A new tweet has arrived people. A tweet! Yes, it’s Friday and we're all halfway into the weekend, so let’s get right into it. What are we carping on about? Superhero in-the-know blogger Umberto Gonzalez has been generally on the money with his “Batman Vs. Superman” reporting of late. This morning he tweeted he was about to retweet a “scoop” about the upcoming Zack Snyder-directed superhero film for Warner Bros. And so he did, retweeting film producer Daniel Alter who tweeted “Can't wait for #BatmanvsSuperman.. #batfleck semi-retired/not speaking to Robin anymore… Controlling drones from the batcave.”
First off, why should you believe Alter? While he isn’t a producer on “Batman Vs. Superman” he does have some ties to Warner Bros. (an exec-producer on “The Apparition” and a still-in-development “Johnny Quest” film). He also appears to be a fan of the characters for what that’s worth. “For years, people in the business have been saying Superman isn’t relevant because he’s not hip and edgy like some other characters are — which is really short-sighted,” Alter was quoted as saying in a pre-2013 “Man Of Steel” Variety story. “His story is the most iconic. You just have to go back to the source material and reboot it a little more modern and gritty for today’s audiences, and you’re going to get a film that if it delivers, will launch a bigger universe than any other superhero movie.”
So maybe Alter knows a thing or two. But let’s look at what we know and what we’ve heard. The idea of Ben Affleck’s Batman in the David Goyer-penned “Batman Vs. Superman” film is that Bruce Wayne is “tired and weary” and “older and wiser than Clark Kent.” We also already know that Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” would be a loose inspiration/jumping off point for the character and story (in this future version of Batman, he is at odds with the Man of Steel). And we know that actors are already vying for what is reportedly the part of Nightwing, aka Robin, all grown up in his 20s.
So what have we learned? Well, a lot of the anecdotal evidence has already piled up to give us a pretty clear picture of who this Batman character will be. We basically already know and/or can safely assume that Bruce Wayne is semi-retired. That’s the case in Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” and someone who is tired, weary and disgruntled is probably still not out there fighting crime (additionally, see our prescient 6 Things You Can Likely Expect From Zack Snyder’s ‘Superman & Batman’ Movie). And Nightwing? Well, as aforementioned, he’s the character of Dick Grayson, aka Robin, in his mid-20s. In the comics, the central motif of Nightwing is that he’s not on speaking terms with Batman and he’s adopted the Nightwing mantle to shed himself of the baggage of being Batman’s sidekick. In these stories, Nightwing is older and basically had enough of his mentor. Batman isn’t particularly keen with Grayson’s ingratitude either, given that he’s counseled him and acted as a surrogate father figure for years. So it’s absolutely implicit that the introduction of Nightwing in this story means friction and conflict between Batman and his former protégé. Just as conflict between Superman and Batman is understood with any mention of “The Dark Knight Returns.”
So what have we actually learned? Bruce Wayne is older, wiser, probably angrier and embittered (you would be too if your ungrateful sidekick told you to go to hell). Instead of fighting crime on the streets he’s using the latest technology, such as drones from the Batcave. It’s probably like playing chess while Alfred brings him tea. So, we probably haven’t learned that much unless you’re totally not paying attention. Nothing to see here, please disperse.