Joseph Gordon-Levitt Discusses ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Ending, Potential Sequel

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 11:58 am,

JGL 2 Joseph Gordon Levitt Discusses The Dark Knight Rises Ending, Potential Sequel

[WARNING: This story contains spoilers for the ending of The Dark Knight Rises.]

In case you haven’t heard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt – who will, to a certain generation, forever be remembered as that kid from Disney’s Angels in the Outfield – is on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s most in-demand leading men. This summer’s The Dark Knight Rises, however, marks the most high-profile role of his career thus far.

By the film’s end, his role as Gotham City cop John Blake is revealed to be Christopher Nolan’s version of Robin (as was rumored beforehand). Having faked his death, Bruce Wayne bequeaths the coordinates of the Bat Cave to Blake, who is literally rising in the film’s final shot (hence the Dark Knight rises). Therefore, all signs indicate – in Nolan’s take on the Batman mythology, at least – that Blake is the heir apparent to Batman’s role as Gotham’s protector.

Making an appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, the star addressed rumors that he might reprise his role in a potential sequel. Here’s what he had to say:

“I don’t think [the ending of 'The Dark Knight Rises'] is necessarily a set-up. I think it is the great ending for that trilogy. Even if you go back to ‘Batman Begins,’ he’s talking about how Batman is more than a man, it’s a symbol, and a hero can be anybody and we all have heroes inside of us.”

Gordon-Levitt also recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he had “no idea” where the Batman franchise would go from this point but revealed that his criteria for choosing future projects would remain unchanged.

“I always choose scripts the same way. If it’s a great script and a great filmmaker, then I’m interested.”

The above comments may not be definitive regarding the star’s future involvement in the Batman series, but Gordon-Levitt does indicate that he would entertain the possibility of donning the cape and cowl if Warner Bros. manages to secure a filmmaker of Christopher Nolan’s caliber to continue the story from The Dark Knight Rises.

There’s little doubt that the actor – who has turned in memorable performances in films like Brick, (500) Days of Summer, Inception and 50/50 – is up to the task of carrying a Batman film. Gordon-Levitt’s star is continually on the rise, with both Premium Rush and Looper due for release within the next few weeks. It seems inevitable that some studio will hand him the lead in his own franchise. After all, Jeremy Renner currently has high-profile roles in three.

JGL Joseph Gordon Levitt Discusses The Dark Knight Rises Ending, Potential Sequel

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

The question remains – what does Warner Bros. have in mind for their DC universe? With recent rumors that Ben Affleck is in talks to helm Justice Leauge, the studio is clearly keen on competing with Marvel’s movie universe (which just secured Joss Whedon to a three-year contract), and Batman is a critical part of that (along with Man of Steel’s Superman). Given the way Nolan ended his trilogy, the studio could either reboot the Batman franchise or find someone to move ahead with Nolan’s vision. In any either case, they need to decide sooner rather than later if Justice League is to move forward. Keeping Gordon-Levitt onboard may be a wise move, considering the phenomenal success of Nolan’s trilogy, but attracting the talent involved could be tricky. Plus, there’s the question of whether or not audiences would ultimately want to see a Justice League film without Bruce Wayne.

Do you think Warner Bros. should try to keep the continuity of Nolan’s Batman films in play (with Blake in the Batsuit), or is it time to bring another filmmaker’s vision of Gotham City to life and re-introduce Bruce Wayne? Let us know in the comments.

Premium Rush hits theaters August 24th, 2012, followed by Looper on September 28th.

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Sources: Jimmy Kimmel Live & The Hollywood Reporter

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TAGS: batman, the dark knight rises

222 Comments

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  1. Bruce wayne is batman. Period. It didn’t work when dick grayson was batman in that battle of the cowl nonsense…let not go down that road again please.

  2. I believe he should be Nightwing, not Batman, but in any case, he’s a tremendous actor. If they do another Batman series starring Levitt, then I am certainly going to see it.

