Below is the second teaser poster for the film with the simple tagline “The Legend Ends,” and it shows Bane (Tom Hardy) walking away in the rain from a broken Batman mask. Could this be an allusion to the infamous comic book storyline where Bane literally broke the Batman’s spine? Could it just be a comment on this being the last of the Nolan series? Who knows, but it sure sets the mind to wondering. You can click on the poster for a larger view.
Before I say anything about this, please note I have taken a heaping pile of salt with this, and I suggest you also partake of said pile of salt.
Last night, Steven Hodson pointed me to a post on FirstShowing.net claiming that that some sort of paperwork confirmed that not only is The Riddler the villain for Batman 3, but that he will be played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The rumor of The Riddler being the villain has been circulating pretty much since the day The Dark Knight hit theaters, but the Gordon-Levitt angle has only popped up in the past few weeks.
My gut tells me this actor, who is currently hot in Hollywood apparently, is being name checked as he is in Christopher Nolan’s Inception currently, and Mr. Nolan appears to like to recycle actors as much as possible. People may just be putting two and two together, but that doesn’t necessarily add up to four in this case.
We’ll know the details fairly soon I would imagine, but I actually don’t think I’d mind The Riddler. While I have never really had feelings for the character one way or another, I feel that’s why he might be the perfect antagonist for the third film. The second film very much set up the idea that it will be more of a story of Gotham City vs. Batman (an idea spelled out brilliantly by regular commenter Jack on this very site) than anything else, the villain will probably be taking a bit of a backseat this time out compared to the amazing turn of Heath Ledger as The Joker in the second film.
The Riddler also has the situation of being one of the last villains of Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery that is even somewhat believable in Mr. Nolan’s more realistic Batman universe. Yes, Catwoman might work, but she would demand more screen time than The Riddler to be done properly.
The movie comes out July 20, 2012, so something needs to be done and soon to get the ball rolling, and this may be it, we’ll just have to find out.
At long last some official word has come out on the state of Batman 3, and as a bonus, also on a new Superman movie.
Nikki Finke is reporting that Warner Brothers has asked Christopher Nolan, the director of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, to step into a “godfather” role in regards to what is being dubbed Superman 3.0 (not an official name). While it is unlikely that Mr. Nolan will direct, he will be taking on a supervisor role with the production to help possible steer it in a direction that will be more palatable to fans than 2006′s Superman Returns was. (For the record, I enjoyed Superman Returns) The new film is expected to be a complete reboot of the franchise, which means, yes, we will once again go though his ship crash landing in Kansas.
Warner Brothers is in a bit of a bind as they must start production on a new Superman film by 2011 to retain the rights to the character. If the company should let them lapse, the heirs of Superman creators Siegel and Shuster can sue for damages for lost income. And in 2013, all rights to Superman’s origin revert to the estates of the two creators, so both DC Comics and Warner Brothers will be in a position where they must license every aspect of Superman from the families of the original creators.
The other exciting bit of news is that Mr. Nolan’s brother, Jonah Nolan, and David Goyer who co-wrote Batman Begins and penned the story for The Dark Knight have begun scripting the third installment of the current Batman series of films. After the unfortunate death of Heath Ledger, rumors have swirled that Nolan was not interested in doing a third film as apparently his story hinged on the involvement of the Joker. After Ledger’s death, Nolan didn’t even want to think about recasting the part, which Ledger won an Oscar for, but apparently the story has been altered enough to not require the Joker.
Both films are far enough out from production that no possible story lines have yet been mentioned. Official announcements of both productions are expected within the coming weeks.
In a new interview with MTV to promote his new movie, Public Enemies, Christian Bale was asked about the status of a third Batman film with director Christopher Nolan.
I truly don’t know that we’re ever going to see another Batman movie. It would be purely that [Christopher Nolan] would need to find a story that was good enough. and if he couldn’t find that it wouldn’t happen.
The prevailing rumor has been that Nolan’s original plan called for The Joker to feature heavily in a third film’s plot, but with the passing of Heath Ledger, whom won an Academy Award for the role, those plans came to a halt. Nolan is reluctant to recast the role, understandably, and so he is left without a story idea he likes.
