Rumor Patrol: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Set Photos Reveal Lazarus Pit

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:14 am,

Dark Knight Rises Lazarus Pit Rumor Patrol: The Dark Knight Rises Set Photos Reveal Lazarus Pit

As Chris Nolan’s third (and presumably final) Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, prepares to start shooting, already this highly-anticipated movie is under the scrutiny of would-be paparazzi. The first alleged set photo from TDKR has emerged, reportedly showcasing a location on the film’s Jodhpur, India set.

While no actors, vehicles, or costumes can be seen in the photos, blurred shots of the crew working on one of the many set pieces that will be featured in Nolan’s film have already set the rumor mill spinning – and with good reason.

Up until now, Nolan has maintained that he wishes for his Batman universe to be a self-contained one that his firmly grounded in reality (well, as real as such a character and story can be). Batman Begins went to great lengths to explore how a man could in fact transform himself into a pointy-eared caped vigilante; The Dark Knight continued that trend by tweaking iconic villains like The Joker and Two-Face in order to portray them in more real-world terms.

We’ve known for awhile that Dark Knight Rises will tie Nolan’s Bat-trilogy back to Batman Begins, and that the villain Ra’s al Ghul (formerly played by Liam Neeson) would factor into the story somehow. In fact, it was previously confirmed that actor Josh Pence is playing a young version of Ra’s al Ghul in TDKR, who will be glimpsed in flashback. That news has led to much rumor, not the least of which has been that Batman will battle The League of Shadows once again, and that Marion Cotillard’s character, “Miranda Tate,” is actually an alias meant to cover her true identity: Ra’s’ daughter, Talia al Ghul.

In all that rumor, there has been one aspect of the Ra’s al Ghul mythos that no one expected to be included in the film: the Lazarus Pits. Fans of the comics already know that one of Ra’s’ trademarks are the pits, whose mystical waters are periodically used to rejuvenate the diabolical villain, in order to keep him from aging and dying. The pits have played major parts in many pivotal Batman comic storylines both old and new, but again, they always seemed too out of step with Nolan’s films to be included in Dark Knight Rises.

Now the following set photos from India are casting a shadow of doubt on that assumption:

The big question is: what is that hole in the ground – marked with a green-screen background where CGI effects will later be added - supposed to represent? The Lazarus Pit is the popular speculation running rampant around the Internet, and clearly  there are enough dangling clues to suggest that it could fit into the film’s storyline. The only counter-argument to the theory is that Lazarus Pits and Ra’s al Ghul coming back from the dead (or other characters being resurrected) are way too weird for a Nolan bat-film. On the other hand, Batman Begins had a microwave laser and a tank that could jump roofs…so where does one draw the line?

We don’t have any answers on this one, so let’s discuss in the comments: Do you think Nolan is bold enough to incorporate the Lazarus Pits into his story? And would the pit’s inclusion mean that Neeson could come back as Ra’s al Ghul? Let’s discuss.

The Dark Knight Rises in theaters on July 20, 2012.

Sources:  Guatam Valluri & Dark Knight Rises Community via Coming Soon

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. ….I wanted to laugh this off as I have laughed off most previous rumors. But this… this is too big a chunk of evidence. I mean, Batman’s story at large features some pretty weird stuff. Perhaps Nolan’s universe is going to attempt to give logical argument for the weirdness?

  2. Lazarus Pitts awesome

    • Does that mean Liam Neeson is likely to reprise his role?

      • You can’t bet against ANYTHING in a Nolan film.

        • Didn’t Neeson already say he wasn’t coming back or hasn’t even been offered to come back? Remember there was a guy cast as a younger Ras in the film. So, that pretty mcuh explains it.

        • Except that any asains in the film will be portrayed in a sterotypical light and Morgan Freemand will be the only Black actor :)

          • If you would have said “except casting mostly British actors” I would agree with you.

            Might be playing Neeson close to the chest.

          • they had alot of black actors in TDK but they killed them all expect Morgan Freeman.

            • You’re right, he had Gambol. That makes two which, yeah I guess that is a lot….