  3. Bring on the reboot!!!

    Levitt is a fine actor and all but he isn’t my Batman, Nightwing nor Robin!

    Just reboot this thing! Nolan’s Batman world won’t fit in with the new DC cinematic universe they are now trying to create (starting with Man of Steel).

    • You haven’t even seen what they’re trying to do with it yet.

      • Well I’m done with this series. I want to see a different Batman and that doesn’t involve JGL.

  4. It seems kind of obvious to me that the next Batman film will be a continuation of the Nolan films where Blake will attempt but fail to be Batman due to his lack of training. this will cause a need for both Bruce and Alfred to return and Bruce (hopefully played by Bale) with once again become Batman and Blake will become Robin.

    • This was my idea as well. I think this would be fantastic, but unfortunately this probably won’t be the directionthey take.

    • I wouldn’t Bale to come back right away. Let Bruce enjoy his vacation. What if it was The Riddler? it could showcase the more detective side of Batman w/o questioning his lack of training so much.

    • I havent thought of that. Its a good idea, but they are trying to make a Justice League film and that would probably require a new Batman.

      • CreacK

        Agreed. A spin-off comic would better for continued exploration of the Nolanverse. It would just need one hell of a writer.

  5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is no Batman.
    No way he could “carry” a Batman film.
    He was nothing but annoying in Inception.

    • strong words from a ______ man

      • And you cannot stand by your own words
        being a coward for not filling in the blank.

    • are you high? he was easily the best part of inception

      • Are you low? He was easily the worst part of Inception.

        • and that’s your opinion.

          • Obviously, that is my opinion.
            Which I am entitled to too.

            • And its the wrong opinion! (jk, just being an a**)

              But i do disagree with you. Joseph was fantastic in Inception…

              But a Batman he is not. I think he would be a great Nightwing though.

              • Actually, TDKR was the first time I liked him in anything.
                Nightwing is an interesting idea. Bruce Wayne he is not.

                As a footnote, Ellen Page was the one totally out of her
                league in Inception and while not annoying she was lost.

                • So no 50/50 or brick?

                  • 50/50 did not appeal to me in general
                    and he may very well been good in that.

                    Brick I am soon to see just because I am
                    reassessing him after TDKR and everyone
                    seems to be recommending I finally see it.

                    And I have my fingers crossed for Looper.

  6. I don’t think that we need sequel of Batman anymore as Nolan end the trilogy smoothly !!

  7. Well for one, The film ended, its over, its a very good way to end a trilogy, the final scene of the film is left to our imagination, they shouldnt just push forward with another film. I will admit that I am a big fan of Gordon-Levitt and his work but I dont think we shouldt expect him to carry on the movie if it ended the way it should have, aside from that, he’s ROBIN, he wont put on the batsuit, although he’s obviously a great Night Wing. :)

    • In the comics, Robin is destined to become Batman. Batman has been training him all his life for it. It’s inevitable.
      Robin John Blake is Batman. It’s a nod to the legacy of Batman in the comics.

  8. Personally I would have had him be Jason Todd instead. Then ended TDKR with a slow pan up of the batman statue revealing a sloppy red grin across it’s mouth and cut to black with the jokers laugh… Setting up a death in the family…of sorts.

  9. I think it be intresting to have a Batman movie that never shows the alter ego. Levitt would be in the role but it would be ambigious as to who Batman is. I love the implication that Batman is a title taking up by a citizen of Gotham, when the city is need of a hero. He can be anyone.

    As interesting as that is (well for me), I’ m quite fine with how the TDK trilogy ended.

    • That IS awesome…I would be a fan of that. Especially if he is supposed to have a role in Justice League…I mean realistically, Batman can’t stand up with the powers of the rest of them. How could he?? By never showing Batman’s alter-ego, it could create such an air of mystery that they never have to explain this. I would definitely be a fan of that approach.

