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David S. Goyer and Christian Bale offer contradictory hints to Batman’s fate in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Gabriel Ruzin

May 29th, 2012


Ever since the news broke that Bane would be the big bad villain in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES in January 2011, forums have been rife with speculation over whether the Caped Crusader will meet his maker in the finale of Christopher Nolan's mega-successful BATMAN trilogy. Now, two recent quotes by TDKR screenwriter David Goyer and actor Christian Bale have begun making the rounds that, while hardly shedding new light on the mystery, are notable in that they appear to be hinting at two opposite fates for ol' Bats.

To the uninitiated, the character of Bane is best known (in the comics) for breaking Bruce Wayne's back during a wild brawl, putting the crime fighter in traction for months and nearly killing him. Bane's massive strength is due to an apparatus that pumps a constant supply of a super-steroid into his veins. Nolan seems to have taken a somewhat more realistic approach with the character in his film, as Bane's mask is apparently explained away as an analgesic delivery system that is assisting Bane in overcoming a recent injury.

Comparisons aside, it seems difficult to swallow that Bane, the one character that arguably came the closest to killing Batman in the comic books, was tabbed to be the villain in Christopher Nolan's ultimate BATMAN film through sheer coincidence.

Especially, you know, when this is one of the first officially released posters for the film.

Bane official poster for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Will a crippled Batman, or even a dead Batman, be the result when TDKR fades to black? Well, if you read between the lines of an interview that David S. Goyer recently had with Empire Magazine, that's a distinct possibility. For example, when asked about THE DARK KNIGHT RISES' as-yet-unknown final scene, Goyer had this to say (transcribed by Screen Rant):

"The final scene of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is exactly [the] scene that we talked about [when Christopher Nolan and I began the trilogy]. It remained completely unchanged. We both knew in our hearts that we were on to something special. I have to tell you, having finally seen everything strung together a little while ago and seeing that scene, I got a complete lump in my throat."

Standing alone, that isn't overly suspicious. There are many reasons for someone in Goyer's position to get a lump in one's throat - satisfaction at a job well done, sadness at bidding adieu to a great franchise, etc. The mention of "that scene" does set off a few warning bells, though, as does Goyer's response when Empire asked him if Nolan killing off Batman might be "commercial sacrilege":

"Yep! That's why it's f***ing exciting!"

An interesting response, however one slices it. Goyer is either gleefully admitting to killing Batman or merely having a bit of fun with his interviewer. To add further confusion to the matter, Batman cowl-wearer Christian Bale was also recently interviewed by Empire magazine and had this to say when asked if he might ever be interested in returning to the franchise someday:

"My understanding is that this is the last one. I think it's appropriate. I think it's going out at the right time. But... if Chris came to me with a script and said 'You know what? There is another story,' then I would love the challenge of making a fourth one work."

So what does this mean? Goyer is on record of nearly tearing up watching the TDKR finale and expressing glee at the thought of shocking moviegoers by offing Batman, while Bale uses ambiguous language that appears to hint of the Batman character coming out of TDKR just fine and dandy, available for future installments if the case may be.

As tantalizing as this apparent contradiction is, the reality is that there is virtually no chance that anything resembling spoilers will leak from this particular cast and crew, thus the purposefully cryptic language on the part of both men. It's not an exaggeration to say that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is one of the most anticipated films of all time and Christopher Nolan is notorious for keeping an iron grip on the marketing aspect of his films, the BATMAN franchise in particular.

And what easier way to muddle the spoiler scene than for two highly visible crew members giving two wildly different responses to whether their film's title character will live to see another day? What it would appear is that one of these two interviewees, either Goyer or Bale, was being essentially truthful, albeit opaque, when asked about BATMAN's future. And the other was lying through his teeth.

So who's the fibber? Are we to believe Goyer's clear insinuation that we will see the death of Batman? Or is Bale being truthful when he says that the character would theoretically be available (and, thus, alive) if future BATMAN films become reality? Give us your opinion in the comments below.

Sources: Entertainment Weekly Screen Rant Super Hero Hype

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