Nolan Says ‘Dark Knight Rises’ is His Last Batman; Talks ‘Inception’ Ending, Sequel & Videogame

Published 3 years ago by , Updated December 3rd, 2010 at 3:40 pm,

christopher nolan the dark knight rises Nolan Says Dark Knight Rises is His Last Batman; Talks Inception Ending, Sequel & Videogame

The last few weeks have seen a dramatic influx of information regarding Christopher Nolan’s third -and final- Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. In typical Nolan fashion, each new detail that emerges typically leads to more questions.

We know that Tom Hardy has been cast, but we don’t know who he’s playing. We know that The Riddler won’t be in the film, but we don’t know who the actual villain is. We know that Nolan is meeting with several young actresses, but we don’t know for which role. You get the idea…

The often cryptic filmmaker recently spoke to EW, and while he doesn’t reveal the answer to any of those questions mentioned above, or acknowledge whether or not the film is based on the graphic novel Prey, he does express his unbridled enthusiasm for the project.

Nolan also confirms that The Dark Knight Rises is indeed his last Batman movie and admits that after Inception,  it was somewhat comforting to return to a universe with an established framework and characters:

“I feel very glad that I’m doing another Batman film. I think it would have been daunting to sit down and write an original script after Inception. I love working within the realm and rules of our Batman world. It’s kind of nice to have someplace to go that I’m super-excited about.”

He also explains that the critical and commercial success of Inception has allowed him to work on The Dark Knight Rises without any pressure or interference from the studio:

“I must say that I’m glad — I’m very, very glad — to be embarking on the last chapter of our Batman saga without any sense of obligation or duty to the studio. They did very well with Inception. So I’m able to go into finishing our story in a very enthusiastic way.”

This should ease any lingering concern that Warner Bros. somehow twisted his arm to direct The Dark Knight Rises, or that his enthusiasm isn’t at the same level it was for previous installments. It’s always been imperative to Nolan that something within the film or story speaks to him, so it should be interesting to learn what aspects of this final entry excited him.

Batman 3 Nolan Says Dark Knight Rises is His Last Batman; Talks Inception Ending, Sequel & Videogame

As for further explorations of the world he created in Inception, Nolan says he always saw the potential for other stories taking place within that universe. Many fans thought that the film’s premise lent itself quite naturally to a videogame and Nolan agrees:

“I always imagined Inception to be a world where a lot of other stories could take place … At the moment, the only direction we’re channeling that is by developing a videogame set in the world.”

While the medium is one he claims he’s always wanted to get involved with, Nolan admits that an Inception videogame is still a ways off.  But if he’s envisioned other stories that deal with entering someone’s dreams, does that mean we might see an Inception sequel (or sequels) at some point? Nolan reveals:

“It’s not something I want to say no to, but it’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought about.”

He concludes the interview by touching on Inception‘s ambiguous ending and how curious it is that so many viewers are looking for a definitive answer:

“I’ve been asked the question more times than I’ve ever been asked any other question about any other film I’ve made … That’s definitely the question. It keeps coming back to that. What’s funny to me is that people really do expect me to answer it.”

*INCEPTION SPOILERS AHEAD*

inception ending Nolan Says Dark Knight Rises is His Last Batman; Talks Inception Ending, Sequel & Videogame

Nolan explains that to blatantly state whether or not Cobb was dreaming would not only be a disservice to the film (and its audience), but that people obsessed with finding the answer are missing the point entirely:

“There can’t be anything in the film that tells you one way or another because then the ambiguity at the end of the film would just be a mistake … It would represent a failure of the film to communicate something. But it’s not a mistake. I put that cut there at the end, imposing an ambiguity from outside the film. That always felt the right ending to me — it always felt like the appropriate ‘kick’ to me….The real point of the scene — and this is what I tell people — is that Cobb isn’t looking at the top. He’s looking at his kids. He’s left it behind. That’s the emotional significance of the thing.”

