Butcher Billy, the Brazilian artist sometimes known as Bily Mariano da Luz, is turning into something of a Robot 6 favorite. His latest project posted at Behance is “Batman: The Nolan X Burton Experiment,” smashing together Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy to sometimes humorous, often illuminating, effect. By placing their differing elements in proximity, these images reveal both what was good and what failed from these two adaptations. (Such as, hey Tim, you cast Lando Calrissian as Harvey Dent, then do absolutely nothing of consequence with the character in either of your films? What was that all about?)
As Bily writes: “But are they really that different? How much of all that is really classic and timeless and how much is pure recycling to modern times? Are those elements cool enough to stand even if taken from their own environments? How those concepts would work if they were mixed into one another?”
If the trailer for Batgirl: Spoiled wasn’t enough to whet your fan-film appetite, there’s now Batman: Puppet Master, a short set in the aftermath of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight as the Gotham City Police Department calls in an expert to help bring Batman to justice: FBI Special Agent Edward Nigma.
However, Nigma doesn’t merely want to catch the Dark Knight; he wants to deduce his secret identity, proving that he’s the world’s greatest detective. To that end, he enlists the assistance of some of Arkham Asylum’s inmates — Arnold Weskler and Peyton Riley (aka the first and second Ventriloquist), and Victor Zsasz.
Directed by Bryan Nest from a script by Chris Wiltz, Batman: Puppet Master is described as “a film created by fans for fans and it delivers an exciting storyline that will introduce fans to new versions of Mr. Zsasz, The Ventriloquist, and Edward Nigma (aka The Riddler), who fans were expecting to appear in Nolan’s third Batman film.”
An uncomfortable familiarity hangs over much of The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman trilogy. Some of it comes from the disquiet of watching familiar characters and settings suffer. However, some of it comes from the use of overly familiar movie tropes. For example, one of the early “Batman must come back” scenes feels lifted from a style guide. Another scene, much later, echoes Luke and Han’s join-us-no-join-me exchange just before the Death Star attack. Oh, and William Devane shows up in a very William Devane-esque role.
Accordingly, The Dark Knight Rises is not a perfect movie. It doesn’t have the intricate plotting of its predecessor (2008′s The Dark Knight, like you didn’t know). Any socially conscious message about “the 99% vs. the 1%” is lost in Bane’s repurposed sloganeering and Selina Kyle’s disillusionment. In one spot, the movie seems to skip dusk entirely, going from twilight to pitch-black night in less than eight minutes.* Furthermore, although I hate to disagree with Sean, at times Bane sounds like Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery (and apparently — beware of spoilers past the link — I am not the only one who thinks so).
Nevertheless, its epic ambitions are mostly realized, and it exists mainly to give its principals (i.e., just about every major character still left from 2005′s Batman Begins) closure. This, I want to emphasize, it does exceptionally well. Four years ago I compared The Dark Knight to David Fincher’s serial-killer meditation Zodiac, but this time I’m going with Doctor Zhivago by way of James Bond. A macro-level exploration of Begins’ “why do we fall?”, it builds to a thrilling, triumphal, bittersweet final shot. I’m looking forward to seeing it again, and eventually to examining the trilogy as a whole.
Before a shocked country, let alone investigators, can begin to get a grasp on what led 24-year-old James Holmes to open fire during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, killing at least 12 and wounding dozens more, at least one newspaper writer is willing to take a wild guess: a comic book. Specifically, Frank Miller’s landmark 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns.
Under the headline, “Was the Batman shooting movie shooting imitated from scene in 1986 comic?,” The Washington Examiner’s Sean Higgins claims the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, “bears eerie similarities” to the scene in which “a crazed, gun-toting loner walks into a movie theater and begins shooting it up, killing three in the process.”
In an effort to bolster his shaky, if not downright groundless hypothesis, Higgins points out that The Dark Knight Returns served “a key inspiration” for director Christopher Nolan’s big-screen trilogy. (Why stop there, though? Coupled with Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s “Year One,” the miniseries has influenced virtually every depiction of Batman over the past quarter-century.)
