Thoughts & Theories on The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

Seen the new trailer for the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises? If not, watch it on Facebook or below since spoilers will follow.

Great story telling & teasing

First, setting it up as Nolan’s last Batman film tells us all bets are off. Characters can die. Batman might be stopped. Knowing that Bane, the man who broke Batman’s back in the comics, is in this film certainly raises the stakes.

Next, cutting to an infirmed Jim Gordon is brilliant. Oldman has nailed Gordon as balancing realism with idealism, a driven, flawed man who needs to do the right thing but is not ignorant of the dangers he faces. In the hands of a lesser actor, this scene—and the trailer—would lack a lot of power. Here, it begs the question: What happened to Jim? I want to see this movie to find out.

And what happened to Batman? At the 0:43 mark, Gordon says “And then you were gone.” Not “he was gone,” but “you.” Since we gather that Gordon is talking to Bruce Wayne (since Christian Bale is using his normal Bruce voice), has Gordon learned Batman’s identity? Then he says “Now this evil rises” and begs Bruce for the Batman to return. “He must,” Gordon gasps. “He must.”

Is Bruce retired, no longer having the pain that drives him to be Batman? Or is Bruce injured beyond his ability to be Batman? After all, we never see Wayne in that scene, just Gordon. Is that because Wayne is in a wheelchair?

So, what’s happening?

What is the evil Gordon talks about? Like many have said, the League of Shadows returns in this film. In Batman Begins, fire played a major role with the League. Is the viral campaign “The Fire Rises” talking about the League burning Gotham? Does Gordon have an oxygen mask because of smoke inhalation?

And when does that scene take place? At the beginning, setting Batman on his path? The middle, as Gordon and Wayne need to figure out what to do? At the end of the film, with both Wayne and Gordon broken and beaten, but knowing Gotham needs its hero to rise again?

A few more question

At the 0:51 mark, we see someone climbing out of a well. Is this the same well Bruce fell into as a child? And is this new footage for the film, showing Bruce emerging into the light (perhaps after recovering from a devastating injury?) or is this footage cut from Batman Begins?

Same with 0:58 with Bruce doing push ups. Is that new footage, or rehashed footage from Batman Begins? It looks a lot like Ra’s al Ghul’s lair.

Finally, at the 1:23 mark, we can see someone behind Batman in the top-right. Hugo Strange? Ducard / Ra’s al Ghul?

My theory

Everyone has their theory about the plot of The Dark Knight Rises, so here’s mine with what little information I have (but also knowing how Nolan loves to borrow from the comics):

With the death of Harvey Dent and the Batman thought a murderer, Gotham has given up. For the League of Shadows, they realize even though the Joker, their agent, has been stopped, he succeeded in breaking Gotham’s spirit. Now they need to destroy the last man in their way: the Batman. They unleash Bane, an alchemic monstrosity, telling him what they did not tell the Joker: Bruce Wayne is the Batman.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon and Batman track down the daring and charismatic burglar Catwoman, one of dozens of costumed villains that have emerged. With Batman’s reputation tarnished, their partnership is secret while Bruce Wayne wonders if he has it in him to continue.

Yet both men are unprepared for the arrival of Bane, who opens the gates of Arkham Asylum, pushing Batman and the Gotham police to the limit to round up the escaped criminals. Exhausted, Wayne returns to the newly rebuild Wayne manor, only to be confronted by Bane and left paralyzed.

With the dark knight defeated, the League, led by Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Talia, move on Gotham, but find Bane is not willing to surrender what he views as his territory. The war between the League and Bane’s criminal army—with Catwoman hoping to destabilize both forces—threatens to physically destroy the city.

With Jim Gordon injured during these battles, Bruce Wayne confesses to him that he was Batman, but no more. Gordon implores him that the city needs Batman to rise, to fight back.

Hoping to find a successor among the League’s ranks, Wayne is taken before Talia. Recognizing they have a common enemy, Talia reveals to Wayne that her father had another alchemic trick, this one for regeneration. As proof, she takes him to the re-built training facility in the Himalayas where his wounds are healed. And Talia shares the secret with how to defeat Bane: the breathing apparatus on his mask.

