I recently had a discussion with a friend on Facebook about how proud I was of myself for steering clear of the spoilers for The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises(TDKR) and he made a comment, in jest, stating that Batman dies in the new film. This is my reply to said comment, as well as another reply to a follow up comment that was made. It will be posted with all the typos I made while frantically typing it on my iPhone.
I hope so. It’s the only logical way to end it. Especially since the film takes place a decade after TDK. I’m telling you, Bane is the new chosen one for the League. Talia wants to get revenge for her father’s death and Bane is doing what Bruce denied in the first film. Bane was rescued from the prison he grew up in and trained by the League just like Bruce was, but Bane embraced the teachings where as Bruce rejected them. Instead of defending Gotham, Bane is finishing what Ra’s began with the help of Talia an the League. And from the trailer and photos, it looks like he is succeeding. Him “breaking the Bat” by killing him is more or less what Talia wants Bane to do. And Bane being the honorable man he is, wants to prove himself worthy of the title and position granted to him by Talia and decides to not only destroy a city physically, but also emotionally by killing their defender. Their symbol of hope and justice. I’ve gone into more detail in other places, including where Catwoman and Gordon-Levitt fit into the film. Both on my blog and here. This isn’t some spoiler I’ve read. It’s just basic deduction from what we’ve seen in the previous films an the overall theme of the series. Not to mention Nolan’s style of story telling, knowledge of basic three act story structure and a lifetime of cinematic experience. After thousands of hours spent watching hundreds of films and you can see patterns develop and find yourself correctly predicting outcomes.
But aside from the few pictures and the two trailers released I have not seen, or read anything even remotely considered a spoiler. I don’t plan on it. I almost ruined TDK for myself. If it were anything less than perfect, my constant digging for new information on the film, and the viral advertising, would have made that midnight release a boring chore. I get a whiff of anything that reveals something about TDKR and I look the other way. I want to see everything with fresh eyes.
As a matter f fact, the trailer released with The Avengers will be the last one I watch before sitting down at the midnight release.
That same friend said that it isn’t the only logical way. And it won’t matter because they will just reboot the franchise in 5 years. I responded with this:
Exactly. You see, big characters like Batman and Superman will always have films made. They aren’t reboots, or even remakes. That’s the beauty of comic book characters. They have wide appeal and even though it isn’t a film in an established universe, it is just another story featuring that character. Sure, the constant retelling of origins is a pain in the ass (EVERYONE knows Batman, Superman and Spider-Man’s origin story), but a new movie featuring a new actor every few years isn’t a big deal. They come from a medium where the look of the character changes constantly every time a new artist comes on. The only constant is the race, origin and basic costume. It really is the only genre where there is no such thing as a remake or reboot. Just a different story featuring a different actor.
Now, as for the logic of Nolan killing off Batman? Sure, there are other ways it could end; however, the only way to end the trilogy while keeping the storyline linear and just as “epic” would be to end the series on the tone it began -tragically. Make no mistake, this series is a tragedy. The character itself is the personification of the word. From the origins, to the sacrifices Bruce makes, to the truth that his war will never truly end. He will die being Batman. Maybe not while wearing the cowl, but there is no retirement. He will never be able to say “My job is done, I can reward myself with a normal life.” There will always be crime and corruption and there will always be that driving force inside him to be Batman. This film series has shown that better than any other cinematic representation of the character. There is no happy time in Bruce’s life and he realized that in the last film. He is Batman, there is no turning back from that decision and he will die before he stops being that character. Sure, Bruce has trained people to carry on the mission in the event of his death because he knows that he won’t be alive to see the world he is trying to create. Maybe there is no side-kick to carry on his mission in this film series, but the story has progressed in such a way that the only way it can end is by death.
He found new resolve after TDK, and the next film takes place a decade in the future. If he didn’t quit as a result of “shit getting too real” after the events of TDK, and instead stayed the course for another eight years, this isn’t a man that will quit. Sure, Nolan could easily end the series showing Batman saving a young Dick Grayson and realizing that he can train him to carry on when he eventually dies, and that would be cool. But the proper ending would be Bruce dying while saving the city. It would be a fitting end. Though, now that I mentioned the saving Dick thing, I would like to see that. It would also make sense. Have the entire movie center around Bruce realizing his mortality thought the actions of Bane and the League and realizing that there is no way to win his war. Feeling that there should still be a protector to carry on his work in the event that he dies, he takes on an apprentice. A “sidekick.” It would be great to see Dick Grayson be saved at the circus at the end of the film, but it would make more sense to bring in an adult character to work with him. That would be a great turn of events if Gordon-Levitt’s character became that apprentice and took over the role of Nightwing without having to be Robing the kid sidekick first. Sure, it would go against how close Nolan has kept things to the comics, but like other small changes he made, it would work best in the world he created. Plus, it would be a great way to get around the whole “I’ll say no to making another film before I put Robin in this series.” that Nolan and seemingly everyone else has stated at one point or another during the past 7 years.
I wanted to get this posted before it inevitably gets lost on Facebook. I should really re-work it into a cohesive entry. It would be incredibly easy to do so. I guess I’m just too lazy and tired for that. Maybe I’ll come back to it and edit it. Maybe not.