Rebooting Batman and searching for the elusive Original Screenplay.

So, how about David Fincher to take over the Batman franchise when Christopher Nolan’s done?

Imagine what the Fight Club director could do with the Batman mythology. His dark, brooding visuals and savage probing of Bruce Wayne’s fractured psyche would scar kids for life and make Nolan’s films look like particularly schmaltzy Nora Ephron movies, but it would be hypnotic cinema. Okay, admittedly the toy line merchandising would be a challenge…

Yes, I know, The Dark Knight Rises is still months away and Warner Bros has enough on its plate worrying about Bane’s muffled ramblings in the trailer. But I’m willing to bet two words are already drifting in hushed whispers through the studio’s development halls: franchise reboot.

Nolan’s movie will clean up at the box-office and the studio would’ve completely lost sight of its own bottom line if the film became a permanent end to Batman’s on-screen presence. That would be too, y’know… dignified.

Of course there are other franchises to distract us. It’s taken five years for the Spider-Man saga to, for want of a better phrase, start again. Andrew Garfield is now the web-slinging ‘teen’ Peter Parker and Spider-Man himself is Amazing again. It’s being sold as a darker and, well, much less crap version of Spider-Man 3. Which, personally, I’m all for. Then there’s The Avengers, a stripped-down character piece filmed on a featureless sound stage in Vancouver and featuring a 20-minute monologue from Tony Stark about the moral implications of vengeance. Ok, I might’ve made that up. Yep, they blow up New York in that one.

But while the franchises steam ever forward, spare a thought for the humble Original Screenplay (I feel the capitals are appropriate); a rare commodity in this day and age. There’ll come a time in the not-too-distant future when the superheroes have retired and the last cinematic re-imagining has been consumed in a charisma black hole prompted by Joel Batman & Robin Schumacher directing Ryan Reynolds’ chiselled torso in a misguided ThunderCats adaptation.

It’ll be a cold, grey future of tattered superhero spandex and wildly inappropriate David Lynch Happy Meal movie tie-ins. The studio boss’ office will be a lonely place. Torn scripts will litter the dusty floor and the walls will show faded superhero movie posters from yesteryear. The studio boss stands by her vault (think the one from Ocean’s 11), hair wild and eyes wide as she prepares to swing open the polished steel door, behind which the last Original Screenplay is stored In Case Of Emergency.

Her terrified intern cowers under the desk a broken man, hugging his knees beneath his chin as he rocks gently backwards and forwards, muttering under his breath: No franchises left… No franchises. We need… established fan bases, familiar stories to adapt. Beware… Beware the Original Screenplay… Too risky! No brand recognition! The folly! The folly!

As the studio boss begins to open the vault, she pauses, glances at her intern: It’s time. The Original Screenplay will save us. But if this doesn’t work there’s a movie adaptation of Scrabble behind the book case. If they can make Battleship sexy with a $200 million budget and Rihanna in combat fatigues (no, really), the greatest word game you used to play on a rainy Sunday could be a winner! Scrabble: The Movie. Scrabbled? We’ll get Brett Rush Hour Ratner to direct.

The intern reaches out to his boss, fear in his eyes, but the vault swings open and the office is swathed in a brilliant light; the Original Screenplay has its own dazzling radiance. The intern stares in wonder. The studio boss shields her eyes and steps boldly towards the light; it’s a brave new world and she’s no longer afraid.