracle and sneaks out of Gotham to save the life of Commisioner Gordon. Oracle narrowly avoids being crippled and displays some fighting skills, but Jason ends up rescuing some little kids and getting a beat down from the Joker, who leaves him on a bobby trapped plane loaded with children. Batman discovers what's happening midway through fighting the other villains, so Superman takes off after the plane, while Batman waits for the Batplane. Jason has Red Bird take over the plane remotely and put it over the sea and towards an airstrip while dragging the bomb towards the back of the plane. He throws the bomb out of the plane, but it detonates almost immediately after, killing him and damaging the plane. Superman catches the plane and sets it down, and Batman arrives in time to discover Jason's body. The heroes than track down Joker, who's betrayed Luthor as well, exposing his evil to the press and hijacking one of his submarines. They manage to stop the sub, Joker apparently drowns. The film ends with Bruce meeting Red Bird's real identity, Tim Drake, who earlier called in Nightwing to stop Batman from losing control and who Jason had marked as a future successor. We end with an obviously disenchanted Ra's deserting the Legion as Lex takes it over, while Talia seems oddly fixated on her stomach.

Justice League finale: remaining Legion members team up with the League when Darkseid unleashes the Anti-Life Equation and takes over 2 billion human minds and enlists another 2 billion via intimidation and seeks to take over the rest of the world. Batman ends up teamed with Nightwing, Ra's Al Ghul and Catwoman in a last stand when Robin(Tim Drake) gets taken over alongside Talia. One of Ra's's reluctant henchmen, a young girl, teams up with Oracle to catch the dangerous Robin and beats him in hand to hand conflict. She ends up paired with Batman as they take down bad guys, until Batman gets a hold of Darkseid's god-killer gun and goes out like in Infinite Crisis. After Superman avenges Batman's death by finishing off Darkseid, we see the Bat family, with the girl, Cassandra Cain, now a part of it, gathering at Bruce's grave before Dick assumes the mantle as the new Batman. A depressed Tim Drake seems to go unstable, but ends up convincing Oracle to let Cassandra Cain go with him to check out a lead-an intricate secret message in an ancient cave painting of a Bat signed Wayne.
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with all this talk of the Nolanverse continuing:

Justice League
while Robin Blake operates in Gotham (offscreen), Bruce suits up (mostly for symbolic reasons, not physical) to set up the league. He's the strategist, the commander, etc. (the one Batman action scene could secretly be Blake. Classic Batman deception). Bruce leaves when he completes his mission of establishing the symbol of the league, keeping the world hopeful that they're safe from both the forces out in the universe and the super-humans on Earth. Members will come and go, but the symbol will be everlasting.

Batman Solo Film
Rian Johnson/Fincher begins the next Batman trilogy with a Robin Blake Batman film in Gotham, with slightly more futuristic tech provided by Lucius Fox Jr (or a wheelchair bound Barbara Gordon). Accompanied by a Trent Reznor soundtrack (with little to no Bruce Wayne musical themes). Villains can include waring crime factions, such as the Penguin, Black Mask, etc, perhaps tied to the death of Blake's father.

JL sequel
Robin Blake steps in, along with John Stewart, Wally West, Hawkgirl(Hawkman), MM, etc (opposed to Bruce, Hal, Barry, Aquaman, and Cyborg in the first). Supes and WW are the constants.

solo Batman sequel
Taking place roughly 16 years after TDKR (10 years after JL 1, and 5 years after JL2), Blake discovers that one of the boys from the mansion, around age 16 has found his way into the cave. The twist is that it's Damian Wayne, who was born prematurely at 4.5 months, kept in NICU, and raised by the League (Lady Shiva) to be Talia's eventual successor, sent to infiltrate the Bat-cave to kill Bruce Wayne (though he's nowhere to be found).
-Alfred's funeral however brings Bruce back to Gotham for the first time in 16 years. He discovers Damian, and this becomes a reason to stay/a problem to fix, and he becomes the old man mentor to Blake in the cave, keeping a watchful eye on Damian. When the league and Shiva arrive to hold the orphanage hostage, Blake and Damien have to sneak around, saving the day (Batman and Robin style).

