Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day and Night

A continuation of my ideas for Year of the Bat (or at least that's what I think would make a great title for this third/final installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman series)..

We now continue, having left off with someone, apparently Batman, blowing up every wannabe supervillain in Gotham in one swift motion...

That night. Wayne Manor. Bruce Wayne walks into the kitchen. Alfred confronts him about his recent change. "You didn't mean to kill Mr. Dent, sir. But these others. The ones since then. You can't call that an accident. Batman was supposed to stand for something." As Alfred continues talking, the camera closes in on Wayne's face, and Alfred's voice fades out, replaced with words from the Joker, "You complete me. You complete me. You complete me." Wayne shakes out of the reverie and explains to Alfred that when the mob was around, he had purpose. With the Joker, he had purpose. But now, he's lost that purpose. Batman is no longer an incorruptible symbol. He's just another freak. The people are as scared of Batman as they are of the villains. Maybe even more so. And worse, he's inspired normal criminals to step up and try to be the next Joker or Batman. That's why he did what he did. He's tearing out the weed at the root. Alfred interjects that all those would-be villains aren't the root. Wayne pauses and says, "I know."

The next morning, Gordon surveys the ruins of the warehouse. One of his men delivers an initial report that "dozens" were killed. Gordon holds his hand to his eyes. "Even the Joker didn't get that many," he sighs.

The officer who delivered the report, looking around with a more hardened expression, interjects, "But these were bad guys, sir. It's not like the Bat Man's killing innocent people."

"And if he had," asks Gordon, "If he had, could you have stopped him?"

That night, a drug dealer waits on the corner. The street is unusually quiet. He starts to walk away from his post, looking over his shoulder. He's convinced someone is following him. He ducks into an alley and peeks back at the street. Nothing. When he turns back to the alley, he's suddenly sucked into the darkness. The camera pulls back from the alley to the sound of blows landing and muffled screams.

Cut to Wayne Manor, the next morning. A newspaper slams down next to Bruce Wayne's head. Alfred is shouting at him about the front page item, a low level drug dealer who was beaten so badly he's in critical condition at the hospital, and how one of Batman's symbols was left at the scene. Wayne shrugs and begins to monologue about the power of fear, how when it isn't just the bosses, but any thug who can be hurt by Batman, they won't dare to. Alfred cuts him off, arguing that if people are too afraid to do wrong, that doesn't mean that they're good or right. It just means they're scared. And that's no different than how it used to be.

Cut to Gordon, who is fielding various questions from the press about Batman: whether he's really being pursued by the police, whether Gordon think he's making the city safer. He answers that Batman was once a symbol of hope. Now he's a symbol of fear. Gordon wants people to think of the police as the new symbol of... He is cut off as a body swings into the window, much as the fake Batman in The Dark Knight. It is the officer who reported to Gordon at the warehouse. He's alive, but badly beaten. A piece of paper in the shape of a bat is pinned to his shirt.

Cut to Wayne Manor. Bruce approaches Alfred. "I need you to do something for me."

OK, this middle portion has been the hardest for me. Obviously I want Batman to descent lower and lower, taking on criminals and police alike, and becoming hated/feared by the general populace of Gotham. In the next installment, I'll outline Batman's final plans, how they go awry, the grand cinematic climax, and the muted dramatic climax.

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