TDKR: David S. Goyer Discusses The Theme Of The Film And Occupy Wall Street Relevance

The Dark Knight Rises co-writer David S. Goyer spoke to MTV about the themes present in the film and its possible association with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Check it out!

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By WesleyGibson - 7/28/2012

While attending the red-carpet premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, David S. Goyer spoke to the guys over at MTV about the theme of the film and its possible relation to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Goyer promptly dismissed it as nothing more than a rumor, stating that is was "kind of luck" that the theme of The Dark Knight Rises ended up sharing similarities with that of the movement.


Batman has always been the most grounded of the major superheroes, he doesn't have any superpower, doesn't come from an alien planet, things like that, but our approach from the very beginning was that we were going to treat this as real-world as possible within the superhero confines. It was just kind of luck that the themes we were dealing with in this film happened to coincide with the Occupy Wall Street, 99 percent thing. We couldn't have planned that. It just sort of happened. We try to make them as meaningful. Hopefully, they're sort of like a Greek myth that reflects back on what's happening in today's politics.



The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy, and Anne Hathaway, and is directed by Christopher Nolan. The film can now be seen at your local theater.



Source: MTV News
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28 Comments
Dynamo - 7/28/2012, 1:49 PM
Someone ask him about Man of Steel!
Nubase - 7/28/2012, 1:58 PM
It was kinda crazy that when they were filing those riot scenes, there was protests all over the world, like the liberation of north africa whre every leader got ousted or killed through to the protests in europe and in the US buts thats all the governments of the worlds fault, letting the rich and powerful get away with everything and the people had enough.

l remember the line from V for Vendetta, the people should not fear the government, the government should fear the people.
ElMurcielago - 7/28/2012, 2:02 PM
It's kinda funny that that idea in TDKR is really more of a rouse used by Bane to give people false hope before he nukes them all
UrbanKnight - 7/28/2012, 2:04 PM
Best films Usually touch uppon relevant issues. In any art form, comics too.
Im sure you get that kinda luck when your an English lit major too.
MJPETTY7 - 7/28/2012, 2:11 PM
Can't wait to see how they handle Superman next...
astromerc - 7/28/2012, 2:12 PM
@ Nubase Yeah very crazy, and it was Thomas Jefferson who stated the quote 1st , then Alan Moores' character paraphrased it later in V for Vendetta . The actual quote by Jefferson is "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Great Comic book V for Vendetta.
Tony93 - 7/28/2012, 2:15 PM
This dude wrote the script for Man of Steel.. Correct?
It should be good..
BANEofExistence - 7/28/2012, 2:34 PM
Awesome timing! haha Best comic book film (if you want to call it that) to date!!! Now MAN OF STEEL QUESTIONS PLEASE! :D Chris Nolan/ David S. Goyer "Moving from one great trilogy to the next"
Jaxim - 7/28/2012, 2:49 PM
It might have been coincidence, but when I was watching the movie I was thinking that it was very similar to Occupied Wall street.

With art reflecting reality and visaversa, I remember when occupiers clashed with police and when a few occupiers were found planning to bomb a bridge.
UncleJimmy - 7/28/2012, 3:01 PM
for a complete idiot he sure does do a decent job sounding half intelligent.
UncleJimmy - 7/28/2012, 3:04 PM
the gov should fear the people isnt contemporary.
it is IMPOSSIBLE with the technological advancements of teh last hundred years for the people to stand against the gov.
use your brains people.
tanks, jets bombs and nukes > civilians with rifles or handguns.

jesus some of you are dumb.
brewtownpsych - 7/28/2012, 3:21 PM
He doesn't really explain the theme in this article. I've seen it three times now and every time I watch I see something new, or make another thematic connection. The movie is truly brilliant the way it weaves the trilogy together and constantly reveals layer after layer of new goodies. Fear, mortality, social stratification, hope and despair, the nobel lie, all these concepts and more are explored.

I am actually now in the camp of people who think batman didn't survive, or at least that it is possible that the ending is Alfred's imagination. I know people will take the literalist approach and say, "yeah, but how would Alfred know about Selina" when in actual fact he does say to Bruce after learning about Selina, "you two should get a coffee together and compare notes." And he could have learned about Selina via Mr. Fox, the news coverage or Bruce Wayne himself as part of the narrative not explicitly touched upon. If Alfred was going to picture Bruce with somebody (which he was inclined to do) who would it be other than Selina? Either way, Batman as we knew it died, even if Bruce Wayne didn't.

