How they should write: A DCEU Batman Solo Film

Ok guys, going to try something new today.

Ever since it was announced that the follow up to Man Of Steel would feature Batman, people have been wanting to see another solo film for the caped crusader. The character has now appeared in 2 out of the 3 DCEU films so far and is set to appear in a third when Justice League hits the screens next year. That means that, at that point, all of DC's trinity (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman) will have appeared in 3 films each, but Batman will have been the only one to have not had a solo film. Obviously that will change, Batman is too marketable, and there's apparently already plans for a solo Batman film featuring Deathstroke as the main bad guy. But considering how well received the DCEU has been so far, this could be a very important film for Warner Bros. If Wonder Woman and Justice League aren't well received, a Batman film could be the last shot for the DCEU, considering that Batman films always do very well at the box office and the fact that Ben Affleck has so far been the most universally praised aspect of the DCEU meaning it has the best shot at revitalising the franchise if the next two films don't go down well.

So how should they write it? What story should they go with? Well, here's my take. It's most likely not going to be anything like what they do, but I feel this would be the best way to do it.

Ok, to kick off, we don't want Deathstroke in this film. I love me some Slade Wilson, but I don't think he would be the right villain for the film. The right villain is (and this is unfortunate for me considering I said they shouldn't do this when I did my list of characters I most want to see in the DCEU) The Joker. The Joker needs some major rehabilitation after Suicide Squad and this would be the best place to do it. Another major problem we're going to face is the fact that the DCEU Batman is so far into his crime-fighting career that a lot of emotional reaction between characters is going to be based off of events that the audience haven't seen. But that's what DC/ Warner Bros. decided to do with the character, so we're just going to have to roll with it.

So, the film starts with Batman in the Batcave. He's clearly shaken by the events of the Justice League film (which we can assume there is major destruction and all the characters have a major brush with death) and he is having flashbacks to the events of that film and thinking about his own mortality and how he failed to save people. Alfred enters with the news that Lucius Fox had just phoned to tell him that the stock in the company is up after the good work the Wayne Foundation had been seen to do in rebuilding Metropolis (and any other city they decide to destroy in Justice League). Alfred also reminds Bruce that he needs to show up to the event the mayor is hosting the next night, because the Wayne Foundation is being recognised for its charity work and the board would not be impressed if the major shareholder wasn't present. Bruce doesn't really respond and when Alfred asks him what is wrong, he expresses his feelings to Alfred and looks over to the bloody and torn Robin costume on the wall, the costume worn by Jason Todd. He laments bringing Todd into such danger, not being able to save him and, ultimately, being the cause of his death. Alfred tries to comfort Bruce, but Bruce's mind wanders and we get a short flashback montage, showing Todd as Robin (how they first met, taking him under his wing, fighting crime together and then Todd's kidnapping by the Joker and Batman arriving to late as the building explodes, but importantly we don't see a body). Bruce's trip down memory lane is interrupted by Alfred, who points to the Bat-computer and saying that there is a police alert on Gotham Central bank, that there's been a gas attack, which points to either Joker or Scarecrow. Bruce pulls his cowl on and leaps into the Batmobile.

