Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
In '89 Batman, the Wayne's were rich but not celebrities. Knox and Vicki spent most of the movie investigating Bruce Wayne before they even learn about the Wayne murders. Bruce Wayne throws a party and most people don't even recognize him.

Bruce's duality was a big part of the Burton movies. Wayne Enterprises didn't really factor in the first movie but in the second one, you had Max Shrek, a corrupt businessman who served as a rival of sorts to Bruce Wayne. Shreck wanted to built a power plant (though he had more sinister and greedy reasons for it) with Bruce Wayne and the mayor opposing it. In Batman Forever, Riddler was obsessed with Bruce Wayne while Batman dealt with Two Face. In Batman and Robin, you didn't see the corporate side but Freeze helped served the Bruce Wayne arc (the whole Alfred dying part) whilst Ivy and Bane fought Batman.

Like I said in another thread, the movies in general follow a trend of having a Bruce Wayne villain and a Batman villain. Having unethical and downright corrupt businessmen and officials opposite Bruce Wayne could serve the mythology well. Show where their similarities and end and where their differences begin. Flesh out the upper class of Gotham and show how they serve as an obstacle to building a better Gotham.
Yeah I think there's a lot to like about the Burton interpretation, the more it ages, the more I appreciate about it rather than being annoyed that it isn't quite like the comics.

One thing I've always said is the '89 Batman costume design — not exactly the awkward execution — but the all black, yellow oval and belt, with the scallops and the mid-size ears... it's my favorite version. The comics have never really done the "all black" suit justice -- Troika era and some of the Morrison JLA came closest, though actually the comic book adaptations of the Burton movies had a really cool looking Bat suit.

Burton-verse isn't my favorite but there are some elements to the status quo I think work really well, mainly just the relative anonymity of Bruce, and the costume.

As for the topic at hand, yes, I would be fine with a more anonymous Bruce Wayne. Plenty of rich people who stay out of the spotlight. I remember watching a video of Bob Iger on Jimmy Kimmel and lots of people remarked that it's their first time seeing the guy and had no idea how he looked like. If I had any say in how the Bat mythology is written, I would have Wayne Enterprises as one of the many companies operating in Gotham. Wealthy but still have to watch out for Daggett Industries/GothCorp/Powers Technology/Grant Walker's Industries. The Wayne Family murder wasn't a huge event like the Kennedy assassination, it's something that happened one day, dominated the news cycles for a few weeks then every one moved onto something else. In this day and age of social media Bruce Wayne would be under constant media surveillance and wouldn't have been able to become Batman if the Wayne's were basically royalty. Bruce Wayne would need some anonymity to pull off the years of training and transformation into Batman. I would take it a step further and have Bruce Wayne run Wayne Foundation using his wealth on charitable causes while Lucius runs Wayne Enterprises as CEO but Bruce holds majority so he has some say in how the business is run. Billionaires are largely people who hoard wealth, the amount of wealth they accumulate become something to brag about. If Bruce Wayne is constantly spending his wealth on stuff like Justice League satellites, donating to hospitals, clinics and universities, he would be on the verge of falling from billionaire to millionaire, which would be in keeping with the character. While in reality it's difficult to imagine rich guy being this charitable, I think it's possible to allow some leeway in fiction. Other rich guys, including Luthor would look down on Bruce Wayne. Seeing him as a well meaning idiot giving away too much money and not using it 'the right way'. This extends to Bruce's public persona. However, the people who work closely with Bruce at Wayne Enterprises know that he is far smarter than most people think. Even Lex eventually comes to realize that Bruce Wayne is no idiot and may in fact be a wise man playing the fool.
Good pitch. This is pretty easy to imagine being implemented, it's a solid tweak to the existing status quo, rather than a full reinterpretation like I was pitching. I like splitting the foundation/CEO functions between Bruce and Lucius, which is kinda what they were to begin with, but puts Bruce in the position of trying to spend as much as possible.

I think that dynamic works even if the dollar value isn't billions, though I do like the idea that he's kind of teetering on the edge between millionaire/billionaire. I definitely like the idea of emphasizing Lex and Daggett and other CEOs think of Bruce as too soft.