Michael Caine Explains ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Ending; Interested in ‘Justice League’ Return

Published 2 years ago by

Dark Knight Rises Alfred Justice League Movie Michael Caine Explains Dark Knight Rises Ending; Interested in Justice League Return

Warning: The following article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the ending of The Dark Knight Rises.

After the release of The Dark Knight Rises, speculation immediately centered around the post-film escapades of John “Robin” Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Would the character take-on the recently vacated role of Gotham’s protector as Batman, Nightwing, Robin, or some combination of the three?

Months later and we’re no closer to a concrete answer regarding the future adventures of John Blake but a recent interview with actor Michael Caine has shed light on the finale’s other point of contention: did now-retired butler Alfred actually see Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle alive and well at that cafe in Florence or was he dreaming?

Most moviegoers took the Florence cafe scene at face value, accepting that Bruce Wayne had faked his own death in order to disappear into regular life, and pass the Gotham superhero role to Blake. An equally telling exchange between Lucius Fox and a set of Wayne Enterprises engineers discussing Wayne’s implementation of a life-saving software patch for The Bat vehicle further corroborates a literal interpretation of Alfred’s “Happily Ever After” encounter in Florence.

Still, plenty of viewers weren’t convinced – possibly still reeling from Nolan’s open-ended Inception conclusion (read our explanation of that ending) – refusing to accept that Wayne made it out of Gotham alive. In this interpretation of the ending, Alfred wouldn’t actually see his former master and friend, he was merely seeing what he wanted to see.

Dark Knight Rises Cafe Scene Michael Caine Explains Dark Knight Rises Ending; Interested in Justice League Return

However, Caine has officially set the record straight (in an interview with Hero Complex):

They were there. They were real. There was no imagination. They were real and he was with Anne, the cat lady, and I was happy ever after for him as I told him during the picture.

Caine doesn’t really elaborate on any conversations with Nolan about the scene – so it’s not entirely clear whether or not this is solely the actor’s take on the ending or a definitive explanation. However, while some viewers will certainly disagree, Caine’s explanation is not that surprising – given that, as mentioned, the evidence certainly points to the interpretation that Wayne survived and, at the very least, vacationed with Catwoman to Europe.

That said, what might surprise fans of the series is the possibility that Caine is interested in reprising his Alfred role in the Justice League movie (or future Batman installments) – even if Nolan isn’t directing. When asked directly about the possibility of an Alfred appearance in Justice League, the actor stated:

I said to Chris, “If they do it again and they ask me to be the Butler, I’m going to do it.” He said, “I want 10%.”

Given that Caine tosses in Nolan’s tongue-in-cheek 10% finder’s fee line, it’s clear that the actor is open to the idea of returning for the role and, unlike Bale, doesn’t see a new Batman director or possibly a new Justice League team-up storyline as a deal-breaker.

JGL 2 Michael Caine Explains Dark Knight Rises Ending; Interested in Justice League Return

How exactly Wayne’s butler would fit into the larger Justice League universe, which will also be tasked with introducing an iconic team of superheroes, makes for fun speculation but, at this point, there’s no reason to think he’s even being considered. Similarly, Nolan has directly stated that he is not coming back for future Batman installments – though that doesn’t necessarily prevent DC from continuing to tell stories in the Batman Begins movie universe.

Maybe John Blake will recruit Alfred to help him turn on the bat computer?


Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Justice League as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

The Dark Knight Rises is currently available on DVD/Blu-ray.

Justice League is scheduled for release in 2015.

Source: Hero Complex

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  1. I agree with previous posts, the Arkham City style would be best for a Justice League film. Perfect mix of realism and fantasy. Also a great game and story.

    • I agree as well arkham city and arkham asylum are both well done games they would work well if done correctly

  2. I do not think the Nolan Bat-verse should have anything at all to do with the Justice League. If they do Mr Caine for Alfred it should have no dialogue that links him to the Nolan films.

