Empire interviewed The Dark Knight Rises co-writer Jonathan Nolan recently. Nolan talked about The Dark Knight Rises’ ending, which characters wouldn’t have fit in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and even shared his thoughts on the upcoming Justice League movie. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
We have to ask about the Robin gag at the end. We’d always wondered how possible it would be to make that character work in this version of the Batman universe, and this has to have been the only way.
It is a little hard to imagine Robin working in that universe, so the idea had to be limited to that gag at the end. But Joe’s character is very important to the story. In any movie you need a character looking at proceedings the way you see them, and Joe’s character is that character for this film. One of my favourite scenes is when John tells Bruce how he knew he was Batman. It’s like that scene in The Prestige where the little kid sees through Christian’s trick. Little kids, they don’t have any illusions, they just see the truth of the situation. I feel there’s a kind of spiritual connection between the two movies there.
There are of course many other Batman characters that it would have been hard to imagine in these movies…
Yeah, like Clayface or, indeed, The Penguin. Part of what’s compelling about Chris’s take is the naturalism of it and I think that’s one of the things I loved about the Frank Miller comic books was that they were sort of urban, gritty vigilante stories first and formost. So everything had to stick within that universe. It’s hard to imagine [in these movies] any of the rogue’s gallery characters who have sort of a more supernatural or science-fiction bent to them. And I think that’s one of the aspects of Batman which are fascinating: in 70 years, the character has been sort of fully laundered. Because of writers and artists having every month coming up with a different story to tell with this character, there are often different genre aspects to it. You have your science-fictions, you’ve had fantasy elements along the way, horror, camp comedy… I mean there are so many different versions.
Are you curious about the plans for the Justice League movie, and seeing Batman in that very different context?
I’m incredibly excited. I was a big Batman fan when I was a kid. In fact he was the only comic-book character I really liked. I went through a brief spell where I was reading Captain Britain, because I was an English kid living in the States, and Wolverine for 30 seconds, Spider-Man too, but really Batman was the one. And I love that there are different versions of the character. I love that in the context of The Justice League, he’s kind of the black sheep of that family.