Christopher Nolan Promises a ‘True Conclusion’ with ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Published 3 years ago by

christian bale dark knight rises Christopher Nolan Promises a True Conclusion with The Dark Knight Rises

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.”

Batman and Bane in The Dark Knight Rises Christopher Nolan Promises a True Conclusion with The Dark Knight Rises

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.

dark knight rises batman catwoman Christopher Nolan Promises a True Conclusion with The Dark Knight Rises

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

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  1. I cannot even begin too explain how excited I am to see this film. It’s gonna be an exciting ride and I’m just glad that I get to see it. You have done a great job with this series Mr.Nolan, i just hope whenever WB does reboot the series, that they take some notes from your movies. I don’t want carbon copies but at least enjoyable and in no sense campy or goofy. July 19th midnight, I’m so there with extra large popcorn, extra large coke and hopefully my bladder don’t Bane me up.

    • The only way that the title — The Dark Knight Rises — can make any sense if Batman dies is if his death leads to thousands of people donning the mask and rising up to take his position as a vigilante for justice. It would be a strong message. An ending with the promise of a brighter future.

      And, in a fun sense, it would explain why there are so many different actors playing Batman in the other films — they are all the product of what happens at the end of this film; they’re all carrying on as their own version of the caped crusader.

  2. 15 more days!!!!!

  3. I will be watching this film in less than 6 hours from now at a special preview screening. I’m so excited, I can barley control myself.


    • Wait, how ?? where ?

      • It’s a special critics screening and only a handful of tickets were released to the public. It cost me $36.50, so it better be worth it. I think it’s so Warner Bros. can get a feel of how the film will be received, by both critics and general fans alike. I think there were only 80 seats available, over half of which were reserved for professional film critics such as Roger Ebert and Peter Travers.

  4. batman already killed!!! he refused to save Ra’s in the end of begins, although that one minor error does not tarnish this exciting trilogy cant wait for rises!!!

    • Refusing to save someone isn’t killing them, I think one of the lines spoken by Batman at the time (and forgive me if I paraphrase incorrectly as it’s been a long time since I saw Batman Begins) was “I don’t have to kill you, I just don’t have to save you”, which I think he said in his last meeting with Ra’s al Ghul before leaving him to his fate on the train as it came crashing down.

      • Refusing to save someone from a train crash that you caused is, in fact, killing them, and you would likely go to jail for it.

        • @ Ben Moore

          I agree. If Batman really was gonna upholding his code, he would of got Ras off the train. In Batman:TAS episode “Avatar”, Batman could of left Ras to die but he got both he & Talia out alive. At the end Batman intending to take Ras into custody but Talia had a gun to his head that prevented that from happening.

          • A man as talented as Ra’a coukd escape if he wanted to. Bruce taught him a very important lesson on true balance. In short, He didnt kill him.

            • I agree. Batman’s teaching Ra’s the same lesson that Ra’s tried to teach him… “to mind his surroundings.”
              Batman’s not Superman or Spider-Man. He’s not so much out to save people but to punish criminals. He’s out to fight crime and his one rule is that he doesn’t kill criminals because that would make him just as bad as murderers are.
              So, Batman gave Ra’s a test, from a former student to a former teacher. Ra’s even taunted him that he never learned to mind his surroundings, but Batman had and he told him so. He had a plan for his own escape. Ra’s was on his own.

              • Hiro and Ignur…

                Very well put…I thoroughly agree.

    • Actually it was made very clear. He didn’t kill Ra’s. He just didn’t save him. Not saving someone is not the same thing as killing him or her. He saved Ra’s once and wasn’t grateful for it, so Batman said he wasn’t going to save him this time, he could save himself. The last part he didn’t say but it was implied.

      It goes along the same philosophy that you can lead a horse to water but can’t force him to drink it. Now if the horse dies because it chose not to drink water and that is what it needed. Then how is that the person who led the horse to water’s fault?

      Same thing here. Batman/Bruce Wayne told Ra’s to let it go. That Gotham could be saved and to not do anything. So in the end, Ra’s was the cause of his own destruction because he didn’t listen.

      • He killed Dent by tackling him down a building. You can’t deny that.

        • Actually, even at that point, he was not attacking Harvey. He prevented him from killing the boy while stuck in a highly precarious position.

          So, yes, I CAN deny that.

      • Then why did he save the Joker? He didn’t have to save him either…

        He killed Ras.

        • The guy clearly has issues!

          • I think this is the biggest point. He lost both parents as a child and now goes out at night dressed as a bat. Clearly not the most sane person lol

        • He was in a position to do so…for both Ras and Harvey, his position was significantly more dangerous.

        • @ Shadow

          Batman left Ras to die.

