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Peter T Chattaway

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

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Links to our threads on Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008), as well as the quasi-related Catwoman (2004) and the in-development Superman: The Man of Steel and Justice League.

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Christopher Nolan takes flight with Superman: 'We have a fantastic story'
Still, it was a frustrating moment in the Batman franchise that led to this new Superman revival. Nolan and Goyer, a key collaborator on both Batman films, were at a story impasse on the third Batman film (which is now picking up steam as well) when, as a distraction, Goyer gave the filmmaker a daydream version of how he would tackle a story about the last son of Krypton. . . .
And that third Batman film? Jonathan Nolan is “now doing the hard work” of writing the script based on the story by his sibling Goyer. “My brother is writing a script for me and we’ll wait to see how it turns out.... He’s struggling to put it together into the epic story that you want it to be.”
“Batman Begins” was the origin and back story of the hero, while “The Dark Knight” found the hero reeling as his Manichean, good vs. evil worldview was upended by a new villain, the Joker, who was a wild-card agent of chaos going up against order, be it a police department or the mob. The second film ends, literally, with Batman on the run, a fugitive.
So what happens next?
“Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story,” he said. “And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story.”
Nolan said the key characters from the two first films and the actors who play them will be back. “We have a great ensemble, that’s one of the attractions of doing another film, since we’ve been having a great time for years.” . . .
His villain choices to date have steered clear of strongly supernatural or super-science characters (no Man-Bat, Mr. Freeze or Poison Ivy, for instance) but he shook his head when asked if that was a trajectory he would continue. He did however concede one tidbit: “It won’t be," he said, "Mr. Freeze.” . . .
“I’m very excited about the end of the film, the conclusion, and what we’ve done with the characters,” Nolan said.“My brother has come up with some pretty exciting stuff. Unlike the comics, these things don’t go on forever in film and viewing it as a story with an end is useful. Viewing it as an ending, that sets you very much on the right track about the appropriate conclusion and the essence of what tale we’re telling. And it harkens back to that priority of trying to find the reality in these fantastic stories. That’s what we do.”
Los Angeles Times, March 10

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So what happens next?

“Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story,” he said. “And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story.”

This is a very, very important insight. It gives me hope that a third Batman film could be the climax that The Dark Knight in a way cries out for, and for want of which is incomplete.

Edited by SDG

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So what happens next?

“Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story,” he said. “And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story.”

This is a very, very important insight. It gives me hope that a third Batman film could be the climax that The Dark Knight in a way cries out for, and for want of which is incomplete.

I wonder how/if they'll handle the Joker issue, since that character is still alive at the end of Dark Knight... and yet Heath Ledger got such accolades for the role that it would be folly to try and replace him.

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I suspect the Joker will be in Arkham for the duration, and they'll mention him in dialogue and won't show him. But I could be wrong. Recasting him would be a bold, bold move, though (though I daresay it's doomed to lead to an unsatisfactory result).

I wonder whether all Nolan's talk in the article about viewing this as a story with an end means they'll kill off the character. Or perhaps, ala THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, they'll have him fake his death.

Edited by Ryan H.

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So what happens next?

“Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story,” he said. “And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story.”

This is a very, very important insight. It gives me hope that a third Batman film could be the climax that The Dark Knight in a way cries out for, and for want of which is incomplete.

I wonder how/if they'll handle the Joker issue, since that character is still alive at the end of Dark Knight... and yet Heath Ledger got such accolades for the role that it would be folly to try and replace him.

Good question. I've said before that it would be possible to recast the Joker -- for Batman 4. It seems to me they need to do a successful Batman movie without Heath Ledger's replacement to give themselves the capital to recast that part.

What I think they should do is pull a Bourne 3-esque reinterpretation of the last scene in The Dark Knight in which it turns out that contrary to what we thought, Two-Face isn't dead. He's too important a character to be dispensed with so quickly.

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What I think they should do is pull a Bourne 3-esque reinterpretation of the last scene in The Dark Knight in which it turns out that contrary to what we thought, Two-Face isn't dead. He's too important a character to be dispensed with so quickly.

I suppose they could go that route, but I wouldn't really be for it. Two-Face's most interesting bit as a character is his origin. This was sadly glossed over in THE DARK KNIGHT because of everything else going on, but once you just have plain ol' Two-Face, he's nowhere near as striking. Not to mention that Nolan's interpretation of the character, which doesn't give the character split personalities, further limits the appeal; he's just an angry, nutty guy with a scarred face, not one that is literally divided between good and evil.

I say we move the focus away from the costumed freaks. Give BATMAN 3 a 1970s-esque political thriller-esque title, like HUNT THE DARK KNIGHT (one of the chapters from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, actually), and have Batman's primary foe be the government. Now that he's a vigilante wanted for a bunch of murders, we have to believe that the FBI is going to get involved, and that's going to make things mighty tricky for our dark hero. If you want to complicate things, perhaps you can have the Riddler or Catwoman on the side (the former would be an interesting choice, particularly if we suggest that the Riddler has figured out the truth behind Dent's death and is now planting clues about the reality), but the primary face of conflict here shouldn't be another costumed creep.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Ryan H. wrote:

: I say we move the focus away from the costumed freaks. Give BATMAN 3 a 1970s-esque political thriller-esque title, like HUNT THE DARK KNIGHT (one of the chapters from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, actually), and have Batman's primary foe be the government. Now that he's a vigilante wanted for a bunch of murders, we have to believe that the FBI is going to get involved, and that's going to make things mighty tricky for our dark hero.

