Which Way Forward For The “Batman” Movie Franchise? Take Eight : Finally, The Story Begins!


So here we are, after seven posts setting up background, detail, etc., and we’re finally ready to begin exploring the (admittedly skeletal) plot structure I have in place for our new Detroit-filmed, more-emphasis-on-the-detective-and-heroic-aspects-of-the-character Bat-trilogy, which we’re (tentatively, at any rate) simply titling, in succession, Batman IBatman II, and Batman III.

But first a word about that classic “Legend Of The Batman” panel “by” Bob Kane reproduced above. Like all the classic early Bat-stories, it was drawn by Kane, but the story and all the concepts behind it are the work of comics writer Bill Finger, who Kane conspired with DC management with to completely screw out of his co-creator’s claim to the Batman character. If you want to know how complete and thorough-going was finger’s contribution to the Caped Crusader, consider not only that by most reputable accounts he created Gotham City, The Joker, and Robin, but that when Kane first approached Finger with his idea for a new comics character, he called him — I shit you not — “Birdman,” and wanted him to dress as, no surprise, a bird of some sort. That whole bat idea? It was all Finger’s. And for all his troubles he died dead broke, buried in an unmarked grave, while Kane went on to make millions, and DC billions, off his ideas. So it’s to the immortal, yet criminally unsung, memory of Bill Finger that I dedicate my own admittedly completely unsolicited and sure-to-be-unread-by-anyone-who-could-ever-do-anything-about-them ideas here. Unlike Warners, DC, and Bob Kane himself, at least I have the decency to admit from the outset that none of the work I’m doing here would be possible without the truly mighty imaginings of the late, great Bill Finger. He is the giant the rest of us stand on the shoulders of.

All that aside, fear not, as we’ve already established we’re still talking about a “soft” reboot here that doesn’t concentrate itself terribly heavily on Batman’s origins, although the story does take place early in his career. I just thought for a visual accompaniment to the text here we may as well begin at the character’s beginnings — but fear not, the overall “plan,” such as it is, to “play down” the origin aspects of the story remains in place. And so, without any further ado, here’s how I think I’d begin the initial pre-credits sequence of our hypothetical Batman I 

We’re on the set of a daytime news/chat-type show called “Gotham City Today” or somesuch, with two presenters, one male and one female. The female presenter launches into the top news stories from overnight, the first being that the so-called “Bat vigilante” has stuck again, this time delivering the sixth of seven of Gotham’s most notorious reputed “crime lords” into police custody, along with incriminating computer files that should , in theory, give new district attorney Harvey dent more than enough ammunition to prosecute the guy. Speculation is rampant as to the identity of the “Bat-vigilante,” with most wondering whether or not he’s either a surce within the police department itself or a member of some computer-hacking collective a la “Anonymous,” so complete and thorough are the dossiers he’s been handing over along with the crooks themselves.

The anchorwoman’s male counterpart then cuts in with something along the lines of “but one menace he’s been unable to deliver over to the law is the notorious cat-burglar who’s been prowling Gotham’s rooftops at night, cleaning out the safes of one penthouse apartment after another. She apparently struck again last evening, looting the residence of our own station owner of well over one million dollars in cash, jewelry, and other valuables, leaving only her trademark claw-scratch on one of the paintings in his home.”

Back to the female anchor who assures audiences that both the bat-vigilante and the cat-burglar are priorities two and three of new police commissioner Jim Gordon and the aforementioned DA Harvey Dent, right behind the city’s sole remaining crime kingpin, one Vincent Lucchesi (apologies to any and all Italian readers for making the head mobster in town of Italain origin, I’m just not creative enough to come up with anything better, I honestly mean no offense), before segueing into something along the lines of ” — and on a lighter note, all of Gotham is abuzz with the imminent return home on Friday of our city’s most fortunate son, and certain to be most eligible bachelor, Bruce Wane, after twelve years spent abroad. Where all has he been and what’s he been doing? Why is he coming home now? And what are his plans for the future? We’re pleased to say that all that and more will be discussed when yours truly sits down with Mr. Wayne for an exclusive interview here on Gotham City Today next Monday morning.”

And with that little “teaser” in place, we roll our opening credits —

Hopefully that should whet your appetites to keep reading every bit as much as it will whet the audience’s to find out exactly what’s going on here, so I’ll leave it at that for now, but rest assured, I’ll be back tomorrow with more, and all should hopefully become apparent!

3 responses to “Which Way Forward For The “Batman” Movie Franchise? Take Eight : Finally, The Story Begins!

  1. Interesting take on introducing both Batman and Bruce Wayne to the audience. I don’t think having Bruce Wayne come back from his self-imposed exile with Batman already having made himself busy in Gotham has been done.

    Like

    • It’s just a little method of getting the audience scratching their heads a bit to start things off — obviously, after the credits roll, the answers will become clear pretty quickly.

      Like

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