The Future of Batman: Nolan's Dark Knight and Why Ben Affleck Could be Good

About Affleck:

     With the casting of Ben Affleck as the next Batman, I expected a ton of backlash, but Twitter is positively inundated with absurd amounts of it.  No seriously, you want to waste a day of Bat-Affleck jokes?  There's more than enough there.

     In all seriousness, this could be a decent move by the studios.  Affleck has been good in things like Argo, The Town, and Good Will Hunting.  Everyone seems to be focused on the crappy Daredevil movie as a reference, but none of the recent good films.

     But  we have to remember all the hate when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker.  Good lord, there were so many Brokeback (BrokeBat) Mountain jokes.  And yes, I admit I too was against Ledger in the beginning, so now I'm much more open about the casting.  How about when Michael "Mr. Mom" Keaton was cast in Tim Burton's Batman?  It felt absolutely ludicrous to cast him, but it not only worked, but it worked well.  The criticism will be harsh for some time, but give it time.

He's already sort of played Superman as well.

     Affleck has been a phenomenal director and that may be to the Batman Vs. Superman film's advantage.  In fact, my apologies to Zach Snyder, but I believe Affleck is a far superior director, but it may be a great thing- to add temperance to the Snyder stylization, which he might need.  A directorial grounding of sorts, to keep the film leveled.

The Future of Batman:

     (From a draft from Aug. 14th, 2012)  My thoughts on the future of the Dark Knight series is quite simple.  Christopher Nolan has already laid the groundwork for it throughout his trilogy, and it culminated with a worthy successor to the cowl.  Mind you John "Robin" Blake would be better suited to being a Batman Beyond type character.  They'd have to focus on the detective part of being the Batman.  That is one thing I believe Nolan's trilogy truly lacked.  True crime solving.
     This would open the door for Bale to return as a mentor to the newcomer.  Teach him and train him.  When Blake gets in a bind it would also be a relief- if someone found Blake out as being the Bat, Bale's Bruce Wayne could take up the mantle to take the heat off.  He could then be in 2 places at once.
     Blake would also have the opportunity to have a bunch of the kids from the orphanage be his eyes and ears on the street.

     As for the villain?  Set up a new trilogy in the Nolan-verse with the Riddler as the main antagonist.  This wouldn't be the silly, wacky-zany goon of old.  Mr. Edward Nigma would be an intelligent games master, not some fool obsessed with proving his intellectual superiority.
     For the Riddler, he'd would have to be handled like he is in the Arkham video games- he'd leave riddles and traps strewn about Gotham City, but never, I repeat NEVER, be there himself.  He'd be too smart for that.  We need someone that is not only capable of beating Batman, but capable of getting away with it in plain site.  So while The Riddler wouldn't be out and about, while Nigma could be seeded throughout the series, hiding in plain sight.  And the kicker- he'd outwit the Bat.  He would win.  In at least the first two films- possibly even in the third.

     During the Riddler's scheming, he'd send in others to do the dirty work.  Maybe hiring small crime bosses like the Penguin and Black Mask to create warring factions around Batman to keep him busy and distracted while keeping his grand plans going.  A man of Nigma's caliber would be controlling the chess board for the whole game.  Competent and effective.  Make him a bit older, show that he's been doing this for years.  He's looking for a challenge- and Batman is it.  The so-called "Dark Knight Detective."

     Casting the Riddler:  My first choice would be Andrew Scott (Moriarty from BBC's Sherlock).  I even made a post about it!  Although, there are plenty of others that would be well cast- like my 2nd choice Jason Isaacs, even the always wonderful Jon Hamm could be an amazing Nigma.  Sam Rockwell, Adrian Brody, Paul Bettany, or Bill Nighy.  There's a plethora of able actors, but an older English gentleman would be preferable.  Although I would stray from using anybody like Johnny Depp, Neil Patrick Harris, or Ed Norton.
     Hell, make Edward into Edwina and cast a lady.  Or cast a non white actor in the role like Don Cheadle or Idris Elba.

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