Having just read a full and in-depth synopsis of the shooting script of the upcoming "Batman" from yesterday's source, its time to share some small light on the spoiler details which will hopefully quell all the rampant speculation that will no doubt continue unless something like this is done. First off to those wondering I don't have the script or any pages from it - even if I did there's not a cat's chance in hell of me doing anything other than glancing over it and then locking it away in a drawer. I almost never read scripts because I don't like to be spoiled, and they are the studio's copyright so those who post scripts online whether it be a single page or the full baby, you are breaking all sorts of laws.
Reviews of scripts are fine, but again like most I don't want to be spoiled too much, thus what follows is tailored to that taste - there is some spoiler stuff here, almost all of it from the opening third or so, but what I've included doesn't have any real bearing on the plot, is stuff you're already familiar with and/or you'll find revealed in the film's trailers or official notes in any case. There's a few clever twists and jibes in the script, none of which I want to ruin for anyone
I was sent a multi-page breakdown/major spoiler review by this source and have since independently confirmed its genuine. The breakdown fits in with and spells out clearer the rumours heard so far, adds some whole new angles and is understandably critical about a number of points. In Nolan's hands it should be VERY different from what we come to expect from a "Batman" film (it took me a while to get used to it but I quite liked it). After penning this item I have since deleted that breakdown as well so please don't ask me for or about it as I no longer have it. Like Warners, I don't want to see this spoiled but I will clear up some of the talk and lingering questions. This is a one-off as well, there won't be follow-up pieces or any more new details revealed although I will be able to shoot down inaccurate speculation as it comes up: - All the characters mentioned so far are in it - Bruce Wayne/Batman, Alfred, Jim Gordon, DA asst. prosecutor Rachel, Jonathan Crane, and Ra's Al Ghul. - Other characters include Ra's protege Ducard, Wayne Enterprise's Applied Science Dept. head Lucius Fox, mob boss Falcone, acting Wayne Enterprise head Earle, and various crims & law officials and a bunch of ninjas. - There's no link or mention of the previous film's events, this not only ignores them completely but restarts the franchise as its essentially an 'origin' movie which changes elements such as the 'parents being shot' and 'how Bruce found the cave and took up the mantle' subplots. - Despite the filming in London, almost all of the film is set around Gotham City (there's no mention of London) though there's numerous flashbacks to the past and early on the footage is set around a mountain monastery in China. - The first portion of the film swaps between flashbacks and the present. In the past we see stuff we're all familiar with from the comics and earlier movies - Bruce as a child with his father Thomas Wayne, the famous alley shooting of his parents, being cared for by a younger Alfred, meeting regular beat cop Jim Gordon, etc. In the present its Wayne mano-a-mano fighting with Ducard whose 'training/testing' him as such for his master Ra's Al-Ghul whose watching from the shadows. This is no doubt the sequence being filmed in Iceland at the start of production - With Ra's Al-Ghul he does have insidious plans but there seems to be no mention of immortality, the Lazarus Pit, or Talia. His sub-ordinate Ducard is an interesting character with a clever connection to his master. - One subplot has Wayne Enterprise head Earle trying to take over the company and using his influence on public officials. Its revealed Gordon in the present is a Sargeant. There's also a small storyline about a mob boss whom Bruce has a personal score to settle with. - One element I like is the discovery of the cave and its various entrances and the clever finding of the Batsuit described as "prototype spandex body armour". The Batman in full costume however doesn't appear for a while on screen (once he's there, he's there in force) which is a clever move and keeps one in anticipation. - The Scarecrow is referred to only as Jonathan Crane who is the head of medicine at Arkham Asylum. There's a clever origin story to the fear toxin, and at certain points he covers his head in a sack/mask for protection. - The second half (basically once the 'origin' elements are over) are more like a Batman movie we know but some cool new stuff and shots too which I won't spoil. Suffice it to say there's an elaborate plan which will wreak chaos on downtown Gotham. Key characters get drugged, Alfred pops in at the right time and place to save his master and offer wise counsel, and so on. - Action fans will be happy with an extensive Batmobile chase through the streets, alleys and 'other surfaces' of Gotham. A decaying monorail system built by Thomas Wayne serves as the backdrop for some story elements.
- The coda includes mention of one of the Dark Knight's most famous villains - its pretty easy to guess which one. Opinion: In the end this is one of those stories which at first glance will shock you, but then give time to process I think you'll come to really like it - fans of the comic especially should go nuts for this. With the Batman live-action movies we've become used to formula - Bats in costume hunting down a wildly costumed baddie who gets far more character development than our hero, and a dark twisted gothic fantasy sense.
That's all out the window, in this Batman really is the focus of the movie with the villains taking a sidestep. The villains themselves aren't garishly colourful or obsessively dark pastel-clothed freaks, they actually seem to be believable nutters and their connection is a quite clever twist even if their ultimate motives still feel underdone. The love interest isn't a screaming helpless girl and how they handle it especially towards the end is quite mature, but she's not a particularly interesting character either. Alfred is handled nicely, Gordon especially seems to get some good stuff here. Even some of the plain human side characters like Lucius, Earle, Falcone, etc. are going to be interesting to see onscreen. The action towards the end admittedly gets overly theatrical, but otherwise its quite shocking how un-blockbusterish this is, it plays more like an old-fashioned movie which allows its story to unfold than a big action spectacle - indeed the closest film I can think of in comparison is the first "Superman" and even to some extent "Spider-Man", in other words its very much a restart right from the beginning. With Nolan in charge it'll be interesting to see how it all turns out. Thanks to 'Sparkle'.