Mar 4, 2013

WB Wants Nolan To Run The DC Universe & Talk Bale's Batman Out Of Retirement

And the Warner Brothers/DC sideshow continues.

The latest grist in the rumor mill (coming, again, courtesy of Latino Review) is that Warner Brothers has finally admitted creative defeat and wants to bring Christopher Nolan on board to oversee the expansion of their entire DC Universe, starting with the would-be Justice League movie.  Nolan already had a producing hand in Zack Snyder's upcoming Man Of Steel and the buzz coming off that movie has been overwhelmingly positive.  Warner's has a lot of faith in Henry Cavill's Superman and they finally seem content to just take that blueprint and replicate for the rest of their potential superhero movies.  That blueprint would include keeping Snyder on to produce and possibly even direct Justice League, although my guess is that they'll hold off on a directing decision until they see Man Of Steel's box office take.

That part of the story seems like a no-brainer and I have little doubt that we'll get an official announcement confirming Nolan's involvement in the coming weeks, if not days.  If/When Nolan does come on board, I expect his brother Jonah and David Goyer to end up taking over scripting duties.  The interesting part of El Mayimbe's story is his assertion that WB desperately wants Nolan to convince Christian Bale to return as Batman.

In a related note, I really want telekinesis and a 400% pay raise.

Look, I can appreciate WB's position.  They see Bale as the guy who helped make the studio a few billion dollars over the last decade, which makes him a pre-sold commodity.  There are plenty of folks out there that probably consider him to be the definitive Batman and, conversely, will never be able to see him in another movie without thinking of him as Gotham's favorite son.  And if a virtual unknown like Henry Cavill is going to continue to play Superman, I'm sure the powers-that-be would like a familiar face alongside him in the batsuit.  (Besides, the fan reaction to Joseph Gordan-Levitt potentially taking over the role seemed a little tepid and he just doesn't have the same box office presence and clout that Bale commands.)

That said, I'm having trouble believing that Bale has any desire to come back to the Batcave.  The Dark Knight Rises spent half its running time cementing the idea that Bruce Wayne was now a shadow of his former self and simply wan't physically or emotionally able to keep leading his double life.  They did a fine job of putting Bale's Batman out to pasture, so to bring him back now for Justice League feels 100% like a business decision, not a creative choice.  I'm sure they'll back up a Brink's truck to entice Bale back, but he hardly needs the money at this point and he doesn't exactly have a track record of making paycheck movies.

Besides, Warner's wants to stay in the Batman business for as long as possible, which includes a new series of standalone movies after Justice League has come and gone.  A new trilogy (or more) of Bat-films starring Bale simply isn't going to happen.  Period.  I guarantee you that when the dust settles, Warners will have signed someone much younger and much cheaper to take up the cape and cowl.  Whether it's Joseph Gordan-Levitt remains to be seen, but whoever wins the prize will be someone Warners can build a whole new franchise around.  Bank on it.

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