Just brilliant. TDKR is just brilliant.
KingEmperor - 7/28/2012, 3:22 PM
I think some people are thinking WAY into TDKR. About occupying Wall Street and that whole Bane/Bain thing. The story and script was written around two-three years ago, before any of that even happened.
UrbanKnight - 7/28/2012, 3:23 PM
An all out assult isnt the only way to fight "The Government" uncle jimmy.
*Facepalm!*

Dig a lil deeper man.
batmanmovie2012 - 7/28/2012, 4:00 PM
@kingemperor The movie did have some occupy themes which were a coincidence but still interesting. I agree on with you on the whole Bane/Bain thing though. Just Rush Limbaugh trying to get attention.
Caveboy0 - 7/28/2012, 4:56 PM
i guess that was part of the them, but i honestly didn't really feel it. the first act was so rushed i could barely catch my breath on the whole wayne losing his fortune plot. what did all that even matter when the conflict has nothing to do with it.
Robicon - 7/28/2012, 5:01 PM
Unclejimmy......nukes?.....really? Can't think of many countries that would nuke its own soil.
CaptainAmerica31 - 7/28/2012, 5:22 PM
He wrote black ops 2
NosferatuZodd - 7/28/2012, 6:02 PM
JokerFanHAhaHA: "Occupy is mainly peaceful protests"




........wow. really? might want to do a little research.
DRock59 - 7/28/2012, 6:10 PM
Occupy is a joke. Of course it was coincidence! Who would want to give a bunch of tattooed socialist losers any kind of recognition. If anything, DKR showed the failure of liberalism and socialism. Remember the part where Selina's girlfriend and her were in a house saying "this was once their house, now it's everyone's" that was a direct shot at collectivists. Plus it's obvious that Batman and the very idea of vigilanteism is 100% libertarian.
GUNSMITH - 7/29/2012, 3:01 AM
WHY CAN'T WE BE LIKE CANADA OR FRANCE..
Ichaos - 7/29/2012, 4:36 AM
You want to be like France??.?
cgrass5150 - 7/29/2012, 6:50 AM
Saw "TDKR." Overrated and drop-off is largely due to poor quality. Yes....Colorado had impact but frankly, "TDKR" is not that good. Batman and Nolan fans will roast me for what I'm going to say but facts are facts. Here's the real deal:

Nolan has the audacity to deliver scenes of lower Manhattan terrorized and surrounding bridges and buildings systematically blown up. You gotta' be kidding...Does anyone still remember 9/11? Hollywood execs, critics, and fans don't find this disturbingly inappropriate?

2 policemen were posted outside theatre in affluent neighborhood of Queens, NY. All bags were checked like airport security. Do you really want to possibly expose your kids to the same nonsense?

I work professionally with kids. Don't take child, especially if they're under 14. Younger kids want Batman and he's not in movie that much, movie is boring until last 45 minutes, lots of meandering dialogue and references younger kids won't get (especially if they didn't see previous movies), violence is vicious, movie is dark and brooding, and there are lots of social and political overtones.

At first, Bruce is retired recluse who walks with a cane. 1 improbable, cheesy scene with Catwoman and leg brace later, he's 100% ready to conquer all sorts of wrongdoers.

Bane was underwhelming and voiceover was silly. It didn't match characters imposing presence.

Batman, after 8 being years retired, inexplicably masters all sorts of vehicles and gadgets regardless of the battered condition of his body and being absent from the "games."

Bruce (bodily broken, psychologically traumatized, and penniless) escapes from inescapable hell-on-earth prison pit to find himself stranded in the middle of desert with nothing but the tattered clothes on his back. With no explanation 1 or 2 scenes later he's back in Gotham looking GQ (not a bruise to show) ready to take on bad guys.

Bruce rehabilitates himself and miraculously recovers from life-threatening injuries and pre-existing shattered body at least 2x's by basically doing push-ups and sit-ups.

Catwoman (and Anne Hathaway's supposedly "outstanding performance") adds nothing dimensional or pivotal to movie (except killing Bane at end).

