Many have wondered what the correct timeline for Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is. Many have given their theories, others don't care. After searching I've discovered the possible true timeline. Take the jump to find out what it is! WARNING! WILL INCLUDE SPOILERS!

Follow yonny616:
By yonny616 - 2/23/2014

Hello ComicBookMovie community! It's been a long time since my last editorial on this website. Well this editorial is about the timeline of Christopher Nolan's Batman films. Many have speculated what the timeline of these films are, and how long Christian Bale's Batman was actually Batman. First I will start with the claim, then I'll tell you why I believe this. So, in the words of Bane, "let the games begin".

Claim: Batman Begins was released in 2005 and has many people believing that is the same year the film is set in, but I don't believe that. Batman Begins, not including flashbacks, takes place somewhere between 2002 to 2005. Bruce returns to Gotham in late 2002/early 2003, takes a couple of months getting his "mission" ready, and begins his caped crusade in late 2003 taking down mob boss Carmine Falcone. By early to mid 2004 Batman is investigating the drugs that eventually lead to Scarecrow, and by late 2004/early 2005 Ra's Al Ghul has come to Gotham to finish his mission. Batman Begins ends in 2005 on the night of Bruce Wayne's birthday.

Why: Bruce Wayne was Batman for 5 years before he got the new batsuit in The Dark Knight. How do I know this? In the the book The Dark Knight Manual it says that Bruce Wayne has been Batman for 5 years and that he needed a new suit. Of course I'm paraphrasing, but it does say he has been Batman for 5 years as clear as day.

Claim: The Dark Knight was released in 2008, and the film is indeed set in 2008. Mid 2008, with it ending in late 2008 to be exact.

Why: As said previously, Bruce Wayne had been Batman for 5 years until he needed the new batsuit. If my last claim is correct Batman's crusade began in 2003, add 5 years to that and it's 2008. Also the photo of the Joker that Jim Gordon holds up to Batman after the bank hiest has the date marked July 2008, the exact date was hard to tell but looked like it was 17. That's not all either. In Batman Begins we get a glimps of Jim Gordon's son. It's the scene where Gordon speaks to Batman before Batman interrogates Flass. We see Jim's wife, Barbara, feeding a child that looks 3 or 4 through the window and in The Dark Knight Gordon's son looks 8 or 9.

Claim: My claim here will be different. The Dark Knight Rises was released in 2012. The film itself is set 8 years after The Dark Knight. It is late 2016, same night of the last confirmed Batman sighting, with the film ending somwhere in early 2017 since Bruce Wanye was in the pit for 6 months and it was winter by the end of the film. Here's my claim: The Batman was still, in some way, active between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

Why: Well for starters they tell us it's been 8 years since the last confirmed sighting of the Batman, keyword: "confirmed". You might be thinking that I'm grasping at straws, but keep reading. Gordon knew the truth, and with the Dent Act there must have been somekind of "war" between Gotham police and orginized crime. If Batman did help, he must've done it from the shadows. Gathering information, interrogating criminals, and giving it to Gordon. Also when Bruce goes down to the batcave, after Selina Kyle steals the pearls, Alfred says that Bruce hadn't been down there in a long time. If Bruce quit being Batman immediately after The Dark Knight, then I believe Alfred would have said something along the lines of: "So you've decided to finally use you batcave".

So in conclusion, the timeline of Christopher Nolan's Batman films start at 2002 and end at 2017. Bruce has been Batman far longer than people actually believe. 5 years between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as opposed to the generally believed 1 year. Also since the last "confirmed" sighting of the batman was 8 years before The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce could have still been active as Batman for, at least, another 5 years. This gives Nolan's Batman 10 years of crime fighting. This also explains why his body by The Dark Knight Rises is a total mess.

So what do you guys and gals think? Do you agree with me or do you believe I'm wrong? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time ComicBookMovie!
DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and "safe harbor" provisions. CBM will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content. You may also learn more about our copyright and trademark policies HERE.
1 2
ComicBookConnections - 2/23/2014, 8:13 PM
good article...from a movie standpoint I loved the movies...but from a comic reader standpoint...i hated the movies...

