Batman: The next Batman has been generating tons of buzz the past few weeks, and today is no exception. Having gotten a hold of a copy of the script himself, Garth over at Dark Horizons has layed out some in depth details which surround the plot in one of his latest posts...
- All the characters mentioned so far are in it - Bruce Wayne/Batman, Alfred, Jim Gordon, DA asst. prosecutor Rachel, Jonathan Crane, and Ra's Al Ghul.
- Other characters include Ra's protege Ducard, Wayne Enterprise's Applied Science Dept. head Lucius Fox, mob boss Falcone, acting Wayne Enterprise head Earle, and various crims & law officials and a bunch of ninjas.
- There's no link or mention of the previous film's events, this not only ignores them completely but restarts the franchise as its essentially an 'origin' movie which changes elements such as the 'parents being shot' and 'how Bruce found the cave and took up the mantle' subplots.
- Despite the filming in London, almost all of the film is set around Gotham City (there's no mention of London) though there's numerous flashbacks to the past and early on the footage is set around a mountain monastery in China.
- The first portion of the film swaps between flashbacks and the present. In the past we see stuff we're all familiar with from the comics and earlier movies - Bruce as a child with his father Thomas Wayne, the famous alley shooting of his parents, being cared for by a younger Alfred, meeting regular beat cop Jim Gordon, etc. In the present its Wayne mano-a-mano fighting with Ducard whose 'training/testing' him as such for his master Ra's Al-Ghul whose watching from the shadows. This is no doubt the sequence being filmed in Iceland at the start of production
- With Ra's Al-Ghul he does have insidious plans but there seems to be no mention of immortality, the Lazarus Pit, or Talia. His sub-ordinate Ducard is an interesting character with a clever connection to his master.
- One subplot has Wayne Enterprise head Earle trying to take over the company and using his influence on public officials. Its revealed Gordon in the present is a Sargeant. There's also a small storyline about a mob boss whom Bruce has a personal score to settle with.
- One element I like is the discovery of the cave and its various entrances and the clever finding of the Batsuit described as "prototype spandex body armour". The Batman in full costume however doesn't appear for a while on screen (once he's there, he's there in force) which is a clever move and keeps one in anticipation.
- The Scarecrow is referred to only as Jonathan Crane who is the head of medicine at Arkham Asylum. There's a clever origin story to the fear toxin, and at certain points he covers his head in a sack/mask for protection.
- The second half (basically once the 'origin' elements are over) are more like a Batman movie we know but some cool new stuff and shots too which I won't spoil. Suffice it to say there's an elaborate plan which will wreak chaos on downtown Gotham. Key characters get drugged, Alfred pops in at the right time and place to save his master and offer wise counsel, and so on.
- Action fans will be happy with an extensive Batmobile chase through the streets, alleys and 'other surfaces' of Gotham. A decaying monorail system built by Thomas Wayne serves as the backdrop for some story elements.
- The coda includes mention of one of the Dark Knight's most famous villains - its pretty easy to guess which one.
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