It has been a huge week of news for fans of DC’s most famous Caped Crusader – Batman. While the Covid pandemic has all but stalled the world of comic book movies in cinemas this week DC decided it was time to shine the Bat signal into the night sky in order to shed a little light on what fans of Batman may have in store for them over the next couple of years… and there was some very special news for Thailand as well.
First the worldwide news and something that came completely out of left-field – Michael Keaton is returning to the role of Bruce Wayne. Take note that we said Bruce Wayne and not Batman because despite what some headlines have led people to believe Keaton is not likely to be pulling on the Bat-suit on one more time.
Keaton, now aged 68, previously played Batman in the highly regarded Batman and Batman Returns way back in 1989 and 1992. This week it was announced he was returning to the role in the brand new DC film The Flash. But it is here where a little bit of explaining needs to be done. DC plan on using a comic book arc titled Flashpoint to tell the story of Barry Allen the man behind The Flash. In doing so he will cross paths with Gotham City’s favourite son – Bruce Wayne. And it is here that DC have decided Keaton would be the perfect fit. The only question left to answer is whether he will playing the same Bruce Wayne he played in the Tim Burton films and whether it will be purely a tongue-in-cheek nod to them.
Of course hearing the news about Michael Keaton returning to the Batman universe while Robert Pattinson is currently the man driving the batmobile in the eagerly anticipated new film The Bat has once again got fans of the comic book hero once again debating which actor has played the best version of the loved character over the years – the good news is that any fan in Thailand will this week get a refresher course of Christian Bale’s time in the suit with SF Cinema announcing that they are bringing Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy back to the big screen.
What Nolan did with his entries into the Batman universe were completely unprecedented. Many scoffed when he announced Christian Bale would play Batman. At the time Bale was more known for edgy roles like that off Patrick Bateman in American Psycho or for appearing in heavily criticised films like Reign Of Fire. When Bale first appeared on the screen in Batman Begins many were ready to write him off. What they saw change their minds though, Nolan took the Batman character into the darkness that the comics relished on but Burton had only briefly touched on in his films. In a dark new world and playing a more aggressive and mentally-scarred Batman Christian Bale was in his absolute element.
Of course other actors also relished their chance to appear in Nolan’s Batman universe as well. Australian actor Heath Ledger embraced the opportunity to play one of cinema’s darkest roles – The Joker. Under the expert hand of Nolan Ledger took the role of the laughing psychopath to all new levels of darkness in a performance that wowed Hollywood to the point that it earned him an Oscar only months after his untimely death.
And while The Dark Knight Returns is often referred to as the weakest of the Nolan trilogy films it did give the audience a change to see Tom Hardy deliver a break-out performance as he brought tough-man Bane to the big screen. And of course as far as closures go The Dark Knight Returns does work, although I think all Batman fans wished they could have seen where Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character ended up.
For Batman fans in Thailand this is a rare opportunity to see one of the finest movie franchises ever created return to the big screen – yes this is an event that no comic book fan should miss this week.