6 Things I Want to See in The Batman Sequel (Other than Robin)
Just announced last night on CinemaCon, The Batman has been greenlit for a full-on sequel! It’s going to happen and everybody is coming back! What great news! I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie and I always have high hopes for a new iteration of Batman.
Those high hopes usually revolve around how the new iteration is going to handle Robin. In fact, this whole list could just be repeating Robin after Robin after Robin. I love Robin. And I would love nothing more than to see Robin be treated with reverence and respect in a sequel, his character done right. But that would make a boring list. I can’t just be talking about Robin in The Batman over and over again. So if we remove the Boy Wonder from the equation, what else would I like to see in the officially announced sequel to The Batman?
Join me after the jump for my suggestions for The Batman sequel and what fun we could have.
Honorable Mention: Robin
OK, I couldn’t help myself, but I promise to be quick. Robin can totally work in live action, even in a dark and gritty version of Batman like this. The comic book series Dark Victory provides a blueprint for a serious Robin origin story, even with him as a child. The Titans TV show offers a dark and realistic Robin costume. And The Batman itself sets up the idea of Batman transforming into a beacon of hope, which would fit Robin perfectly. And if everybody is really concerned about the idea of Batman putting a kid in harm’s way…just don’t do that. Never write a scene into the script where a young child goes up against gun-wielding gangsters. Keep him as a “Man in the chair” character with limited in-field action. That’s what happened in Dark Victory. Problem solved. Also, if you’re asking, for sure do the whole Dick Grayson/circus acrobat origin story.
6. A more stylized Batmobile
I love the new Batmobile design as much as the next person. It was really awesome, and great in the car chase. But I wouldn’t mind if they took that Batmobile and added some of the traditional Batman accoutrements. Add some fins on the back. Give it some fancy wheels. I dunno. I suppose it’s not super necessary, and I’m not saying build a Batman and Robin-esque monstrosity. But I would like a nice blend of muscle car and traditional Batmobile.
5. Any villain other than the Joker
People love the Joker. I get it. But man, I would love to see any other villain in the sequel other than the Joker. He’s been done to death in every form of media available. And he’s been done to death in movie adaptations. And yes, I realize that two of the last couple of Joker performances in Hollywood have won Oscars, but c’mon. Do something else! I don’t even care that the Joker has already been cast and showed up in The Batman, especially that famous deleted scene. Don’t make him the main villain of the sequel! Go with Mr. Freeze or the Clock King or Clayface or Two-Face or Mad Hatter or Poison Ivy or Man-Bat or…
4. The Court of Owls
If I was legitimately picking the villain for the sequel, I would go with the Court of Owls. They’re still relatively brand new, especially to mainstream audiences. They would totally fit in with the Gotham City established in The Batman. And they are sufficiently spooky and cool villains. Their whole opening storyline would work. From Batman discovering their secret hideouts in Gotham City buildings, or the Court unleashing all of the Talons into a single city-wide attack for a big climax. It would be awesome!
And while we’re on the topic, there was also the reveal in the Court of Owls storyline that Dick Grayson was slated to become a Talon. So that sounds easy as hell to adapt into a new Robin origin story. Dick’s parents are killed at the circus as part of the plot to make him a Talon, but then Bruce Wayne swoops in and adopts the kid, turning him into Robin. This angers the Court and now they have even more reason to go against Batman. Look at how well this all fits together!
3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel
I love it when characters are seeded into earlier adventures, to be used later on down the line. Bucky Barnes is a prominent character in the first Captain America film, gets to become the Winter Soldier in the sequel. So why not do something similar with Harley Quinn? If Arkham Asylum is an established setting, with both Riddler and Joker behind its bars, why not have Batman spend some time there in the sequel? And then a certain blonde psychiatrist can show up as one of the doctors in the asylum, with some hints dropped about her psych-analyzing the Joker in the background. I don’t want Joker to become the main villain, but I would be fine with him being an existing presence at Arkham.
Likewise, I would be perfectly happy if the likes of Harvey Dent, Kirk Langstrom or Hugo Strange showed up, among others. I am fully on board with populating this world with existing characters, even if it’s just a quick cameo for now.
2. A little yellow in the Bat Symbol
I like a little yellow or gold in the bat logo on Batman’s chest. It’s a simple touch that adds some real personality and character to Batman. It really cuts a strong visual dead center on his costume. And while I really like the costume in The Batman, just a dash of yellow around that Bat Symbol could be fun. I don’t need a full oval. There are a lot of options. But just a dash of yellow could go a long way, I think. The Batman mythos can always use a bit more color. Yellow, red, green…
1. Continued character evolution
The Batman has a clear character arc for Batman. He starts as a figure of terror and ends the movie as a figure of hope. This is a lot more character growth than Batman usually gets in these movies, and I’d love to see it continue. I love the persona of the Dark Knight as much as the next person. But there’s nothing wrong in also establishing him a bit as the Caped Crusader. The two do not need to be mutually exclusive. And it doesn’t necessarily mean dipping down into Adam West levels of silliness. The dark, brooding Batman in The Batman can become a better, lighter hero.
And you know what would help with that? If he took on a young protege who needed his help in overcoming a similar tragedy. And perhaps through their partnership, both Batman and this apprentice became better people. That sounds like a movie people would love to see!