My Predictions for The Dark Knight Rises
In a couple of weeks, one of the most memorable and well down movie franchises in recent memory will come to an end; Christopher Nolan's Batman series. Throughout the years, this series has continously impressed the audience members with incredible and complex plots, insightful themes, and top-notch acting from Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, and Heath Ledger (R.I.P.). Add that to some amazing revisions of Batman's most iconic villains to more realistic tones and an emotional and riveting soundtrack and you have the ultimate Batman experience.
The upcoming movie, The Dark Knight Rises, will be the last of the series and promises to answer many questions regarding Bruce Wayne and just how long he will let this symbol called Batman run his life. As usual, Christopher Nolan has kept plot details extremely sparse and under raps, but certain facts may be gleamed from previews and the comics that served as inspiration for this film. I'm going to explain my thoughts on what this movie might be about based off evidence from previews and comics.
I want to start in perhaps an unexpected area with the character of Bane, the main villain of the next film. Bane is a villain from the Batman comics who isn't quite up there with villains such as The Joker and Two-Face, but has gained fame for being the man to actually break Batman's back along with his spirit. He is a criminal mastermind and a brillant military strategist who is pumped up on a chemical known as "Venom" to become massive and prides himself in defeating challenging opponents and conquering their territory with his criminal empire.
Sounds like a pretty awesome villain actually, and he certainly is, but what curve balls will Nolan incorporate into his version of the character to make him more suitable to the realistic universe he has constructed? Well, for one thing, Bane does not seem to be even half as massive as he was in the comics, which is a good thing in my opinion. Now, don't get me wrong, Tom Hardy, the actor playing the role, has pumped up a lot for this role and looks very intimidating and strong, but he's not this massive ball of chemicals and muscle from the comics. Nolan choose a more realistic tone for Bane by having him just be a very jacked and challenging fighter. Instead of venom, Bane seems to be in constant need of other chemicals to keep himself alive.
With all that in mind, it would also seem that Bane has a connection to the League of Shadows, the secret, ninja organization that targeted Gotham as least two times in the past. The leader of this group was originally Ra's al Ghul, who trained Bruce Wayne and ultimately gave him the power and knowledge to become a symbol like Batman. He's long since been dead over the years, but he will appear in flashbacks and his daughter Talia al Ghul, has also been confirmed to appear. So what exactly does this all have to do with Bane; here is where my thoughts and speculations come into play.
I think Bane was once the right hand man of Ra's al Ghul and was inline to become his successor, eventually once intent on gaining control of The League and marrying his daughter. Before any of this could happen though, a horrendous event of Bane's doing occurred and left him in horrible condition and had to be fed chemicals through a storage tank to survive. With this injury along with Bane's out of control and brutal nature, Ra's no longer believed he could be a viable candidate as his successor and had him expelled from the League.
This infuriates Bane, who swears to gain revenge on the League and destroy Gotham to prove just how strong he truly is. Over the years, Bane builds up a massive army of his own, much more brutal than the League of Shadows and plans to attack and conquer Gotham in one swift attack. I believe that Bane's capture on the airplane in the six minute preview and subsequent escape was Bane smuggling himself into the country to begin to plans to target Gotham.
Now, I heard a rumor that Bane has constructed a set of headquarters underneath Gotham City, whether or not it is true I do not know, but I think it could fit quite nicely as Bane's army does seem to come from nowhere. It would be the perfect entry point into the city from every angle without tipping off the authorities and could allow them to attack Gotham from every corner simultaneously. I believe that once Bane and army are situated within the United States, they will construct a series of tunnels underneath Gotham and build massive lairs for their plans.
Now, what about Talia al Ghul; I believe that she is now in control of the League of Shadows and is now trying to stop Bane before he goes too far, stationing herself within the city as an executive in Wayne Enterprises. Now I know that the League has long since desired to destroy Gotham as well, but they know that Bane needs to be stopped before he becomes too powerful and serves a major threat to not only the world but the League itself. Basically, what we might be witnessing in Gotham is the battle between these two organizations.
