No movie has been as highly anticipated and hyped up as The Dark Knight Rises has been. Let’s be honest, everybody and their grandmothers are excited for this film, and for good reason. Christopher Nolan has done an exceptional job with the Batman series, turning it into a gritty, superhero epic that had never been matched before.
Nobody could be more excited about this series as I am, and I’m completely happy with how things have turned out. But, looking back, I can’t help but to wonder how Nolan would have handled other characters, especially given how grim many of them are. Of course, I’m not talking about characters such as Calendar Man or Clayface, but deeper, more interesting characters. Yes, the series thus far has excelled beyond my wildest dreams of what Batman can be, but I still want to look back and see what could have been if Nolan would have integrated other characters into his films.
These reflections aren’t meant to be corrections of the films. It’s more like a “what if” scenario with Nolan bringing some of the B-string lineup off of the benches to see some action. Think of these scenarios as B-sides to the already spectacular series.
Now, I know that when I say this, many of you will groan and remember Joel Schumacher‘s terrible, awful, worthless Batman & Robin, replete with terrible puns about ice and just overall badness. But hear me out about this, a character as intriguing as Mr. Freeze can’t be held down forever. Nolan would be able to do great things with the villain’s back story, which could be portrayed as a heartbreaking emotional tale.
The general story involves Freeze’s wife, Nora, developing a degenerative disease that is slowly killing her, causing Freeze to…well, freeze her as he tries to develop a cure. Somehow, he turns into the villain he is now, whether it’s through a failed experiment or falling into some chemicals.
I think that Nolan would have been able to make Freeze a respectable villain again by presenting him as an emotionally vulnerable yet physically powerful villain. Recently, Arkham City did an excellent job of representing Freeze as a person in an unusual and tragic situation. One that Batman sympathizes with. But, the conflict rises in that Batman can’t condone the violent acts that Freeze commits to try and save his wife.
A desperate man doing whatever he can to save the love of his life, harboring bitterness towards his enemy who has a moral obligation to stop him, even if it dooms his wife. Now that’s a story worth telling. With Nolan at the helm, how could it possibly go wrong?
Robin (All of them in some form or another)
Again, fans of the series are torn on this character, but I see him as one of the most exciting opportunities that Nolan could have used. That will never happen though, since Nolan has pretty much sworn off using him.
Fans began speculating that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be portraying him and though Nolan has said that Robin will not appear in the film, many are still remaining hopeful. That being said, watching the two (Batman and Robin) collaborate in this grittier, more violent world that Nolan has crafter would be a dream come true.
Also, let’s not forget Jason Todd. Obviously the most hated version of Robin, he was killed off after fans of the comic voted it so. It’s not really the character that’s interesting, but the way that his death affected the Bat. Joker brutally beats him and then blows him up with a bomb, leaving Batman to find the body and deal with the ramifications. Christian Bale has portrayed Batman incredibly well for two movies, and I believe that he could play a psychologically tortured version of the Bat perfectly. Now, lie to me and say that you wouldn’t want to see that.
Nolan has already explored a villain that actually kills people, as the Joker was a maniac who did just that. But, even his bodycount is a molehill compared to the chaos that Zsasz has created. He has claimed to have killed over 100 people (including women and children), only for the joy he gets from killing them. Zsasz is represented as a man who, before attempting suicide, realizes life is pointless and begins killing innocent people to liberate them from this “prison.” He also carves a tally onto his body with every death.
To say that he is twisted is an understatement, but I would have trusted Nolan completely with this character. If only he would have used him…oh wait, he did! Remember when Ra’s al Ghul attacks Gotham and the criminals in Arkham Asylum begin breaking out? Yeah, Zsasz was the guy who almost killed Rachel Dawes. In fact, in one of the promotional websites for The Dark Knight, it is said that he still remains at large.
Watching Batman face off against one of his most hated and vile foes would be amazing, especially with Nolan having complete control. It would give him a chance to further his look into how fragile and valuable human life is, giving two differing perspectives, one from the killer and one from the protector. The unbridled violence that Zsasz embodies would be another perfect vision for Nolan to bring to the screen.
There’s nothing too deep here. I would just love to see the Bat face off with this hulking mass of reptilian terror. Wouldn’t you? Plus, seeing the character on the big screen would be a real treat.
So like I said before, the new Batman series is great, and The Dark Knight Rises is going to blow us all away. But, looking back, it’s interesting to think of what other characters would have been like with a visionary like Nolan at the reins.
Do you agree or disagree with any of these? Did I forget any good ones? Let us know what you think in the comments!