Friday, January 25, 2019

Grumpy Bulldog's Ultimate Batman Trilogy

I'll give you a break from Critique Circle whines to give you one of my awesome fake movie ideas that I know people love so much.  Ha ha ha.

Anyway, this idea got started a couple of months ago when I watched Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.  This was a feature-length movie based on the popular animated series in the early 90s.  It came out in about 93 or 94.  The idea is that there's someone in a costume (sort of a gray Azrael costume) who's knocking off old gangsters.  Batman is accused of the crimes so he has to track down who it is and stop him...except he eventually realizes it's not a him, it's a her!  And worse yet it's an old flame of Bruce Wayne's who's recently shown up in town.

The neat thing is this serves as sort of an origin story as well because it flashes back to when Bruce is starting to war on crime.  That's when he meets this woman and falls madly in love with her.  He asks her to marry him and she accepts.  He's going to put the whole war on crime aside but then she has to leave suddenly with her father.  The backstory adopts a little of Frank Miller's Year One in that Bruce starts out just wearing a ski mask or something and gets his ass kicked.  Then he's sitting in the study when the whole bat thing comes to him.

Anyway, the woman is dressing like "the Phantasm" to get revenge on the gangsters who were responsible for her father's murder.  Which puts her at odds with Batman.  The last gangster turns to the Joker for help.  Before he became the Joker, he was the bodyguard of the gangster and was the one to kill the woman's father.  Long story short, Batman and the woman tangle with the Joker and stop him but then she has to go away and so Bruce continues his war on crime as Batman.

This seemed like it could actually work as a live action movie, especially since with the DC movie universe so fucked up they could use it as a sort of soft reboot.

As typically happens I got thinking about it and then the idea kept bigger and bigger as I started to incorporate bits and pieces from other Batman storylines I've read or seen.  And then I came up with a rough idea for not one but a trilogy of movies!

The first one would borrow heavily on Mask of the Phantasm in that there's a masked character killing people and Batman gets the blame and some woman shows up.  Only I thought:  what if the woman has a son--Bruce's son?  As in back in the flashbacks like 10 years ago or so Bruce and this woman were fooling around and after she had to leave with her father she found out she was pregnant but she never told him.

So as Batman tries to find out who this masked killer is, Bruce is getting to know his new son Damian and reacquainting himself with the woman who probably isn't Talia al-Guhl like in the comics but sort of along that same line.

Instead of the Joker I was thinking of using Deathstroke as the former bodyguard because they already cast someone for that and we can save the Joker for later on if we want.

In the end there's the big action scene with Batman/woman/Deathstroke and Deathstroke is stopped but the woman is killed.  And so it falls to Bruce to raise their son.

Then the second part would take place a few years later.  Unbeknownst to Bruce, Damian has been training and doing a little light crime fighting.  One night Batman runs into Damian and so Bruce decides to train him as Robin.

About that time the Joker shows up to terrorize Gotham.  Or it could be the Riddler or whoever.  What's the diff really?  The plot's pretty much the same no matter which villain you use; it's just the specific set pieces that would change.

Anyway, Batman has to deal with this threat and the hot-headed Damian.  Ultimately they track the Joker or whoever to a lair where he has a nuclear bomb or something stashed away.  While Batman disarms the bomb, Damian refuses to listen to Batman and takes on the Joker himself.  And gets his ass kicked.  Then he and the Joker are seemingly blown up in an explosion.  While Batman stops the bomb, he's crushed by the death of his son that he sees as his fault.  (Which it kinda is.)

The third movie would then be years later.  Batman is older and angrier, more like the Frank Miller Batman.  But that's not enough for him to actually kill the criminals--he just roughs them up more.  Then one night he sees a costumed figure who does actually kill some criminals.  (No one important, just some henchmen.)  Which reminds him of Damian's mother years ago.  But she's dead, so who could this new masked avenger be?

As Batman is trying to figure this out and the new masked avenger is killing minor villains, a new major player is moving in.  Bane, the Scarecrow, Ra's al Guhl...again, it doesn't really matter at this point.  The point is there's some bigger threat.

Batman and this new masked avenger are both working on tracking down this threat using the tools at their disposal.  Batman's a lot more subtle, obviously.  At some point they wind up meeting and there's a fight.  Eventually the mask comes off and Batman sees a scarred but familiar face:  Damian, his son!  He wasn't killed in the explosion, just injured.  But almost being blown up made him decide Bruce's way wasn't working, so he decided to go out and learn some skills and then eventually come back to do what his father wouldn't, ie kill the criminals.

Batman lets Damian go.  He eventually faces the bigger threat by himself but barely escapes and only then because of Damian's help.  They reluctantly decide they need to team up.  So they do and take down the bad guy.  Of course Damian has the chance to kill whoever it is but then pulls back.

Instead of a happy reunion, Damian decides while he might not kill people anymore (or as much), Gotham is too small for the two of them.  Batman agrees to let Damian go off to another city to find his own path.  And in a few years, when Bruce can no longer be Batman, maybe Damian will take over the legacy.

There you go.  Mostly it borrows from Mask of the Phantasm, A Death in the Family, and Under the Hood with a little Arkham Knight and Batman & Son.  I think the family drama is something they haven't really done in the previous movies so it would freshen it up a little.  You could probably make it work for Affleck or a new actor so no worries there.

Call me DC! 


  1. I like it...I agree it is a bit fresher of a take than they've done of late. I don't mind Affleck as Batman but it seems others do.

  2. Gotta say starting with Phantasm is a great idea and it gets better. This is a great take on Batman and would make a dynamite film!



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