      Also, does anyone else think he should seem more fluid? That was one of my favorite parts of him in the cartoon – just pure fluidity in everything he does and every way he moves.

  10. I think ‘Premium Rush’ won’t do Levitt any favors because it appears to have a weak storyline. He might have his moments in it but it won’t help him traverse the gulf into the Batman role. It is a gulf and I’m pretty sure that Batman being the outsider is the best way to include him in a Justice League movie…

    • Except that Batman plays an integral part in creating the Justice League (especially in later incarnations). So while he might be more of a “behind the scenes” person, he is most definitely not an outsider.

  11. tdkr should not be touched… it has a great ending.. we dont want it to be a starwars prequels disaster… unless handled perfectly

  12. No don’t keep him. Erase all signs of Nolans trilogy in the next batman

  13. it wont happen unless nolan wants to do it again which is he doenst want to anymore

  14. As I have said before, JL should be a 2 (or 3 part) epic much like the LotR. This allows for greater character development, better story telling and a truly menacing villain. The JL movie could be the catalyst that the rest of the DC Universe movies then spawn off, much like IM did for the Marvel Universe. I dont want them to rush into things.

    The only question is where does Snyder’s Superman stand? Should it be a stand alone trilogy or connected to the JL? A cinematic Universe complicates thing b/c events have consequences. Events that will effect Superman’s character decelopment and the world around him that must be addressed in subsequent sequels. A Stand alone Superman trilogy maybe better for showcasing character development and expanding on themes best fit for him.

    Thanks to TDKR, I wanna see the final movie in trilogy be set with an aged hero. What if Man if Steel 3 is based off of Kingdom Come!? Epic!!!!!

  15. Of course this would have this much comments, yet The Master thread that was posted before has like nothing, smh!!!!!

  16. Christian bale should continue,he is awesome as batman.If gordon does batman it will seem like batman in early years boring.CHRISTIAN BALE-ANNE HATHAWAY-CHRISTOPHER NOLAN SHOULD RETURN FOR ANOTHER TRILOGY.

    • I totally agree!!! BALE-HATHAWAY-NOLAN!!! Bring back the cast! Let’s make this one of the most memorable series EVER!!!

  17. I like JGL’s character for a sequel because the character is original so they can go in any direction they want with him. I think it would be amazing if they could have a JGL Batman in the works at the same time as a Justice League with another actor playing Bruce Wayne/Batman.

  18. I’d love to see three great actors (Bale, JGL, and _____) all play Batman in my lifetime. Obviously that means I’m younger…

  19. I for one have very mixed reaction to this article. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was cast perfectly in this film & should he take over the franchise ? is a yes & a no.Yes due the ending of TDKR but not has BATMAN but as NIGHT WING & take the story into another level. NO cause this is a masterpiece of a film & once a stamp is made from it origin it can be changed, example everyone looks at star wars (the 1st 3 original) has a great story telling, mind you all it has never been remade. This trilogy should be kept untouched & continue from where it left off,i wish & pray Mr Nolan would head this new project but we all know it might not happen, so with that in mind i really cant say what to go for in this one.

  20. I will always see Levitt as the old man alien trapped in a kids body from “3rd Rock from the Sun”.

    I also disagree that the last scene was where the title came from. I thought Bane breaking him and his need to both symbolically rise from the ashes and also have to physically climb out of the pit to save his city to be the prime inspiration.

    And Levitt will never be Batman, Bale will not be reprising his role nor will Caine. The roller coaster ride is over, please exit the ride (but you are free to ride the same ride again ;) ) The empire has been sold off, the lead characters have been officially detached and all that remains is what’s in that cave (although Fox may be available to help him).

    Really the only choice that makes sense, imho, is for Levitt to take on the persona of Nightwing. He might think about it initially (and even try to don the bat suit that’s too big for him) but in the end realizes that Batman needs to remain a symbol that is bigger than himself or anyone and to try and literally fill his shoes would be doing that symbol an injustice. So he will eventually choose to be a similar but entirely different masked crusader more suited to his abilities.

