[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.
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.
Sources: Jimmy Kimmel Live & The Hollywood Reporter