While the sequel to The Dark Knight is just in the beginning stages of development, Warner Bros is already looking much further down the line. During today’s Time Warner earnings call, CEO Jeff Bewkes compared the Batman series to the Harry Potter film franchise, saying that they hope to release a long line of sequels.
“We look at Harry Potter. It’s fantastic to have franchises that last that long. We want to do that with Batman and Superman and perhaps Sherlock Holmes. The sequels are as good, with new characters added, as were the originals. That wasn’t the case in the years ago. Warners has more tentpoles as an on-going strategy taht very much lifts its distribution and performance. We think that’s going to hold up our slate in the 2009 – 2010 period. We’ve got four more big tentpoles coming this year.”
I kinda get the impression that if Christopher Nolan does a third Batman film, it will probably be his last. He seems like a filmmaker that wants to move on to his own passion projects, and while Warner Bros has been very patient with him in regards to a Dark Knight sequel, the studio/company is clearly looking much further down the line. Warner Bros wants to make a lot more Batman movies? I know, this is a pretty obvious story, but it’s the first time that Time Warner/Warner Bros has said publicly that they are looking beyond the next film.
I know Zack Snyder has expressed interest in filming an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, and even got Frank Miller’s blessing at Comic Con last year. If Nolan isn’t interested in making a fourth Batman film, I would love to see Warner Bros take the leap and do the alternative future story with Snyder in the director’s seat. That way you could give the A-team (cast and crew) behind the Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Batman 3 a break and still make another Batman flick. Sounds like a much better idea than possibility tanting the franchise with a Justice League movie featuring a recast younger Bruce Wayne.