If you’re anything like me, and if you’re reading this you likely are, you walked out of Dark Knight Rises with wildly conflicting emotions. Elation at seeing one of the best Batman films, not to mention epic trilogies, ever to appear on screen, and a crushing depressed at the knowledge this was Christoper Nolan’s last Batman film in the director’s chair. What are we to do? Wait for the inevitable DC reboot in two years or cross fingers a JLA movie won’t be as awful as we imagine it would be?
I was pleasantly surprised upon returning home from my second viewing of Dark Knight Rises to learn Joe Carnhan had confirmed he’s back working on the adaptation of Mark Millar’s anti Batman comic Nemesis. This I could be excited about, let me tell you why you should be excited too.
Mark Millar has made good business out of that old British comic writer tradition of making super hero comics interesting by making super heroes awful. Nemesis is a grain liquor brand of this idea. The original tag line for the comic was, “What if Batman was the Joker?”. The title character is a monster, a psychopath who revels in torturing and then killing his targets He’s also basically Batman, a billionaire with deadly martial arts skills, genius intellect for strategy and a host of gadgets. He targets noted police men around the globe, champions of crime fighting, and destroys them.
The comic completely inverts the Batman mythos. What if Bruce Wayne wasn’t the noble crusader he appears in film and comics, what if he was more like the awful billionaire heirs we see on Rich Kids of Instagram? The implications are chilling and Nemesis twists the knife back and forth on the idea, transforming Batman from a selfless saviour to the cruellest of cruel bastards. Can you imagine a more terrifying antagonist in a film than a psychopathic Batman?
As for the director, Joe Carnahan is every bit a capable film maker. It’s easy to watch films like Smokin Aces, The Grey and even the A-Team and see a director with the technical and artistic chops to handle big budget super hero antics. You might argue Carnahan is no Nolan, I’d disagree. I absolutely see the same skills behind the lens that got Nolan the job of Dark Knight after Memento and The Prestige; the same talent for laying out and executing action scenes the same skill for developing character. I am dying to see Carnahan direct a big budget super film. Even better news is the rumoured casting, Liam Neeson in some role, possibly the targeted policeman, and Michel Fassbender as Nemesis.
You may ask what’s next for Batman? Where do we go from here? I say Nemesis is absolutely where we go from here. A violent, uncomfortably confrontational deconstruction of the core concept behind Batman directed by the man who brought us the Tremor Brothers? Oh shit yes.