When The Dark Knight Rises was released in theaters four years ago, I found myself enjoying it, although not as much as the two films that preceded it; it wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good. Many seemed to share my sentiments, but not as many moviegoers were taken by it in the way 2008’s The Dark Knight catalyzed the third instance of “Batmania” (1966 and 1989 were the first examples). Despite its surpassing the billion dollar mark, I won’t deny that TDKR was the first of the modern DC movies that we could label as “divisive.”
Something that remains a point of discussion even to this day was the way the flick ended, effectively making director Christopher Nolan’s vision of Batman a true standalone trilogy as opposed to an ongoing series. As you likely remember, Bruce Wayne faked his death and passed the mantle of Batman to John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who served as Nolan’s unique take on Robin.
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The folks at Cinema Blend have been wondering for years – as have the rest of us – what it would have been like if Gordon-Levitt headlined another installment of Nolan’s series. While doing press for his latest film, Snowden, they brought up this hot button issue and he had the following to say:
“I know we’re all used to the sort of Marvel movies, which are just kind of endless series. They don’t really have a beginning, middle, and end. But I think Nolan very much thought of that movie as a conclusion, and there’s a theme that runs through all three of those movies that begins in the first movie, runs through the second movie and it concludes in that moment where he says that Batman is more than a man, Batman is a symbol. And so to have another man other than Bruce Wayne kind of becoming Batman at the end of that trilogy, I think that’s the perfect ending to that story.”
While the ending we saw absolutely did achieve its intended goal, I thought it would have been interesting to see a silver screen Batman that wasn’t Bruce Wayne – or even have Gordon-Levitt continue on as Nightwing. I certainly remember seeing some cool Photoshop jobs of the latter.
But, then again, WB was keen on developing a cohesive cinematic universe akin to Marvel’s and having Batman and Superman meet for the first time in live action with it not being Bruce Wayne under the cowl wouldn’t have felt right. At least we got Ben Affleck in the end.
Let us know what The Dark Knight Rises meant to you and how you felt about its ending in the comments section below.