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Old October 29 2008, 04:05 AM   #22
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Location: Washington State
Re: Nolan 'Unsure' about Batman Sequel

I certainly can't think of many particularly good chapter three movies, not even BttF and Jedi; though there were wonderful parts to both of those. (Azkaban doesn't really count, since it's part three of seven.)

I think the crux of the matter is that we inevitably expect trilogies to have a three-act structure. Threequels should really be the third act of one big movie, which is why Return of the King and the Luke vs. Emperor parts of Jedi work so well. And I think a main reason why third movies tend to fail is that third acts should be the shortest acts, and they should have less conflict than the middle. But since half-hour movies aren't possible, directors try to cook up another second act, and we get messes like Spider-Man 3 and Pirates 3.

If not a half-hour wrap-up, what should filmmakers aim for? I think taking the series in a whole new direction, a sort of reboot/spinoff/new first film. I thought T3 worked great because it was all about John, who wasn't in T1 and hadn't really developed during the Sarah-centric T2; T3 was sort of a spinoff in that regard. Heck, even to use the Azkaban example, that story really hinged on Sirius, Lupin and Pettigrew, all new characters. (Even disregarding the quality jump, the fact that the whole movie's aesthetic was radically different didn't hurt either.)

So, what should a Batman 3 be like? Different. With TDK's mid-movie death and twist-ish ending, Nolan's already on a promising track. Maybe Bats should have to work with someone as an equal - Catwoman or a Batwoman or something; maybe he should be injured early on and have to play an Alfred-ish part, and have the main focus be on the new person.

But to just re-do TDK with the Penguin or Riddler, I think, is to invite disaster.

Whoops! Forgot the terrific Bourne 3. Since Bourne didn't really develop during Supremacy, or learn anything new about himself (it was really Joan Allen's, and especially Brian Cox's, movie), that threequel did feel like a proper third act. Also, like Luke and Frodo, he had a specific paramount threat to face in a way Nolan's Batman doesn't.
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