We then cut to Gotham Central Bank, where the Joker, Harley Quinn and a gang of goons are emptying the safe, all wearing gas-masks (Joker and Harley aren't), whilst the bank employees and customers are all lying dead on the floor, their faces twisted into rigor mortis grins, gas thick around them so it is very hard to see one end of the room from the other. Harley is acting very lovey and clingy with the Joker who keeps brushing her off. He is visibly agitated and starts shouting and kicking his henchmen, which Harley cheers at, but then he snaps at her. She asks him "what's the matter puddin'?" and he slaps her to the ground (because the relationship between Joker and Harley needs to be abusive, not all lovey-dovey). He berates her, bemoaning the fact that he's stuck here with her (calling her various insults along the way, possibly even emphasizing his words with blows) whilst Batman is no-where to be seen. We then hear the sound of someone being hit and falling to the floor from the other end of the room, followed by another. The Joker smiles and says "that's more like it" and turns around. But it isn't Batman who appears from the cloud of Joker gas, it's someone dressed in black leather, wearing a red helmet; the Red Hood. He appears as the gas dissipates, and we have a long continuous shot of him making his way down the hall, dispatching goons with ease as he goes (some in very violent fashion, one can receive a broken arm, one may get his knee stomped, one a broken neck).  The Joker's smile fades and he drags Harley up off the floor and thrusts her towards this new assailant. Harley swings her bat at the intruder, but he just catches the swing and disarms her, knocking her to the floor again. The Joker looks round the room, seeing all his goons and Harley laid out, he turns around and flees through the front door, only for the Batmobile to come screeching round the corner as he gets onto the street. As Batman leaps out of the car, the Red Hood appears from inside the bank. He tells Batman to back off, that the Joker is his. His voice is muffled and distorted, but Batman reacts slightly. During this exchange, Joker pulls out a capsule of Joker formula from his pocket and drops it on the ground, creating a cloud of Joker gas. Batman recoils and covers his face with his cape and when the cloud has cleared both Joker and Red Hood have gone and the scene ends with Batman climbing back into the Batmobile as the police arrive.

After this we see Joker back in his lair, furious. He rants and raves about how Red Hood got in the way, how he was trying to be Batman and nobody can be Batman. He also berates himself for thinking that the goons and Harley could be trusted to carry out such a simple plan and concludes that if he wants to deal with this new guy he'll have to do it himself. He decides to come up with a plan, a trap. Queue Joker laughter.

At this point we cut to the Mayors office, where Commissioner Gordon is being shouted at by the Mayor for not being able to deal with Batman and the Joker, and now there is another lunatic on the streets in the Red Hood. Outside the office, Lieutenant Renee Montoya is waiting. When Gordon leaves the Mayors office, she follows him, asking him what he wants the police department to do. He responds by saying that he needs time to figure out a plan of action. Later that night we have a shot of Gordon atop the Gotham Police Station standing next to the Bat-signal. We see Batman appear behind him and Gordon tells Batman how the Mayor wants him to crack-down on vigilantes in Gotham and then asks how Batman plans to deal with the Joker. Batman says he is working on it and Gordon nods, turning back around. He goes on to say how the department are getting anxious due to the appearance of the Red Hood. He ask Batman if he knows anything about the Red Hood, but Batman has disappeared.  Gordon shrugs and finishes his coffee.

We then have a small scene where we see Joker in the corridor of a very rundown looking apartment building. He stops in front of a door and knocks. We hear movement inside and the door opens slightly. Inside we can see a short man with wild hair and glasses. "Hello Schott-y", Joker says. "Long time no see." The man tries to rebuff the Joker, saying that he's on parole and he can't help, but Joker just kicks in the door, sending the man flying. He asks whether that is any way to treat an old friend, but the man still refuses to help. He cowers and makes excuses but he still doesn't want anything to do with the Joker, saying that he doesn't want to end up back in prison. And then he looks up to a gun in the face and the Joker smiling.

