Christian Bale’s performance as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy is still etched in our minds. He perfectly brought out the characteristics of both Bruce Wayne as well as his superhero persona, Batman. But what if the movies never became a trilogy? What if The Dark Knight was the end of the franchise?
While fans did get the perfect ending to the franchise in The Dark Knight Rises, there was a time when Christopher Nolan was skeptical about directing a third film. Well, whatever might have been the director’s thought process at the time, we are pretty grateful he decided to go for it! We couldn’t possibly imagine getting robbed of such an epic finale to The Dark Knight trilogy.
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Christian Bale Was Hesitant about The Dark Knight Rises
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Talking to The Hollywood Reporter back in 2012, Christopher Nolan stated that the intention behind revealing Joker at the end of Batman Begins was not to set up a sequel but rather to make a fitting ending for the film. He wanted to blow the minds of the fans and only got down to business for the sequel months after the film’s release.
“When we reveal the Joker card, that very much felt like the appropriate ending for Batman Begins. It wasn’t really about setting up a sequel. I wanted [the audience] to leave the theater with their minds just spinning, Batman has arrived. That was always the snap of the ending. It wasn’t really until months after the film came out that I said, ‘Ok, now I want to know who the Joker is.’”
After The Dark Knight was said and done and Christian Bale once again killed it as Batman, it was time to think about a sequel to the sequel. However, Nolan’s wife, Emma Thomas, revealed that she was unsure if a third film was going to be on the director’s to-do list as they were happy with how things ended. Thomas was also one of the producers of the films.
“After The Dark Knight, it was a much quicker phone call from the studio asking, ‘What about the third?’ Chris really had to think about whether or not he wanted to do that; we were very happy with the way we had tied up The Dark Knight.”
Aren’t you glad Nolan decided on ending things with a trilogy? After all, the more the merrier, right? Continuing the trend from The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. The trilogy’s last film was also named one of the top ten movies of the year by American Film Institute.
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Christopher Nolan Wanted TDKR to be Different
In an attempt to bring the story full circle, Nolan decided that the League of Shadows from Batman Begins had to come back in the last film. However, that didn’t mean that TDKR would have a similar tone as the first film. Nolan stated that TDKR would be more of a “disaster” film as compared to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
“Batman Begins is very much an origin story, and Gotham is viewed in quite symbolic, quite romantic terms. With The Dark Knight, we really switched genres. We’re looking at the media, the police, the wealthy, the poor; Gotham takes on that sort of crime epic idea of what a city is. Then, in Dark Knight Rises, we really move more into the disaster movie.”
In an interview with Coming Soon, Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan, who was also a co-writer of the concluding film, stated that TDKR was going to be the film that would “go there.” By this, he meant that TDKR was made in a way that makes it different than the first two films. While the first two films threatened the collapse of Gotham, TDKR actually manages to pull that off. It’s truly remarkable how the minds of these geniuses work!
The Dark Knight Rises is available to stream on HBO Max.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter