Wait, Was The Ending Of The Dark Knight Rises All Just A Dream?

This, likely, will be Christian Bale’s life. Even when he is promoting a different film (like Sir Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings), he’s required to answer questions about his time in the Bat suit. That’s the impact Christopher Nolan’s trilogy had on the pop-culture community. So during a SiriusXM Town Hall meeting on behalf of Exodus, Bale was asked about – and weighed in on – the controversial ending of The Dark Knight Rises, and whether Bruce Wayne left the citizens of Gotham (namely his butler) high and dry.

EW has the audio clips of Christian Bale’s comments regarding the conclusion of his Batman trilogy with Christopher Nolan. The actor specifically is asked if the "reunion" with his manservant, Alfred (Michael Caine) actually happened, or was a dream sequence. Interesting. On the issue, Bale elaborated:

[Alfred] was just content with me being alive, because that was always the life that he wanted for [Bruce]. I find it very interesting… with most films, I tend to say, ‘It’s what the audience thinks it is.’ My personal opinion is that no, it was not a dream. That was for real. And he was just delighted that he had freed himself from the privilege and the burden of being Bruce Wayne."

In case you don’t recall the scene, it went a little something like this.

Poor Bale. Christopher Nolan wrapped his Batman trilogy up in a tidy bow. Probably TOO tidy, giving everyone a happy ending whether they earned it or not. And yet, the actor (and likely the director) will always have to answer to fan theories and speculation – even as we, as a geek community, brace for a whole new Batman in Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne. Given the fact that Affleck’s still dealing with Daredevil fallout, it’s safe to say that this is a vicious cycle from which actors can never really escape.

And yet, it’s likely Nolan’s work on Inception that even suggests the idea that the whole ending to The Dark Knight Rises could be a dream. Yes, it’s convenient that Alfred and Bruce are sharing tables in the same café on that same day. But it’s a movie, and one that came out years ago. Get over it. Go see Exodus. Complain about that one, instead.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.