The Dark Knight Rises: Speculations

I was hoping to get this post done during work today, but I couldn’t find enough time to give it my undivided attention. Oh yeah. If you didn’t know, I actually got a job…in social media…with no formal marketing/advertising/social media background. I’m the social media manager for a small company in Bedminster, NJ and will be working towards growing their brand and social media presence. So to all the agencies, brands, and start-ups who didn’t want to take a chance on me: your loss. Coug is on the prowl big time and you’re going to wish you snapped me up when you had the chance. #kanyeshrug

Anyway, on to the real post.

In exactly nine days I will be knee deep in a nine hour Christopher Nolan Batman extravaganza with a couple of the biggest Batman fans I know. It’s a little over a week until The Dark Knight Rises premiere and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a movie in my life (other than Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2), and I plan on watching both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight more times than I care to admit before next Thursday. As I said in my Avengers/Batman Rant post, if you plan on seeing The Dark Knight Rises and you haven’t watched either of the first two installments, you…you just have to. I’ll personally screen them for you. Seriously, come over to the Coug Den and we’ll crack some brews, eat some snack packs, and watch them.

The only reason I haven’t seemed more excited about TDKR is that I’ve been so busy with my job search. The fact is, I am unfathomably excited. As I said before, I’ve always been a big Batman fan and have read the comics and watched the WB animated series since I was a little tyke. More than that, I have enormous respect for Christopher Nolan as a director. Memento, Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Prestige speak for themselves. I love the dark, cerebral style of his films, his passion for realism (even with superheroes) and how he digs deep into his characters’ psyches. The man is a visionary and one of the greatest directors of our generation. As I’ve been accustomed to saying when any of my friends express doubt about TDKR: In Nolan We Trust.

WARNING! | THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!

For anyone who has been trying to steer clear of any TDKR gossip (or if you still haven’t seen Begins), you might not want to read this. Save it til after you watch it…like a time capsule. I’ve basically been doing research on TDKR from the moment it was announced. I’ve watched every trailer about fifty times and delved deep into the rumor mills and IMDB to see if I could gather any clues. Speculating about who the main villains would be, who would play them, etc. The only big teaser I didn’t watch was that opening scene that was played in front of select IMAX screenings of Mission Impossible 4. It’s since leaked on the internet but I didn’t want it to be ruined by shaky cam.

As disappointed as I was that Nolan didn’t choose The Riddler, Batman’s most cerebral foe (and imagine Daniel Day Lewis playing him), I’m still very happy with Bane and with the choice of Tom Hardy, who Nolan also worked with on Inception and got JACKED UP for this role. The 1997 abomination Batman & Robin (“You won’t put me in de coola!”) completely misrepresented Bane, who in addition to being freakishly strong is also one of Batman’s most intelligent adversaries.

In the comics, Bane is the only villain that can truly match Batman in hand-to-hand combat, in addition to breaking his back in an epic showdown. It’s my prediction that this will also happen in TDKR. In various photos you can see Bruce Wayne with a cane and scraggly beard. Additionally, on IMDB there are actors cast as Young Bruce Wayne, Young R’as al Ghul, and Young Talia al Ghul (I’ll get to her soon). I’m thinking Batman and Bane will have a scuffle early on, in which Bane will break Batman’s back. After this, Batman will be crippled and have to recover, allowing for a number of flashbacks, in which his early love interest, Talia al Ghul will be introduced.

Throughout most of the comics and cartoons Batman’s flame was always Talia al Ghul, the daughter of his mentor and friend R’as al Ghul. Although Marion Cotillard, also of Inception fame, is listed as playing someone named Miranda Tate, that’s most likely an alias for Talia, as Henri Ducard was for R’as al Ghul in Batman Begins. Speaking of which, Liam Neeson is listed on IMDB as playing R’as again, but it’s unclear whether it’s in a flashback or a return from the grave (“But is R’as al Ghul immortal?”). I actually think R’as comes back, perhaps to aid Bane’s terrorist campaign against Gotham.

“Your punishment must be more severe.”

Finally, in typical Nolan fashion, I’m predicting that Batman will actually die. I think after he recovers, he and Bane meet again in a final showdown and Batman is forced to kill Bane in order to save himself, which he has sworn to never do. Just imagine how heart wrenching it would be to reach the end of Nolan’s Batman saga with the death of the Dark Knight. The story comes full circle from Batman Begins, and once again Batman isn’t prepared to do what is necessary to defeat evil, paying for it with his life. As sad as it would be, I really hope Nolan went this route. “You don’t owe these people anymore. You’ve given them everything.” “Not everything…not yet.”

Also, I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about the inclusion of The Bat-Wing (just called The Bat in TDKR). It’s gonna be awesome. Just get over it. Oh and I guess Catwoman will be alright. I’m meh over Anne Hathaway, but the addition of Selina Kyle as another vigilante/Bruce Wayne love interest is pretty cool.

So when all is said and done, The Dark Knight Rises is going to be batshit awesome (ha!), and while it might not dethrone The Dark Knight as the greatest superhero movie of all time, it will still be a cinematic masterpiece and a perfect conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy. So go watch Batman Begins. Now. Then watch The Dark Knight. Over and over again.

Wait. Here’s another trailer just for good measure.

All Star Game time. Coug out.

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