  3. Even if its a lazarus pit,
    It doesnt mean it will work or that Batman wont destroy it before it can be used..

  4. WHOA. did not see this coming at all. will it take away from the film as a whole? it’s cool for the books and cartoons, but i don’t see it working too well.

  5. I like symmetry in story telling, I am all for Ra’s coming back via the Lazarus Pit.

    I mean the microwave emitter that apparently evaporates only water outside the people standing 2 feet from it was pretty far fetched.

    I am totally willing to believe in a Lazarus Pit, immortality at the price of sanity sounds like a totally believable trade-off.

  6. I don’t think we’ll see the Lazarus Pits seems to far-fetched for his universe! A green screen on a hole could be thousands of things after CGI magic is added to it!

    Talia on the other hand seems a must for the movie :)

  7. Lazarus pit = bad idea! I don’t want to see any villain repeats, NO RA’S AL GUHL! I don’t even want to see Talia, but if she must be in it, I don’t want her to overshadow Bane

  8. i dont know why people are saying that its too far fetched for nolan, he created inception. he can make anything possible!!

    • Nobody is saying it’s far-fetched for Nolan, just that it wouldn’t seem to fit in his “realistic” take on Batman.

      • he can make anything seem realistic, that was my point. wasnt very clear lol but still :)

  9. We saw a flower in Batman Begins that gives halucinations that rivals any acid trip that doesnt wear off. We saw a microwave emitter that evaporates water everywhere EXCEPT the human body which is made up of mostly water. The Dark Knight showed us cell phone technology that turned an entire city into sonar. We saw Harvey Dent walk around with half his face chemically burned off and no infection or flies swarming around his face. Why not have a pit that has healing abilities? To me it fits right in.

    • Yeah, but throwing in a pit that restores a person’s youth or revives the dead is pushing it. Nolan might as well just throw Clayface in the film.

      • @Ghost, Anything fantastical can be put into a realistic theme. If the pit is made of chemicals and or herbs(which are real) it can be explained in an intelligent way how the chemicals change genetic structures or repairs cellular damage(aging). It could be a pool of super or rare anti-oxidants that are said to dramatically reverse aging at the cellular level but the side effect is a loss of some sanity or it dramitacally changes the way a person thinks when it gets into the blood stream and brain. In no way is this a far fetched idea at all.

  10. Meh. It’s just a green screen, nothing to see here trolls. Move along..

  11. Anything is possible when it comes to Nolan! ANYTHING! Remember that!

    • YUUUP!

  12. Maybe this Josh Pence won’t just be in a flashback, but playing a rejuvenated Ra’as. I mean, is it a bit bizarre for a Nolan Bat-film? Absolutely. Out of the question? I’ve learned to stop using that phrase with Nolan.

  13. Umm.. to me that looks like an impact creater. A batwing/jet impact crater created by a high velocity / high angle tragectory. Thinking its easier to render it than have it practical since nobody will really know what it is until the movie. Dont remember the lazarus pit just hangin out in the open…

    • That’s true, it would seem more appropriate in a cave or something. It seems a bit far fetched to go all the way to India for anything besides stuff concerning the league of shadows, or Ra’s Al Ghul though.

  14. Umm.. to me that looks like an impact creater. A batwing..jet impact crater created by a high velocity, high angle tragectory. Thinking its easier to render it than have it practical since nobody will really know what it is until the movie. Dont remember the lazarus pit just hangin out in the open…

  15. It’s NOT the Lazarus Pit. Deal with it! Screenrants rumor patrols are always WRONG! Lol!

    • We don’t CREATE the rumors, we just pass them along, so whether they’re accurate or not has nothing to do with us.

      But hey, thanks for stopping by under a different name.


  16. ^ i but this comment more the the Lazarus pit i dont see how it fits.

  17. *buy.

  18. I can tell you now (in my opinion) i’m 100% nothing supernatural will appear. This may, or may not be the Lazurus pit. It does not mean it will serve any practical purpose in the film, in regard to resurecting people. It is important Ras mythology sure, but Nolan will find a way to honour that and ground it in reality. No supernatural. Guaranteed!

