According to Birth.Death.Movies, Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film is set to contain a roster of Villains from Batman’s back catalogue. Now I should stress that these are not confirmed reports but it’s interesting nonetheless.
We and many others speculated that Affleck’s movie would focus on the Red Hood story line. That seems unlikely now and it’s a shame because it could have been a really personal Batman story that we’ve not really seen before on screen. But there is still room for optimism here.
There’s a number of comic book and video game story lines the film could be drawing inspiration from. Or it could be none of them. Here’s the possibilities I’ve come up with that fit this criteria, though.
Perhaps an obvious source of inspiration is Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum. Batman is tasked with taking back Arkham Asylum after it has fallen into the control of its inmates, led by the most insane of the lot, the Joker. Along the way, Batman encounters a number of the bad guys he’s put away in the years in an attempt to stop the Joker and save the hostages. There’s a lot more to it than that but I won’t spoil it here. It’s a really interesting look at insanity and mental health and it’s genuinely terrifying and creepy. They could be onto a winner if they’re going to adapt this. It would be something entirely novel for the superhero genre in recent years. I’m all for a pychological thriller.
In the same vein, they could be looking at the critically acclaimed Arkham game series. The first of which, Arkham Asylum, draws inspiration from Morrison’s book of the same name. It’s a similar premise to the book where Joker has taken over and has set this trap up specifically for Batman. Along the way, he encounters a number of classic villains and suffers the effects of Scarecrow’s fear toxin. The other Arkham games follow the same theme with one major overarching villain with other favourites appearing at various points in the game. My only worry is, while this works in a game, would this work in a film? You have days of gameplay in a video game but only 2 hours in a film. My concern is how do you cram all of this into one film?
Another suggestion is the Long Halloween comic book by Jeph Loeb. It’s probably one of my favourite Batman story lines. In it, the detective known as Batman is tasked with figuring out who is behind a series of murders in Gotham. It’s a really interesting detective mystery story which is complicated by the introduction of, you guessed it, the Joker. Again, along the way Bats is forced to encounter a number of his advisaries in his mission to discover who Holiday is. I’d argue that we’ve never really seen detective Batman on screen yet so it’d be really great to get a film focused on this side of the Dark Knight. Maybe this’ll be it.
So there’s my thoughts. Perhaps Affleck’s film will be taking insirpation from these sources or maybe not. I dunno. But I hope they do. I’m still awaiting an on screen Batman detective story, don’t make me wait any longer. And the thought of a psychological thriller is rather exciting.
What do you think? Can these sources be adapted for film? I certainly hope so!
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