Bear with us:
Ever since Christopher Nolan announced that this would definitely by the final Batman film for himself and star Christian Bale, fans have been caught somewhere between mourning, outrage and confusion.
Why end the greatest superhero series in film history when it's at its commercial and artistic peak? it's crazy.
But while we loved "Batman Begins," really loved "The Dark Knight" and are almost certainly going to love "The Dark Knight Rises," we actually think it's a good thing that the series is ending.
And here are five reasons why.
1. George Lucas
Okay, so Lucas is an easy target these days, as fans have spent the past decade piling on for misfires like "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." But here's the sordid secret nobody ever mentions: Lucas' big mistake wasn't that the films were mediocre — though they are — it's that he listened to fans and made the movies at all.
Think about it. 15 years ago, everybody thought Lucas was a genius. The only issue anybody had with him is that they wanted more "Star Wars" and more "Indiana Jones." And finally, after being harassed and hounded for years on end, he caved in and gave us what we thought we wanted. But when you make a movie because you feel compelled to instead of because you want to, you end up with half-assed creations like Jar-Jar Binks and Shia LaBeouf. The lesson here? Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. And the last thing anybody wants to see is Christian Bale in a suit with nipples.
2. Sam Raimi and Marc Webb
Another prime example of what happens when you stick around too long is the case of Sam Raimi and his "Spider-Man" trilogy. The first two parts, everyone agrees, are great. But with his creative juices running low, Raimi was basically talked into doing "Spider-Man 3" and filling it with stuff the fans had been clamoring for, like Venom. The result? A film that burned out both Raimi and the "Spider-Man" franchise itself.
A funny thing happened in the aftermath, though: Sony decided to reboot the franchise from the ground up and they turned to an unlikely source in the form of "(500) Days of Summer" director Marc Webb. it was an out-of-left-field choice, but what do you know, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has turned out to be both a fresh new take on Spidey as well as an international blockbuster hit.
Christopher Nolan's take on Batman has defined the character for a generation. But as much as we love "The Dark Knight Rises," we're equally excited at the idea of someone new coming in with their own new ideas for a new fresh look at the Caped Crusader. And that's something we won't get if Nolan sticks around for yet another installment.
3. 'Inception 2'
Here's the other thing about Nolan: The guy isn't just a one-trick pony. He actually has a whole catalog of interesting and occasionally groundbreaking films to his name, including indie classics like "Memento," under-appreciated gems like "The Prestige" and epic hits like "Inception."
Because of that, we have to admit that as much as we love "The Dark Knight," we really kind of want to see what else Nolan is capable of. And as long as he's stuck trying to plan out "Batman 4," he's not going to be working on whatever other fantastic stories are bouncing around his head. Does he have something in mind that will blow us away as much as "Inception" did? Or could he maybe even have something worked out for "Inception 2?" We want to know and cutting loose of "The Dark Knight" is the only way Nolan will ever be able to show us.
4. The Justice League
Hey guys, remember "The Avengers?" Wouldn't it be great if Warner Bros. and DC Comics were to get together and finally do their own version of "The Avengers," a.k.. the superhero film to end all superhero films, "The Justice League?"
Well, Warner Bros. is finally talking about doing just that and as much as we hate to admit it, getting rid of Nolan and Christian Bale does help clear the decks for "The Justice League." After all, the studio has maintained all along that they would have to bring in new actors for characters like Superman and Batman regardless of what was happening in those franchises. Now, though, the timing could be perfect for Warner Bros. to debut their new choice for the Dark Knight in a "Justice League" film and then spin him out into his own franchise, just as they are reportedly planning to do with characters like Wonder Woman and The Flash.
Lose "The Dark Knight" but gain an entire universe of heroes, including a new Batman? That's a tradeoff we're willing to make.
5. The Story Is Over
And lastly, here's the most important point: The story is over. After all, Nolan designed his trilogy as just that, a trilogy, a story in three parts with a beginning, a middle and an ending. Now that he's finally finished telling his story, wouldn't anything more just feel like a tacked on anti-climax?
Think of it this way: As much as everyone loves "harry Potter," does anybody really want to read a new book where, like, a twenty-something Harry has to stop some new trumped up wannabe sorcerer from ruining the wizard world? No, because after defeating Voldemort (spoilers!), the ultimate evil, anything else would just pale by comparison. What kind of threat could possibly top that?
The same holds true for Nolan and Bale's "Dark Knight" trilogy. By the time this is over, it's going to be over. We don't need — or want — to come back for an extraneous epilogue that pits Batman against the Riddler's gang of murderous sudoku experts or something. All good stories have endings.
Let's make this a happy one.
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