The Entertainment Weekly #1216 July 20, 2012 edition, on stands now, includes interviews with Dark Knight Rises Director Christopher Nolan and Batman / Bruce Wayne actor Christian Bale.
There is a lot of speculation on the internet that due to this being the last of the Nolan/Bale trilogy, that Batman dies at the movie’s end. There is also word that during a recent appearance by Anne Hathaway, Dark Knight’s Catwoman, on David Letterman’s TV show, that the actual ending to the film was spoiled. So, for those that expect me to comment on that, don’t because I haven’t watched the footage nor do I plan to. It might be a joke, it might be real, it might be a swerve, or it might be something else. On the off-chance it does spoil the film directly, I will steer clear.
However, whether Batman dies or not, Nolan’s Entertainment Weekly comments certainly tease a different fate if you follow the bouncing ball. He also comments on when the movie takes place in the overall trilogy narrative.
According to the Nolan interview piece on EW, the story starts as follows:
“[Dark Knight] Rises takes place eight years after The Dark Knight left off and finds Bruce Wayne living as a recluse in a Gotham City where peace and prosperity flourish anew – all thanks to a lie. At the end of the previous film, Batman had taken the rap for crimes committed by ‘white knight’ Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) so Gothamites would be inspired by Dent’s example of hope and heroism. (In truth, Dent was driven mad and bad by the Joker played by the late Heath Ledger, who won an Oscar for the role.) Now new threats force Bruce back into the Batgame…”
Those new threats include cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and the Occupy Movement’s “99%” 😉 terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy).
When asked about what guided his work to unify all three movies when there wasn’t a real “master plan”, Nolan note that:
“It all comes back to Batman Begins, and the scene between Bruce and [his mentor / butler] Alfred on the plane, when Bruce explains what he’s going to do. It’s not about beating up criminals one by one. It’s about being a symbol. Bruce sees himself as a catalyst for change, and only ever thinks of this as short-term thing. I talked about this idea with Christian during the making of all the movies; it was the only way we knew to understand the reality of Batman”
So, while not definitive in any way, that does imply that there may be more of a choice for Bruce at the end of Dark Knight Rises than a funeral, but we’ll have to wait until the movie hits screens to know for sure.
Lastly on the subject of the Joker and Heath Ledger as it relates to Dark Knight Rises, Nolan was equally candid about his take on the subject:
“I felt very strongly that the Joker was off-limits. I don’t want to trivialize a tragedy like that [actor Heath Ledger’s death] by explaining it away in some fashion. I made the choice, immediately, that talking about the Joker [in the film] was off the table. It’s just the way I feel about it, based on my relationship with Heath. Other people may have handled it differently. But that’s what felt right to me.”
I think that is a very classy thing for Nolan to do. I think having the Joker pop up, even in shadow, or what-have-you would be a bit morbid in light of the actor’s death and the fact this is the last Batman project for the Nolan/Bale version of the character franchise.
In the same issue, Christian Bale is interviewed and provides an interesting take on how to portray Bruce Wayne and Batman:
“[I] was playing with the idea that there being three Bruce Waynes. The public, vacuous billionaire. The private Bruce Wayne who is still a child. And then the vengeful one is the monster [as Batman].
Can’t wait for the movie.
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Tags: Aaron Eckhart, Anne Hathaway, Bane, Batman, Batman Begins, Catwoman, Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, Dark Knight, Dark Knight Rises, David Letterman, DC Comics, Joker, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy, Two-Face