ALmazing - 2/23/2014, 8:15 PM
I think your timeline is wrong, Bruce was away for 5 years training, when he returned to Gotham the events of BB were just a couple of weeks at most. the timeline between BB and TDK is 1 year, and between TDK and TDKR was 8 years.
SauronsBANE - 2/23/2014, 8:24 PM
Yeah, I'd have to agree with AnnoDomini on this. You obviously put a lot of thought into this, but tie-in novels and other promotional materials that appear alongside movies VERY rarely are considered canon.

Plus, The Joker clearly states "Wind the clocks back a year..." and goes on to accurately describe life in Gotham as we saw in Batman Begins. So roughly a year passes between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight takes place over several months to a year, then The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years later.

One thing I will say, though, is that Bruce has been actively training and fighting to become Batman for several years. Bruce leaves Gotham in Batman Begins for 7 years, in which time he's thrown into the Bhutanese prison, discovered by Ra's al Ghul, trained, destroys the League of Shadows monastery, and returns to Gotham. Add to that the year of crime-fighting we never see between movies, and then the physical toll of getting shot, stabbed, bitten (all of this happens several times, mind you), and falling from a height of a few stories, and then becoming a recluse for almost 8 years...and it makes perfect sense why Bruce is in the shape he's in at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises.
yonny616 - 2/23/2014, 8:25 PM
@ALmight No, they said Bruce was gone for 7 year, that includes his time with Ra's.

@Anno Has Nolan ever said how long it has been between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight? No. Also who said Dent couldn't have been elected by 2005? After all, I said Batman Begins could have ended in late 2004 or early 2005.
SauronsBANE - 2/23/2014, 8:28 PM
And while I wouldn't say there's concrete evidence that Batman has been active between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce certainly has been. He doesn't immediately become a recluse after the end of The Dark Knight. He stays active long enough to build a business relationship/investment with Miranda Tate, construct the nuclear reactor, and then watch the business plan fall apart, causing him to become so disillusioned that he finally retreats from public life and stays shut in at the rebuilt Wayne Manor.

So perhaps since Bruce was up and running around for some time after the events of The Dark Knight, maybe it isn't too much of a leap to surmise that he stays active in his role as Batman as well. Again, nothing concrete there, but it's certainly possible.
ALmazing - 2/23/2014, 8:31 PM
@yonny616-I stand corrected, Bruce trained for 7 years. But everything else I stated is correct.
BubSnikt - 2/23/2014, 8:31 PM
Joker left his calling card at the end of BB. So we are supposed to believe that Batman was trying to chase Joker around for 5 years without them ever even encountering?
yonny616 - 2/23/2014, 8:35 PM
@Annoi Who said he was saying that's how long it had been between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. You do know that getting Gotham from where it was in Batman Begins to where it was in The Dark Knight does take more than one year. Taking out the corrupt takes time, becoming a legend takes time. He said that the year before cops and lawyers wouldn't cross them, not that once Batman showed up a year ago, you all got scared. They lost their control of the fear they used to run the city.
SauronsBANE - 2/23/2014, 8:35 PM
I'd probably agree with that Anno. It makes sense that they'd keep referring to the end scene of The Dark Knight as the last confirmed sighting, just because of how high-profile of an event that was: Gordon's family kidnapped, Dent killed, hundreds of officers and police dogs swarming the area...I'm sure that after that, Bruce would take EXTRA precautions that Batman would never be seen by the authorities again (at least, until The Dark Knight Rises when he finally returns and chases down Bane).

So yeah, that definitely leaves it open for Bruce to continue some covert, Batman-style crime-fighting without ever being noticed by the general public, until the Dent Act gained full steam and gradually whittled down the crime in Gotham until it was basically nothing and he could hang up the mask.
ALmazing - 2/23/2014, 8:35 PM
"Let's wind the clocks back a year. These cops and lawyers wouldn't dare cross any of you. I mean, what happened? Did your balls drop off?"