Our focus now shifts to the next day and we are at Gotham City Hall. We see the Mayor, Jim and Barbara Gordon and Bruce Wayne. The crowd is large and obviously wealthy (Jim Gordon looks very out of place, even in his best clothes). Bruce and Gordon talk about the police's progress on capturing the Joker and the appearance of Red Hood. Then everyone is called to their tables and the ceremony starts. The mayor is onstage giving a speech about the Wayne Foundation's charitable work and invites Bruce onstage. As soon as Bruce gets onstage, boom, doors blow open and the Joker and some new goons walk in, this time armed with bigger guns. The goons start taking peoples valuables and shooting in the air to keep everybody low and scared, whilst the Joker monologues. Bruce and Barbara catch each others eye and nod, but before they can do anything, Red Hood comes crashing through the glass ceiling with two hand guns. He shoots two of the goons before making a beeline for the Joker. A gunfight ensues between Red Hood and Jokers goons and both sides pay no attention to the guests. During the confusion, Bruce and Barbara have a chance to slip away and change into their costumes. Batman and Batgirl then join the fight, Batgirl dealing with the Jokers goons and Batman going after Red Hood. Jim Gordon is evacuating the guests with the help of the police and the Joker has disappeared. Batman and Red Hood engage in a fight as Red Hood is angry that Batman got in his way. The fight is short, with red Hood coming out on top. He then calls Batman an old man and zips straight out of the hole he made in the ceiling.

Outside, the police are taking statements and Gordon is worried that neither his daughter or Bruce Wayne have been found. He is relieved to see them exit the building and questions them as to where they had gone. Bruce says that he had got separated from everyone in the confusion and ended up in a different part of the building, but Barbara came and found him. Gordon accepts this and calls over a police officer to take Barbara home. He also suggests that Bruce go home and they both come in to give their statements tomorrow.

Back at the Bat-cave, Bruce is at the Bat-computer, searching for information on the Red Hood. He is in a voice call with Barbara, who is helping with his search on her own computer. Neither can find anything, but Bruce is sure he recognised something about his voice. Barbara says that it may not be a bad thing to have someone else helping to clean the streets, but Bruce disagrees, saying that Red Hood is too violent and too much of an unknown quantity, that he could end up killing someone. Barbara remarks that Bruce isn't one to talk, but Bruce justifies himself by saying that he never hurt anyone who was innocent (because of course, the biggest criticism of the DCEU Batman is the fact that he kills, so this should be addressed). Barbara says that she thinks Bruce just needs someone with him who can help and is about to say that maybe Batgirl could help him, but Bruce cuts her off. Barbara then asks what they're going to do about Joker, to which Bruce responds that they have to find him quickly because he's too dangerous to be left unchecked. Barbara suggests talking to Harley, but Bruce brushes that off, saying that Harley won't talk. Instead, he pulls up a file on the Bat-Computer for Anton Schott, The Dollmaker, and muses that he may have some information on the Jokers whereabouts, seen as Schott used to make weapons for Joker.

Next we see Batman entering into an apartment. The décor of the apartment is dingy and decayed and the walls are plastered with pictures of dolls, mechanical parts and (disturbingly) little children. Batman ignores all of this and makes his way into the next room. The room is dark and all we can see is a figure sitting at a workbench, silhouetted by a lamp on the bench and surrounded by creepy dolls. Batman approaches the figure and turns it around, but Schott is dead, his neck hanging limply and at a horribly broken angle. Batman searches the apartment, doing his detective thing. He finds a shoeprint that matches one he saw on the Bat-computer from the failed bank robbery and the awards ceremony, one that was matched to the Red Hood. He also finds a scrap of what appears to be blueprint paper, as well as traces of numerous powders, liquids and metal shavings. He is then contacted by Barbara who asks him if he's found anything. He replies that Schott is dead and he's found evidence that Schott was working on something, what it was he won't know until he gets back to the Batcave. During this conversation, we also switch to Barbara's side of the call. Batman asks Barbara if anything else has happened, to which she replies that  she'd picked up something about the theft of a helicopter from the Gotham Air Ambulance on the GPD radio but that's about it. At this point we hear Jim Gordon arrive home. He says hello to Barbara who smiles at him, and just as he walks off there's a knock at the door. Gordon wonders who that could be and walks back to the front door, which is off screen. We then hear a shout and a thud. At this point we switch back to Batman to hear Barbara's reaction over the intercom. Batman wonders what is going on as we hear Barbara rush to see what happened. Then we hear a shot and Batman shouts before hurriedly leaving the Dollmakers flat.

