Is Quentin Tarantino becoming the new oracle of the Hollywood community who knows what works and what doesn’t? With the media frequently letting him display what he thinks are the best movies of the year, he gives plenty of room for people to disagree with him. But the fact that he can adeptly scope out exactly what works in a movie, it’s not always easy to disagree with his assessments. He’s also not afraid to take a lashing for bashing ideas that may seem brilliant in the abstract, though ultimately don’t turn out well on film.
Tarantino may be onto something when he said not long ago that Batman isn’t really an interesting character. While Tarantino didn’t bash Ben Affleck soon taking on the role, he didn’t think Batman had enough dimensions to be good for any actor.
Did Tarantino manage to hit onto something that could give nightmares to the filmmakers behind the new Batman vs. Superman movie? When you see how right Tarantino seems about his favorite films of the year, it makes you wonder how much of a prognosticator he’ll become for the Hollywood community. Regardless, what is it about Batman that he thinks is so uninteresting?
While Tarantino didn’t elaborate, it’s easy to see the aspect of Batman’s brooding behavior becoming an annoyance after so many films. When you consider Bruce Wayne/Batman doesn’t have much hint of trouble in his past and comes from a silver spoon world, it’s hard to drum up much sympathy for the character. Yes, he does have the tortured burden of being called upon as a superhero to fight crime. That was all by choice, however, and akin to a celebrity carping over dealing with a career he or she helped shape.
Batman simply thrives on being a superhero with the coolest suit, gadgets and being in the most crime-laden metropolises. It’s amazing that audiences embrace Bruce Wayne/Batman on that very level without desiring a more complex character. Through the entire movie franchise, it’s been the villains that keep people interested. In “The Dark Knight” trilogy, we’ve seen some of the most intense and multi-layered villains in the history of superhero films.
In Affleck’s take, though, it’s going to be Superman as his adversary. You can already see Tarantino’s warning take shape when you realize how Superman is close to the same as Batman, though with a little more personal burden. It’s already odd enough to think of Batman and Superman going at each other’s throats without thinking of an immediate parody involving face slapping.
Will Tarantino be proven right this new Batman won’t be all that interesting? Say what you will about Tarantino and his frequently bloody approach to filmmaking: He understands brilliant film structure and characterizations to the core. A Batman written by Tarantino would have far more interesting layers than any other screenwriter can manage without changing comic book canon. And when it comes to comic books, you can’t change much without disrupting the space/time continuum for fans.
Now we’ll have to see if Tarantino becomes the go-to consultant in the world of filmmaking once he’s proven right. He may end up giving more sideline and covert suggestions on writing and directing than Orson Welles probably did back in the day. That’s assuming Ben Affleck doesn’t take over as director of the Batman movie where even he could give true reason for Batman existing let alone wanting to destroy the Man of Steel.