Robin: Ribbiting reboots, Batman! Is it true they're going to reboot Batman? …Again!?
Batman: That's an astute question, my precocious protegee, but difficult to answer. For now, all I can tell you is, "someday."
R: Someday? Unequivocal elephants, Batman! What does that mean? I thought that the news of Warner Brothers and DC hiring a writer for their Justice League franchise meant a new Batman for sure!"
BM: Not necessarily, my worrying ward. Not now, anyway. The last word we heard on the subject came over a year ago, when a certain Warner Bros suit remarked about a possible reinvention of my namesake after Nolan's Knight nets its next nickel. So yes, we may see my name in lights again soon. But only after we see Superman, Spider-Man, X-Men, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and the Green Lantern rebooted first.
R: Wrinkly rehash, Batman! Aren't these reboots getting out of hand?
BM: Hardly! Do you realize how many times the Batman franchise has already been rebooted in comics, film, radio, television, and video games since I was invented in 1939? Neither do I. But according to the BatWiki, about a bajillion—at least 11 of those iterations on the big screen. And don't just accuse us caped crime-fighters of carrying genetic reboot fever, either. Every franchise does it! Did you know another Indiana Jones may be on the way? Don't even get me started on that smarmy ponce James Bond!
R: Golly gee...a bajillion Batmans…or is it Batmen? Batpeople? IDK. Anyway, doesn't the constant reboot cycle hurt the source material, Batman? Aren't these endless reinventions slowly chipping away at your very Batsoul?
BM: Not in the least, my misinformed manboy! I couldn't be happier! A reboot is the best thing that can possibly happen to source material. It refreshes and reinforces the source's brand power. It reminds a generation of consumers about the awesomeness of old characters and story arcs, and keeps me alive forever! It's also a perfect opportunity to sell a new batch of comic books, action figures, video games, DVDs, t-shirts, Halloween costumes, posters, backpacks, belt buckles, birthday cakes, bobbleheads, belt buckles, cell phone covers, night lights, keychains, earrings, coffee mugs, pjs, boxer shorts, and dog apparel. Yep. Thanks to brand longevity, long after the name 'Katniss Everdeen' passes from the final literate child's lips I will still be batdancing on her grave with your grandchildren's grandchildren!
R: That's…pretty grim, Batman.
BM: I know!
R: So…reboots don't hurt the source material. But they do hurt competing original content?
BM: Quite right, my speculating spandex-monkey! Reboots may be good for brands and corporate Hollywood. But you and your friends—young consumers and producers of art—suffer time and time again. In this Blockbuster-driven film culture, there is little leftover room for original content in first-run theaters. Every time a Moonrise Kingdom is relegated to a single obscure theater because local real estate is dominated by Men in Black III (2D,) Men in Black III (3D,) Men in Black III (RealD) and three screens of Avengers—we suffer. Every time an extra $4 is added to a movie ticket to retell an old story through "groundbreaking audiovisual technology"—the audience suffers. Every time a Batman yarmulke is sold—the audience suffers.
R: Wow. I'm sad now, Batman.
BM: As you should be, by glum chum. As you should be.
R: Let's go see Spider-Man on Broadway.