Our next scene starts as Batman arrives at the Gordon residence. The front door is open and we seen Barbara Gordon lying in the hall, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the stomach, Jim Gordon nowhere to be seen. Batman kneels down beside Barbara, who reacts, and tells her not to move. He puts pressure on her wound to stop the bleeding and we hear faint sirens in the distance. He asks her who did this and she replies "Joker." This needs to be a really emotional moment because we should be with Bruce in getting memories of the Jason Todd flashbacks at the start. Now Joker has hurt Batman's "family" not once, but twice and this is compounded by the feelings of guilt Batman is already feeling at the start of the film that have carried over from Justice League. Now Barbara Gordon is just another person he failed to save. Batman looks up at the buildings over the street and sees the Red Hood looking down on the scene. Batman is distracted by the arrival of the paramedics and police and when he looks back, Red Hood is nowhere to be seen. As Barbara is loaded into the ambulance by the paramedics, Batman is cornered by Renee Montoya, who tries to place him under arrest, or at least get him to make a statement. However, Batman dismisses her, saying he has to find Jim Gordon and put a stop to the Joker. He then Bat-lines himself up to the place where Red Hood had been, but can't find any clues as to where he has gone. At this point, he is contacted by Alfred, who informs him that there has been a sighting of the Joker near the old Gotham amusement park. Batman informs Montoya of this and tells her to create a perimeter to stop the Joker escaping. When Montoya asks why the police shouldn't just go in and arrest the Joker, Batman replies that not only is the Joker too dangerous (added to the fact Dollmaker was making something for Joker, which they don't know what it is), but the Red Hood is still an unknown quantity and it would be safer if he just went in alone, which Montoya begrudgingly agrees to.

We then cut to the Gotham amusement park, which has obviously not been in use for a long time. We find Jim Gordon in the house of mirrors (as per The Killing Joke). One of his legs is broken and he can only crawl if he wants to move. Joker appears, holding Gordons gun, which he threatens Gordon with before pocketing it. He taunts Gordon, showing him pictures of his daughter lying in a pool of her own blood, before beating him viciously (of course, laughing manically whilst doing so). He then tells Gordon that he is the bait in a trap for both Batman and the Red Hood. Joker then leaves Gordon and makes his way to the big top, where he has moved all of the equipment from the security office, and he watches Red Hood arrive on the security cameras. Batman arrives in the Batmobile a few seconds later and he and Red Hood have a sort-of stare-down, Batman unsure whether to trust the new guy and Red Hood obviously not wanting Batman around (he even goes as far as to say "The Joker is mine. Leave or I will hurt you") before they are interrupted by Joker on the parks speaker system. He taunts the two and announces that both he and Gordon are somewhere in the park. He also informs them that everything in the park is booby-trapped and the entire place is rigged to blow if anyone should leave and he has the detonator. Batman and Red Hood reluctantly agree to work together and split up, Batman searching for Gordon and Red Hood searching for The Joker. As Joker said, all of the attractions are traps, the Merry-Go-Round catches fire when Batman goes near it, the rollercoaster has been sabotaged so that the cars fall on the pathway under one of the loops, almost crushing Red Hood. Red Hood actually finds Gordon first, but when the walls of the House of Mirrors start to move and close in, he just walks away, leaving Gordon to his fate. Fortunately, Batman saves Gordon in the nick of time. Whilst Batman carries Gordon to the front gate Red Hood approaches the big top, where the Joker is obviously waiting. Joker  congratulates Red Hood on finding him, before lamenting that it took him so long (he says something like "I'm the Joker, where else would I be hiding?") and taunting him, saying that it was so predictable that he would turn up and that he was getting in the way of the Joker's fight with Batman, so he needed to be disposed of. He then sees Batman approaching the front gate with Gordon and that the police are waiting. With a smile he pulls out the detonator and says "It's a shame, I was hoping that he'd get here first. But oh well, he always was sentimental." But before Joker can press the button, Red Hood knocks it out of his hand. Joker and the Red Hood then engage in a fist fight, both holding their own, but Red Hood obviously faster and more well-trained against the Jokers manic, untrained and unpredictable style. We cut to Batman, who hands Gordon over to Montoya and warns her that the park is rigged with explosives and tells her to clear the area before he goes back in to find Joker and Red Hood.

