According to the Film’s Cowriter, The Batman Will Explore Bruce Wayne’s Trauma—Again
Speaking with Den of Geek, The Batman cowriter Mattson Tomlin said that the upcoming newest installment in the Batman universe is going to deal with Bruce Wayne’s trauma. Wow, how groundbreaking for that character.
“I think that really looking at Batman as somebody who has gone through this trauma, and then everything that he’s doing is then a reaction to that, rather than shy away from that,” Tomlin said. “I think this film leans into that in some very fun and surprising ways. I think that’s all I can say without getting yelled at.”
Not to knock the film before we even have a full trailer for it, but I can assure you that there are very few ways to make any of Batman’s trauma “fun and surprising” in the year of our despair 2020. The only people who have been more traumatized by the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne are the audiences who’ve seen Batman movies since the late ’80s. The sight of Martha’s pearls snapping as she is shot in the face in Batman v Superman has been engrained into my mind. We are … good.
As someone who enjoys Batman in moderation, what makes the constant stream of live-action Batman content so tedious is that it feels stuck. Every couple of years we have to redo everything and hit a lot of the same emotional beats over and over again, with little expansion of the world. One of the things I liked about Burton’s Batman Returns was that it made the world of Gotham bigger, not smaller.
Batman is a character with a long history, countless villains, and several Robins. When are we going to go beyond the exploration of trauma in this same way? We get it. No amount of origin stories will change the fact that this story is older than most of us.
One of the things I loved about Lego Batman was how it dealt with Batman’s trauma specifically in how it affects his ability to build a family. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: By taking away Bruce’s relationship to the Robins, you rob the character of a huge about of the emotional complexity that makes him interesting.
We need more films that allow Batman to be “The World’s Greatest Detective” and films that explore his relationship to the League of Assassins and Talia (because man does that storyline need a better version than Nolan’s whitewashed bullshit).
The reason why Batman’s animated incarnations remain superior is that they are not embarrassed to have Batman be a father figure and ultimately someone who is capable of more empathy than his dark exterior would give on. That is what is interesting about Batman The Man, and that is worthy of being shown in a live-action film.
(via Screen Rant, image: Warner Bros.)
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