  3. Eh… just throw Batman in JL movie as Batman. No Bruce Wayne appearance. That way, the movie is focused more on the story, not Batman. Also saves us the precious time over arguing whether should Batman be rebooted or not, because honestly, it gets old real fast. He will always be a mysterious force, so let’s keep it that way.

  4. Well, I thought reports were that Bale was not donning the cowl ever again. If that’s true and they go with another actor to play batman, I sure then hope that Caine will play his role as alfred just for the sake of having someone from the nolan films in the justice league movie, for the sake of conitnuity.


    I think i understand what you are saying with regards of not having bruce wayne in the movie, just batman. If i do agree with you i would say that they should only have bruce in the beginning of the film (for about a few minutes only) doing something bruce wayneish, only to throw on the cape on cowl to stop the joker, or penguin, or two-face, or even clayface or croc and let him continue to be batman from then on.

  5. Im quite curious on how they are going to work the dynamic of both superman and batman which i believe this would be the main focus character similar to how x men first class turned out with Prof. X and Magneto. Supes and Batman become best friends dont they? and they wont need a large number in the JL for the simple reason that in the beging depending which time line they follow there will always be supes, batman, wonderwoman and Flash its the additional chracters you have to look out for

  6. As stoked as I will be for a shared universe movie from DC about their ensemble cast for their iconic superheroes in 2015, I am, however, quiet cautious about the Warner leadership unconventionally introducing these gestating figures through one explosive plot. Trying to introduce each of the separate characters through one movie is a dauntingly risky move, not only from a fiscal point of view but from a thematic one. What concerns us more is the latter one. Clearly, trying to write a story that will properly be able to encompass all the different background story arch of Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash and reboot Batman will convolute the overall story, thereby making it difficult for audiences to encapsulate the overall picture. Generally speaking, good movies are attuned to niche storylines. It would make sense to follow the marvel path by giving a fair amount of attention to all of our superheroes separately and then bringing them together into one JLA movie, even if it will mean postponing the date for a JLA movie for another three years. Remember, stalling the movie would be an infinitely better option than doing a horrible job of it and single handedly making it a colossal embarrassment as well as ruining potential sequels. However, if done well, this unconventional method could perhaps turn out to be a novelty strategy. Such would only be possible if the Warner Bros. entourage could somehow focus on as little characters as possible, thereby developing more effectively on a more restricted story arch, while leaving the climactic buildup as being open to the calling out for the need for other superheroes for protection from even greater threats in future movies. This, then, could be a more subtle approach to introducing Flash and other heroes alike. This would be akin to Michael Bay’s first Transformers movie, where Optimus Prime, at the end of the movie, steps up on top of a hill calling out to other surviving protagonists, asking them to unite for even greater evils to come. As a huge DC fan, I will want Warner Bros. to get their eggs in one basket (or separate ones!) and consider approaching this sensitive situation cautiously regardless of how they approach the JLA team. After all, this movie in 2015, or the lack thereof, will determine the future of the other JLA cast members and whether they will be able to compete with their Marvel counterparts.

  7. I believe Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle are just fine. Because if you notice at the funeral Selena isn’t there.

  8. maybe he returns to gothem in MOS2 and they do The Dark Knight Returns!

  9. This may not sit tight with most of you but… Joseph Gordon-Levett should play batman in the JLA (or replace batman completely with nightwing). Blake takes over batman, the main villain (Lex or Braniac) tries to hack/steal the batcomputer, Blake is way over his head and tries to get a hold of wayne via tracking down alfred. While Superman, at the same time is tracking down said villain (because of some previous events).

  10. He is alive, after Wayne told Selina to get Fox to get him back in the game, he said that the Bat flies okay, even without the autopilot. Meaning that he fixed the autopilot without fox knowing, except for the end where Fox found out the autopilot was already fixed months ago by Bruce. Faking his own death would not mean having a normal life, it would mean that the people Bruce cared about wouldn’t get hurt like Rachel did, because supervillains like the joker won’t kill the Batman, he would just make him dead inside.

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  12. You can’t have someone else take brruins Wayne’s place as batman. If you would remmember, he was a member of the league of shadows.