Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vicki Vale

As requested by a commenter a while back but I've been slow to get to, Vicki Vale is a recurring love interested from Silver Age Batman stories (which mostly read like the Adam West TV series, with some wacky science fiction mixed in). A reporter for the Gotham Gazette, Vale has a lot in common with Superman's Lois Lane. While dating Bruce Wayne and reporting on the activity of Batman, she often has suspicions that the two are one and the same, but by the end of the issue Batman has managed to fool her into thinking her theory can't be true.

Vicki Vale basically disappeared from the comics in the mid-1960s. However, in the 1989 Batman movie with Michael Keaton, Vicki Vale was written in as Batman/Bruce's main love interest, played by Kim Basinger. This resulted in a brief return to the comics, now as a TV talk show host.

She also appeared recently in Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder (pictured above) as a reporter, though the appearance was somewhat controversial since she spent the bulk of her time on the page in her underwear.

Pros: It's never a bad idea to put a gorgeous redhead in a movie (there's a story -- I don't know if it's true -- that the original Vicki Vale was drawn with a then-unknown Marilyn Monroe in mind, which you can read about here). And as with every other female character I've mentioned, Batman will probably need a love interest of some sort for the next movie.

Cons: Most people associate Vicki Vale with the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton Batman movie, and the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale movies seem to intentionally distance themselves from that franchise.

How I'd do it: We left off in The Dark Knight with Batman as public enemy #1, so in addition to the cops going after the Bat, the local media would be hot on his trail. Enter Vicki Vale, tough young reporter looking to make her name by breaking the Batman story wide open. She seems to be making more progress than anyone else, so to keep a closer eye on her, Bruce Wayne asks her out. Still heartbroken over the loss of Rachel Dawes, he thinks he won't get emotionally involved, but of course he does.

Casting Guesses: It'd be from the same pool of actresses as Poison Ivy. But while I'd insist on Christina Hendricks for Miss Isley, I think Amy Adams is the best choice for Vicki Vale.

Verdict: I think the connection to the earlier Batman movie makes Vicki Vale somewhat unlikely, but she's a decent enough character who doesn't need any tweaking to fit this universe.


The Fantastic Joe said...

Hey, thanks for doing this one! I think if Vicki Vale were to be used, I'd want them to stay away from the overly sexualized Frank Miller version as much as possible. Something about that whole thing just didn't sit right with me, and it just made me think it was Frank Miller, once again, trying to be edgy.

Bill said...

It didn't bother me as much, although I get what you mean. I think it was more Miller writing to his artist's strengths, and Jim Lee is good at the cheesecake.

But I wouldn't want that either, which is why Amy Adams seemed like a good fit. She's a lovely woman, but seems... I don't want to say wholesome, but she's more of a girl next door than a sexpot.