Within the golden age of superhero films and television that thrives on the model of a shared universe, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy remains one of the genre’s most beloved series of movies. In retrospect, the hiring of Nolan, a filmmaker known for his psychological thrillers such as Memento and Insomnia was definitely an interesting choice to take on a comic book film.
In 2005, Batman Begins was released and blew all of our minds. This realistic take on the caped crusader resonated deeply with fans who yearned for the triumphant comeback of the character after the failure of Batman and Robin. The success of this series soared astronomically in 2008 when The Dark Knight soared into theaters. A critical darling, this follow-up to Batman Begins captivated critics and audiences alike, and to this day remains in the pop culture conversation with many (myself included) still considering this film not just to be the best in the comic book genre, but also one of the greatest films of the 21st century.
And then, we flash forward to 2012 when The Dark Knight Rises released. As the years have gone on, fans have remained somewhat divided on this film. The consensus seems to be that it’s the least of the trilogy, and although I agree to an extent, I also believe that there are elements within Rises that serve as examples of incredible filmmaking. In particular, the film’s conclusion was a great sendoff of Nolan and Christian Bale’s take on the character as well as the entire trilogy itself.
One of the best parts of Rises was the character (Robin) John Blake, portrayed brilliantly by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. That character along with Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon represented the audience, as they witness all the chaos and terror that runs rampant throughout Gotham City. Although Blake was a new addition in that film, his character had a terrific arc – right down to the finale implying that he would take on the Batman mantle.
Gordon-Levitt was promoting his new film, Snowden and was interviewed by Cinema Blend. The interviewer asked him if portraying John Blake as the new Batman interested him. The actor felt that continuing Nolan’s series would have felt unnecessary, as he further explained:
I know we’re all used to the sort of Marvel movies, which are just kind of endless series. They don’t really have a beginning, middle, and end. But I think Nolan very much thought of that movie as a conclusion, and there’s a theme that runs through all three of those movies that begins in the first movie, runs through the second movie and it concludes in that moment where he says that Batman is more than a man, Batman is a symbol. And so to have another man other than Bruce Wayne kind of becoming Batman at the end of that trilogy, I think that’s the perfect ending to that story.
I agree with Gordon-Levitt on this one. The themes that Nolan explores throughout his trilogy reflects and ponders on the essence and purpose of why Batman is who he is. The themes of heroism in this trilogy is perfectly summed up in this quote from Rises:
A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders, to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.
In theory, it would have been interesting to see what stories John Blake’s Batman would have brought, but I like keeping that in my imagination. Besides, I am really looking forward to what’s in store for Ben Affleck’s Batman.
Source: Cinema Blend