Returning to Gotham, Batman and Catwoman unite to take down Bane, which Batman is able to do, but at the price of killing the monstrous man. Recognizing Bruce Wayne can do more to re-build Gotham than Batman, Wayne fakes the death of the dark knight. Catwoman, recognizing the damage costumed heroes are having on Gotham, also retires. Together, they agree to help rebuild Gotham if the League will leave it alone. Otherwise, they will expose them.

OK, not great, but I’d see that movie.

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11 Responses to “Thoughts & Theories on The Dark Knight Rises Trailer”


  1. 1 andrew b August 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Your theories are very plauseable. i have already speculated on most of what you have said. the league of shadows is returning with talia at the helm, they also were behind the jokers mayham. desroying the citys spirit was the new plan.batman faking his death is a REAL possibility at the end. I think joseph gordon-levitt is gonna turn out to be some sort of villain.If batman gets his back broken then he has to get it healed quickly, so your idea is possible. the only thing you’re wrong on is the scene in the hospital. it may be bruce wayne,but those lines he says are lifted from either begins or TDK when hes speaking to rachel daws. last but not least. there is a good chance batmans identity may be revealed. perhaps just to several because faking his death would mean nothing if everyone already knoows his true identity

    • 2 Matt Moore August 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      “I think joseph gordon-levitt is gonna turn out to be some sort of villain” – Now that I see him in uniform, I wonder if he is going to sub in for the Batman à la Jean Paul Valley? Could his cast name “John Blake” just be there to throw us off the scent?

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

  2. 3 andrew b August 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I wonder what villain JGL would play? could he turn out to be black mask? falcone has been rumored, but levitt is billed as a cop. I dont think carmine falcone’s kid could go unoticed. perhaps hes a new villain for this film. a crooked cop working closely with gordon. feeding the league of shadows inside information. do you think we might even see batman unmasked. i think its even possible that batman might even some temptation towards evil. if TLOS can convince him that the citizens are ( no pun ) two faced and did not waist any time in casting him aside. this is a trilogy. in the third story the hero is always tempted by evil. Jedi , return of the king , karate kid 3(lol !) the more i think about this the more interesting the possibilities get ! ! !

    • 4 Matt Moore August 13, 2011 at 11:02 am

      An interesting tidbit about Batman being tempted by evil and how it plays into last stories of trilogies. Consider that in the comics Batman used Venom, which is what created Bane (though I might have my continuities confused). With Nolan able to pack a lot of story into a film (I think Dark Knight had something like a 7 Act structure), we might see one element by Bruce Wayne broken, and returns via Venom, not a Lazarus Pit. Then get clean and take on the League, or Bane, or Catwoman, or Hugo Strange. Or Bat-Mite. Yeah, bring on Bat-Mite!

  3. 5 andrew b August 14, 2011 at 6:45 am

    What villain do you think JGL could end up playing? what are your thoughts on this “batwing” we keep seeing. It looks to me like its not the batwing but something else entirely. maybe it belongs to catwoman. it looks way to small. looks like bats and the cat are both chasing the truck. could be the finale. maybe he gets to take her ride for a spin since shes on the bat pod.

    • 6 Matt Moore August 14, 2011 at 10:39 am

      Not sure about villian. And, frankly, I hope he doesn’t. Too many characters from the rogue’s gallery could be overdoing it. (Remember Spider-Man 3?)

      As for the Batwing, I really hope it is not a jet or copter. That would be pushing it and seem silly. Burton’s Batman could get away with having a batwing swoop through Gotham. Not Nolan. I like how this Batman has gadgets created for the military, then put in a box. While the comics can get away with Batman having all number of things, the Nolanverse works much more in reality. To create a Batwing would take years, if not decades, of research. And to have Bruce Wayne pull another toy out of Wayne Enterprises’ archives would be going to the well again, but this time for an airship.

      I hope it is a new Batmobile — bigger, tougher, à la Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight.