Now, what about Bane's actual plans for Gotham City? An idea came to me after hearing that this movie is partially inspired by the "No Man's Land" comics where Gotham was condemned and separated from the United States, becoming a lawless community where criminals ran things. I believe Bane is going to do a similar thing, only with own army. Bane will swiftly and suddenly attack Gotham from all points; blowing up all the escape and entry routes so that the city is basically cut from the rest of the world, and destroying all major monuments and events. He succeeds and takes control of Gotham, installing his own regime before embarking on the next phase of his plans; actually destroying the city.
Here it is important to notice the subtle differences between Bane and The League of Shadows. The League of Shadows never make their presence truly known and only seek to destroy populaces that have reached the pinnacle of their decadence and move on. Bane however is attacking Gotham when it seems to have finally been cleaned, undoing all of Batman's work, and trying to destroy a city that is no longer corrupt.
Along with that, Bane wants to make his presence known and not only destroy Gotham, but conquer it, rule it, break it, and then finally destroy it. He's a craven for attention and power and lusts to see his opponents bleed and lose their spirits, even if his opponent is an entire city; thus he reveals to the citizens of Gotham that their "White Night", Harvey Dent, was no better than the criminals he persecuted. Gotham loses hope once more and goes into a frenzy as Bane's forces lock down the entire city. As for what Bane's actual plans for destroying the city are, I wasn't able to actually come up with anything concrete, but is seems to involve another mass breakout of Gotham's prison facilities.
Of course, we might be missing the most important piece of the puzzle, Batman himself. As Bruce Wayne, Batman's life has taken a turn for the worse. I love the irony of Batman's character in this film in that when Gotham is at it's best, Batman is at his worst; he should be proud of all that he's accomplished, but he is not. He has lost a great deal at the hands of The Joker and only stopped the villain's nefarious plans by blaming himself for crimes he did not commit. He is now seen as murderer, no better than the ones he pledged his life to stop, and lost the love of his life, Rachel Dawes. His battle injuries from the Joker and Two-Face have left him with a limp; his body, mind, and spirit have all sustained heavy damages.
Alfred tries his best to look out after Bruce Wayne, but soon realizes that the man Bruce once was is fading away fast; Alfred may have lost the boy he pledged his life to look after in the absence of his parents. Now, here are some important details from my thoughts based off the previews. In one of the trailers, we see a commencement being held at Wayne Manor in Harvey Dent's honor. Here Bruce seems relatively okay as he hosts a party at his mansion, but in the next few scenes he look considerable worse for wear. This is might be an artifact of the eight year gap confirmed to be in the movie. Bruce Wayne holds a party in Dent's honor, but as the years go on and Batman is no longer needed or praised, he loses his self respect and confidence, the result of which is shown in the trailer.
I believe that once Bane has conquered Gotham, his forces will capture Bruce Wayne and bring him to Bane, who somehow has knowledge of his alter ego. Bane chooses not to kill Bruce, but lock him up and make him watch his city burn before dying himself; again this all contributes to Bane's character as a villain who wishes to utterly deprive his opponents of hope, spirit, and respect, leaving them with no reason to live. I believe this is where, Bruce will be rescued by the League of Assassins, perhaps even Talia, and taken to their headquarters.
There, the League will explain everything to him with regards to Bane and this is where I believe the flashbacks will occur. They will explain how Ra's came to recruit Bane from a foreign prison, training him before they realized his true, brutal nature. Bruce finally decides to come back as Batman and forms an uneasy alliance with the League to stop Bane once and for all. During the course of this, a genuine romance will come into play between Bruce and Talia.
The last big piece of the puzzle is the character of Catwoman, who has been confirmed to be an accomplice of Bane. She is the one character where I really have no clue on how she factors into the story, but it seems she was sent by Bane to survey Wayne's Mansion, perhaps looking evidence that he is Batman. Once she presents her findings, Bane confirms Bruce is indeed Batman and proceeds to capture him. What's in it for Catwoman though? The best I can think of is that she will be conpensated with Baman's equipment and Bruce's riches; hence why she has one of his vehicles in the previews. Eventually though, she sees just what Bane is truly after and decides to joint forces with Batman to stop him.
These are basically all my thoughts that I think might be within the context of the film in some shape or form. I know that I jumped around a lot and there are several aspects of the movie that I did not touch upon, but that's really because I couldn't come up with any real concrete evidence for their roles. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this article and that it brought up several predications that people may not have thought about before. Take care everyone as we look forward to what will undoubtedly be the best movie of the summer.