James Gunn and Peter Safran have confirmed Phase 1 of their DCU reboot, and this makes Matt Reeves’ The Batman – Part II a vital part of the DC movie future. The Batman was a critical and financial success that has garnered three Oscar nominations for the 95th Academy Awards. Going into The Batman, Matt Reeves had already proved he could helm a big-budget franchise planet as his reboot of the Planet of the Apes series was well-received by audiences and critics alike.
When it was first announced that Robert Pattinson was set to play Bruce Wayne in The Batman, it seemed like a huge risk. Pattinson had made a name for himself playing Edward in the Twilight franchise, and that remained his most mainstream work despite having showcased his versatility as a performer in Good Time and The Lighthouse. Reeves appears to have a strong vision for his adaptation in The Batman, and the strength that gave the first installment is likely to translate over to The Batman – Part II. Despite the fact that The Batman is disconnected from the wider DCU canon, the sequel is more important than ever.
Why The Batman 2 Is Important For The DCU
One of the biggest challenges for the DCU reboot is the fact that it’s not a full reboot. The Synderverse era of the DCEU left the franchise in a difficult place as Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was a box office success but has been heavily criticized by critics and audiences alike. This was seen repeatedly with the franchise as David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (2016) made bank at the box office, but disappointed critics and viewers because of the uneven tone. Justice League didn’t fare much better, with additional complications from Joss Whedon stepping in to finish filming the 2017 feature and the later (and much longer) “Snyder Cut” releasing and blurring the lines of what was canon. Overall, it feels like the DCEU was a mess because the studio was too busy trying to play catch-up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, The Batman was able to avoid that mess by crafting a complex and gritty world that houses a new spin on well-established characters from the superhero genre. The Batman served as a return to the high level of quality that Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy set. The 2022 feature receiving Oscar nominations for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, Best Sound, and Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling proves that notion even further. It is a time when plenty of DC fans might find themselves giving up on the studio’s adaptations, particularly with the four 2023 film releases all set to be mostly retconned by the new era that follows, making the whole endeavor feel a little pointless. However, the promise of quality that comes with Matt Reeves’ The Batman – Part II can help to keep audiences optimistic and invested in the wider franchise while the DCEU makes its messy transition into the rebooted DCU.
The Batman’s Oscar Nominations Can Keep DC Adaptations Going
The Nolan trilogy reopened the floodgates of a franchise that seemed dead after Joel Schumacher’s Batman films tarnished the character’s live-action legacy. The Dark Knight trilogy brought a level of prestige to superhero adaptations that even Marvel has struggled to match since. The Dark Knight alone garnered eight Oscar nominations, with Heath Ledger ultimately winning Best Supporting Actor for his tremendous performance as Joker. Nolan and Reeves managed to elevate The Batman series by tackling political and social issues that have resonated with mainstream audiences. Previous spin-offs such as Joker (which became the first DC property to be nominated for Best Picture) have greatly benefitted from the style that Nolan established in Batman Begins. Not all DC properties are hits, but when it comes to Batman, the stand-alone films evenly match up to some of Marvel’s best features.
The DCEU hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations fans had after Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy ended. Some bright spots, such as Wonder Woman, have helped, but the uneven quality of the franchise has allowed Marvel studios to surpass them both critically and financially. The Batman has been a shining example of how strong a DC property can be when the right creators join together, and receive recognition from those who would normally ignore superhero offerings. Matt Reeves has proved that he has a firm grasp of the lore behind The Batman and the world of Gotham, which means that DC fans still have something they can reliably look forward to without fear in The Batman – Part II.
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