With the new Batman movie coming out this summer, I thought it might be interesting to provide you, my heroic readers, with the direction I would take the movie series if I were running things instead of Christopher Nolan, though using Batman Begins as a starting point. I'm also trying to figure out how to work several mainstay Batman characters into this more realistic world. Unfortunately, I can't come up with a good way of completing my story arc in just two movies (creating a Batman trilogy), so we're looking at my own trilogy (though if my movies are any good, I don't think too many people would mind getting an extra one). This was going to be just one post, but since I ended up being more verbose than I expected, and actually fleshed out the stories more than I intended, you get three posts over the next couple weeks.
One of the running themes of Batman Begins (BB) is wearing masks and identity, so that is something I plan to play with here. We get Jack Napier, newly escaped from Arkham, who already has a thing for jokers. In response to Bruce dressing up as a bat, Jack dons the persona of the Joker, putting on makeup to conduct his dastardly deeds. But, in a confrontation with Batman, he ends up falling in the infamous vat of chemicals, which fuses the makeup to his skin, permanently giving him the ghastly parody of a grin, and of course pushing him even further over the edge. Meanwhile, Bruce starts to build a relationship with District Attourney Harvey Dent, and has a working relationship with him as Batman as well. I figure they are introduced to each other by Rachel Dawes, who then becomes on of the Joker's first victims. We are also introduced to Oswald Cobblepot, a short, fat man with pointy features who is the second-richest man in Gotham (after Bruce of course) and has a thing for novelty umbrellas. His Penguin Industries is getting a recent surge in revenue (and is threatening to overtake Wayne Enterprises as the largest company in Gotham) due to his taking over a large part of Falconi's underworld empire. He is here more as a villain for Bruce and Lucius Fox than Batman. There is some sort of shady business deal that Lucius and Bruce thwart, though Lucius is finding it more and more difficult to contact Bruce since he is spending so much time playing Batman. Batman uses his detective skills to track down where the Joker's hideout is, and as he is consulting with Harvey Dent and (not yet commissioner) Gordon about the final plans of assault on Joker's base, Dent tells Batman that since Joker is a mass-murderer, clearly a homicidal maniac, he would have no problem if Batman just killed Joker instead of apprehending him. Of course Batman is successful in infiltrating the Joker's lair, and in the final confrontation with Joker, beats him to a pulp, more brutally than necessary. As Joker is lying on the ground with Batman looming over him, he says something to the effect of, "Go ahead, kill me." Batman stops the beating, says "I don't kill people," and drags Joker off to the authorities. Joker laughs the whole way. He is locked in Arkham while awaiting trial, and as we pull away from Arkham, he is still laughing. Dent is upset at Batman for not killing Joker when he had the chance since the law will not allow him to execute someone who is mentally ill. In an epilogue we learn that Gordon has been named the new commissioner, and Bruce gives Dent a commemorative silver coin as a gift. In BB, Bruce creates Batman to be a tool to do the things that Bruce can't, but in this one, we start to see the Batman persona start to take increasingly more and more of his time and energy, pushing Bruce further to the sidelines.