As you most likely know by now, Robert Pattison is officially Batman. It’s a brilliant choice if one that’ll cause a lot of discourse online about how he is just the “sparkly vampire” (these people would, of course, be wrong; he’s an incredible actor who has starred in several independent films). But, as I tend to do, I started thinking. We now finally have confirmation on who is going to play Batman, but we’ve still got no idea who the supporting characters are going to be or plot of the film is going to be. And this is where I come in. I’m going to pitch The Batman.
Matt Reeves, if you’re out there… call me.
For starters, this needs to continue what Aquaman and Shazam started. Completely cut yourself away from the DCEU continuity, it’s not worth the hassle and strain to try and fit into the established universe. This should also only feature Batman characters. No cameos from any other DC character set Batman up as his own entity before crossing him over with anything.
So obviously, we’ll have Pattinson’s Batman. The key thing here is don’t do another origin story. I feel like I’ve seen Batman’s parents die hundreds of times now, and it’s now at the stage where (akin to what Spider-Man: Homecoming) we can probably skip it. Batman’s origin is perhaps the most known in comics, alongside Superman and Spider-Man’s, to the point where even the most casual reader knows it. Make this version of Batman around three years into his career (This will come up later). Now Pattison’s Batman should be dark and broody, but not as edgy as Affleck’s Batman. He doesn’t kill and he doesn’t brand his victims with a bat symbol.
As for side characters, I’ve also got an idea that probably should have happened around five years before now. Introduce Dick Grayson’s Robin. Since this is likely a full reboot that won’t even acknowledge the Affleck Batman, we can afford to just forget about the Robin costume that is inside his Batcave. Probably for the best, really. So we introduce Dick Grayson, but we don’t do his traditional origin of being in the circus. While it’ll annoy hardcore fans, I think it would be more interesting if Dick was a copycat Batman to begin with, hence why I made this Batman three years into his career. You can maybe incorporate the fact he came from the circus into the plot, but don’t make it a focal point. Make this film about Batman and Robin becoming a team, because Batman is nothing without his family. And perhaps, if you play your cards right, you can do a Nightwing solo film within five years, but you have to set him up properly here. If you screw it up, nobody will care about the character and you’re done. Oh, and have Commissioner Gordon in the film, but a minor role. Focus more on the Batman and Robin relationship rather than using too many of his side characters and allies.
Villain-wise, the general expectation is it’ll be The Joker. But here’s a novel idea. Let’s not use The Joker, at least for a while. He’s incredibly overexposed, especially when you realise quite how broad and varied Batman’s rogue gallery is. So my pitch is this: use Penguin instead. The only version of Penguin we’ve had on film so far is Danny DeVito’s from Batman Returns, and it was less than amazing. You could make Penguin a crime lord, the Kingpin of the Batman world if you do him right. Have no big masterplan in place either, he’s not a big planner, he’s the boss of the underworld. If the rumours are true, Reeves is going to focus more on how Batman is the worlds greatest detective in this film which is perfect for what we want to do here. Perhaps you could make Penguin the person who orchestrated the death of Grayson’s parents, allowing for a more emotional edge for his character arc.
Of course, Alfred should also be a key role in the film but make him more than just Bruce Wayne’s butler. He was essentially a father to him, and he’ll basically act as a grandad to Dick Grayson here. Lean into the fact he’s an ex-spy, too. Alfred isn’t just a simple butler, he’s a useful asset in Batman’s quest for justice.
I’m not particularly married to any casting for the characters, but I do have one suggestion. Cast a young actor as Robin, so Batman can believably raise him. Don’t make it a Tobey Maguire situation, where nobody could really believe that he was high school age. The actual age of the Dick Grayson should be around 15, so that when Batman takes him under his wing it’s more of a parental role than simply mentorship.
Plot-wise, I’ve not got anything detailed, more a broad sweeping idea. So as previously mentioned, this Batman is three years into his career and has inspired a copycat, Dick Grayson. He ends up tracking down the copycat and takes him under his wing. After a montage of the two of them solving crimes and taking names together (if you want to, you can use this opportunity to showcase some lesser-known Batman villains such as Calendar Man), they come across a dead body, a Jane Doe. She’s scarred beyond recognition, and Batman and Robin take it upon themselves to try and find out who committed the murder. They eventually trace it back to Penguin, but he’d been warned that they were coming, and rigged the building he was hiding it in explode and fled the scene. Robin is inches away from being caught in the explosion, and this visibly shakes Batman to the point that he outright tells Robin he can’t go on patrol with him anymore. Robin does not listen to this, of course, and tries to track down The Penguin on his own and get revenge for his parents’ murder. Batman realises that Robin is no longer in Wayne Manor, and goes after him, catching him just before he can get to The Penguin. He tells Robin that it is better to work together than it is alone. He has realised that preventing Robin for going out on patrol with him was a mistake, for they work better as a team. Together, they defeat Penguin and he’s locked up in Arkham Asylum.
While it’s not the most detailed plot synopsis, it’s a basic outline for the ideas I think would work amazingly in Matt Reeve’s The Batman. There’s also chunks of the story missing that perhaps you could fill in, maybe insert a conflict between Batman and Robin between Robin tracking down Penguin and Batman telling him they can’t go on patrol anymore. There’s plenty of story ideas better than mine, but I think the basic concepts are solid.
Now, of course, as with any superhero film, they’ll be a post-credits scene. So, what I suggest is you introduce a man who has just arrived at Gotham Harbour. He climbs off the boat, shrouded in shadow, his huge hulking figure towering above anybody around him. He stares around as a fisherman backs away, terrified. A light chuckle comes from the shadowy figure as he steps out of the shadows, and under a streetlight to reveal….. Bane. But not Bane with a stupid oxygen mask. Bane as he is in the comics, costume and all.
So that’s my pitch for The Batman. What do you think, good, bad, would you change anything? I doubt any of these ideas will actually happen, but I’m excited to see what fresh take on the character Matt Reeves and Robert Pattison will give us.