Even though he’d never say “I told you so!” (okay, he might), our senior editor Kofi Outlaw came to the same conclusion in his analysis of Inception‘s ending right after the film’s release. So there you have it.

I’m looking forward to watching how The Dark Knight Rises comes together and the idea of expanding the Inception franchise is pretty intriguing as well.  I think Nolan is one of the most interesting directors working right now (especially within the studio system) and it’s pretty incredible to have the opportunity to watch a filmmaker operating in his prime.

You can own Inception on DVD and Blu-Ray December 7th. The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20, 2012.

Source: EW.

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: batman, inception, the dark knight rises

163 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com 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.

  1. There’s just one thing I haven’t been able to find anyone talking about, concerning Inception.

    In the scene between Cobb and Old Man Saito… They didn’t put old man make-up on Dicaprio, but he’s old too, he’s 80 or something in that scene.

    They used that trick earlier in the movie in the scenes between Cobb and Mal in Limbo, they only actually showed how old they were once, with a quick cut to their old hands.

    I think this is like that idea in the matrix, like you take the form of what your mind’s most standard and personal vision of yourself is, even if cobb is an old dude, he still holds an inkling of an idea of the young man he used to be.

    You can tell Dicaprio is old in that scene with saito as well because of his performance talking to Saito and then waking up on the plane. He’s been down there for at least 50 years, for the second time, no less.

    Tell me there’s someone out there who see it this way too…
    It’s a way cool thing Nolan did though, to not explain it, putting old man make up on Dicaprio would just be lame. But I think it’s important to the story to realize that Cobb’s second stint in Limbo, to find Saito, wasn’t easy… it was an epic oddyssy through their shared minds that took at least 50 years.

    • i thought Saito looked older bcoz he’s been in limbo longer than Leo

    • cobb and mal remained young because they were in limbo. They could have anything they wanted. But in reality, they grew old together, just not in appearance but in spirit.Cobb however was the only one feeling that they should have grown old, but mal was denying her reality and chose to stay in limbo. that is why he went into to her ‘mind safe’ (childhood house) and span the totum in her safe, planting the idea that she wasn’t in reality. but this idea remained even when they were in reality, this is why she killed herself. As for saito, it was his limbo, so cobbs projection of saito was that he was old, but it’s inconclusive to why the other guards in saitos limbo didnt attack saito, on the fact that he was the architect, and the guards should have been cobbs projections, but then again cobb wouldn’t have felt the need to panic so the projections would remain calm and in cobbs confused state of mind.

    • The reason Cobb isn’t old in that scene is because he had just arrived in limbo. If you remember, Saito went into limbo during Eames’ dream. Cobb didn’t go into limbo until Mal stabbed him in his own dream. So, since Saito had been in limbo longer, and the frame of reference for time is exponential the deeper you go in, Saito would have been much older than Cobb.

    • I was thinking the same thing but could not get my mind around it. I have watched the movie 4 times and pondering the exact idea that he was old but without the makeup.

  2. i think this idea/comment was very intriging in the fact that you’re right, not alot of people talk about that subject.. and i do think you’re right about Cobb not wanting to let go of the younger man he was.

  3. thanks Beth :)
    ts396, Saito doesn’t die and fall into Limbo until Leo and Ariadne are already down there. So if anything, Leo would be older. But I think there pretty much the same: really old. Leo just doesn’t get fake old person make up all over his pretty mug.

  4. But how did Saito and Cobb wake up? The whole movie learnt us that the jump where required when as deep in the dreamworld as Cobb and Saito was in the end, heck even at the first dream plane, when saito get’s shot they say he cant be returned to an awaken state, but will be sent to limbo. So at the end, I can’t see how they can return by blowing each others brains out. IF they did considering how fast time is mowing that deep in the dream world they would have woken up at the same time as the others when the van hit the water. They didn’t and one fraction of a section at that dream phase translates yo years down where Cobb and Saitio is. So what where they doing during all those years?

    • “The whole movie learnt us that the jump” Jesus man, spend a few more years in school, then watch it again.

