“The Dark Knight Rises – My Theory” (1.5 years later)


It took this morning’s release of the new Dark Knight Rises trailer and a conversation with One-Sheet to jog my memory about a post I wrote almost a year and half ago, The Dark Knight Rises – My Theory. Out of curiosity I went back and read some of my predictions for the new Nolan film, and though I didn’t get everything right, I gotta say…well no I don’t want to say. Just judge for yourself.

(WARNING: Geek powered hypothetical spoilers!!)

It’s important to remember before reading any further that I wrote that original post before there was even a teaser out for the film or the deluge of on-set photographs that spoiled a couple of the fight scenes and the reveal of the Bat plane. All that had been confirmed at the time was the title, that Tom Hardy was going to be playing Bane, and that Anne Hathaway would be playing Catwoman. That’s it. Everything else was just me filling in the blanks using only the thing inside my head that’s full of way too much comic book knowledge. Which you can loosely call a “brain”. See Mom, comics didn’t rot it! Ok, they kind of did.

Anyways I thought it would be fun to do a break down of the new trailer and also talking about some of the highlights from my old post as a comparison for readers who forgot about that old post just like I did. While at the same time talk about some new ideas I had.

And just to avoid confusion, because this is a comparison to a previous post, some of these stills are going to be out of order from the trailer that was released today. So if you haven’t seen the trailer yet, watch it in full here first.

Alright, here we go!

The trailer opens on a rough looking Bruce Wayne. Previously shown walking around with a cane in a mansion to an awesome Michael Cane voice over. But that mansion doesn’t seem to be Wayne Manor rebuilt. In fact, and maybe it’s just me, but it has a very distinct English vibe to it.
…lets jump ahead again to the second part of the Knightfall trilogy, Knightquest: The Search. Where we find Bruce in a wheel chair and under the care of Alfred in England and a pretty new love interest, his physical therapist Shondra Kinsolving. Who has just disappeared and whom Bruce is currently searching for…and who also has special powers.
The physical therapist I believe is going to be subbed in for Marion Cotillard who’s playing Miranda Tate…who’s playing Talia al Ghul. A very deceptive figure in the comics, but I don’t believe that’s going to be the case here. I think she’ll be genuinely in love with Bruce, weird beard and all. And that she’ll seek him out while he’s in exile in London to lead him to the Lazarus Pits. But more on that later.
Bruce looks pretty revitalized doesn’t he?
What’s important at this point is that we talk about his exile. I believed in my original post, and I still believe, that towards the end of the first act we’re going to see a Gotham without The Batman. But at the beginning of the film, in contrast we’re first going to be introduced to a very different Bruce Wayne than we’ve seen before. This Bruce is going to be feeling pretty great about himself, a feeling that’s shared by the people of Gotham. They all feel so great in fact that through their complacency, they’ll ignore the storm that’s coming.
“There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne.”
Hello Selina Kyle. I wrote before about my skepticism on whether or not we’d meet Selina already fully formed as Catwoman, or instead similar to how we met Bruce in Batman Begins. A sort of hero in the making.
You see, every blogger covering this story immediately took the leap in saying that Anne Hathaway was cast as Catwoman, which really bothered me. Because if you take Mr. Nolan as a man who chooses his words very carefully, which I do, Catwoman is never mentioned once. Only Selina Kyle. So I don’t think it’s too big of a stretch to say that it’s possible we won’t be returning to the Batman Returns formula. Perhaps instead we’ll be getting a nice love story between a man who’s still messed up from his last girlfriend getting blown up, and a girl who’s about to be driven to steal shit in a skin tight cat suit. But just not yet. It’s entirely possible too that we might be seeing a new origin story for Catwoman to bookend this franchise, and it might very well be due to Bruce and Selina’s relationship. A copycat of sorts. But I’m just spit balling here.
This is something I still believe. Reflecting back to the first Batman Begins just as Bruce was on the wrong path at the start of the first film of this trilogy, so will Selina be in the TDKR. At least in the beginning. You see, she views Bruce and the upper class of Gotham as a corruption, that’s how she justifies stealing from them. Which is a view shared by the League of Shadows. A brother from another mother to what Bruce was being bred to become by Ra’s, only to turn against them and blow up their sweet hill side pad.
So while Bruce feels he’s finally reached the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” point of his journey, dancing in a ball room with a pretty girl in a mask, and patrolling a city with peaceful streets…plans to take him down along with Gotham are finally about to boil over.
This just in from your local weather man, this storm has a 100% chance of BANE.
“Your punishment must be more severe.”
Just as Ra’s al Ghul knew who Bruce Wayne was, so does Bane. A key piece of knowledge from The Knight Saga storyline and Bane’s secret weapon.

Bane then does something almost no other Batman villain has ever done before. He figures out Bruce Wayne is Batman.

