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Hey! I heard some good news here. Someone at Warner Brothers got bored after watching the newest marvel movie that’s basically shot like a TV-show. They realized that maybe all movies don’t need to lay the groundwork for a larger universe and maybe some of the best ones do just by being confident in the one they initially present.
No, they didn’t hire Walter Hill to direct Batman. That’s something that only exists in the most masturbatory film-nerd fantasies, and also why are my secret fetishes suddenly being explored in this article. Get out of here.
What it means is that – you’ll have to take my word for it or google it on you’re own because we’re dedicated to this hopelessly novel idea of recreating written-word from before a time when a link could tell you everything – that Waner Brothers is thinking about, to quote the director (quoting the guy at WB who tells him what to do) “look, it’s a standalone, it’s not part of the extended universe.”
That..probably doesn’t mean that this version of Batman won’t get all nude and hammer a tire to show the audience his cross-fit workout. Bat Crossfit is the universe we want on film, and I hope WB is still dedicated to showing us. What it probably does mean is maybe this movie wont end with The Joker or Amanda Waller breaking in somewhere to tell Bruce Wayne he’s not the only pathologically addicted-to-spending-money billionaire who wants to look fancy while they beat up criminals.
Every voice of reason on the internet agrees with the idea that “standalone” means “still bat cross-fit. We’re all agreeing here: it’s just I want to go on record to make a bunch of jokes about how Warner Brothers creates its film universes. Just because The Batman (movie) is going to be standalone doesn’t mean it’s not gonna be ripe with modern hollywood dependence on building three or four or five movies out and not letting small references to other works exist just as they are in the story being told.
You can almost bet (real money) on the fact that whatever Matt Reeves The Batman (movie) ends up looking like it’s still probably gonna have a reference to Teen Titans #69 or The Outsiders: That Time When Metamorpho Was Actually On A Team! that exists purely so some naive moviegoer who’s spent too much time reading old Batman comics really thinks while watching Matt Reeves’ The Batman that yes, this actually means DC is invested in exploring The Outsiders: That Time DC Tried To Sell A Team With Metamorpho On It.
Warner Brother’s is addicted to selling you the character of Batman. They don’t give a shit about what Matt Reeves mines creatively for the movie or how he sees his version of the character existing within a larger framework. What these characters exist as to the companies that own them is just as properties they can continue to sell you over and over again that they know you will if not buy a movie ticket, have an opinion shared online that will serve to get someone else to buy a movie ticket.
If that means putting a reference to a really good (or really bad) Batman series they’ll push the director to do it every step of the way. Look at that response! “‘look, it’s a standalone, it’s not part of the extended universe.” You’re the director. Even though you have to kind of toe the line, you should have some kind of say in the way the story you’re telling represents itself within a larger universe. People are acting like it’s some good fucking grace from Warner Brothers that Matt Reeves gets to do this suddenly and not like a tried-and-true return to what directors did for decades.
No! I really mean that. Watch a movie not attached to a franchise. In the best case scenario – even in the incredibly under appreciated Direct-To-Netflix Action Scenario tons of movies create universes and worlds that feel like they’re rich in texture and meant to be explored. Often times they do it without being able to exploit legions of dedicated buyers with small and easy to insert nods to Batman: That Time He Had The Girl Sidekick And Everybody Drew Fanart For Years.