Truth be told, I hemmed and hawed over posting a story about this new rumor about THE BATMAN that popped up online a couple of days ago.
With all due respect to DISCUSSINGFILM.NET — where this report/rumor originated — I had never heard of this outlet, so I have no clue how they run their site or whether or not they are reliable. Thus, I’m not one to reference stuff from someone I haven’t or can’t vet.
Regardless, I decided this morning to write something about it and post it on BOF because it would allow me to share my thoughts about what it could mean if true. (I know I don’t share my thoughts, takes, and opinions often on BOF, so I hope you will indulge me this one time. 😉 )
Per the aforementioned website, Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN will be set in 1990s.
Now here comes the part where I’m going to assume and give you my take. I promise not to pontificate too much.
The first thing that comes to my mind when hearing that THE BATMAN may be set in the 90s is that it’s going to be a prequel — why in the hell wouldn’t it be? What would be the point if setting it some 20 years ago and not NOW if it’s not a prequel? I could see Reeves wanting to set the film in the 1970s or even in 1939, but the 90s?! ANYWAY…
If the Batman we met in BATMAN v SUPERMAN played by Ben Affleck had been Batmanning for 20 years, and is close to 50 years old, then the Batman in Reeves film will likely be pushing 30 and will have been Batmanning for a couple of years.
But the question is folks, what kind of prequel will it be then? One that’s 100% “in-continuity” and will have a timeline that leads directly to the events of BvS and JUSTICE LEAGUE? Or on the other hand, will it be a “loose prequel” — for lack of a better term — that will start a new timeline moving forward and not be beholden to events of BvS and JL?
Again, if this 90s rumor is true, let’s all hope that it’s the latter scenario. And frankly, I can’t think of any good reason why it wouldn’t be.
The problem with a true prequel is that you know where the thing is going and how it’s going to end up. I absolutely DO NOT want to be watching Reeves’ Batman film(s) knowing that this “new” Batman ends up becoming a burned-out murdering asshole by the time he’s in his 40s.
On the other hand, if it’s a prequel in name only and Reeves can do whatever he wants (and all that entails) with his version of the character — in THE BATMAN and subsequent sequels — that does/will not end up becoming a burned-out, murdering asshole by the time he’s in his 40s, then I’m OK with them calling it a *wink* “prequel.”
Essentially, the latter prequel option is a full-on reboot, but not calling it that for PR/perception reasons is fine and understandable…I guess.
If WB wants to play nice with the continuity police segment of fandom — along with those who feel that “it all has to be connected dammit!” to enjoy these DC films — and keep them from getting all riled up and taking to the streets (i.e. internet) with pitchforks in hand by announcing it’s a reboot, then I get it…I guess.
So to keep those people happy, saying “Yeah, yeah, yeah…it’s a ‘prequel’ and all’s good!” keeps the waters smooth…I guess. (Though there’s a BIG part of me that says, “So the F what?! They’ll deal with it!”)
Yes, I know, OK? I have at times advocated the prequel route, but for filmmaker creativity reasons — and the fact that I simply do not care about nor like a Batman ends up becoming a burned-out murdering asshole by the time he’s in his 40s — I’ve un-advocated the idea.
Of course, all of this could be a moot point because THE BATMAN isn’t set in the 90s and the report is BS. If so, disregard everything I said and carry on. – Bill “Jett” Ramey
THE BATMAN hits theaters on June 25, 2021. CLICK HERE for all of BOF’s THE BATMAN coverage.