      • funny but rude

      • Yeah, you are the man. Let’s see you try to write something in swedish, which is my native tounge. And no, I’ve spent 16 years in school and have a great job so I have no intention of going back ;-)

    • I know the answer to that one, which is the big question. And the answer is in the film itself. If you remember, in the first 2 level dream in the movie, mal shoots aurthur in the foot bringing him great pain. So Cobb leaps on the table, grabs the gun and shoots Aurthur, so he will wake up in the previous dream level (which is level 1). So if Saito and Cobb are on the van that falls into the water and they drown, they wake up in the previous dream level, which is on the plane. Mystery solved, Cobb makes it back.

    • Ok. Now this confused me at first as well, but when i sat back and really thought about it i realized how Cobb and Saito were about to leave limbo. When Saito gets shot in the first level of the dream, it is said that when he dies and drops into limbo, the compounded time frame will have become so long, that by the time they wake up at the end of the plane ride, they will simply not remember who they are at all because of how long they they were stuck in limbo. That being said, when cobb finds Saito in limbo, and they begin to talk, they both start to remember who they are and why they were there. So when time runs out on the plane ride and everyone wakes up, their brain is not “mush” as one of them describe it in level one of the dream, because before time ran out, they were able to remember who they were while in limbo. So in other words, they did not shoot themselves to wake up. They woke up because time ran out. And because cobb was able to find saito, and they both remembered who they were, when they woke up, their brains were not “mush”. Its as simple as that.

      • This man speaks the truth.

  5. When cobb was in limbo and everyone else “rides the kick up the levels.” He dies in each of those levels, he drowns in the van, etc. So his mind is like a traumatized, shipwrecked sailor or something.
    So what happens in the 80 or so years in limbo would be something like LOST, or The Dark Tower, or Xena Warrior Princess.
    As soon as Cobb and Saito wake up, the plane is about to land in LA, so 10 hours have gone by. I don’t know how the math works to figure out when the rest of the team woke up, maybe a few hours earlier?

    • that adds up the sedative has to wear out some time

      • No, everyone awoke on the plane at the same exact time, because the breifcase that had the sedative in it that put them to sleep in the first place had worn out. Everyone besides cobb and saito simply waited out the rest of the dream in level one of the dream, and woke when the sedative worn out at the end of the plane ride. Everyone woke up at the same time, plain and simple. Everyone tries to read into everything to much, which gets them confused. Take a step back and u see the true answer.

    • No, everyone awoke on the plane at the same exact time, because the breifcase that had the sedative in it that put them to sleep in the first place had worn out. Everyone besides cobb and saito simply waited out the rest of the dream in level one of the dream, and woke when the sedative worn out at the end of the plane ride. Everyone woke up at the same time, plain and simple. Everyone tries to read into everything to much, which gets them confused. Take a step back and u see the true answer.

      • Again, what you say makes sense. What is hard to understand is if everybody woke up at the same time why Fischer’s defense force in dream level 1 was no longer after them. It’s been a while since I saw the movie but I remember that Fischer was kidnapped in the first level and then the next level was the hotel and the third level was the fortress. Supposedly he didn’t feel threatened anymore and that’s why his defense force wasn’t after them. I think most people assumed that Fischer and the others woke up earlier but it makes sense if they all woke up at the same time: much more time passed for Cobb and Saito because they were in Limbo.

  6. Nolan also confirms that The Dark Knight Rises is indeed his last Batman movie and admits that after Inception, it was somewhat comforting to return to a universe with an established framework and characters:

    “I feel very glad that I’m doing another Batman film. I think it would have been daunting to sit down and write an original script after Inception. I love working within the realm and rules of our Batman world. It’s kind of nice to have someplace to go that I’m super-excited about.”

    And that’s why we have endless franchises, reboots and remakes instead of more thought-provoking, original movies: because making the cinematic equivalent of fanfic is so much easier than coming up with new ideas.

