If Reeves is looking to go in a new direction, there are plenty of great Batman stories to mine from this character’s rich history. Not counting previously adapted stories or those featuring an older Batman (since Reeves is looking at a 30 year old Batman), here are five stories that would make for great adaptations.
5. Robin: Year One
One aspect of Batman’s legend that has yet to be successfully explored is his relationship with Robin. Robin: Year One, written by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty, explores this in great detail. Over the course of these four comics, this story reconciles why a vigilante as competent as Batman would need, or even want, a young sidekick in his early teens.
The relationship between a young Batman accustomed to working alone and a teenage boy without any respect for authority would be an interesting direction to go in.
We’ve seen Robin in live action before, but never set in a semi-realistic, gritty imaging of Gotham. With Reeves hoping to go in a new direction, this might be the story that sets his reboot apart.
4. Batman: Gothic
Penned by acclaimed comic book writer Grant Morrison, Batman: Gothic is one of the most compelling stories to feature the titular character.
When Gotham City mob bosses start showing up dead, the remaining mobsters turn to Batman for assistance. Wayne’s investigation of the killings leads him down a mysterious path. He uncovers stories from Gotham’s past and even a forgotten childhood experience.
The dynamic nature of this story primes it for a cinematic adaptation. The shadowy investigation, glimpses into the past and study of Batman’s psyche all make it one of the Dark Knight’s greatest tales.
3. Court of Owls
The Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo run on Batman was thought to be one of the most iconic runs that have ever been written for the character. Scott Snyder has left a definitive mark on Bruce Wayne, and it’s about time one of his stories was adapted for the big screen.
Court of Owls involves Batman discovering and fighting an Illuminati-like organization presiding over Gotham from the shadows.
Given the fact this run only debuted a few years ago, it would feel quite refreshing and new to audiences, giving us a break from Joker, Bane, Riddler and other typical villains we’ve seen on screen time and time again. Court of Owls also features Batman’s detective skills, which is said to be a main focus of Matt Reeves’ adaptation.
2. Batman: Arkham Asylum
Considered the most iconic superhero video game franchises of all time, adapting one of the Arkham games is a no-brainer. Although Arkham City is considered the best of the trilogy, Asylum works better as a standalone story, and could more realistically feature a younger Bruce Wayne.
In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Dark Knight finds himself locked in the infamous institution along with his recently escaped rogues gallery.
Adapting this story would allow the filmmakers to showcase Batman’s entire rogues gallery, which is considered to be the best of any comic book superhero (Spider-Man’s is a close second). This could include Catwoman, Riddler and Penguin, all of which have been rumored to appear.
1. The Long Halloween
Although we see shades of this story in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, this new reboot could benefit from a truer adaption.
The Long Halloween features Batman’s attempt to apprehend the elusive Holiday Killer, all the while dealing with two warring crime families.
While the origins of Harvey Dent may be a bit of a retread, focusing instead on Holiday, Catwoman and other villains such as Poison Ivy and the Riddler may help make this story feel like a breath of fresh air. This is an iconic story, and while The Dark Knight is a masterpiece, it wouldn’t hurt to give The Long Halloween another, more faithful adaptation.
If any of these stories are used in the Batman reboot, it is sure to be a wild success. Fans are hoping to see a refreshing take on the character, and eager to see what Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson are going to do with it.