The recent rumor that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is being considered for the Batman role in Warner Bros.’ planned Justice League of America movie had fans speculating about how the open-ended conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises might tie in to that superhero ensemble film. Is D.C. trying to build a universe the way Marvel managed to do with origin stories that lead into a bigger film? Was Nolan doing the studio a favor by setting JGL up as the next Batman, as some have floated this week?
No. Well, at least, not exactly. The director sat down for a lengthy conversation with Scott Foundas of Film Comment, where they stretched all the way back to the days before Batman Begins to discuss what decisions influenced the storyteller over the course of the trilogy. And when it comes to the end of TDKR, Nolan says that the ending meant to just reiterate the notion that Batman was more of a symbol than a man, and the idea of JGL entering the cave was to suggest that the symbol was going to live on.
Interesting. So, according to Nolan, he doesn’t necessarily believe what most fans have been saying, and that’s the fact that Batman isn’t Batman if it isn’t Bruce Wayne. And to go one step further, it feels like Warner agrees with this notion, if they’re exploring the idea of letting John Blake continue as Batman, the “symbol” protecting Gotham from evil.
Now, Gordon-Levitt’s reps have come out and denied the rumor, so there’s a chance Warner will go in a different direction with Justice League. But if they do extend what Nolan started in his trilogy, it’s clear that the director didn’t intend it, and he certainly didn’t rework his ending to accommodate the studio. We’re still anxious to see how this story plays out, but it gets more interesting by the day.
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