DC Comics' launch of Batman: Zero Year has sparked speculation that the upcoming Untitled Batman Reboot at Warner Bros. may be based on this 11-issue comic book arc that subtly rearranges Bruce Wayne's iconic origin story.

As it stands, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises concludes the director's trilogy of stand-alone Batman films, though Christian Bale may reprise the role in Justice League under the supervision and guidance of Nolan. That said, Warner Bros. is still looking to reboot the franchise, and if Christian Bale is Justice League's Batman, this new series of films will not be tied into that epic ensemble.

That leaves the question: What will it be, then, if not a tie-in to Justice League? Some sources indicate that Warner Bros. is looking to this latest comic book incarnation of the iconic character, with a story by Scott Snyder and illustrations by Greg Capullo. Batman: Zero Year does not completely reinvent Bruce Wayne's journey to becoming Batman, but it does offer a few new twists and turns.

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Scott Snyder had this to say about the story, and its ties to DC's The New 52, which has set about reinventing its entire stable of characters on the page, though not yet on screen.

"It's not 'Let's redo the origin'. We tried to preserve as much of Batman's history as we could and keep what we could of this history intact. It's 'The Zero Year,' the one that no one has told the story of before. We see how Bruce became the Batman, built the cave, faced off with his first super villain. It's time for a new story showing how Batman became who he is in 'The New 52'. It builds up the mythology."

Nothing has been confirmed by DC Comics and Warner Bros. at this time. The studio is reportedly keeping all options open until the release of Man of Steel. If the Superman reboot is a hit, they will finally greenlight Justice League. What will happen next is, Christopher Nolan will decide if Christian Bale is right for the ensemble and its tone. If Bale does join the movie, then Warner and DC will set about completely rebooting Batman as his own stand-alone franchise. If Bale doesn't join, then the next Batman series will tie directly into Justice League.

Are you confused yet? Do you want to see Christian Bale return? Or do you want a Batman series of stand-alone films that tie directly into Justice League ala Marvel's The Avengers and its stand-alone films? Do you think Batman: Zero Year should be told on the big screen? Or should DC save it for one of their direct-to-DVD animated movies?

There are so many ways this all could go. One thing is for certain, we will not get another Christian Bale stand-alone movie directed by Christopher Nolan. Unless, maybe, Disney buys DC Comics, too. Then it could happen...

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange