Let's look past the playboy lifestyle, intelligence, and cool gadgets for just one second. Many would argue that a lot of the appeal that draws fans to the Bruce Wayne/Batman character has always been the secretive world in which he lives. How many of us (male or female) wouldn't want to double as a millionaire business tycoon during the day, and a kick ass superhero during the evening - all while having only a handful of people know of our nightly activities?
The allure of being able to keep such secrets from so many has gone a long way toward making Batman into such a mainstream attraction - so how fitting is it that the conclusion to the Christopher Nolan directed Dark Knight Rises is being kept about as secretive as a board meeting at Area 51?
Fans of The Dark Knight have already begun concocting their own ideas of what they think will happen at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. Ideas ranging from the demise of Batman to Bruce Wayne simply walking away and letting another superhero of the DC universe (known simply as the Man of Steel) fight the good fight. In a recent interview with Empire magazine (due out May 31st) three key components in the Dark Knight franchise (Nolan, co-writer Jonathan Nolan and actor Christian Bale) helped to add fuel to the already burning rumor mill.
WARNING: The following quotes (and analysis) may be viewed as SPOILERS for anyone looking to avoid information on The Dark Knight Rises (as well as the possibility of future installments).
Christopher Nolan, who has made no secrets about this being his last go around with the Batman franchise, certainly sounds like a director who is done with this phase of his professional life - and the character story he set-out to tell. He is quoted as saying:
"What drew me to Batman in the first place was Bruce Wayne's story, and that he's a real character whose story begins in childhood. He's not a fully formed character like James Bond, so what we're doing is following the journey of this guy from a child who goes through this horrible experience of becoming this extraordinary character. That, for me, became a three-part story. And obviously the third part becomes the ending of the guy's story."
Christopher's brother and co-writer of The Dark Knight Rises chimed in with the following:
"It's the right way to end it - to blow the whole thing up!"
While reading these quotes may sadden fans of Nolan's Batman work, actor Christian Bale (Terminator Salvation), who plays both Wayne and Batman, added a ray of sunshine to the mix and left the door very much open to a return - That is, only if Nolan is involved. He states:
"My understanding is that this is the last one. I think it's appropriate, I think it's going out at the right time. But...if Chris came to me with a script and said, 'You know what? There is another story' then I would love the challenge of making a fourth one work."
The very fact that Bale is even talking of a possible return to play Batman may throw a little dirt on the idea that the caped crusader could be killed off in The Dark Knight Rises. Then again, the actor may just be throwing us all a curveball. That's the beauty of secrets. They always keep us coming back. Wanting to know more.
Dark Knight Rises hits regular and IMAX theaters everywhere on July 20th.