Rumors of Batman solo films continue to persist. What story do you want to see? Here are our top 5.
Rumors have floated around for a while that we would receive several Batman solo films featuring Ben Affleck as Batman. Affleck will first star in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and later in Justice League (parts 1 & 2). But Batman is too valuable of an asset for Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment to stop there. In fact, Ben Affleck (who won an academy award for Argo) may also direct these films in addition to starring in the title role.
Recently we learned that Will Smith might be gearing up to co-star alongside Affleck in a Batman solo film. The film would feature the two of them, as Deadshot and Batman, respectively, teaming up (however reluctantly) to take out whatever threat rears its ugly head in Gotham. This got us thinking, what kind of Batman solo films would we like to see? The following is a list of possible plot threads that we hope creators use in their solo films.
5) Death in the Family/Under the Red Hood
The plot of Death in the Family was a critical one for Batman through the ’90s and 2000s, as it showed the second Robin, Jason Todd, beaten almost to death with a crowbar by the Joker before finally dying in an explosion moments before Batman could arrive to save him. (Yes, The Dark Knight borrowed some inspiration from the storyline in killing Rachel.)
But Under the Red Hood continues the story, with Jason’s body secretly recovered and resurrected with the help of Ra’s al Ghul and his Lazarus Pits. Following that traumatic experience, Jason Todd becomes the anti-hero known as the Red Hood. Obsessed with hurting the Joker, he finds the maniac and beats him in the same way that he himself was hurt. Batman comes to stop the Red Hood and Jason is enraged by the fact that Batman could never kill the Joker, even after all he’d done.
The story is one of the most epic and time-honored Batman tales of all time. It elaborates on Batman’s past coming back to haunt him, a storyline that would fit well into Affleck’s version of the character, who has already experienced 20+ years under the cowl. Plus the recent trailer suggests that Robin may have died by the Joker’s hand, just like in Death in the Family.
4) Son of the Demon
In another instance of Batman’s past coming back to haunt him, we get the Son of the Demon storyline. This story marks the birth of Batman’s son, Damian Wayne. The plot follows Batman and Ra’s al Ghul as they independently search for a terrorist known as Qayin. Ra’s wants revenge on Qayin for killing his wife, and Batman is investigating the death of Harris Blaine, a Gotham scientist. Their searches lead them to each other and Batman gets to spend some, erm, quality time with Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, Talia.
The relationship between Talia and Batman develops. Batman asks if they should be married and Talia tells him they already are. In a strange local custom, marriage can occur with only the consent of the bride. During this story, she conceives a child. But the knowledge of a future child causes Batman to act recklessly and he nearly dies protecting Talia from a group of assassins. To protect Batman, Talia tells him that she miscarried. This crushes Batman, but he returns to Gotham never knowing that Talia still carried the baby.
Eventually the child is born. Damian Wayne would eventually become another Robin in the story arc Batman and Son, which would also provide excellent fodder for Ben Affleck’s Batman solo films, particularly given his character’s age.
3) The Long Halloween
The Long Halloween is a great story because it focuses on lesser-known villains while still maintaining guest appearances from well-known villains like Two-Face, Scarecrow, the Riddler, and the Joker.
The plot follows an unknown villain calling himself Holiday, a serial killer who kills people only on holidays. The villain has Batman and everyone in Gotham on edge and the tension nearly sparks an underworld crime war. The sequence of events also tie into the transformation of Harvey Dent into Two-Face.
This story works so well because it showcases multiple villains and gives lesser-known villains a chance to shine, people like Holiday or Calendar Man. What better way to introduce the world of Ben Affleck’s Batman than a solo film showcasing a wide portion of Batman’s rogue gallery. Now, “Showcases a bunch of villains” is probably more cautionary tale than selling point to everyone this side of Spider-Man 3, but you have to remember that several villains, including (importantly) both the Joker and Harley Quinn will already be established on the big screen before this movie. That makes it easier to run them through the movie on a subplot, while focusing most of the action on one or two key new villains.
2) The Court of Owls
Relatively new to Batman comics, the Court of Owls (very different from the Birds of Prey despite similarities in the naming convention) is a secret society that uses murder and wealth to gain political power in the world. They have existed for centuries, a little bit like Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Shadows in Batman Begins.
The Court of Owls sentence Bruce Wayne to death after he reveals plans to rebuild Gotham. The Court sends an assassin to kill him. Of course, Bruce Wayne provides a greater threat to the Court of Owls than they originally anticipated. The end result is a massive war between the Bat-family and the Court.
Since most of Batman’s enemies are single, psychotic individuals, the Court of Owls would be a nice change of pace for the caped crusader. A large organization with a massive backstory would provide the perfect new and fresh challenge to Affleck’s experienced Batman. There have also been plenty of hints in the production of Batman v Superman that the Bat family is already well-established back in Gotham, giving the solo Batman film a nice team-up feeling in its own right.
1) Something Completely New
As much as we love the comics, there are always new and excited stories to be invented. The Court of Owls only began a few years ago, and it’s already gained massive popularity. While we want the writers and directors of these Batman solo films to respect and draw inspiration from the comics, if they have any original ideas, we want to see those too!
Bonus: The Bat Family
Not all of the Bat-mythos centers on Batman (Bruce Wayne). There’s also Nightwing (Dick Grayson), the Birds of Prey (like Batgirl and Batwoman – two different characters!), the Red Hood (Jason Todd eventually turns hero again), Tim Drake (Robin when he’s young, Red Robin after he picks up a few years), Damien Wayne (Robin), and even lesser-known characters like Batwing (a holdover from the pre-new 52 “Batman Incorporated” story) and Terry McGinnis (from Batman Beyond). Any one of these characters could easily support a solo film. We’ve already heard rumors that a Birds of Prey film could be in the works. Imagine a Nightwing solo film, or a Batman Beyond future film.