Though of course like everything Nolan does, there’s a twist to this well known story. Which is Bane doesn’t really so much figure out who Batman is, but rather he’s told by the League of Shadows’ leader…Ra’s al Ghul. That’s right, Ra’s is alive and he’s let his new favorite dog off his leash. A fact that will prove to be both a blessing and curse for Mr. Wayne.But again…more on that later.
The important thing here is that…
Bruce will get his back broken or at least seriously beaten to shit by Bane. I’m talking within an inch of his life here.
And because of which he’ll be forced to abandon Gotham for cheerier ol England. If only Bruce had known these fighting techniques, maybe everything would have turned out differently?
But I digress.
Another twist to the story will be Bane’s Venom. Venon in this movie isn’t the green goo we saw in that awful Schumacher film, but rather a PCP like pain killer being fed to him through that awesome mask.

“If I took that mask off of you, what would happen?”

“It would be very painful…for you.”

This mask will undoubtedly being introduce through an epic Bane origin which will most likely open the film. Something I theorized about in my original post as well.

If Batman Begins was loosely based on Batman: Year One, and The Dark Knight took it’s inspiration from The Long Halloween / The Killing Joke, then I believe that The Dark Knight Rises will be a re-imagining of Batman: Knightfall (The Knight Saga). Hear me out.

The Knight Saga, starting with Knightfall, tells the origin of Bane. A bad-ass who was born in prison on the island of Santa Prisca, and before he’s even spanked on the ass he’s sentenced to life imprisonment for the crimes of his father. He’s going to have some Daddy issues, but more on that later.

Now guess who’s going to break Bane out of jail to join the League just like he did Bruce Wayne?

This guyyyyyyy…


Back to the trailer.

“Will he ever come back?”

Now that Bruce is gone, Gotham quickly falls into Bane’s and the League of Shadows’ hands, And all hell breaks loose.

Who will save Gotham now? The dynamic duo! Though this time it won’t be Batman and Robin. It’ll be a new “World’s Greatest Detective” John Blake. Whom through digging into the disappearance of Batman crosses path with a newly well behaved Catwoman. Now it’s time to fight some crime!

“Did they kill him?”

“I’m not sure.”

Though good intentions and a mission aren’t enough to beat back Bane and his henchmen, so they’re going to need some toys.

That’s right, Catwoman didn’t steal the bat-pod, she was given it by a now underground Lucius Fox who’s using his basement full of tumblrs and armor to supply a citizen army, mirroring the Batman wanna-be’s from the previous film. The only difference is now they aren’t wearing hockey pads.

While all of this is happening, we’re also going to be shown the comeback…or rise if you will…of Batman. He’ll be healed in the Lazarus Pits, or at least the Nolan version of the Lazarus Pits…

…and he’ll set out to return to Gotham. Though just like in the Knight Saga, Alfred will not be coming back with him.

There will be a rift between Bruce and Alfred. Something we already started to see developing at the beginning of TDK

Batman then returns to Gotham all healed up, this time without Alfred who decides to stay in London because he can’t bare to see Bruce get hurt again, and hits the streets.

“I’ve buried enough members of the Wayne family.”

Ok things are getting a little heavy here. How about a comedy break before we get into Batman’s return to Gotham?

YouTube Preview Image

“She was only 16 years old!” Ahh. Much better.

With Batman back on the beat, he’ll have finally become who he was destined to become through out this entire trilogy. A legend. And this legend returns home to an army. Because he has done what he’s been trying to do for three movies now, inspire the citizens of Gotham.

Bane is…surprised.

And this is where things stop for me. At this point in the film the final battle is about to throw down, and honestly it could go one of two ways.

Batman wins, credits roll, everyone cheers and is happy. Or something much more ballsy, and frankly much more Nolan’y.

Mutual destruction.

Which I think is more than likely. So I will say it here first. This film will end with Bruce and Bane dead on the floor, and Catwoman setup for the next Warner Bros. franchise sans Nolan with whomever this John Blake becomes. I want to say Robin but…who knows.

All I do know is that looking back a year and a half later my theory was pretty damn close! And I can’t WAIT to see this fight go down.

Now it’s time to watch the trailer again for the fifth time, haha.


Leave a comment
  1. One-Sheet

    Fucking fantastic man!

    I wholeheartly agree. The Batman must die. Not only just to give it that end that will make us feel lost for ages, but to STOP WB FROM PULLING ANOTHER SCHUMACHER JOB on the series.

    If ANYTHING I would say that they might go so far with John Blake as to skip the Robin series entirely and jump straight into Nightwing.

  2. Doc Oz

    “If ANYTHING I would say that they might go so far with John Blake as to skip the Robin series entirely and jump straight into Nightwing.”

    That is absolutely possible man!

    “She was only 16 years old!”

  3. Junk

    Ku-The-Fuck-Dos, brother! Holy shit. this was so money! SO god damn money! I am fucking impressed. Damn it man…the trailer had me completely 100% against seeing the film. I thought the trailer was so bad that I had lost all hope of watching this. Now, however, your insight has reinvigorated me. I’m going back to bed, because I need to throw up now.

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