    • Agreed.

  19. Perhaps someone more versed in the Batman universe could illuminate the matter better, but as I recall, Ducard/Ras met his end in the desintegrating wreck of a commuter train that crashed into Wayne tower. Forget about simply incorporating the fantastical element of the Lazarus pit into the Nolanverse, what are they gonna put into it to resurrect him from? A bone fragment? The Batman TV show could have gotten away with it as camp, but in this treatment? It’s probably something else entirely.

  20. Rumor is Josh Pence (young Ra’s) was spotted on set so maybe its a flashback????

    • It would be neat if it was in fact a Lazarus pit in a flashback. Something like Ra’s trying to find a way to live forever and chasing rumors of a pit, but realizing they were false, but instead finds a sense of immortality in his legacy. Talia. Something like that.

      • That’s what I think too.

  21. Seeing as to how Ra’s made reference to his dead wife (and rumor has it Talia’s in the film) I’d be willing to believe that a youthful Ra’s (in a flashback) is attempting to bring back his wife.

  22. ppl, who cares ur still going to see the damn movie. its funny how ur all getting work up like its a college test to get
    into harvard university, pitiful.
    i careless what the story is about so far both Nolan-bat-films were great.
    so wat if its not realistic like the previous films.
    the only thing Nolan needs to work on are the fight scenes neither 1 or 2 had good fight scenes.
    i didn’t expect joker to do martial arts but i wanted to see him and bats get in a brutal fight not sum girl hits for
    30 seconds & that was it. even the club fight scenes were garbage.
    Nolans a very good story teller but his fight scenes are horrible.

    • They leave something to be desired, but explaining why a guy that knows a ton of martial arts can be hit a few times by the Joker would have been hard in one movie. In the comics it’s explained various ways, my favorite is that his movements are random, and he has fought batman so much.
      I liked that SWAT scene though, it was bad@ss.

      • That photo seems extremely bogus to me. I’ve no personal experience to draw from, but common sense suggests that green screen work should be done indoors. There’s too much stuff outdoors to interfere with it. So assuming that’s not really a green screen, what’s the green glow? A red herring? (Sorry)

        It took many views but that result for Batman in the SWAT chase scene in TDK seemed strange to me, too. Everybody’s got their fun speculation for TDKR, and mine is that maybe there will be a link to why Batman, after blasting his way through Gotham’s inanimate objects on the Batpod, couldn’t blast the Joker, not even wound him (as a ninja on a bike certainly could as easily as by hand)…could it have anything to do with Nolan’s putting Christian Bale’s stunt double (who has the awesome name of Buster Reeves) in the back of the “Slaughter” truck, handing the Joker weapons as well as in the cab of the truck during much of the chase: he disappeared in the crash, from which only the Joker emerged. Could Nolan be suggesting an “evil” part of Bruce Wayne here somehow?

        • What got me was Batman crashing his batpod on purpose to trick Joker so Gordon would get from behind. I figured Batman could of got Joker single handed himself.

        • Batman won’t kill people… He has a rule about that, remember? There. Problem solved.

  23. i think the that raz will be dunked in the lazarus pit and come out younger. I bet that’s why thy singed a new actor to play raz I dont think there wi

  24. The Joker lives. Only this time he’s Indian.

    This is 100% pure Bogusness.

    What did the production crew do to the water to make it glow green over such a distance? Wouldn’t effects like that be held off until they were actually filming? More likely, wouldn’t it be done in a studio where glass bottoms and lights could make it glow? Most likely some Indian with a camera phone and access to photoshop is playing a joke.

    How can you even suggest this could be real?

    • Think it’s supposed to be green screen chief.

      • Oops. I looked at the pictures and scanned the first few paragraphs.

  25. My only problem with assuming or even speculating that this is a lazarus pit is that it is largely based on the green hue, which is obviously what any green screen used for CGI would be, it could be anything from plan wreckage to a crater where fight in a safer on set location occurs to a parking spot for the batmobile/pod/wing during one of it’s morphing phases.


