02 May 2010

Sunday 7: The Real Battle Begins As BATMAN 3 Gets Official Release Date

Chalk one up for the DC Comics team as Superhero Cinema continues its headlong march towards war.  There's little doubt that the box office war between the two comic book super-giants will see its first major conflict in 2011, when Warner Bros' Green Lantern opens against Marvel Studio's Thor. But the decisive battle - at least for the immediate future - will be waged the following summer, now that Warner Bros has announced that Christopher Nolan's sequel to The Dark Knight, the untitled Batman 3, has been scheduled for release on 20 July 2012.

Joss Whedon's appointment as director of The Avengers two weeks back has been Tinseltown's hottest topic; that probably won't change, but the focus of the discussion will: Nolan's new Batman opens two months after The Avengers debuts on 04 May.  Batman 3 is Warner/DC's heavy-hitter, and The Avengers is the culmination of Marvel's film five-year slate -- the contest is clear and the news, reviews, rants, and raves of industry and fan alike will myriad and merciless.   

Films are often judged on the merits of their directors, and directors on their last projects. Nolan will have The Dark Knight's chart-topping performance, Heath Ledger's Emmy Award, and the momentum of this summer's Inception - which may also score a nod or two from the Academy - behind him. He'll also have DC Comics' soon to be announced film slate, his and David Goyer's involvement with revamping the Superman franchise,  and those all-important decisions as to who the next Bat-villains will be to generate further buzz.  

Whedon, however, won't really have a 'last' project, considering The Avengers marks only the second feature film he'll have directed.  Nevertheless, beginning with the US premiere of Iron Man 2 on 07 May and then Thor and First Avenger: Captain America following in 2011, Whedon's tentpole project will be cast as a holy grail in the minds of the film going public.  He'll have nearly a two-year head start over the next Dark Knight, and the challenge to keep up is one the Caped Crusader will need to meet -- and beat.

And that's really the question: can Nolan's next Batman be better than his last? The comicsblogosphere is aflurry with that posit, yet not one site that we're aware of has dared to answer the query, however rhetorical it may currently be.  

So abbracadabbling will.  Stay with us...!

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