What Does Nolan's Final Word On 'TDKR' Mean For Those Joseph Gordon-Levitt Batman Rumors?
Christopher Nolan may have left the door wide open for speculation at the end of The Dark Knight Rises where Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Gotham cop John Blake is concerned, and he is producer/co-writer on Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, which the rumor mill suggests could see a Very Special Gordon-Levitt cameo. But in a chat with Film Comment about his entire Batman trilogy, Nolan was asked if he was completely done with his Dark Knight universe. So what are the implications for those JG-L rumors?
(Spoilers, if you haven't seen TDKR...)
"For me, The Dark Knight Rises is specifically and definitely the end of the Batman story as I wanted to tell it," Nolan said, "and the open-ended nature of the film is simply a very important thematic idea that we wanted to get into the movie, which is that Batman is a symbol. He can be anybody, and that was very important to us."
I know, I know. Nolan keeps using phrases like "specifically and definitely the end" but it's just so hard to let go of the hope that he's just messing with us. "Nah, J/K you guys — Joe's totes the new Batman!" the geekosphere desperately waits for him to say.
Well, good luck getting anything concrete out of Nolan. I believe him when he says his run with the Batman universe is over, although that doesn't mean it's not possible that Gordon-Levitt might pop up at the end of Man of Steel in a bat-cowl to give Superman a Justice League fist bump. Warner Bros. may love Nolan for giving them a super respectable, arguably Oscar-worthy Batman series, but they're not dumb.
WB will squeeze every drop of Bat-juice out of the character, regardless of how Nolan retains the integrity of his fully explored, definitely closed chapter of Bat-lore.
"Not every Batman fan will necessarily agree with that interpretation of the philosophy of the character," Nolan said, "but for me it all comes back to the scene between Bruce Wayne and Alfred in the private jet in Batman Begins, where the only way that I could find to make a credible characterization of a guy transforming himself into Batman is if it was as a necessary symbol, and he saw himself as a catalyst for change and therefore it was a temporary process, maybe a five-year plan that would be enforced for symbolically encouraging the good of Gotham to take back their city."
"To me, for that mission to succeed, it has to end, so this is the ending for me," he continued. "And as I say, the open-ended elements are all to do with the thematic idea that Batman was not important as a man, he’s more than that. He’s a symbol, and the symbol lives on."
Symbol, protege, replacement, reboot — what do you make of the Gordon-Levitt rumors in light of Nolan's comments?