While Bale is under contract for a third film, Nolan is not. So I hate to break the news to Bale, but, yes, we will indeed see a third film. As Box Office Mojo shows, The Dark Knight grossed $533,345,358 domestic, and $468,576,467 internationally for a total of $1,001,921,825 on a $185 million dollar budget. There is no way there will not be a third Batman film, and it will indeed star Bale unless he finds a way to weasel out of his contract. The only reason I don’t think there has been any official word on it yet is that Warner Brothers wants to have an official refusal from Nolan as there is no reason to break up a successful team if they don’t have to.
The only other problem right now is Nolan’s latest project, Inception, which is due for release on July 16, 2010. With pre-production time, there is no way Nolan would be ready to shoot a third Batman until 2011, meaning that the film would be released in summer 2012 at the earliest, a full 4 years since The Dark Knight.
This is an interesting parallel between the last series of Batman films and this one. After Batman Returns, both Michael Keaton and Tim Burton walked away from the series, and we were award with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin being directed by Joel Schumacher. I don’t think I have to remind any one just how badly that turned out. So there is a definite precedent with this character of the fact you shouldn’t mess with success.
I think there are a ton of story ideas that could work for the third film, and they could fit in perfectly with what we were left with at the end of The Dark Knight, as weall as the more realistic world Batman inhabits in these films. One of my regular readers named Jack made an excellent argument in the comments of my post about The Dark Knight passing $1 billion box office for a “Hunt the Batman” motif. He was a fugitive at the end of the third film, why not make the Batman himself the “villain” of the third film even as he attempts to save the city from itself? Could Bruce Wayne continue to reason that saving a city that wants his head is really worth it?
Another friend of mine even suggested how they could use the well-known villain The Penguin without it being over the top. These films have set up a large mob syndicate operates in Gotham, why not make him the new mob guy who moves in to town and just happens to like wearing tuxedos? This would lead to him being called “The Penguin” in crime circles, and you could keep the bird motif of the character. No need for him to be the mutated freak he is usually shown as.
There are a lot of possabilities still out there, and hopefully Nolan will reconsider once he has some more space between himself and the second film.
It may be hard to believe, but there was once a time where a movie based on a comic book being released was like some sort of weird dream. It was rare, and it was even rarer that they were actually good. Luckily all of that has changed over the years, and the rule of thumb now seems to be more towards actual quality and care being put into the productions based on the comic book art form.
With the new Watchmen movie being talked about by every one, it seems like a good time to discuss what some of the best comic book movies are up until now. The question is do you judge them solely as a movie or how faithful they are to the source material? I think this is one of those instances where you have to do a little bit of both. Some succeed as movies in spite of a total difference from the books that spawned them, and others are so dead on faithful that it almost feels like you watched the artwork come to life.
In case you were wondering what qualifies me to speak on this subject the answer is 33 years of comic book collecting, 15 & 1/2 years managing a comic shop and a well-known harsh eye for movies. So go ahead and click to find a list of what I find to be the best movies based on comic books, and then let me know what your top choices are. Continue Reading ->
The winners for the 81st annual Academy Awards have been announced, and, not too much to my surprise, I have seen hardly any of these films so far. I have been dying to see Slumdog Millionaire, and surprisingly, it is actually in my town now! I’m going to try to sneak out of work and see it as soon as possible.
That being said, there weren’t too many surprises with this year’s awards. Slumdog Millionaire winning just about everything was expected, but I find it fascinating for all of the awards it won, it received no acting nominations. Did the script just magically appear on screen without anyone acting it?
- Kudos to Kate Winslet for finally winning on her sixth outing. She is a great actress and has been deserving for some time of winning.
- Heath Ledger put in an amazing performance in The Dark Knight, but I wonder how much of his win was his passing away and how much was truly the role. I felt he was deserving, but you will alway shave to wonder.
- Hugh Jackman did a good job hosting, although the format was way different than it has been in the past. And yay for him getting to sing.
- How was Don LaFontaine left out of the remembrance video of those who passed this year? He was the voice of the movies to millions of people.
- Speaking of Tina Fey, her bit with Steve Martin was fantastic just for the thinly veiled joke at Scientology. A mighty brave move in Hollywood these days considering the big names that buy in to that sham of a “religion”. Wonder how many of the millions of people watching actually caught the meaning of that joke.
See all the nominees and the winners after the jump.
For only the fourth time in movie history, a movie has surpassed the $1 billion mark in box office receipts.
According to Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood, The Dark Knight surpassed the $1 billion dollar in box office take on Friday. This is only the fourth movie to ever do so, sharing the honors with Titanic ($1.8 billion), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.1 billion), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($1.066 billion). None of these numbers are adjusted for inflation, but it is still an impressive haul for any film to make.