    • Nope. We have endless franchises, reboots and remakes because when they’re successful the first time around, that means it’s almost a sure thing if they revisit or continue that setting & those characters. Problem is, studios overuse it and now it’s just a crutch when things go downhill, instead of fixing what’s wrong (Spiderman comes to mind).

      Remakes & reboots are great because it allows someone new to bring fresh ideas to a character or idea that people love (like different versions of Batman), but again studios become too fixated on yielding top dollar instead of focusing on original ideas.

  7. I love Chris Nolan <3 I really do. I don't go to the cinema anymore except to see his movies because it's the only way I can garantee that I won't waste my money. There are too many crap movies out these days, films that are done by bad directors or by greedy, bossy studios and I REFUSE to support them.

  8. I know Nolan will ever give his opinion on whether Cobb is still dreaming at the end of the movie, I just want to know what his explanation is for why gravity doesn’t diminish in the snow fortress dream as it does in the hotel dream.

    • the effect of something taking place is damped in the deeper levels.. may be in the ‘snow’level, its totally damped

    • First off, Nolan will never give a deffinative answer because that would defeat the whole purpose of ending the movie as he did. What he did say was that most people missed the whole point completely. The point was not to decided whether or not he was dreaming. The point was that cobb simply didnt care if he was dreaming or not. He was happy to see his kids again and simply accepted the fact that it was reality enough for him. Which is why he walked away from the spinning too without checking to see if it fell. As for the gravity question, it is answered in the begining of the movie when Yusuf is explaining his sedative. The answer is simply that they dont feel the gravity effects because of how deep into the dream they were.

      • Well, no, they were falling in the first level and they should have felt that in the third level because they did feel it in the second level. It is a moot point anyway because when you are dreaming your body is motionless: lucid dreamers are aware that their body isn’t really moving and hence lucid dreamers feel as though they are floating. In other words, if you are aware you are dreaming then you should be floating all the time because you know your body isn’t moving. (In particular your legs aren’t moving so you can’t walk or run.) Nolan found a way to incorporate the feeling of floating which is so common in lucid dreaming into the movie. SO why don’t aren’t they floating all the time? Basically if you believe your dream is real then you don’t notice anything strange. The dreamer in Level 2 was aware of falling but the others weren’t so they didn’t incorporate floating into their dream.

  9. Ok ur all missing somethin people and that is when they woke up on the train and cobb wants off because he hates trains and remember the statement later on from mal….?!?!

  10. there is this theory out there about saito and mal being lovers .. and saito being the mastermind and conning the con man cobb himself .. very interesting .. what do you think of it ? http://travelptsd.blogspot.com/2011/02/inception-explained-and-unravelled.html for me personally, if it were a facebook share i would of liked it :)

  11. What Nolan is saying is NOTHING to do with having “pressure or interference from the studio” as you erroneously state. Do you think that the studio has not seen the success of the two prior Batman movies and were attempting to interfere with Nolan’s vision ?? No, what Nolan say, quite clearly I thought, is that since Inception (which the studio funded largely as his “vanity project”) was a success rather than a failure, he doesn’t FEEL “any sense of obligation or duty to the studio” (within himself) as he would have done had Inception lost the studio money. It has nothing to do with the external pressures and interference you suggest and all to do with Nolan’s own internal belief system.

    • [In response to]
      What Nolan is saying is NOTHING to do with having “pressure or interference from the studio” as you erroneously state … funded largely as his “vanity project”… he doesn’t FEEL “any sense of obligation or duty to the studio” (within himself) as he would have done had Inception lost the studio money. It has nothing to do with the external pressures … and all to do with Nolan’s own internal belief system.

