I won’t pretend to be thrilled about the news that has been making its way around the internet today. I’m not even sure I understand it. Let me break it down to the best of my ability. Jeff Robinov (President of Warner Bros.) recently gave an interview to Hero Complex about WB’s long-term strategy for their DC Comics properties. The interview included Mr. Robinov saying that a Justice League movie is in the works… as is another Batman movie after The Dark Knight Rises… sorta. The article mentions that Batman will be an important property that will continue after Christopher Nolan finishes his bit with it next year. But then Mr. Robinov states that Chris and Emma will stay on as producers. Yea… I don’t know what’s going on either.
Robinov knows that the most bankable part of his superhero empire has been Nolan and his Gotham City films – the studio has yet to deliver a 21st century superhero blockbuster hit without Nolan in the director’s seat. Batman will continue to be a centerpiece property beyond next year’s The Dark Knight Rises and Nolan’s departure from the franchise. “We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”
It sounds to me like Warner Bros. has a gun to Nolan’s head, forcing him to help out their otherwise rocky superhero franchises. A reinvention of Batman sounds fairly straight forward to me; a reboot… of sorts. It’s unlikely that the movie will have any direct connections to Nolan’s three installments, but I suppose anything is possible. Whatever it ends up being, referring to it as Batman 4 seems ludicrous. Perhaps Chris and Emma will advise the re-imagining. Perhaps Robinov wants Chris to convince Christian Bale to stay on. My hope is that whatever is done with any future Batman films is done by not trying to mimic Christopher Nolan’s work. Sorry for all of the ellipses.