You don't need me too tell you what a brilliant director Christopher Nolan is, you know that already. He's taken the dying Batman franchise and transformed it beyond our wildest dreams, simply by looking at it as a film, not a comic book film. It would definitely be tragic if Christopher Nolan were to leave the Batman film series, especially since Warner Bros. would be sure to continue without him. But let's think about this. If the worst were to happen and Nolan, for whatever reason, didn't direct Batman 3, who would be the next best choice? Many would say that Nolan is irreplaceable, and that anyone else at the helm would be disastrous. However, I believe there is someone who could fill Nolan's shoes, someone who can tell a brilliant story worthy of the Nolan films: Aaron Schoenke (pictured below, left).
You probably haven't heard of him, but believe me, you don't know what you're missing out on. He's a independent filmmaker working for a small production company in California called Bat in the Sun. He's written and directed a number of fan films based on the Batman comics, including Dark Justice, Batman Legends, and Patient J. But don't mistake the term "fan film" to mean poor quality. These films are all well filmed, written, and acted, especially considering the limited budget. Dark Justice and Batman Legends are fairly short simple films, but it's in Patient J that his potential truly becomes apparent.
"Fan film" barely applies to this one. Patient J is a brilliantly written psychological story revolving around the Joker. And when I say brilliant, I'm not exaggerating. Patient J is The Killing Joke good; The Dark Knight Returns good. It' just as intriguing and twisted as any Joker story ever written. And not only is it well-written, but it's well-cast. Actor Paul Molnar (pictured above, right) portrays the Joker, and while his depiction of closer the the comic book version than Heath Ledger's performance, it's easily better than Jack Nicholson. I would never advocate replacing the late Ledger, at least not this early, but I just might be willing to give Molnar a shot. His performance is priceless. He resembles the comic book Joker down the the finest detail, the expressions, the voice, the laugh, everything. It's as though the character just walked off the comic book pages.
Now I don't want to give the impression that I want Christopher Nolan replaced. I want Nolan to stay as long as he's willing. But in the unfortunate, and unlikely, event that he doesn't return, Aaron Schoenke is possibly the only other filmmaker on the planet that I would entrust with the responsibility. I truly hope Schoenke one day gets his shot a being a major Hollywood director. After seeing what he's done with what he has, I can only imagine what he'd do with multi-million dollar budgets at his disposal.
If you're still in doubt as to Schoenke's talents, check out Patient J yourself.
What about you? Do you think Aaron Schoenke would make a good director for a Batman sequel? What other directors would you chose should Christopher Nolan chose to leave the project?