Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tim Burton's Batman-Verse Expanded - Part 1

Well, I know it's been a long wait, but here it is! The first post of the new year! This post is a continuation of a post I had last August in which I cast people for roles in Batman movies that are a continuation of Tim Burton's two movies. That post can be read here if you missed it:

In this post, I will lay out my ideas for a couple of the movies that would follow. I used a lot of inspiration from many different stories that have been told about these characters in the comics over the course of time. There are tons and tons of great stories that can be found in the comics in establishing these characters and I think it would be a disservice to not use these stories by the creators that put a lot of thought into them, so this is why many of the ideas I will lay out will be recognizable to many comic fans, and if you don't follow the comics, then these are almost samples of the things you would find!

Another thing that I would like my movies to focus on are the villains. There are many people today (me included) that feel that there are only so many ways you can try and develop the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman and since his character has been around for so many years, I don't think you need to add anything or show his progression. I feel like that is where some of the new Batman ideas fail, when people try to do something radically different to progress Batman's character development, when that shouldn't be the focus in my opinion.

Batman to me has the greatest cast of villains ever assembled and have some of the greatest origin stories and mentalities that I find way more interesting than Bruce Wayne's morose life. I think this is why I feel that the two best Batman movies to me are Tim Burton's pair. In both of these movies, you see where the villain comes from and you spend a great deal of time with them. This is why I choose to extend this universe out instead of say, Chris Nolan's.

Not that I didn't find his trilogy interesting, I just didn't like how some of the villains felt really underdeveloped. I really wanted to see more of Scarecrow and it took multiple movies to get R'as al Ghul's motives fully developed. Really, to me the only villain that had a decent focus on him was Two-Face. Many will argue Joker, but I really didn't like how the Joker's story ended in that movie. It was quite a bit of a let down for me and seemed anti-climactic to say the least. (Now a bunch of you will probably stop reading since I didn't say Heath Ledger's Joker was the best...)

However, let's get to it. In this part one of two, I will lay out my ideas for Mr. Freeze, the Mad Hatter, Clayface, Black Mask, and Killer Croc. Like I stated earlier, to get an idea who I have pegged as playing each of these characters, see the link above to see my casting choices.

Mr. Freeze:

This movie would focus on Victor Fries and his downfall after his lab accident at GothCorp Pharmaceuticals where he was working on a cure for his wife's disease that leaves him disfigured and into the alias Mr. Freeze. This is his well known origin story and might as well use it. However, in this movie, he discovers that the CEO of GothCorp sabotaged his experiments in order to kill both him and his wife so he could then take credit for finding the cure (as Victor was so close). He then sets out on a mission in order to kill all of the Board members of GothCorp by leaving them left frozen solid.

Batman begins to investigate the crime scenes and traces it back to Victor and finding out who he is and his work as a scientist. He figures out Victor's targets and confronts him at the lab before he could finish off his final target, the CEO, but as he tries to stop Mr. Freeze, Victor tries to kill Batman, but Batman makes him fall into a heating chamber designed to kill off all bacteria with its intense heat where he dies (Oh by the way, since in Tim Burton's movies the villains die, they continue to do so in my movies. Brings closure to the arcs and they can't ever come back, like they do in the comics and continue to raise hell.) Batman though knows that the CEO killed Nora and takes him in to the police for murder.

Mad Hatter:

Jervis Tetch is a schizophrenic man that has an obsession with finding his "Alice". He starts out as a psychologist, but soon develops a hat that can begin to control the minds of his clients. He begins to identify himself as the Mad Hatter from the classic novels of Alice in Wonderland and creates his own gang to help him track down women that look like the titular character from the books. He names it the Wonderland Gang that is comprised of henchmen known as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Humpty Dumpty, the Walrus, the March Hare, and the Carpenter.

As he brings these young women to his secret hideout set up like the Mad Tea Party, he finds out that either their name isn't actually "Alice" or that they don't have the personality he is looking for and murders them. Batman starts investigating these disappearances and has run-ins with the Wonderland Gang. He also finds out that most of these women were clients of the psychologist Jervis Tetch after doing thorough research.

As he reaches the Wonderland Gang's hideout, he ends up getting partly under the mind control of Tetch who wants to claim Batman's cowl, to which Batman kidnaps a woman that Tetch had pegged as his perfect "Alice". He brings her back to the hideout that is now set up like the Queen of Hearts courtroom and as they begin to psycho-analyze the girl, but Batman snaps out of his control and just as they are about to put her into the guillotine so he can declare "Off with her head!", Batman fights off the Wonderland Gang, and instead punches the Mad Hatter into the machine and he meets his end.