Catwoman is a master thief right? In this movie she's all that but for whatever reasons she lives in a rat-hole apartment with a skanky, clingy blonde chick (who shows for 3 quick scenes and adds nada to film except lesbian overtones). Catwoman's background story is underwhelming.

Catwoman, for no apparent reason, effortlessly masters Batman's motorcycle and gadgets.

Comic Book fans robbed...Bane doesn't break Batman's back. Best he could do was herniate a few of Batman's vertebral discs (which, by the way, a fellow hell-hole inmate pushes back into alignment by hand...Huh?!?).

Dialogue between Batman & Catwoman is cliché after, cliché...Ugh!

Why does Batman's voice have to sound like Dirty Harry constipated? I get the whole "disguise my voice thing" but c'mon...it's over-the-top.
poop23 - 7/29/2012, 10:34 AM
Meanwhile a diehard TDKR fan is typing up an essay to argue with ^ this one ^

I gotta say though.. TDK was a movie that made you think, as opposed to this one that kind of insults your intelligence a bit
Oshk - 7/29/2012, 10:42 AM
Its funny, bcoz later in the movie they don't develop any of those themes. I mean, after the anarchic cup given by bane, how the normal citizens of New yo...sorry...Gotham are responding? They say to take what they deserve, they take away the richest and powerful people from their positions and made them suffer from their sins. It appears that he is trying to fool gotham people into believing they are not gonna live anymore under this capitallism "slavery" and give them the so mentioned hope (nobody knows the bomb is gonna explode anyway) but after that they freed the criminals, and never again the theme is mentioned. How htey are realating occupy of wall street with what happens in the movie?
Also, What is the message? a violent protest/riot is bad? yeah, funny enough nobody apart from criminals are rioting in the movie. Nobody is fighting for better rights or better live situation.

Sorry for the long post. I mean, i had fun watching the movie, but dont try to sell me the movie like something more deep than it is.
batfan175 - 7/29/2012, 1:46 PM
@SuspenseSmith: you mean the "broke" guy from the 1%, which makes him part of the 99%.
Turner - 7/30/2012, 12:21 PM
@cgrass: Dead on man, too many "what the heck" moments.
Yeaton10 - 11/18/2012, 6:21 PM
Goyer's comment was very limited implying he really wants us to decide what the movie means for ourselves, and I'm okay with that. However, I'm feeling a little defensive about some of the comments above, and I would like to respond to them. Short statement: I intend to defend the movie and the occupy movement from comments I disagree with although the comments come from intelligent fans with valid views.

First of all, Bruce Wayne is not dead. The autopilot had been fixed, so he had no need to die.

Secondly, the movie presents interesting ideas that in many surpass even the Dark Knight. Dark Knight ended with Batman deciding to create a lie for the public so there would be a hero with "a face," and if it ended there the message would be the government should lie to the public. Rises, however, shows what happens when the lie is uncovered. Namely, it is used by crude demagogues to promote a destructive agenda. The movie is not suggesting that demagogues actually represent the 99% or that there was no real injustice being promoted.

The second theme was the danger of loose nuclear bombs. Talia Al Ghul swears that she just wants to create cheap clean energy (the reason Bruce made the power source in the first place). In reality, she wants the bomb, and in fact gets it. Bruce, effectively leaves the 1% because continuing work on the reactor was the only way he could remain privileged. Of course, he could have held onto some of his money if he had ratted on the Catwoman, about the stolen finger prints, but he decides to care about her.

The final theme is caring about Selina's desire for a blank slate. She is a symbol of someone who is not given a second chance in our society, and Bruce effectively decides that giving her a chance is worth the sacrifice. It is not politically charged (too much politics does not sell movies), but it does pose interesting questions about the political system that go beyond what was even the previous movie. I realize it did not sell tickets like the last movie, but the last movie was hard to out do.

Since fans are also making comments about the occupy movement, I would like to tell them what I learned attending two of those protest. First of all, the group is diverse ranging from Ron Paul Republicans to genuine socialists. A socialist in there minds is someone who wants workers to influence the work place, and not someon who thinks government is a good thing. The common themes among the people I spoke with were a desire to end the war, and a desire for a more democratic system of government, and less domination by corporate power. There were veterans who wanted better health benefits, and of course, people concerned about pollution. In short, people with well formed ideas about real problems, although not people who agreed with each other in any broad sense. I do not think it was joke.

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