      • Ultimately, Batman was teaching the same tough lesson that Ra’s was teaching… “to mind one’s surroundings.”
        Ra’s even taunted Batman about that on the train. Batman had learned to mind his surroundings, but Ra’s hadn’t… not on that train. Batman had his own escape plan, but Ra’s was on his own. Ra’s didn’t mind his own surroundings (he didn’t figure out what Batman was doing), and so the former student taught his former teacher a big lesson in minding one’s surroundings.

  5. I’m getting married the same day it comes out… I’m afraid to tell my wife I’d rather watch the movie than attend the wedding…

    • That sounds like it’s not your biggest problem if you’d rather see a film than get married!


      • You should have married a Batman fan!

        • Or maybe quietly switch the Reception to an IMAX

          • Suck it up, treat her like a queen its her day… Wait and go see the movie during to honeymoon. First money as a married couple. Thats pretty cool.

    • @Udi – I’m afraid for you to tell her that too lol.


    • Just a day ago or so, I saw a photo of a Tumbler and Batpod wedding cake. Any chance it’s yours, Udi? ;)

    • i’ll say ditch the wedding, go see batman

  6. It’s definitely the false legend of Harvey Dent that Bane is going to strip away – hold me to this! My question is why this would be so dramatic for them. I think this might have been one of Nolan’s reasons for having 8 years pass…Dent’s legacy must have grown to something foundational for them. I’m not entirely expecting it, but I would hope to see an appearance by Two-Face. Just like Nolan said that specifically “catwoman” would not be in the movie; this was sneaky because the title “Catwoman” is not actually in the script. So with them saying “Harvey Dent is gone”, I’m pretty sure we will be able to track that down to it being that the “Harvey Dent” persona of Two-Face is wholly gone; it’s only the pure villain of Two-Face that remains.

    Also, maybe this will be part of Bane’s grounds for wrecking Gotham, during his announced “reckoning”?

    • I like this theory. When the last film ended it was only the foundation of Harvey Dent becoming a martyr for a better future. Eight years later, a better way of life in Gotham could have been built on that legacy. If Bane were to reveal the illegitimacy of the Harvey Dent legend, it could easily be a catalyst for taking over the city. I would be surprised if we see two-face again, but surprise is what this film is all about so i hope you are right in a way.

      • Pretty sure there were official set pics with the a large group of poeple/cops gathered were a speech is being given with a large framed picture of havey dent prominently displayed. So its safe to say they’ve evelated his death to represent the fight againts corruption etc. gothams white knight and all that jazz

  7. I cannot believe how excited I am to see this movie. I mean if this conclusion is anywhere near the scale and quality of The Dark Knight (which we all know it will be) then Nolan will have done something that is pretty rare in the movie world. I mean to make 3 movies and only have them increase in quality is outstanding. This isn’t even a movie anymore, it’s evolved to become much more. Nolan and his vision of the Batman world has become a legend already. This transcends just being a movie, a summer blockbuster. This has become an event. The ending of a trilogy that is loved and respected by millions all over the world. Nolan has created something truly special here.

  8. One thing’s certain, the final fight scene between Bane and The Dark Knight will be intense. Tom Hardy played his character in Warrior with real intensity and I’m sure he’ll bring that brute power to the character of Bane.


  9. Well, we’ve already seen pictures of Bane holding up stills of Harvey Dent whilst standing on the steps of what I presume to be Town Hall. It’s clear what his intent is. What intrigues me is how does he find this out anyway? The way the second movie finished only Bruce and Gordon/his family knew how far Dent had gone (sure, there were others, but the film itself suggests they were not the ones to be concerned about). Swinging around, this makes me wonder what roles Anne Hathaway and JGL play. The MTV trailer makes me think they could be the catalyst for Bane finding out the truth, being promised… whatever (I’m loathe to say riches as the movie seems to be Occupy Gotham) then realising, as everyone did with the Joker, that Bane is just utterly uncontrollable…

    No idea about the ending though. I just like the idea it’s going to be definitive. Two weeks today :)

    • Ajeno, I’ve been meaning to ask you about your avatar. What character is it? From a movie? It looks familiar, but I can’t quite place it.

      • Jack from Mass Effect 2, Sir :)

        • Interesting looking character. I think maybe I was confusing her with the character of Zhaan in Farscape, although the latter is blue.

    • Miranda Tate/”Talia Al Ghul” is close enough to the top level people in Gotham to somehow figure out the truth maybe?

  10. I used to think there was a slim chance that Two-Face could show up, but if 8 years passed he would have already died from infection or something else. I think that’s one aspect you can consider part of the realism of that world to a certain extent.

    People in the mob knew Dent had turned, they also knew Batman would never kill. Someone from the mob tells this to Bane, something similar to this happens like in Knightfall.

    Also, on top of all the amazing stuff Nolan has been doing, Zimmer has been doing just as much impressive stuff. I think the score is going to really seal the deal for this movie.

