Most films series are doomed after the sequel. Superman and Superman II were amazing, Superman III wasn’t. Batman and Batman Returns were great films too, but then they added nipples to the costume and it all went to hell. Maybe it wasn’t just the nipples… Hollywood’s constant drive for bigger, better, more tends to push aside the original inspiration that made the first films so incredible, in favor of easy cliché storytelling and big budget effects. (Of course, then there is Green Lantern which crammed all three films into one.)
Christopher Nolan has done an amazing job with this current run of Bat-films. The stories are smart, the acting is great, and he has really delivered a darker Batman that many fans wanted to see. I’m glad he’s done. Nolan has announced, quite emphatically, that he is not making any more Batman films. Often, this is a director or actor’s best bargaining chip for more money. I think, and I hope, that this isn’t the case.
There is something to be said about knowing when to stop. The series has been amazing, and if the 3rd movie is anywhere near as good as the first two – he’s done something that we rarely get from movieland. I think it is honorable to finish when things are good. Look at Star Wars. While I never hated I, II and III – critics and fans have vilified Lucas for these films. Nolan could keep going, make more great movies, or he could slip up, add nipples to the costume, and it’s game over.
Just like every comic book artist has a vision for what a character should look like, I want to see what other film makers can do with Batman. Tim Burton provided us great Batman movies in the 80s/90s that were completely different than Nolan’s Batman. We know there will be more Batman films, and I want to see what someone else does.
It’s harrowing writing a sequel. A lot of writers hate their work. Yeah, well, I don’t. I’m fond of Angst, I think it’s fun. I want the sequel to be better, which I’ve found to be a daunting task. I seriously considered not writing more Angst novels for the same reasons I am wary about Hollywood sequels, but I always had a vision in mind of how to continue the adventure.
I think that’s what makes it work. Writers and producers and directors that milk a franchise for every dime often lose sight of their original intent and end up tarnishing the series. This is why I believe that Nolan will give us an amazing finale to the Dark Knight series, and this is why I’m going to keep writing Angst – until I’m done.