The filming of The Dark Knight Rises in Pittsburgh is expected to pump millions of dollars into the economy, giving a boost to hotels, restaurants, lumber yards and more. So, hey, why shouldn’t the criminal community get a little benefit?
WPXI reports that on Saturday evening, Pittsburgh police Det. Robert DiGiacomo was in an unmarked vehicle looking for the suspect in an assault. Suddenly a man matching the suspect’s description opened the car door, sat down and told the detective to get out. When the officer drew his gun and ordered 21-year-old Micah Calamosca to exit the car, the suspect reportedly responded that he was part of the cast of the Christopher Nolan film … and that stealing the vehicle was just part of the script.
As you may have guessed, DiGiacomo didn’t buy the explanation. Calamosca was subsequently arrested, and faces a charge of robbery of a motor vehicle. A police vehicle. I’d have at least gone for Batman’s Tumbler. Heck, he has three, so he may not have missed one.
Leave it to Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese studio last seen on Robot 6 explaining the history of the danger-fraught Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, to view the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises through a fractured prism that makes Grant Morrison’s wildest of storylines seem humdrum by comparison. Judging from this video, the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s movie trilogy has something to do with the bankruptcy of Wayne Enterprises, rising food prices at Wal-Mart, a lovesick Batman, and the return of Halle Berry as a whip-cracking Catwoman.
Warner Bros. has released an online comic prequel to Inception, the highly anticipated sci-fill thriller from The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan. Called “The Cobol Job,” the prequel is written by the film’s co-producer Jordan Goldberg (Batman: Gotham Knight) and illustrated by UDON Entertainment‘s Long Vo, Joe Ng and Crystal Reid.
Although it’s called a prequel, I’ve seen warnings that the comic is somewhat spoiler-ish, and will make more sense after a viewing of the movie. So, you may want to wait until you’ve returned from Inception‘s midnight debut to give “The Cobol Job” a read.
Fans who envisioned Warner Bros.’ reinvigorated superhero-movie slate as a “shared universe” littered with Easter eggs and cameos just may get their hopes dashed.
At least that’s what I glean from this Los Angeles Times profile of Christopher Nolan, who in February was tapped by the studio to mentor production of the next Superman movie (his brother and frequent collaborator Jonathan is rumored to direct).
Nolan, who of course directed the highly successful Batman Begins and The Dark Knight — they grossed more $1.3 billion in theaters worldwide — and who seems destined to helm the third installment, is enthusiastic about screenwriter David S. Goyer’s take on the Man of Steel. So enthusiastic, in fact, that it appears as if it was Nolan who approached the studio about he and his wife, producer Emma Thomas, getting “involved in shepherding the project right away and getting it to the studio and getting it going in an exciting way.”
So, it’s finally confirmed that Nolan is overseeing the new Superman movie, and that Goyer is writing the screenplay. What’s not so certain is whether the film will be called Man of Steel, as has been widely reported. “I don’t know where this stuff comes from,” Thomas told LA Times writer Geoff Boucher.
(One other confirmation: The villain in the third Batman film won’t be Mr. Freeze.)
Nolan is complimentary of Bryan Singer’s 2006 film Superman Returns, and how it connected to Richard Donner’s icon version of the character. But it’s with this passage that Nolan squashes fandom dreams of, say, Lois Lane attending a Wayne Enterprises gala or eco-terrorist Pamela Isley releasing a toxin in the Metropolis subway system:
“A lot of people have approached Superman in a lot of different ways. I only know the way that has worked for us that’s what I know how to do,” Nolan said, emphasizing the idea that Batman exists in a world where he is the only superhero and a similar approach to the Man of Steel would assure the integrity needed for the film. “Each serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other.”
In short, we probably shouldn’t expect Gary Oldman to become the Samuel L. Jackson of the DC movie universe.