This will surely add to Warner Brothers, the studio behind the franchise, to want director Christopher Nolan and actor Christian Bale to return for a third film. For now Mr. Nolan has been hesitant to confirm his attachment to a third outing in Gotham City due to his claim that he is lacking in story ideas at this point in time. He has not completely ruled out doing another, but he wants to be sure it is a story worth doing.
I have to agree with him at this point that while Batman has interesting villains, very few of them are capable of carrying a movie like the Joker could. The only other one who I would immediately say could would be Two-Face, but that is no longer an option after the events of the last film.
Talia ah Ghul – The daughter of Ra’s, not sure she could support a movie on her own, plus she has that “love of Batman” thing going on.
As you can see, not many more of his core villains would work, but you can take a look through his Rogue’s Gallery and see if there any that you think would work in the inevitable third film. Who would like to see? Who do you think would work? And will a third film make as much, or was it Heath Ledger’s doing?
How did a cartoon nail the real Batman formula better than any of the movies?
I recently purchased the complete box set of the 1992 Batman: The Animated Series (B:TAS) cartoon, and I’ve been working my way through the episodes as I exercise. (my workout happens to almost exactly match the length of 2 episodes) The first thing I have to say about it is that I had forgotten just how good this series was. I remember loving the heck out of it when it first aired, but it’s even better than I remembered.
The second point, and the biggest one, is how did this series get closer to the true Batman formula than any of the movies? Don’t get me wrong, I love Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but my biggest complaint with them, and the previous series of four films, is the almost total lack of detective work on the part of Batman. Beyond his physical prowess, Batman has always been labeled the greatest detective the world has ever seen, but in the movies he always seems to solve everything either through complete blind luck, or some amazing gadget.
The closest we have seen to him doing anything in this style was in The Dark Knight when he was getting the fingerprint off the mangled bullet, and following that print to a man’s apartment. An episode of B:TAS was approximately 22-minutes in length, so you can’t chalk it up the movies not being long enough to feature such scenes when they clock in around 2.5 hours each. And I’m not talking about having like 10-minute long scenes of him researching, just have him look up from a microscope when Alfred walks in, or show him using a centrifuge to test a blood sample; any of those types of scenes could be wrapped up in just a few seconds. I really don’t think this is too much to ask from the films.
The third, and last, point about the series is that while I loved it, it became painfully obvious that they had zero sense of continuity with itself. Take the strange case of Robin, Batman’s sidekick. Through out the series he just randomly popped in and out of the show with no real sense of how the stories connected to one another. He first appeared in the second episode of the series, “Christmas with the Joker”, living in Wayne Manor with Bruce. He next appears a full 22 episodes later in episode 24, “Fear of Victory”, living in a college dorm room with a roommate. He appears randomly through out the series, and his origin isn’t touched on until the second season of the series.
Nitpicky? Yes it is, but when you are watching them in their true order, and multiple viewings per day, it kind of sticks out like a sore thumb.
Overall it is a pleasure to watch, and one I highly recommend to anyone needing a supplement to their Batman addiction while we wait for another movie to be made.
I’m not one usually for posting celebrity gossip, but this has to be heard to be believed.
Christian Bale, star of The Dark Knight, has long been rumored to have a temper, and on July 17th, 2008, while filming Terminator Salvation, it got caught on audio just how much of a temper he has. As he blows up at a crew member, the audio team had not stopped recording, and the tape has now been “leaked” to the press. Please note there is a large amount of cursing in this audio clip, and it is distinctly not safe for work or children.
I hate to say it, but I kinda see his point. Yes, he could have handled it better, but as someone who isn’t big on being taken “out of the zone” while writing, I get it. Have I ever gone off to this degree? No, but I have been close a few times, and it’s why I tend to isolate myself when I write. While my father was laid up for 6 weeks from his knee surgery, I exiled myself back to my fairly cold office to write at night, though I would have much rather been at home in my comfy chair, I did this for fear of snapping at someone for trying to talk to me while I worked.
Now, if the directory of photography (the “DP” he refered to in the clip) truly did wander in to his eye line during the filming of the scene, then, yes, the DP messed up. And if, as Mr. Bale said, this wasn’t the first time he had done it, then, yes, he needed to be talked to… though a bit more calm might have been called for. The director should have stepped in and taken care of it, but apparently he didn’t, or maybe Mr. Bale was just a bit quicker on the draw.
