The recent success of Batman ’89 proves one thing: fans love nostalgia. While it isn’t always wise to lean on memories of times past for a film universe, there’s nothing wrong with a limited-edition revisit of an era in the comics, right? So, why not restore the Nolanverse in DC Comics?
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy changed everything for comic book movies. Refusing to bow to the pressures of the studio’s outdated vision of superheroes, Nolan carved out his own path, showcasing the potential for these films to be something more than merch pushers. Countless awards, accolades, and a bucketload of money later, it’s fair to say the British filmmaker knew exactly what he was doing with the acclaimed Nolanverse.
He had an endpoint, though. Ever since the release of The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan maintained that he wouldn’t be returning to the Batman world again. He said everything he needed to say and wanted to move on to other projects. From a filmmaking and storytelling perspective, it’s understandable. His three-arc story had the perfect beginning, middle, and end, so there was no point in returning to this world.
Though, there is a period in between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight that could form the basis of an intriguing comic book series if anyone wanted to revisit it. While the Nolanverse delivered many iconic villains, there were two notable figures missing: the Riddler and Penguin. Considering how Nolan’s films were deeply influenced by crime thrillers like Michael Mann’s Heat, you can easily see how the likes of criminal masterminds Edward Nigma and Oswald Cobblepot could be outstanding antagonists for a story arc.
Rumours swirled around that these two iconic villains were meant to show up in the Nolanverse at some point; however, that never came to fruition. That said, it isn’t too late to show how they could’ve been integrated into this unique version of Gotham City. Plus, who wouldn’t want to debate who could’ve been the ideal castings for these parts?
Batman ’89 demonstrates that DC understands and recognises the importance of critical eras in its film history. There’s no need to make these nostalgic landmarks part of an ongoing book, as a miniseries will do the job and give the audience exactly what they want. Along with Batman ’89, fans have already received comic book adaptations of Batman ’66, so isn’t the Nolanverse the next logical candidate?