      [my comment]
      This is a possible and insightful explanation however; it’s premature to discount author’s one of studio interference as “Erroneous”. The mere possibility of a second consistent interpretation (emotional relief) alone is insufficient to disprove the first (administrative relief) of the author. Correct me if I’m wrong but there is no proof from Nolan’s words of “sense and obligation” that he refers to emotional pressure only and not administrative pressure. It can be interpreted both ways and can even be both; Furthermore, there is no evidence that he actually cares according to his own “personal belief system” that he be emotionally purtubed if the studio disapproved. It being a “vanity project” actually demonstrates a relative contempt for the studio’s profit mongering over his own creative freedom.

  12. What was the true meaning of the films ending? We’ll find out in “Inception 2″.

  13. d

  14. You all are completely wrong. When discovering the complete truths of this story I only stuck to facts. Nolan was simply brilliant in creating a series of events and various situations that confused the audience.We all play characters in the same movie,living in what we know as reality. The world as we know it cant be proven as real. What facts do you have that actually separate what you believe is real and what really is a dream? Is it your job, car, money or family? Considering you die or enter live with these things, how can they be a point of reality to you? Ideas and thoughts are planted into our minds everyday. ideas grow and manifest there self on a consistent basis. Your lack of understanding is the exact reason this movie was so successful.We have created a reality that is not real in our lives just like Cobb and his friends did! Bottom line is the movie stared multiple levels deep or in limbo. Everyone was projections of others ideas or thoughts. Reality was substituted with an everlasting, interchanging, ever-evolving, world of possibilities on top of possibilities! Exactly the same world we live in rather you realize it or not. Cobb and Satito reached control of there destiny by properly utilizing the only realities in there world faith and choice.

  15. Continued…Our thoughts and ideas are forms of light in our world as well as in the story. Like light our thoughts and ideas travel at 186,282 miles per second. When traveling at the speed of light time slows down drastically., so one hour at that speed could be years to our speed on earth. This explains the time difference in the story.Just like in our realty as we know it they only signification things are our heart desires and our leaps of faith. Leap of faith, old men and desires where only things Cobb and Satio knew as reality. ultimately Cobb’s kids and Satio’s business manifested their desires. The rest of the movie only shared with us how faith lead them to destiny. We can learn tons of live values from this movie. Great work Nolan! If i could write part 2 it would take 5-10 years to grasp the depths of the content.

  16. This is an interesting discussion…

    Jacobe, you’re definitely ontrack to something that’s perhaps deeper than Nolan intended for the audience but probably what was discussed when it was written and first talked about.

    I do think there is more to us than mere physical representations. Light, time and space all seem to have greater roles, or more limited roles, than we imagine.

    Consider, for a moment, that everything we do in this physical form is geared toward gaining more light so that when we leave this physical world, we can ascend to an ever brighter energy world. I’ve been reading about HPEM (High-Point Energy Modules) and how things like prayer and gratitude affect an HPEM’s energy. Plus, that we ourselves are HPEMs and we’re actually rooted in a deeper layer of existence called the Hyperspace. In other words, our physical bodies allow us to interact in the physical world while our HPEM or spirit allows us to interact in the Hyperspace. Pretty cool stuff. Jacobe’s thoughts reminded me of it. Thanks!

    Anyway, carry on. Loved the movie. A videogame would be very cool!

    • hey anyone knows wat happened durng the scene where cobb is talkin with old saito??nd how does cobb manage to wake through all d layers at once near the end….

  17. ANYONE CONSIDER THIS…. HOW DID COBB AWKEN THEOUGH ALL THE LAYERS WITHOUT A SINGLE KICK….ND EVEN IF SAITO BLEW HIS BRAINS OUT TO AWKEN HIM OUT OF LIMBO,WHO KILLED SAITO ND HOW DID HE AWKEN BEFORE COBB…..ND DOES ANYONE KNOW IF COBB WAS DREAMING IN D END OR NOT COZ I DONT GIVE A DAMN IF COBB CARED WHETHER IT WAS A DREAM OR NOT…coz ITZ MAKIN ME GO NUTS!!!!!!!!!

