Before the DC Extended Universe decided to make its superheroes dark, dull, and depressing there was a host of indie filmmakers ready to show the world how a live-action cinematic universe is done right. Sort of. Due to budget constraints (read: not having much of one at all) and, more importantly, pesky legal restraints, these films are short, sweet, to the point, and not-for-profit.
Author’s Note: Batman is awesome, we all know that, so all of these films center around the Caped Crusader in one way or another.
These first two play out like trailers for movies that could have (and maybe should have) been.
An epic, five-minute extended trailer for what could be considered a Justice League movie. Inspired creator John Fiorella crafted a concept that was something new and something old.
Batman and Superman reluctantly unite to fight off Lex Luthor (in a Power Suit!) and Two-Face.
Bat in the Sun Productions with Director Aaron Schoenke, created a trilogy of Batman-inspired indies that ranges from disjointed, short and sweet to epic and psychological.
Somewhat of a cluster-F, it’s Batman, Nightwing, and Robin trying to fend off the deadly assaults of Poison Ivy, The Joker, Bane, and more.
Batman: City of Scars
The longest and most complete of these films. City of Scars might be an even grittier take than anything Christopher Nolan did. Dirty, bloody, and crazy, City of Scars is a much more psychological take on Batman.
Batman: Seeds of Arkham
A sequel of sorts to City of Scars, Seeds of Arkham looks into the power struggle between Batman’s rogues gallery after the death of The Joker.
Batman: Dead End
At the rate things are going a super-cinematic crossover between the DCU and random franchises is probably not that crazy of an idea. Here, Batman is on the trail of The Joker which crosses paths with two other mortal enemies in a fight of their own.
Here’s a link to DC Entertainment on YouTube as thanks to Warner Brothers for not suing me for this article.