    • I agree, definitely no Dent.

      What clinched it for me was Chris Nolan stating that they had to use an expensive effects shot to remove Eckhart visibly breathing during the death scene. R.I.P 2F.

      • And you know that whole wake scene and the end of the movie…

  11. It’s bittersweet coming down to these last two weeks. I remember feeling positive about seeing Batman Begins 7 years ago although I couldn’t get the bitter taste of ‘Batman & Robin’ out of my mouth. But I loved ‘memento’ and gave Nolan a shot. I was blown away, especially seeing it with an audience and having everybody gasp and cheer when Gordon handed him the Joker card at the end. Three years later, I joined the Harvey Dent Campaign in NYC and that was alot of fun to be part of. And of course, I couldn’t get enough of every poster, trailer, tv spot or information about The Dark Knight upon it’s release. That movie was an AMAZING piece of cinema and storytelling that proved its worth in not just the money it made, but the quality. Then 3 years passed. And we were fortunate enough to finally hear officially that Nolan had signed on again, although he wasn’t contractually bound, and had a great story to tell and challenge ahead of him; breaking the third movie curse. I was lucky enough to be cast as an extra on the queensboro  bridge last November and it was an amazing experience. The set they had on the bridge was astounding, to say the least and it’s the most fun I’ve had at any job ;P and on a side note, Chris Nolan is really tall. No, I mean REALLY tall. JGL was there in his cop uniform as John Blake and when we left the set, we were fortunate to walk by Anne Hathaway, who is not just hot, but kinda small in size lol. Hell, I’m in two of the TV spots with a crowd walking on the bridge (there is a taxi in the scene with everyone walking, I’m behind the big woman on the far right) so my answers of being in the actual movie were gratefully answered ahead of time :D But with all the trailers, pictures, and tv spots, etc., it’s going to come to an end- and it’s understandable, given Nolan and how he does his movies, the storyline from the first two movies and so on. It really stinks, lol. Enjoy these last two weeks of anticipation, folks. I’m incredibly gratefully as a fan to have been a part of it (even if it is for like two seconds) and to have seen a great character from my youth come to life in such a way the past 7 years. Ugh. Bittersweet, indeed.

  12. Jesus harold Christ. Sorry, folks- I did not post that FOUR times. Damn error message kept telling me it wasn’t posting the first time. I guess computers CAN lie. Lol. Hopefully the moderator will delete them.

    • Has happened to the best of us.

      And me.

    • @ Destruct26

      You walked past Anne Hathaway & didn’t say anything?

    • @Destruct – LOL I got you covered bud.


      Paul Young

  13. I can not wait for the Dark Knight Rises even though i was surprised how good The Amazing Spider-Man And The Avengers Was I think this is going to be something else i cant not wait, I think its going to be the film of the year and maybe a brilliant trilogy. 2 Weeks needs to come quicker.

  14. Have you been able to see the movie yet or do you have to wait?

    • I saw the movie already…it’s fantasic awesome great !!!!! i am a huge batman fan and still the end leaves you hanging and thinking….if you have seen it let me know what you think.

  15. I feel like I can already see what all the twists can be. I really hope nolan can surprize me.

  16. Hope Riddlers a Hidden character or has a cameo small role.

  17. If they are going to tread where no one has gone before with Batman, I would rather see him sacrifice himself for Gotham than to sacrifice who he is by killing Bane in cold blood.

  18. Tha awesome. What TV spot and what second mark. wanna see if i can spot you.

    • ^^ @Destruct26

  19. I think Bane’s gonna drive Batman to the point of desperation, so Batman ends ul killing Bane in a fit of rage n ppl think batmans gone nuts so they kill him n thats how dat s*** ends!!!

  20. I think Bane’s gonna drive Batman to the point of desperation, so Batman ends ul killing Bane!

  21. This just in from Warner Brothers. They’re pushing back the release of this movie until April of 2013 so they can convert it to 3D.

    • … and throw in some Channing Tatum, because every delayed summer movie needs some more Tatum (that and some cowbell).

  22. I think the where he’s “never been before” is that Batman will kill Bane. He didn’t “break his one rule” as the Joker wanted him to in Dark Knight. But he’s going to do it in TDKR.

    • @Hiro

      I hope not. IMO I feel something similiar to TDKReturns. Batman’s rematch with The Mutant LeaderBatman couldnt simply defeat/kill the mutant because like Batman, The Mutant (in this case Bane) has become a symbol. Batman cant make him a martyr, he has to destroy what Bane stands for and show Gotham what Bane really is — a villian, not a savior.