    This also has the advantage of allowing the “Nolan-verse” to continue on in some fashion while at the same time allow Batman to be rebooted in a more familiar (and slightly less grounded) version for the Justice League movie and DC shared universe in general.

  21. Was not happy with the ending of TDKR with Blake replacing Wayne as Batman and/or taking on the role of Robin the boy wonder. Dick Grayson will always be the first Robin, followed by Jason Todd, Tim Drake, etc.

    At first I was upset to find out the Nolan was only doing a trilogy. I felt that he barely scratched the surface with this revamp of Batman. I was hoping to see his take on characters like the Riddler, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, etc.

    Then, recently, it was brought to my attention that these three films were based on a separate series called “The Dark Knight Saga” in which these other characters never existed.

    It was basically a complete re-write of the original Bob Kane story. I never read it, so I guess the way the trilogy ended may have done justice to the comics it was based upon. I do recall the issue where Bane broke Batman’s back, so that part stayed true to the comics.

    • What is this Dark Knight Saga book you speak of.

    • @ Ultimate Batman Fan

      I enjoyed TDKR up until the ending myself. I thought the film should of ended with Alfred seeing Bruce at the cafe. But having John Blake find the Batcave was alittle much i thought as it would lead people wanting more films. Sorry but i can’t imagine JGL as Batman however i could see him as Robin. Speaking of which i agreed with what you said regarding Dick Grayson & the others that follow which im hoping to see on film one day in my lifetime. That’s why im hoping they reboot again & expore more into the Bat Family while doin a more proper job at it just as Nolan did with Batman in his trilogy. I think Robin,Batgirl,Nightwing deserve that kind of treatment aswell. Id also like to see Dr.Leslie Thompkins shall Batman gets really injured or gassed by Scarecrow in the next reboot. These just my opinions aswell others i know.

  22. You guys are all nuts! Nolan is done with Batman! The end is anyone’s choice — it is ambiguous and open but it’s done with! Warner’s will wait for MAN OF STEEL to do well and then do JUSTICE LEAGUE in 2016 — the plan is to reboot Batman after that with THE CAPED CRUSADER. New actor, new director — this has been Warner’s plan since day #1 after Nolan’s trilogy was finished.

  23. Looper comes out on my birthday :)

  24. Reboot. Erase all of the mythology attached to the Nolanverse.

  25. He might as well play nightwing!!i can pic him going against the riddler to give nightwing tests extreme and difficult in saving people from dying bombs going off in certain places etc

  26. Bruce Wayne is Batman imo,especially if they plan to have him part of Justice League. This is why i kinda hated the ending of TDKR. Leaves it open for someone to take over from there & maybe history repeats itself-( Schumacher’s Bat-films) on a new level. Imo, JGL would be great as Dick Grayson(Robin) then turns takes up the mantle of Nightwing in a new Batman reboot. Sorry but imo, i can’t see JGL as Batman.

  27. They should continue the story with JGL. The TDK trilogy is a huge success, and no matter how good the reboot could be, people will compare it to Dark Knight. It’s an impossible task.

  28. Nolan’s mythology will never be erased! So a reboot wont work for years to come, cause it aint gonna be better, and it will be a joke just like TAS.
    I say continue and put someone like david fincher on it, cause in my eyes, he is someone who can extend Nolan’s bat universe and maintain the same gritt and dark story that has been set, and the maybe tie-in the new batman (JGL) to the justice league with Affleck also capable of making dark gritty stories.

  29. Reboot.
    Bryan Cranston As Gordon
    The rest I idfk

    • ^^^ THIS

      I’m so glad I’m not only one who thinks Bryan Cranston should play Gordon. And Neal McDonough as Hush.

      • Yeah, he should be Gordon Freeman.

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