Hollywood has been cutting jobs in this down economy, and they also have been dragging their feet on a new contract with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) due to money concerns, and they have been saying that they need more money, with even rumors of a government bailout may be needed. Yet, here we are looking at the January numbers show that they grossed $1.028 billion at the box office compared to $867.2 million last January for an increase of 18.57%. Now, before you say this is caused by increased ticket prices, you should know that attendance was up 16.78% over the same time period last year.
True, we are only one month into 2009, but this certainly bodes well for the movie industry, and while it is highly unlikely we will see another break out, $500 million plus, grosser like The Dark Knight this year, this bodes very well for the year. Considering the total gross for 2008 was $9.76 billion, it certainly looks like they are tracking to beat last year already.
Poor Hollywood… you know pirates are hurting their bottom lines… they keep telling us so by annoying advertisements. Well, if history teaches us anything, it is that during tougher economic times, people tend to go to the movies more for escapism, and this lead to huge attendance numbers during the Great Depression. Certainly this is not another depression, but you have to figure that contributes to the situation.
The nominees for the 81st annual Academy Awards have been announced, and, not too much to my surprise, I have seen hardly any of these films so far.
Every year I wait for the Oscar nominations, and each year I walk away saying, “Wow, wish I had seen most of these.” I think it is a combination of my living in a small town that doesn’t get the lesser known films, and even for the major releases such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I simply don’t have the time to get out to the theater often enough. This film will probably be the big winner this year as it has 13 nominations (second only to Titanic that holds the record with 14… and I can still say I have never seen it), but there have been other big disappointments in the past, so who knows.
The most intriguing category is Best Supporting Actor. Lots of people debated if Heath Ledger would make the cut for his turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight, and he did, but you wonder if it isn’t based somewhat on sympathy. I felt it was a brilliant performance, and worthy of the award, but it will always be questioned if he wins. And did anyone see Robert Downey, Jr. getting a nod for Tropic Thunder? I haven’t seen it yet, and I heard he was amazing in it, but still a bit of a surprise for a comedy to get in there.
Overall, an interesting mix this year, and several films I am dying to see (most notably, Slumdog Millionaire), but, for now, we will just have to stay happy with the nominations. I’ve listed them all below the cut for your convenience.
Can any one, or anything, stop the money making machine that is The Dark Knight?
As the film stands as of today (December 11th, 2008) it has had a box office haul of $530,594,370 domestically and $465,956,888 internationally for a total of $996,551,258 gross. This isn’t to short change the fact it cost $185 million to produce, but it is still a highly successful film no matter how you slice it. There has also been the surprising news that the film will be re-released to theaters on January 23rd, 2009 for another go, and this all but guarantees that the film will break through the $1 billion dollar level.
I bring all of this up because earlier this week the film was released on DVD. While I certainly expected it be successful, I knew something was up when I was at Walmart at midnight Monday night and there was a line in the electronics department of people waiting for them to wheel out their supply. I can’t say I remember ever seeing that before any other DVD, so the writing was on the wall this was going to be big. (For the record, mine was on its way via UPS, I was there for other reasons)
Well, the numbers are in, and the sales for the first 24 hours was 600,000 Blu-ray copies and 2.4 million standard DVDs. The previous Blu-ray champ was Iron Man with 400,000 copies in its first week… sorry, Iroan Man.
Warner Brothers is trying to woo Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan, the brothers who wrote the movie and Christopher directed, back for another installment, but they are currently not jumping at the chance. Christopher has been quoted in numerous interviews of fearing the curse of third film in a series (See Spider-Man 3), and he has also said he hasn’t been struck by an idea yet for another outing of the caped crusader.
I have to say, “Stick to your guns, Chris”. If we only get two movies from him of Batman, then so be it. Sure I would like to see a third film in the series, but I want it to be ‘right’, and not just made to be made. Sure there are more Batman villains he can tackle, but would they be worthy of carrying a film? Catwoman is possible… The Riddler is a bit weak… Mr. Nolan has publicly declared he doesn’t like The Penguin… Harley Quinn couldn’t carry a film on her own, and without The Joker, she would be hard to do… Posion Ivy couldn’t do it on her own… Mr. Freeze is too silly and so on and so forth.
With these new sales numbers Warner Brothers is sure to be courting Mr. Nolan harder for a third film, but what say you, should he go for it?