But that’s exactly what I’m saying. Why make it a Batman movie at all, then? Make your own stupid IP and do three movies in that universe. Why bother diluting what is already a solid character/world? Nolan seemed to absolutely hate everything about Batman and superheroes in his movies and it made me wonder why it is he ever bothered in the first place. Money, perhaps? I dunno.
Moreover, I’d like to further state that no director has gotten a live-action Batman right. It’s not just Nolan. The only good film version of Batman appears in the animated films – specifically, Under the Red Hood.
My point is there’s a threshold past which you have no longer made a Sherlock or Batman movie/show, but something else entirely. And at that point, why bother, you know? It doesn’t add anything to the mythos or offer any new insight on the property.
Because he had something to say by doing a superhero movie the way he did. He was making points about superheroes and what they mean to our culture. The whole theme of the series is that anyone can be Batman. Not just Bruce Wayne. Nolan is kind of saying that no matter how you interpret who Batman is, he still stands for justice and righteousness and crime-fighting.
Because Batman isn’t exactly a fantastic character to begin with. It’s a ridiculous concept that Nolan grounded in psychological and social themes. That’s why his Batman movies are the best. He’s using the character to say things about the human experience, which the best Batman comics did.
Also, if Nolan hated Batman, I doubt he would have spent years of his life making three movies about him.
That’s an extremely thin theme if that’s all they movies were about, and one that only seems to apply to the third movie… Why bother with all the pseudo-psychological nonsense about insanity in the second film, then?
And your point about grounding a ridiculous character is exactly the sort of thing you, Bale, and Nolan have said on record – and it indicates a certain (bizarre) distaste for the original character. Like, if you think it’s ridiculous and outlandish, don’t make the stupid movie. Do something else. People like Batman because he’s Batman.
He’s a rich dude in a bat-suit who runs around solving crimes, punching people in the face and never killing anyone no matter what.
That’s literally all there is to the character. His villains flesh him out more (each representing some twisted aspect of his personality), as I mentioned with the Joker, but Batman himself is what he is. And if you disagree with the above premise, why bother making a Batman movie? Why not make some other film with your own superhero? That’s my question.
And to answer yours, I’d say money. Why else? Small-time indie director offered reigns to major franchise with unlimited resources: who’d say no to that?
And ironically, I’d say he made perfect sense at first glance. He’d made two very compelling detective/mystery dramas prior to Batman Begins, and then bafflingly, created three Batman movies where Batman does almost no detective work, and there’s almost no mystery whatsoever to solve.
I wouldn’t say that theme is thinly applied. Batman being more of a symbol than a person is a thing throughout every movie. And movies can have multiple things, by the way.
I totally disagree that there’s something fundamentally wrong with changing a character, especially one that’s been around for basically ever and who’s been interpreted differently by plenty of different comic writers. I think that it’s great that he took a fundamentally ridiculous character and found depth in him, and that be brought that depth to the surface. You sound like you’re arguing that Batman should’ve been a shallower character.
He is a shallow character… Not that Nolan’s wasn’t shallow, just shallow in a different regard.
Batman’s ridiculous to you – not to the legions of people who have loved him for the past eighty-ish years. That’s the thing Nolan/Nolan fans (and Frank Miller fans, to some extent) just never seemed to get. The idea of an abstracted superhero with whom we can all identify is endemic to superheroes, no elaboration needed.
This is a whole other line of theory, but abstraction and superheroes are inextricably tied to one another. For example, Batman is a character on whom we only see the mouth and chin. That symbolism alone communicates the whole “he could be anyone” idea without any further commentary. So if that’s all the Nolan films were about (and I don’t think that’s true), then that was a whole lot of unnecessary fluff.
But anyway, here’s the problem with not getting a character “right.” Getting the character “right” means nailing the formula that has worked for ~80 years (or longer, in the case of Sherlock Holmes – who, weirdly, can be viewed as yet another interpretation of the Sherlock archetype in many ways). Going in a different direction means you have to rebuild something just as longstanding, momentous, historically important, and relatable as that original concept. And even then, you’ve done something entirely new, probably not resembling the original idea in any way, shape, or form. It tends to alienate.
Also, as a point of interest, I know Nolan created a series based on Miller’s Batman. He was somewhat successful in that, but Miller’s Batman is “Otherverse.” He is not accurate to the original, and therefore, while a somewhat interesting take on the character, hardly worth basing a bloody 9 hour trilogy on.
But sticking to the formula that’s been around for decades is completely boring. If you’re just going to exactly replicate what’s been around for ages, then there’s zero point to make the movies in the first place. So changing them up is basically the only thing you can do if you want to make something that’s artistically worthwhile. If you want to see your version of Batman, read the comics.