Two of a Kind
Can the Team Behind Batman Begins Capture the Essence of the Joker?
By Lou Anders
Once upon a time, when the mention of the Caped Crusader would invoke singing of the Batman Theme from the campy Adam West TV show or recollections of the Hanna-Barbera Super Friends series, I would protest that, no, these cartoon and live-action media representations of the Dark Knight Detective weren’t the real Batman. They were silly Hollywood corruptions and not what I meant when I told you I was a fan. There was a serious story here, waiting to be told.
And with the debut of Batman Begins, it was. For the first time in the life of the character’s then sixty-six-year history, the real Caped Crusader came to the big screen. The film was a critical as well as commercial success, winning both comic book fan and widespread mainstream approval and grossing $205 million domestically and $372 million worldwide. The general consensus was that the “definitive” version of the character had finally been done. Now, the team of director Christopher Nolan and screenwriter David S. Goyer are set to do it again. Joined this time by screenwriter Jonathan Nolan (The Prestige, Memento), they will return to Gotham City in 2008 with The Dark Knight, a film that will tackle the Batman’s archnemesis and perhaps the most famous supervillain in seven decades of comic books, the Joker. Having given us the definitive interpretation of the Batman, will they be able to capture the Clown Prince of Crime as well? To answer the question, one must first look at who the Batman …