Reflections of the Hierophant: My "Rising" Fears
I've been waiting for this movie for so long, I almost forgot what scares me about it...
Now, most of you know that I’m a huge fan of Batman. I’m also a fan of Christopher Nolan and everything he’s done with the iconic Dark Knight. I suppose I’m what most would call a “Nolanite.” But, unlike a proper “Nolanite,” I don’t think Christopher Nolan (or his “Nolanverse”) is perfect. But, if I said I wasn’t peeing my pants like a 9-year old meeting John Cena, I’d be spinning a yarn that wasn’t true. “Telling a lie,” as it were. When “The Dark Knight” concluded, my mind was instantly racing. “Where could they go next?” “How will his story end?” There are so many avenues that Nolan could have traveled. In a world where almost everything about a highly anticipated film of this caliber is spoiled by the internet, we’re still unsure what exactly is going to go down in “The Dark Knight Rises.” I mean, we do have a general idea of how it might play out… MIGHT.
I don’t think I’m spoiling anything when I say that Knightfall, and the breaking of a certain bat, will be touched upon. How could you not when Bane is the main protagonist? Also, it isn’t letting the cat out of the bag when I say that general idea from The Dark Knight Returns is clearly going to be a major factor. It’s also quite obvious that No Man’s Land is very evident. But, I’m not writing this editorial to tell you what you already know. No, I’m writing this to discuss my fears about “The Dark Knight Rises.”
I was saddened to hear the news of Heath Ledger’s death in January of 2008. Obviously, a part of me was sad because his daughter would grow up without a father. Not to mention the inevitable name-dragging of her father that she would have to endure (luckily she was only 2 at this time, but she will probably have to deal with it later in life). But, on a more selfish level, I was worried about his forthcoming film, “The Dark Knight,” and the inevitable sequel. Would they alter the final product due to his death? And what of Joker’s future in the “Nolanverse” films?
Luckily, Nolan assured the moviegoers that the final film would not change. After watching “The Dark Knight,” it was clear that he was indeed telling the truth. But, another thing became clear: The Joker must have been intended for the sequel. With that lovely little line/hint, “…I think you and I are destined to do this forever.” Now there is always the chance that this was merely a nod to fans, but I thought it felt very deliberate. So, this brings me to my biggest fear for “The Dark Knight Rises”: What if Bane is just a plug for The Joker?
Now, I know it does seem like a stretch. Christopher Nolan has always given audiences genuinely interesting stories. But, nobody is perfect. To me, it’s clear Joker was intended to have a future in Nolan’s Batman films. And, taking over Gotham, destroying the legacy of Harvey Dent, and destroying Batman/Bruce Wayne does really seem to be the next logical step for Joker in the “Nolanverse.” Of course, knowing him as the intelligent and vicious villain that he is, it also does smack of Bane. If the intended story had already been planned prior to Ledger’s death, and not written, it would be all too easy to just plug another villain into the story, add a few nods from that particular villain’s comic book history, and, PRESTO, you have what appears to be a unique-for-that-villain story. Clearly, the Nolan brothers are talented enough to pull it off. But, they are also clearly talented enough to write a completely new and interesting story IF they had to change their plan suddenly.
A lot can be said for Christopher Nolan’s integrity when he stood his ground against WB with the issue of shooting in 3D arose. And again when WB attempted to pressure Nolan into using Riddler as the villain, wanting to cast Leonardo DiCaprio in the role (of course, one could argue this as another hint that Nolan is just plugging a villain into what was meant to be Joker’s next plan). And, lest we forget, Nolan is adamant in not hinting at Joker’s outcome in any way in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Going by his track record, I believe we can trust that Christopher Nolan wouldn’t do any this. But, there is always that small chance that this sort of nonsense is not beneath him, and it’s that minuscule possibility that scares me…
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