  23. I figure this has been said already but I’m to lazy to read every comment.
    I think without doubt part of Bane’s plan is revealing the truth about Harvy Dent. We’ve all seen the shot of him holding up the photo.
    As for the ending, who knows???
    And I love that. So much is still up for debate. All the trailers feature the tag “The Legend Ends” that speaks to so much more than Batman dying IMO. It’s easy to kill a man but to also kill the mythos of a legend suggests a crazy finish to this series…
    2 weeks 2 go…

  24. hey screenrants, i was curious if you all decided who was going to review this movie? and if this movie will be reviewed after an imax screening?

  25. Here you go. Keep this in mind, this video of me having an over blown ego about being in the movie is pretty much the point. I making an ass out of myself so that all may have a good laugh. Please enjoy:
    @wallywest: I really wanted to. I was afraid I’d get kicked out. You are contractually bound to not talk to any of the actors/actresses. Besides, had I said something, I would have probably embarassed myself. So I gave her a s*** eating grin instead lmao. Dude- REALLY, REALLY hot. SMOKING.
    @Paul Young: Thank Yoooooou!!!!

    • @ Destruct26

      That’s a bum rap. It would take all my energy not to if it were me,lol. If i knew wasn’t gonna have another shot like that or be in film at all, i think id go for it & have a piece of paper handy w/ my email hand her while make conversation brief,lol. Did she grin back or did she notice at all? I only came in touch with three celebs in my life. 1. I got a response letter from Amy Jo Johnson when i was younger, tried writing to her again bet never got another back. 2. I shook hands w/ Brandon Routh at the the theater up in West Des Moines, Iowa when Superman Returns came out. And the last one was “The Million Dollar Man” from WWF. Not only did i get my picture taken with him holding the Million Dollar belt & got one of my dvd boxsets signed by him but got to talk to him for awhile with my friends.

  26. On a side note, it bugs me that (young) Ras al ghul was cast in this- he started Bruce on being a legend, teaching him his own ways. Then Ras, an old man like Bruce now, has his legend taken away by Bruce at the end of BB. Now, bane is doing the same thing to Bruce. Using his tumblers, the skyhook method to retrieve Pavel from the airplane during the six minute prologue- and he most likely would considering the possibility of Ras training him, too. As quoted by Bane but not heard on screen yet, “The shadows betray you, because they belong to me…”
    f****** epic.

  27. Looking through some of the trailers and set pics, it looks like the scene where Bane breaks the Bat occurs in that huge underground room with the fusion reactor, perhaps underneath Wayne Enterprises? This would show how Bane gets the device that causes the earthquake event at the football stadium. There is water running under the device calmly in the set photo and Bruce is also seen talking to Miranda Tate in a scene there. I originally thought Bane kicked his butt in the Batcave, but I’m starting to think it may have be in the fusion lab area.

    Instead of killing Bruce, Bane exiles him to suffer more in the same prison he himself grew up in. That’s when Bruce climbs out of the prison and escapes, somehow. I’m wondering how he does this with a broken back though, or any other injuries which would cause him to use a cane. I could be completely off about the time sequence.

    I will say it just seems odd to me that Bruce would walk around unprotected in public with a cane after getting beat to a pulp by Bane and also knowing that Bane knows his true identity. That part doesn’t fit for me, but I never did read the comics so maybe someone else could shed some light on that. Even so, I feel very strongly that he should definitely have his back broken; it’s such a real, crippling injury and one that someone with enough guts and will could certainly rehab and come back from. I just don’t know the logistics of it in Nolan’s universe and plot, but damn I can’t wait to see this movie!


    • For my part, I paid attention…I simply do NOT agree with you.

      • @ Archaeon

        Honestly i have to say Batman did kill Two-Face. Most likely not his intention to do so but a child’s life was at stake but still Dent’s death was at his hands. Im not what else Batman could of done besides rushing Two-Face which itself was risky. Imo in the Burton/Schumacher films, Batman killed Joker & Two-Face intentionally but i wouldn’t count Penguin though as some people because he had that gizmo thing & pressed the button that released baby bats that flied towards him till he fell backwards into his lair. Not to mention how Catwoman killing Max cut off the A/C so Penguin had trouble breathing & died as to that result. Anyways people have different opinions.

        • Wally…

          I will agree that Batman’s actions LED TO Two-Face’s death, but I shall continue to respectfully disagree that he CAUSED Harvey’s death or outright killed him. Batman was shot, fell back, dropped from the platform, THEN grabbed at Harvey and the boy to save the latter. Two-Face’s own actions and physical positioning caused him to fall and consequently die.

          I don’t expect either of us will convince the other of his respective view, but THAT is what makes discussions like this so fun. :)

  29. He is not going to die. He’s going to be vulnerable. Which is something Batman isn’t usually.

    Bane is going to break him. Mentally, physically, psychologically along with Gothamn.

    Then Batman is going to come back.

    All this talk of him dying is ridiculous.