  27. i dont like this. it seems too…unrealistic.

    • Stop talking like Snape! lol

      • Right…. ;)

  28. I’d be absolutely SHOCKED if this turns out to be the Lazarus Pit. Doesn’t seem to fit in Nolan’s Batman universe. IF this IS the LP, then I can’t see how it would be any different than having Bale’s Batman encountering guys like Superman or Green Lantern. Once you enter into using the mystical and fantastic, all bets are off regarding “realistic” superhero movies.

    • Which brings us to IRON MAN vs THE MANDARIN!!!!

  29. I tilt toward the thinking that it isn’t the Lazarus pit because;

    a. It’s not in a cave.
    b. It doesn’t seem to fit into Nolan’s Batman.
    c. Ra’s would’ve been bone dead even if found after the wreck in #1.
    d. The pit is unnecessary to continue the story with the League.
    e. Microwaves can be focused into tight beams like other electromagnetic waves. Not so germane but worth mentioning for those Pooh-poohing movie # one’s concepts..

    Having said that what if Liam wasn’t Ra’s so much? What if Ra’s is an idea, a symbol, like Batman? Was that Ra’s grandfather that seemed to die at the beginning of #1? What if he used the pit instead? What if the pit has a manifestation above ground, its source being underground? Still many ways to get to b. If your willing to be a little creative…

    • They even say in the movie it uses “focused microwaves”

      • They also suggest that ras al ghul was an idea… when the one died in the burning building when bruce refused to kill that man in BB, liam took his spot and his alias, thus making the symbol ras al ghul immortal WITHOUT a LP(the casting of a young ras al ghul), why doesnt anyone else remember this? just watch BB again and wait until right before his mansion burns down…

        As for the pit? maybe its a hoax? maybe its a different movie? Maybe Nolan wants this? confusion and wonder just so we watch the movie? If it is the third one, its working…

    • The Lazarus Pit restores youth to the aged people.
      Josh Pence isn’t a flash back of Ra’s Al Ghul he is Ra’s in the present time
      (Imagine Shang Zung in “Mortal Kombat” the movie changing form into different people that is what’s happened here folks.(Liam Neeson walks into the Lazarus Pit and out comes Josh Pence)

    • @ the old man, You make a great points as usual my friend. This may very well NOT be the Lazarus Pit, but putting it in a Nolan Batman could absolutely work. People forget that this IS still fiction NOT reality. A pit full of anti-aging, cellular damage or rejuvinating properties such as herbs or chemicals is highly plausible especially in places like Asia where that kind of stuff is said to exist on some levels.

      • Thanks Ulik. My own empirical knowledge of herbs and vitamin supplements prove to me they have efficacy. I also know that at some point in the progression of a condition they lose their ability to help. Chaos is dependent on initial conditions. So the earlier one gets at a condition the better the chance it can be corrected with the least expenditures. The more powerful the technique the greater the danger of what is known as iatrogenic effects becoming as real a problem as the original condition. Talk to any heart surgery patient and it becomes readily apparent. No question these advanced life saving techniques have changed the face of life quality and quantity. However, what we can’t be sure of is if small adjustments over the course of a lifetime would’ve been as or more effective. Adjustments like consuming the healthful tannins and antioxidants in moderation that have been found in recent years to keep the common scleroses from developing to a point where no other method but a high energy one, like surgery, can correct a problem. Both techniques have value and limitations!

        What does this have to do with the Lazarus pit? Well as implied the Earth produces things man has used for all recorded history and beyond to enhance, improve, and extend our lives. In principle this is no different than the curative properties people seek by swimming in the Dead sea and though such techniques are limited to just a few particular problems, that doesn’t mean we’ve discovered or rediscovered all possible techniques of this nature. Still, keeping it grounded would be a good thing, and if such a place existed it would certainly have its limitations… ;)

      • I know its after the fact now, but felt compelled to add for the record that anti-aging and immortality are not the same.