My first reaction on reading this was to think, "No! no! no! Keep the feds out of this! Keep the focus on Gotham City!" But then I remembered that the first two films both had forays into Asia (with Batman capturing a guy in Hong Kong and dropping him off outside a police station or courthouse in Gotham City in the second film, if memory serves). Interestingly, the Chris Nolan Batman films seem to be quite comfortable with the international stuff, but they haven't really explored Gotham City's relationship to the rest of its own nation -- unless I'm forgetting something. (Hmmm, remember how Batman Begins postulated that Ra's Al Ghul was behind an economic depression that apparently affected Gotham City and ONLY Gotham City, instead of, like, the whole nation?)

: . . . the primary face of conflict here shouldn't be another costumed creep.

Hmmm. Technically, the only "costumed" creep we've had so far is the Scarecrow, whose "costume" served a practical purpose inasmuch as it protected him from the effects of his own gas. The Joker had make-up, admittedly, and Two-Face had his scars. Ra's al Ghul, of course, was just a guy with a slightly unusual beard. At any rate, I think the third film should stay in that general ballpark -- but I would certainly welcome some government / espionage intrigue as well.

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I say we move the focus away from the costumed freaks. Give BATMAN 3 a 1970s-esque political thriller-esque title, like HUNT THE DARK KNIGHT (one of the chapters from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, actually), and have Batman's primary foe be the government. Now that he's a vigilante wanted for a bunch of murders, we have to believe that the FBI is going to get involved, and that's going to make things mighty tricky for our dark hero. If you want to complicate things, perhaps you can have the Riddler or Catwoman on the side (the former would be an interesting choice, particularly if we suggest that the Riddler has figured out the truth behind Dent's death and is now planting clues about the reality), but the primary face of conflict here shouldn't be another costumed creep.

I really like this. A lot. But some suit and tie in an office on some 80th floor will never buy a Batman film without a proper "costumed creep."

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My first reaction on reading this was to think, "No! no! no! Keep the feds out of this! Keep the focus on Gotham City!"

Well, the feds would be in Gotham City, supervising the police (which would put Gordon in an awkward spot, attempting to sabotage police action on Batman's behalf, and perhaps he gets caught in the act).

Hmmm. Technically, the only "costumed" creep we've had so far is the Scarecrow, whose "costume" served a practical purpose inasmuch as it protected him from the effects of his own gas. The Joker had make-up, admittedly, and Two-Face had his scars. Ra's al Ghul, of course, was just a guy with a slightly unusual beard. At any rate, I think the third film should stay in that general ballpark -- but I would certainly welcome some government / espionage intrigue as well.

Well, don't get me wrong, the transition from the mob to the freaks is an important part of the Nolan franchise arc so far. In the background of BATMAN 3, there should be plenty of would-be criminals following in the Joker's lead (he'd undoubtedly have created quite a stir), and we should acknowledge that both the freaks and Batman are struggling to keep up with the mess. Maybe we could give a cameo to the Mad Hatter or some second-rate foes like that, and my suggested side-story Riddler can be in that mold: a nut who, out of narcissism, has come to prove himself against the Bat in a battle of wits, and chooses to do so by exposing the falsehood for which Batman sacrificed himself. (And arguably, the Riddler has the moral high ground here--Batman and Gordon have created a lie, even if it's a well-intentioned one--which would create for some very interesting tension.)

I say we move the focus away from the costumed freaks. Give BATMAN 3 a 1970s-esque political thriller-esque title, like HUNT THE DARK KNIGHT (one of the chapters from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, actually), and have Batman's primary foe be the government. Now that he's a vigilante wanted for a bunch of murders, we have to believe that the FBI is going to get involved, and that's going to make things mighty tricky for our dark hero. If you want to complicate things, perhaps you can have the Riddler or Catwoman on the side (the former would be an interesting choice, particularly if we suggest that the Riddler has figured out the truth behind Dent's death and is now planting clues about the reality), but the primary face of conflict here shouldn't be another costumed creep.

I really like this. A lot. But some suit and tie in an office on some 80th floor will never buy a Batman film without a proper "costumed creep."

I'm glad you like it. Now if I could only get Nolan's attention... ;)

Honestly, I think they'll let Nolan do whatever he wants at this point. He seems to have the suits eating out of his hand. I very much doubt that Nolan's BATMAN 3, regardless of how well it matches up with my HUNT THE DARK KNIGHT idea, will be particularly "traditional."

Edited by Ryan H.

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I don't see why they couldn't re-introduce Two Face for three-and make him more fractured. Easy motive, Gotham has lied about his death, and he starts undoing that, leading the Gotham government to be one step behind trying to keep the cover-up... covered up. The truth can't stay hidden...and in between films, Harvey has become more fractured.

