Although the Dark Knight Trilogy had a flawed portrayal of Gotham, The Batman 2 can learn from those mistakes and maintain the city’s personality.
The Dark Knight trilogy is one of the most critically acclaimed superhero franchises of all time, but it does have a significant mistake that The Batman- Part II needs to avoid. When it comes to Gotham City, the world created by writer and director Matt Reeves carries its own personality as Gotham, giving the city its own role beyond simply being the place in which Batman fights crime. This has been regarded as one of the first film’s greatest strengths.
While not as extreme as the Gothams brought to life by directors Tim Burton or Joel Schumacher, Christopher Nolan’s Gotham created for The Dark Knight trilogy also had a strong presence in Batman Begins. There was a happy medium between the city feeling like the Gotham from the comics and something more grounded. However, a notable change occurred in the subsequent sequels The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
The Batman 2 Needs To Keep Gotham’s Personality
As seen in The Batman starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, Gotham feels incredibly unique even among past on-screen depictions of the crime-filled city. Living in Wayne Tower in the heart of Gotham, Bruce Wayne bases his operations in the abandoned subway tunnels underneath the city, essentially serving as his Batcave. Likewise, the criminals of Gotham have their own locales coming straight from the comics, such as Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge and its secret mob club underneath (appropriately named 44 Below).
Combined with its dark and gothic architecture with plenty of room to become more like the comics’ Gotham over time, it’s essential that The Batman trilogy maintains this personality in the sequels. In terms of visual design, it can’t become just another basic metropolis which is, unfortunately, what happened with the Gotham in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Gotham needs to always feel dark and foreboding, as if someone could meet their demise at any moment thanks to all its criminals seeking to prey upon the innocent, hence the need for Batman himself.
Gotham’s Feel Is A Critical Part Of The Batman Mythos
In the Batman mythology established by DC Comics, Gotham has just as much of a role as any hero or villain. It’s Bruce Wayne’s home while also being the site of his greatest tragedy. It’s also a great source of strength in that it has provided him with like-minded allies seeking to similarly improve the city. However, Gotham is also a battlefield hosting a war in which Batman will likely never win. Gotham must always be as dark, grim, and striking as the hero who protects it. The Batman has laid a strong foundation, but one of The Batman- Part II‘s biggest challenges will be maintaining that personality going forward.