Warner Bros.' third and purportedly final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, comes out next Friday. It may be the last film for series helmer Christopher Nolan, who has said he will not returning, but it probably won't be the end of Batman. For his other DC Comics friends, it's only the beginning.
As I reported in June, Warner Bros. is working on a feature version of Justice League, an Avengers-like group of crime-fighting superheroes that includes Batman, Wonder Woman, The
When it comes to Wonder Woman, it's worth noting that a 2011 TV pilot for the character, who was supposed to be a CEO by day and superhero by night, didn't end up getting a network green light. Bloggers flew into an outrage over the character's super-sexy outfit, which led costume designers to tone down some of the latex. That's one problem with female superheroes. They seem designed for a male audience, not a female one. McG (who was going to direct/save the Wonder Woman pilot) managed to make kick-butt women work in his reboot of Charlie's Angels, but there's something about body-hugging costumes that look appropriate on Batman but objectifying in Wonder Woman. Men's costumes tend to show off muscles and abs, emphasizing their strength. Women's costumes make them look like their only tool is seduction. Anne Hathaway's Catwoman costume gets my vote for toeing the line between sexy and functional--it's probably the least provocative out of all the Catwoman costumes.
Having other platforms besides film to explore characters, look, and tone can be helpful--at least to avoid mistakes like those of the Wonder Woman project. Warner Bros.' plan for its DC Comics characters is Disney-esque, with the characters showing up in video games, comic books, action figures, an animated straight-to-DVD movie and--wait for it-- a "We Can Be Heroes" charity campaign to fight hunger in Africa. Superheroes never really die. And it doesn't seem like superhero franchises will either.