At this point the fight between Joker and Red Hood is reaching its climax. Now this fight could be done one of two ways, either really cartoony (so doing stuff with the trapeze and the knife throwing board) or pretty straight (so none of that stuff), but either way, the fight eventually spills out of the big top and into the rest of the park, setting off as many booby-traps as possible as they go. At one point the Joker grabs the Test-Your-Strength mallet (in tribute to the fact that they didn't use Harley Quinn's hammer in Suicide Squad) and starts attacking Red Hood with that. This forces Red Hood to go on the defensive and the Joker starts winning. Somehow they end up somewhere high (on the rollercoaster maybe, or, if we're being really cliché, atop the Ferris wheel). Batman's arrival on the scene distracts Red Hood and Joker smashes him across the head with the mallet. The force of the blow shatters the handle of the mallet (with the head falling to the ground below) and caves in the Red Hood's helmet, forcing him to have to remove it. This of course reveals that the Red Hood is.... yeah it's Jason Todd, we all knew that was coming, but for casual fans this will be a big reveal. Batman is, of course, stunned. Joker, well, not so much. He just pulls out the gun he took from Jim Gordon earlier and shoots Jason in the chest (because Joker is an unpredictable psychopath) causing him to fall to his knees. Batman is obviously not very happy about this and starts to climb up to them. Back up top, Joker taunts Jason, saying he knew he'd survived, but not to worry, he'd be seeing his mother very soon. We then hear the sound of a helicopter and Joker looks over his shoulder. The camera then moves to show the stolen air ambulance helicopter (painted in very Joker fashion) coming towards them. As it gets overhead a harness drops down and the Joker grabs it. He then pulls out a second detonator (because of course the Joker would have a second detonator) and, as he ascends, presses the button. Batman leaps from the structure he was climbing, landing roughly on the ground, whilst the attractions crumble around him. We don't see what happens to Jason.

Our final scene begins with Barbara Gordon in a hospital bed, her father sitting in the seat next to her with his leg in a cast. The attending doctor is explaining that the damage done to her spine makes it unlikely she will walk again, but it is not impossible. Meanwhile, the hospital TV is playing a news report about Joker breaking Harley out of Arkham and that the whereabouts of the Red Hood are still unknown. We then end on the classic shot of Batman, crouching atop a gargoyle on one of Gotham's skyscrapers, when he gets a message from Alfred saying that some villain is doing something (Poison Ivy is in the process of attacking a chemical company, or Mr. Freeze is breaking into some lab somewhere, hell even throw in Deathstroke at this point to set him up for a future film). Final shot is Batman leaping from the skyscraper and gliding towards camera.

Or not. Because then we have an end of credits scene. Bruce is sat in the Batcave, being all brooding, looking at the Bat-computer, when we hear a voice from behind him. The voice says "You know, if you were having trouble, you could have just called me." Bruce turns around and smiles. "I didn't want to get you involved," He says. "Besides, I heard you were having trouble of your own that you needed to deal with." The camera pans around as the voice replies "Yeah, that's right. And boy do I have a story to tell you." And the camera stops, we see who a figure in the shadows who steps forwards as he says the last line, revealing.... Nightwing. End.

So, what do you guys think? Any bits you like or think should be different? How do you think Warner Bros./ DC should do a Batman solo film in the DCEU? Thoughts and opinions in the comments below please. Also, tell me if you like the idea of this post. If you guys do then I might do more in the future.

And with that

JR out.

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