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Well, don't get me wrong, the transition from the mob to the freaks is an important part of the Nolan franchise arc so far. In the background of BATMAN 3, there should be plenty of would-be criminals following in the Joker's lead (he'd undoubtedly have created quite a stir), and we should acknowledge that both the freaks and Batman are struggling to keep up with the mess. Maybe we could give a cameo to the Mad Hatter or some second-rate foes like that, and my suggested side-story Riddler can be in that mold: a nut who, out of narcissism, has come to prove himself against the Bat in a battle of wits, and chooses to do so by exposing the falsehood for which Batman sacrificed himself. (And arguably, the Riddler has the moral high ground here--Batman and Gordon have created a lie, even if it's a well-intentioned one--which would create for some very interesting tension.)

From my previous post in the Watchmen thread.

Isn't this basically a reverse/mirror image of the final theme of The Dark Knight? In TDK the villain creates a situation that would expose the public to the truth about a situation

that Harvey Dent became Two Face and went on a killing spree

in order take away their hope and create more chaos. The hero decides to lie about the situation and take the blame himself.

On the other hand, in Watchmen the villain (only exposed as the villain at the end) creates a situation to deceive the public about a situation in order to bring them together and create peace. The hero

Rorschach

decides to tell the truth about the situation

by mailing his journal

and place the blame on the villain.

I think a case could be made that Watchmen is ultimately the more ethically sound film of the two. (You just have to overlook all the naked or exploding bodies.) ::blush::

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I think a case could be made that Watchmen is ultimately the more ethically sound film of the two. (You just have to overlook all the naked or exploding bodies.) ::blush::

Yes, I think so. But I'm in that small minority of folks who actually prefers WATCHMEN, flawed though it is, to THE DARK KNIGHT (well, at least if we're talking about either of the two extended cuts of WATCHMEN; in the form of its theatrical cut, I'm less content with it).

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I think a case could be made that Watchmen is ultimately the more ethically sound film of the two. (You just have to overlook all the naked or exploding bodies.) ::blush::

Yes, I think so. But I'm in that small minority of folks who actually prefers WATCHMEN, flawed though it is, to THE DARK KNIGHT (well, at least if we're talking about either of the two extended cuts of WATCHMEN; in the form of its theatrical cut, I'm less content with it).

I've seen it twice now - Watchmen, that is - and I've not thought of comparing it directly to The Dark Knight, but I actually like it quite a bit. In fact, I'm even of the opinion that changing the climax to focus on "blue balls" (get it?) actually tightens and in some ways improves the story.

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'Dark Knight' sequel has an official release date!

Warner Bros. has set July 20, 2012, as the release date for the third Christopher Nolan-directed Batman movie.

The studio has barely begun the process of developing the movie; Nolan is in postproduction on “Inception,” but is hammering out a story with David Goyer.

There is no title as this point and no start date. . . .

Hollywood Reporter, April 30

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I think we all assumed/hoped that this would be the case, but it's official: the Joker will not be in the third Batman film.

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The appearance of the "costumed creep." I take it you didn't send them your script idea?

For shame, for shame.

Edited by Persona

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the age range listed for the character is 35 to 45

David Thewlis is 47, and he already played the Riddler once, in Mike Leigh's film Naked.

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I forget where I saw this recently, but someone was arguing that the Riddler would be the perfect villain for the third Batman film because Nolan's non-Batman films have always been about unsolvable puzzles etc. Making the Riddler the villain of the third Batman film could be a good way to bring these two parts of Nolan's career together.

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A friend just suggested to me that if BATMAN 3 really wants to end on a shocking note, it should end with Batman's identity revealed to the public--against Batman's will, mind you--and with Wayne subsequently faking his own death to avoid arrest. The end of Batman, so to speak.

Not sure I like the idea, but something along those lines would be bold. And I do so want BATMAN 3 to be bold, and not be constrained by the usual constraints from which comic book franchises suffer (i.e., a need to leave room for a sequel, or a refusal to take a character to a certain place just because it's never been done before in the source material).

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David Thewlis is 47, and he already played the Riddler once, in Mike Leigh's film Naked.

Nice.

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Ryan H. wrote:

: A friend just suggested to me that if BATMAN 3 really wants to end on a shocking note, it should end with Batman's identity revealed to the public--against Batman's will, mind you--and with Wayne subsequently faking his own death to avoid arrest. The end of Batman, so to speak.

Well there would certainly be a precedent for that in The Dark Knight Returns. Since Batman Begins borrowed so much from Frank Miller's OTHER classic Batman tale (i.e. Year One), it would only be fitting to end the movies with another nod to Miller.

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Christopher Nolan Confirms Batman 3

So as of right now, Nolan will return. You may also have spotted the "getting it all figured out" there: when we asked Nolan what he was busy with as we called, the answer was that he's working on Jonathan Nolan's script for the film. In other words, there is a script! Things are slowly taking shape!

Empire, September 29

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