  4. 7 andrew b August 16, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I’ve noticed something. Warner Bros is still refering to anne hathaway as selina kyle and NOT catwoman. Could this movie be set before she takes on the cat persona?? nothing really looks cat about her. altough her goggles look like they have something protruding out on the sides. when resting on her head they might resemble ears. Im with you on the batwing. It does’nt fit in nolans world. It looks like something that may actually hover over the ground. its flying too low to the ground to be a plane or helicopter. That seems kinda “out there” hope this isnt a big letdown. I wasnt a fan of TDK. Im hoping for something closer to begins. TDK Seemed more like some crime film and less like batman. seems like i was the only person not happy with it.

  5. 8 Graham F October 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    wow this is a great write up, very simular to my theories. But with great add ons. think your close to the mark but with a few exceptions. for instance I don’t think bruce will reveal his identity to gordon and he wont be paralysed in gordons hospital scene. people have speculated that they have seen someone escaping from the cops threw a hospital window in a suit and balaclava. this may be bruce after visiting gordon. Also the dialogue from this scene isnt taken from bb or tdk. I agree with with everything you said. But I have a variation of your ending. I think Bane will manipulate gotham into destroying each other. Bruce will then turn batman into a jesus christ character by faking his death (dying for gothams sins) while also saving them. this will make gotham realise their mistakes. and then the good and evil civillians will team up to take down the last of banes thugs in the name of batman. When TLOS see this selfless act by gotham they realise there is good and hope in gotham and no longer want to destroy it. they change their motives and help with the restoration of the city.
    I dont think batman will kill bane but rather bane will die at his own hands.

    And as for JGL’ character. Thalia may specify how they take on agents. strip them of their identity and place them into missions on inside jobs. such as the joker….and Bane being the ultimate agent. We learn that john blake is also an agent and his name is just an alias. he is putting clues all over the place that harvey killed the 5 people and not batman. he also tries to reveal batmans identity but is thwarted. when gordon and batman investigate him they learn that he also has went under different alias’s in other missions such as. ‘Edward nashton, edward nygma, Mr. E, Enigma, the riddler, etc’

    Also think they might do a double reveal with thalia/miranda. miranda reveals herself to be lady shiva brings bruce to TLOS base. introduces bruce to ‘Thalia’. they put bruce in the lazuras pit. Then lady shiva re trains him. near the end lady shiva will state that this is another typical ‘parlour trick’ and reveal herself to be the real thalia while the fake thalia is her bodyguard lady shiva. she tells him she forgives him and loves him and wants him to lead the TLOS. But he has to reject her as he has fallen for catwoman. oh and bane uses a weaponised version of whats in the lazuras pit for his ‘venom’.

    I know i’m going a bit nuts here but it is the finale

    • 9 Matt Moore October 2, 2011 at 9:18 am

      Thanks, Graham! Great ideas.

      I was about to say what you wrote sounds like another trilogy of films, but considering how dense Nolan can make the plots of his movies (from Memento to Inception), he might be able to pull off what you’ve written in 30 minutes of film.

      And I like your idea of the Lazuras pit liquid as Venom. Maybe that is Gotham’s “salvation” some of the rumours have been talking about. Everyone getting sprayed with an aerosol Lazuras venom using a copy of the devise TLoS stole in Batman Begins.

  6. 10 Graham F October 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    ha ha yes it is alot of stuff jammed into one. But Yeah I think Nolan could pull it off. Like start off with john blakes part of the story only to find out it was a decoy for banes mission to develop and will have cleared batmans name also. Am looking forward to bruce being paralysed though and taking on an oracle role role for catwoman with his new high tech cave. It is alot. but maybe catwoman can take over in the bane part of the story while bruce goes into a subplot with thalia and TLOS while staying in contact with catwoman and then to have his rise at the end. I know its alot to pack in, But I think it would be perfect although it maybe more of a fantasy then a theory. But i’m just trying to think the way Nolan does. And I was right so far as the villains I was honestly hoping to finish the trilogy with bane having roots to thalia and the league and with catwoman having goggles that look like cat ears when on her head. Sometimes I think he’s reading my mind and stealing my ideas ha ha.

  7. 11 kenny January 14, 2012 at 3:23 am

    fuckin horrible ideas, all of them…Chris Nolan is making something beyond what you people can even imagine.


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