Batman turns 80 this month, so to celebrate, Warner Bros. is teaming up with IMAX to host a tour of screenings for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Which is great! Those films are (mostly) good, and have influenced superhero media greatly. But still, I can’t help but wish the studio had chosen to screen a wider…
Batman turns 80 this month, so to celebrate, Warner Bros. is teaming up with IMAX to host a tour of screenings for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Which is great! Those films are (mostly) good, and have influenced superhero media greatly. But still, I can’t help but wish the studio had chosen to screen a wider selection of the Bat-canon.
Announced today, the IMAX editions of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises will screen in five locations across the U.S. (with one stop in Canada). Starting March 30–the actual date of Batman’s first appearance in the pages of Detective Comics 80 years ago–the trilogy will screen back-to-back at Universal Cinema AMC in Hollywood, California, featuring a moderated Q&A with Nolan himself.
From there, the tour will move on to AMC Lincoln Square in New York and the AMC Metreon in San Francisco on April 13, and then Cinesphere Ontario Place in Toronto and Indiana State Museum’s IMAX Theatre in Indianapolis on April 20, which will include the Los Angeles Q&A as a recorded interlude. Tickets for every screening will go on sale at 9:00 a.m. PT tomorrow, March 13, and if you bag a ticket for all three movies, you get some undisclosed merch as well as a lanyard celebrating the trilogy and 80 years of the Dark Knight at large.
But still… why? Okay, well, I’m just being facetious there, I know why. The Dark Knight saga is wildly adored by millions as one of the ultimate takes on Batman. Its approach to superhero stories in live-action had an influence that is arguably still felt today, at the height of superheroic cinema with Marvel and DC alike as some of Hollywood’s most successful titans. If you’re celebrating Batman as a character, it makes sense to do so with his biggest cinematic success.
But at the same time, there’s so much more to Batman’s movie legacy than just those three movies. They’re not the be-all-end-all of Batman on film. If we’re truly celebrating 80 years of Batman–a persistence across a frankly insane time frame that has required evolution, change, and variety in interpretations of just what the character can be like in any given medium–why not celebrate with a more eclectic mix? Yes, get Batman Begins and its successors in there. But also celebrate the audacious camp of Batman Forever or, at least in my books, the equally audacious but much funner Batman ’66 movie. Celebrate the Gothic thrill of Tim Burton’s Batman, and the loving, technicolor metatext of The Lego Batman Movie. Hell, get some goddamn Mask of the Phantasm in there, because Mask of the Phantasm is bloody incredible!
What I’m saying is, why not celebrate eight decades of Batman’s existence with a testament to the malleability of the character across almost as many decades of film? It’d have been nice to acknowledge that with official screenings, but it appears I’ll have to do a binge watch in the comfort of my own home later this month. Which I’d need to do anyway, given that every one of these screenings is literally 4,000+ miles away from me in the first place, but still, it’s the point that counts.