(Dark Knight spoilers be ahead for those who haven't seen it.)
There's a lot of chatter about who's going to be Batman's new love interest in Christopher Nolan's third Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises." I've got an idea...how about no one.
When we hear the early casting news about these projects, we find out who has been cast as the hero, the villain, and the love interest. It's just a given. And I ask: Why does every movie just seem to have a default love interest?
I got to thinking about this back when Raimi was still going to be making Spider-Man 4 and there was a big hubbub made about whether or not Kirsten Dunst was going to come back. And I thought, if she doesn't want to come back, don't bring her back. Spend two hours telling a story that doesn't have romance as a component. Problem solved. In fact, the movie would probably be better for it.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind and even enjoy a well-crafted love story. Romance and relationships have a huge place in movies and I'm not calling for them to be abolished completely. And in no way am I claiming that there should be no women in the next Batman movie or any other super hero movie. It just seems like these stories are forcibly put into these movies when they don't need to be.
Going back to Batman, after the powerful and poignant death of Rachel Dawes, I don't want to see Bruce find love with someone else. I'd much rather see Rachel's death continue to play a part in his motivations. Borrow a page from Rocky Balboa or Die Hard 3 and make Rachel a character even though she never appears.
Ultimately, when it comes to crafting a story about Batman, I want less time given to a romantic subplot and more time given to Batman solving mysteries and beating up bad guys. The same goes for some of these other characters, too. I keep hoping someone will break the mold here and our best chance is with Nolan. We'll see, but based on rumors so far, it's not looking promising.