Yep, I lived the 1970s.
I was a 5-year-old kindergartener when the decade began and a teenage freshman in high school when it ended.
I rocked-out to AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Aerosmith, KISS (yeah, so come at me bro!), and other bands on my record player/8-track tape/radio.
I watched ALL IN THE FAMILY, HAPPY DAYS, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, and STARSKY AND HUTCH on TV.
I went to the movie theater to see JAWS, STAR WARS (take that Rick Shew!), URBAN COWBOY, SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, (anyone want a Diablo Sandwich and a Dr. Pepper?) and — of course — SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE.
And yes, I even wore a mood ring, sported Earth shoes, and owned a pet rock.
Most importantly, the 1970s was the decade in which I become a fully-formed Batman fan by reading stories in BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS by writers and artists such as Dennis O’Neil, Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Len Wein, Marshall Rodgers, and Steve Englehart.
It’s been rumored that THE BATMAN *might* be a period piece, the 1990s to be specific, but I’ve yet to hear anything concrete about this personally.
Plus, why the 1990s? It such a nondescript decade…unlike the 1970s.
The 1970s was an awesome decade. It was gritty and sorta dirty, but always way cool.
So, what if THE BATMAN is indeed a period piece and it’s set during the decade of bell-bottom pants, leisure suits, and disco? Or…
How ’bout kinda set in the 70s?
I think there are two ways you could do it, so let’s discuss, shall we?
One option is to make it a straight-up period piece that’s literally set right in the middle of the decade.
A true period piece.
The other option — and the one I think I prefer — is to make it sort of timeless and anachronistic, but with the 1970s feel and aesthetic.
Think kinda BATMAN ’89-ish, but a 1970s vibe instead of the 1930s/40s.
So while Batman can drive around Gotham in a muscle car Batmobile, it can also be tricked-out with the latest technology. While Bruce Wayne sits in the Batcave working (i.e. doing detective work), he can sit in front of a panel with multiple computer screens while wearing bell-bottom jeans and a turtle neck sweater.
Heck, maybe The Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge is THE BATMAN‘s version of Studio 54 (click on the link if you don’t know what I’m talking about).
Y’all dig what I’m sayin’?
Besides the aesthetic, if THE BATMAN felt like one of those gritty 1970s crime drama/action movies. Think SERPICO, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, THE FRENCH CONNECTION, and of course, CHINATOWN.
Certainly, a 70s setting would be drastically different than the “current and hyperrealistic” approach that Christopher Nolan took in the last solo Batman films, and could help differentiate THE BATMAN (and sequels) from THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY — especially if Reeves’ films are going to be grounded like its predecessor. And, it would be something we haven’t really seen in a live-action Batman yet.
So, what do you all think? Would you like to see THE BATMAN be a period piece 1970 straight-up set in the 1970s, or in a timeless setting with a strong 70s vibe?
Post your thoughts in the comments section below! Who loves you, baby? – Bill “Jett” Ramey