In just two short weeks, The Dark Knight Rises will hit theaters nationwide, bringing an end to Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed Batman trilogy and delivering this summer’s second epic superhero film.

While we’ve known for a while that The Dark Knight Rises will be Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film, based on a new interview, it looks like the director has something really special planned to wrap up his series.

In a conversation with the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex blog, Nolan told Geoff Boucher that his main goal for The Dark Knight Rises was to create “a unified statement, a real ending, a true conclusion.” While you can read a lot into that sentence, Boucher teased a bit of an explanation from the notoriously cryptic Nolan, writing that:

“[T]he third act of the third film delivers a series of jolting twists and jarring turns and an exclamation point climax. Nolan’s finale takes Batman and his on-screen mythology to place it has never been before.”

Boucher went on to explain how Nolan considers the trilogy in architectural terms, which should come as no surprise given the director’s obsession with structure (as seen in mind-bending film’s like Memento and Inception).

While the details can’t discussed, of course, the director enjoys broader conversation about the infrastructure. Fascinated with architecture, the filmmaker describes the rises and falls of his characters as if they elevation points of a blueprint plan.  He also presents the trilogy almost as a tale of different levels – the heights of the city, the street level and the underground of caves and sewers. ‘Dark Knight Rises’ presents a story where greed, hypocrisy and false justice bring the down the city’s bridges, stadium and the houses of government.

“We really wanted a cast of thousands, literally, and all of that for me is trying to represent the world in primarily visual and architectural terms,” Nolan said. “So the thematic idea is that the superficial positivity is being eaten away from underneath; we tried to make that quite literal.”

You should check out the full interview for more details on the movie – including some interesting information about filming at the Cardington Sheds – but we’re going to focus on the above quotes.

Considering that the collapse of the Gotham Rogues stadium is a major set-piece featured in almost every trailer for the film, it’s quite easy to see what Nolan is talking about when he says the “superficial positivity is being eaten away at from underneath.” The question is, what is the “superficial positivity” that is in Gotham?

Is Nolan hinting that Batman’s vigilante quest for justice has somehow weakened the city rather than protected it? That he’s managed to clean up the city from crime, while ignoring the systemic issues that enabled Gotham to lapse into crime to begin with?

The idea of “false justice” is extremely intriguing. Are we talking about Batman, or how Harvey Dent has been deified by the citizens of Gotham despite his true nature? Perhaps there is also the Batman vs. Bane parallel. In a trailer, Bane says that he is Gotham’s reckoning, implying that he has come to cast judgment on the wicked city. This is the same twisted logic that Ra’s al Ghul and The League of Shadows used in Batman Begins. Perhaps that explains the possible connection between the two characters that could exist in the form of Talia al Ghul.

Then there’s the question of finality. When Boucher writes that Nolan is going to take Batman where he’s “never been before,” what is he hinting at? Would Nolan dare kill the Caped Crusader as many fans have been speculating? If so, then Nolan’s film would be a finale in the truest sense of the word. Or would Nolan have Batman kill someone, which is even more perverse to consider?

The fact that this article is filled with questions, and that some of the possible answers make me uncomfortable, means that Christopher Nolan has done his job. I’m not just excited to see The Dark Knight Rises – I’m genuinely intrigued. What is going to happen to Batman? I don’t just want to know, I have to know, and I’m willing to bet there are millions of people out there who feel the same way.

What do you think of Nolan’s comments? What is your prediction for the “true conclusion” to the film?

The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20th, 2012.

Source: Hero Complex