A new documentary on Batman is currently in post-production, and unlike previous documentaries exploring the origins and various adaptations of the Caped Crusader, ‘Legends of the Knight’ focuses on the profound influence Batman has had throughout the world.
Spanning 15 cities and 64 interviews, director Brian Culp’s ‘passion project’ makes the case that the role of Batman transcends DC Comics’s original fictionalized character into something more substantial, something both human and mythologized.
Gone are the days when interest in Batman was relegated to comic book fanatics and marketing companies aimed at young boys. At San Diego’s 2013 Comic-Con, Culp explained:
“I think the beauty of Batman– and it’s one of the reasons why he was the perfect subject for this– is because there have been so many different versions of him… We’ve gone across the ages for this film. I have people in this film that talk about being inspired by the Batman TV show of the 1960’s to be a hero…. Legends of the Knight is less about the Batman that has been created by Tim Burton, or Adam West, or Scott Snyder, or Frank Miller, or anybody else. It’s more about the Batman that exists in our own minds when we walk away from the character.”
This subjective rendering of Batman for every individual is what sets the hero apart from other comic superheros. The positive, almost benevolent influence he has on millions of people can not be denied. For example, in the film, one little boy with leukemia explains his courage in battling the disease by stating that “Batman wouldn’t let cancer beat him”. The myth of Batman plays an active role in many people’s day-to-day reality.
But what is it exactly about the iconic vigilante that appeals to so many people across cultures and generations? For one thing, Batman is a regular guy (despite being a billionaire) who at a young age leaves home to wonder the Earth and find himself. His past is filled with tragedy, struggle, and pain. He is a deeply flawed character, but one who consistently subscribes to values such as determination and perseverance. Thus, in many respects Batman is largely an American concept. Culp explains:
“The character is a symbol in our society; a symbol of a certain heroic value that we hold dear. And I think that Americans in particular hold dear; about independence, personal strength, can- do attitude that has been an American motif… it’s spread around the world, but Batman is an American superhero.”
This American element of Batman’s character has made the franchise extremely marketable. It’s difficult to divorce Batman from the blockbuster films, memorabilia, toys, and games that rake in millions. However, there is much more to the legend than mere profit, and certainly Legends of the Knight will shed light on this fascinating and intricate literary phenomenon.
Interviews in the Legends of the Knight documentary also include comic writer Denny O’Neil, executive producer Michael Uslan (who produced every Batman film after 1989), and author Gotham Chopra (“The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes”).
SOURCE: Screen Rant