"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
If the rumors are true, then DC Entertainment and Warner Bros are considering spinning a television series out of Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. Here are some suggestions for shows we’d happily watch.
The Obvious Suggestions
The Dark Knight
A weekly hourlong version of Nolan’s take on the character and the mythos, structured to so that each season has its own “big bad” from Batman’s vast rogues gallery, and storylines run from episode to episode. The tone would be dark, the superheroics would be kept to a minimum, a la Begins and Dark Knight, and the tension would always, always be high. Imagine Battlestar Galactica with capes and cowls, and you’re halfway there.
What if The Wire existed in a supervillain-infested Gotham City? Sure, it’s unlikely that any network television series could easily match the intensity of HBO’s classic crime story, but if someone could convince Gary Oldman to sign on as James Gordon on a weekly basis, you can’t deny that you wouldn’t tune in to see one good man fight against corruption in his own police force as well as the city at large every single time.
Ignore the videogame or graphic novel by the same name, and imagine a medical procedural series set in the world’s most dangerous lunatic asylum, where every single inmate most likely wants you dead, and every doctor undoubtedly has ulterior motives for everything he or she does. It’d be like House meets Twin Peaks, but with added fear gas and Joker Juice.
The Less Obvious Suggestions
I have no idea whether or not she’s going to be in the final film – although the magic rumor eightball is suggesting she won’t, at least right now – but take her motivation from Batman: Year One (Essentially: Downtrodden woman sees Batman as inspiration to dress up in outfit and take control of her own destiny. Yes, I know that I’m missing a lot out, continuity fans), take the Brubaker run as your starting point for the characterization and tone, and you have a spin-off that can take place in the same universe as the movies without duplicating anything from therein.
It’d probably take some monkeying around with the origin to get Tim Drake from random curious kid to where he is in the comics about a year ago, but that doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be televisual mileage in the idea of a teenage protege of Batman’s traveling the world and dealing with the remains of Ra’s Al Ghul’s League of Assassins, after the events of Batman Begins. It could be all derring-do and globe-trotting adventure, with just a hint of Raiders of The Lost Ark thrown in, just for fun. Alternatively…
The League Of Assassins
If Nikita can make a former assassin gone rogue into an enjoyable television series, you can’t tell me that someone can’t turn the idea of Talia rebelling against her father’s rule (He, of course, having somehow survived the end of Begins, preferably in the guise of someone cheaper than Liam Neeson) into an ongoing television series that would be suitably kick-ass and action-packed.
Untitled Political Drama
Okay, this may seem like a stretch, but think about it for a second: The Dark Knight showed just how utterly corrupt Gotham’s political system is, and how it can eat up people with the best intentions. Doesn’t the idea of following a political neophyte as he tries to change the system from within in local Gotham politics sound like something NBC could make a show out of? Admittedly, a show that’d get canceled within its first year, but, well. It isNBC, after all.
The Ridiculous Suggestions
America’s Next Top Batman
With Christian Bale unlikely to choose to continue in the role on television, we’ll need a new Dark Knight – and what better way to find one than in a reality contest that tests their detecting, fighting and grimacing skills? Alternatively, we could let America choose democratically, in Bat Idol.
Extreme Home Makeover: Bat Edition
Just imagine a home makeover show as seen by Christopher Nolan, and you can imagine why this would be the greatest makeover show ever. Each episode would start with Batman standing on top of the about-to-be-madeover house, before leaping off and, as a swooping camera follows him through the air, the windows of the house are all blown out by a massive explosion with incredible carnage flying everywhere. As he lands, Batman turns to Ty Pennington and whispers, “Your turn,” and that’s all you see of him each week. Bruce Wayne then walks on to say that he’s paying for the renovations as part of Wayne Enterprises’ ongoing urban renewal project.
The Situation Room With Batman
Anyone who’s seen either of Nolan’s Batmovies to date knows that Bruce Wayne doesn’t suffer fools gladly – So who better to interview the powerful political figures of the day and get the answers we all want to hear? If nothing else, it’d be fun to watch [Insert Your Chosen Political Figure of Disdain Here] get hung upside down by batrope until they spill whatever beans are being asked for.