Yes, this is a very dark tale, but such is the stories of the Mad Hatter in the Arkham Series and comics around the time. Also, Batman Returns was pretty messed up!


Basil Karlo was Gotham's most famous actor until he gets passed over for a role for a younger and better looking actor. He begins to lose roles in the next coming years for the same reasons. He decides to inject himself with an experimental dose of anti-aging cream that is supposed to make you look younger, but it has terrible effects on him and his face becomes greatly disfigured. He thinks he is going to die and since he has been damaged beyond repair, he decides to kill a bunch of the actors that got the roles that the studios passed over him for.

He finds out that he can shapeshift and it helps him complete his crimes without detection. Batman once again gets on the case and believes Basil Karlo is behind the killings but can't find evidence of him committing the crimes since Clayface usually changes appearances and Batman finds out that his DNA is so convoluted due to the cream that Basil is infused with.

As Basil goes to the broadway theater to kill another target, Batman shows up and reveals Clayface's identity to everyone in attendance. Clayface engages in a fight with Batman and all of the patrons rush out of the theater as the two fight. Batman gets Clayface in position onstage when he activates special spotlights he installed earlier under the guise of Bruce Wayne donating to the theater that have intense heat. The heat projected off of these lights act like a kiln and bake Clayface solid, killing him.

Black Mask:

Roman Sionis was the heir to the Sionis Steel Mill from his rich family. However, his family ran the company onto the edge of bankruptcy and Wayne Enterprises stepped in and purchased the company making Bruce Wayne the new heir. Sionis became enraged with his family that he went abroad to get away from everything for awhile. While away, he becomes obsessed with masks used by various cultures and the "powers" that they are said to have. He ends up creating his own alias known as the Black Mask and returns to Gotham and kills his parents.

Sionis sets up his own gang that focuses on hitting Wayne Enterprises businesses and stealing from them or destroying them. He ends up controlling most of the mobs in all of Gotham as he sets up his syndicate. Batman obviously gets involved and links all of this to Sionis and knows that he would eventually try to gain control of the steel mill again. Batman and Sionis square off at the mill and during their encounter, Sionis falls into a vat of molten steel, ending his mobster reign on Gotham.

Killer Croc:

At a young age, Waylon Jones had a disorder that started turning him into a crocodile-like being. His family disowned him and got rid of him a la Penguin in Batman Returns. He ends up getting recruited by a traveling circus freakshow and is actually enjoying life as a star and he felt normal as other freaks were his friends. However, once the circus hits Gotham, protestors force the circus to shut down and the members of the show decide to start taking out their anger on the denizens of Gotham.

Killer Croc didn't want any part of the riots and retreated to the sewers as Batman took down the other members of the show. As he continued to be isolated down in the sewers, he began killing the homeless people that wandered down there for shelter and started becoming a legend amongst Gotham. Batman didn't get involved until some cops started missing due to their investigations of the homeless deaths.

Batman ends up going into Croc's lair to confront him and to try and help him, but in Killer Croc's rage that his condition has put him in as he loses more and more of his humanity he attempts to kill Batman. Batman continues to try and talk Jones out of his rampage but he doesn't intend to listen. Batman continues to dodge Killer Croc's attacks by hiding around pillars but as Croc destroys them in an attempt to kill him, the ceiling begins to give way. Eventually Croc destroys enough of the columns and the sewer cavern deep below the city gives way and crushes him. Batman leaves the subterranean system in sorrow after he only wanted to help the disfigured man.

So those are my ideas for roughly half of the movies that I think would be cool to see in Tim Burton's Batman-verse. I will post part two of this at some point with the ideas for the other ones. I know I went through the general idea of the movies and skipped a lot of other stuff that could happen in them. I also know die hard fans of Batman probably don't like the whole killing part of these, but like I said, Tim Burton's movies established this Batman as a dude who doesn't put up with just catching the bad guys so they can just escape and continue to plague the city.

If you like these ideas for movies, give credit to where the credit is due, to all the creators of the comics and writers of the stories that I pulled a lot of these ideas from. They created deep characters and intriguing stories that definitely should be explored on the big screen, and I hope someday we can see these.

Thanks for reading,

Mike G.

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