  18. ANYONE CONSIDER THIS…. HOW DID COBB AWKEN THEOUGH ALL THE LAYERS WITHOUT A SINGLE KICK….ND EVEN IF SAITO BLEW HIS BRAINS OUT TO AWKEN HIM OUT OF LIMBO,WHO KILLED SAITO ND HOW DID HE AWKEN BEFORE COBB…..ND DOES ANYONE KNOW IF COBB DREAMING IN D END OR NOT COZ I DONT GIVE A DAMN IF COBB CARED WHETHER IT WAS A DREAM OR NOT…coz ITZ MAKIN ME GO NUTS!!!!!!!!!

  19. ANYONE CONSIDER THIS…. HOW DID COBB AWKEN THEOUGH ALL THE LAYERS WITHOUT A SINGLE KICK….nd ANYONE KNOW WAT HAPPENED DURING SAITO’s OLD MAN STATE

  20. @Jason there was no proof that one could not awaken through layers it was never a proven rule. Just because Cobb said you need a kick did not mean it was true. He planted a seed in everyone mind that a kick would awaken them just as a person does when they hyponotize you.

  21. @jason Satio shoot Cobb then himself

  22. he was still dreaming because reality as he knew it ending long before the start of the movie

  23. Wow! Absolutely blown away by this movie, I thought it looked good but this was something else. Loved it!! Kinda came up with the same ideas outlined in this article too. One of the best stories ever!

  24. I watched inception again, and I believe now that the architect behind the whole thing is Michael Cain’s character.

    • I hate you for this comment. Just when I thought I’d had this movie figured out, here you go with the Michael Caine thing. Thing is, you really could argue that his character is the architect. Cobb goes to him with the issue about needing an architect and wanting to get back to his children. Even after losing his daughter to the Inception process, he agrees to offer up his star pupil to help Cobb. This pupil goes on to design the dream that gets Cobb home to his fake or real children. What if that was Caine’s plan all along? To design a scenario that got Cobb back to his children in whatever reality that would end Cobb’s suffering.

  25. I believe that Cobb was the same age as he was when Mal stabbed him because Saito’s house was on the same beach that the characters woke up on everytime they entered Limbo so he wasn’t in Limbo for how many ever years, He had just arrived in Limbo and was taken to Saito by the guard, but I never thought of how they came back through all the layers. I mean maybe when they realized it was a dream their minds let it become easier to be “kicked” out of a dream? But even though with all these question I consider Inception to be One of the Best Damn movies I’ve Watched in my LIFE!! (only 13)

  26. Cobb wearing the his wedding ring and when he isn’t is key to knowing when he is in a dream-state or awake.

    In the end, I believe Cobb just wanted to see his children’s faces and it didn’t matter whether it was a dream or not.

    I love this movie so much that I purchased it so I could watch it over and over. That’s why I am glad that there are some parts of the movie that stop me from making any full conclusions of the film.

    p.s. I love that I share the same name as one of the characters!

  27. Great director! So many fantastic movies, and I’m looking forward to many more. Here is some interesting information about him: http://thecelebritycafe.com/feature/2012/06/christopher-nolan-explains-why-dark-knight-rises-will-be-his-last-batman-film

  28. I came up with a theory thinking when mal “commited suicude” she actually did goback to the real world. If so it would be sosad

  29. Actually last scene is the real and it is not a dream .I can prove it in other way. you could see in the movie that whenver the cobb dreams he has a ring in his left finger and in his reality he does’nt have that ring and one more proof to prove ending is reality is ,when cobb returns home to see his children his house is surrounded by garden which is already shown in the movie that his house is surronded by garden(refer to the scene where in reality cobb explains to his wife Mal about the harmful effects of doing inception. In this scene his house is shown which is surrounded by garden)Hence the climax is real no matter it still spinning he s enjoyed ,happy to see his kids again

    • The whole movie is a dream. Nolan has even admitted to the validity of that interpretation: he has said that reality in the movie was deliberately shot in such a way that reality seemed like a dream and thus you would question whether or not the ending was real or a dream. He said the “ambiguity was real and not a mistake”.