It’s official. Sounds like Ben Affleck will be writing, directing, and starring in his own standalone Batman movie. If you’re like me (and most people I’ve spoken to) Batman V Superman was barely tolerable. But the parts I tolerated the most were all about the Batfleck. I'm really into his version of this old, grizzled, fraying-on-both-ends Batman.
I dug his Brucefleck, the Batmobile, the Batcave, the Batwing, his Batbulter, and especially his Batfighting style. In fact I’ll go as far to say—this is my all-time favorite live action version of Batman. Yes, better than Bale for sure, and even better than Keaton. Bold, I know. But that’s sincerely how I feel. And with thrillers like The Town and Gone Baby Gone sitting soundly in his filmography—I am convinced that standalone Batflick by Batfleck can and will be awesome.
So what could it be like? Well, here’s my wishlist, prediction, my stab at what a Batfleck Batflick could and should be:
A Small Movie
First things first… this is what I’m gonna call a “small” Batman movie. This is not about saving the world. It’s not even about saving the city he loves, though that is where it all takes place. It’s all about saving someone (not Rachel!). And it all happens in a single night in the streets and on the rooftops of Gotham. And for the record, I really preferred good old Chicago doubling for Gotham from The Dark Knight.
A Different Villain
Next, this is not about The Joker in any way, shape, or form. We’ll let Suicide Squad and its inevitable sequel(s) handle that particular storyline. Oh yeah, there is also zero origin stories being told, for Batman or the villain. This film is a Hitchcockian mystery thriller showcasing Batman’s first entanglement with... The Riddler.
In this movie The Ridder is a brilliant, but unhinged master thief who’s just arrived to pillage and plunder the richest of the rich, but knows he must first trick, catch, and eradicate the Bat if wants to have his way with Gotham’s elite. He also attempts to manipulate Batman into eliminating the competition in the process... calling back to an almost Hush-like vibe.
So again, in a single night we see Bruce Wayne uncover and decode a riddle-based clue, which leads him to another and another—in a sadistic scavenger hunt all throughout Gotham. Bruce quickly surmises that whoever’s leaving these cruel clues already knows he’s Batman. So he quickly dons the cape and cowl and uses the Batmobile as his base of operations for the night, as he speeds from clue to clue in a race against the clock.
Much More Batmobile
Let me take a quick second here and talk about the Batmobile. So I didn’t not like the Batmobile in BvS. It worked for that movie. But I’m a HUGE fan of the Batmobile from Batman ’89. And I thought Nolan was for sure setting us up for the next Batmobile to be Lamborghini-based once it was featured so prominently after the destruction of the Tumbler in The Dark Knight. If you check out The History of the Batmobile fansite, you’ll see that there’s been hundreds of different Batmobile configurations over the years and the vast majority of them have been based on sports cars, including Lambos.
For this new Batflick—Batman, will definitely need a sports car-based Batmobile, as he’ll use its amazing handling while cruising around Gotham at top speeds and avoiding any collateral damage. In fact, the Batmobile itself will actually feel like a central character in the story. The movie will be full of mind-blowing chase sequences as Batman chases the villain and in turn gets chased by cops. We’ll see lots of gadgets and gear—tons of hand to hand combat, and zero gun usage by the Bat.
The World’s Greatest Detective
One of Batman’s primary titles is “The World’s Greatest Detective” and filmmakers constantly seem to forget this. I see very cool, very classic Batman movie here. It’s a small standalone thriller, all happening within a few hours on night. It’s got stakes. It’s action packed, but it’s also got a suspenseful twist. It’s highly focused on a single foe, who’s complex, charismatic, twisted, and ingenious—brilliantly portrayed by none other than... Casey Affleck. And it’s simply called: Riddle Me This.