Shiva brings her daughter, Cassandra Cain, as a backup incase Damian failed her. She and Damien sword duel, and Damien is able to defeat her. Blake sacrifices himself to save the day at the end (perhaps killed via crowbar). Damien, in anger, kills lady Shiva (despite Bruce's pleas). They take in Shiva's daughter, Cassandra Cain, into the orphanage. At the end, Damian suits up, despite Bruce's wishes, reminding Bruce that Gotham needs a protector. However instead of becoming Batman, he takes the name Robin, in tribute to Robin Blake's sacrifice (and to spite his father for being closer to Blake than with Bruce). Batman feels obligated to suit up again, only to protect his son, to keep him on the right path.

JL 3
Somebody infiltrates the watchtower, using the cannon to attack the Earth and thousands of people die, including Selina Kyle. Bruce returns to the league as an angry old man, wanting to control everything (feeling responsible because he designed the Watchtower and gave the schematics to Supes at the end of JL1). This time he does fight, disregarding his health (Alfred, Selina, and the man he appointed to succeed him have all died. He feels his son doesn't love him, etc). He wears an armored suit (ala The Dark Knight Returns). Superman and him fight. The league disbands.

Final solo Batman film
A Batman and Robin film all about their relationship, and Bruce's obsessive nature. Bruce doesn't trust anybody else to do the job, not letting Damian participate, even when Bruce has been operating for over 48 hours without sleep in an effort to solve the Riddler's riddles and schemes, confusing reality, making mistakes in the process, etc. We never get to see the Riddler.

Damian is fascinated by Cassandra Cain, given their similar upbringing and befriends her. He tries to 'fix' her, the same way Bruce and Blake tried to 'fix' him, and eventually asks her to become Batgirl. It's revealed that it wasn't so much that Bruce didn't trust Damian to do the job, but that he just didn't want Damien to get hurt (given his guilt about Blake's death). By the end, Bruce learns to trust Damian, and to 'let go'. At the end, Damian offers to pick up the mantle of Batman and leave Robin behind him, no longer spiting Bruce, but honouring him and the symbol of Batman, letting Bruce rest for his remaining days in peace.
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Have the first film in the series be an adaptation of The Monster Men:

2nd film in my series would be a crime thriller featuring Penguin and the Riddler:

It is election time in Gotham. Anthony Garcia is running for a 3rd consecutive term. His only opposition is Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. He is running for mayor because Batman broke up the mob and he wants to control the city.

Batman doesn't trust Cobblepot so he runs a background check. Cobblepot is a UK mobster who fought IRA agents for a living. Garcia wins mayor and Cobblepot disappears into the underworld.

Batman tracks and confronts Cobblepot who his followers are now calling the Penguin. Penguin tells Batman "This city is being overrun by freaks, criminals who are unlike anything you’re realistically prepared to stop. If you get rid of organized crime, all you’ve got left is unorganized crime, and it’ll tear this city to pieces. You need someone to get a handle on it, someone who will keep the worst of the worst off the streets and give you information to take down the freaks when they come ’round. And that someone is me, Batman. Or, you can oppose me, and I’ll tear the bloody doors off Arkham, and I’ll tear the doors of the prisons, and I’ll let those freaks flood this city with the blood of their victims. And then we’ll see who’s the last man standing in this town.”

Batman acknowledges the logic but he doesn't reason with criminals.

Then, mysterious bombs start going off in Gotham. Batman tracks and traces the bomb maker. He reveals himself as the Riddler and seemingly vanishes in smoke.

Batman follows the Riddler to Penguin's layer. He listens to the conversation. He overhears that the Riddler is an IRA bomb maker and computer hacker. The Penguin killed his brother and he is back for revenge.

Batman busts into the room and ends the heated conversation. He then decodes some of the tattoos on the Riddlers arms. The Riddler becomes very interested in Batman.

Gotham becomes Penguin and Riddler's battleground and the Northern Ireland war is brought back from the dead. Bombs blow up everywhere and mobsters kill innocent people.

Batman has to compromise to save the city.

I need help with the ending (how Batman stops the Riddler and the Penguin)

While the first story is a scientific thinker, this is more of a crime thriller.
They should focus on the bat-family in the next films.
They should focus on the bat-family in the next films.

I agree. I wouldn't mind seeing a Batman movie where everything is already established... Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Huntress, etc.

Then the movie could feature any villain; no introductions. All the villains exist, are in Gotham, and any can show up in the chosen storyline.

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