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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Explains Why There Doesn’t Need To Be A Spin-Off Movie From ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Explains Why There Doesn't Need To Be A Spin-Off Movie From 'The Dark Knight Rises'

One: don’t read any further unless you’ve already seen “The Dark Knight Rises.” And if you haven’t, ask yourself: what’s the deal? There will be major spoilers throughout this post. OK? Good. Let’s move on and not throw eggs at David Cronenberg for a second.

Christopher Nolan‘s “The Dark Knight Rises” has become a divisive picture. While the super hero picture got off to a relatively slow start, thanks to the Aurora tragedy the weekend of its debut, the film hit the $400 million mark domestically today after 29 days in theater. That makes it the 4th fastest film to reach that mark after “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight” and “Avatar.” By this weekend it should hit $900 million worldwide so those who counted it out initially should think again. At this rate, the estimable $1 billion mark is within reach.

Back to what makes it polarizing. While it possibly wasn’t as critically beloved as “The Dark Knight” (its Rotten Tomatoes score is 7% lower, if you care about such things), “The Dark Knight Rises” was still celebrated and in our minds is easily still the tentpole movie of the summer. Nothing comes close, frankly. But strangely enough, some of the biggest naysayers of the picture were the hardcore comic-book movie fans. Harry Knowles from Ain’t It Cool News was practically outraged by the picture because it wasn’t, in his opinion, what a Batman movie should be, for example.

Moreover, there’s been lots of debate about the film’s ending. Spoilers: In it, Gotham City detective John Blake (as played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is revealed to be a person known as Robin John Blake. And as Bruce Wayne hangs up the cowl for good, John Blake is given the keys to the Batcave to ostensibly have the legend endure and live on in whatever form he sees it. Fans have speculated that that must mean Robin John Blake will become Robin, and/or Nightwing, the character in the D.C. Comics that Dick Greyson graduated to when he became older and felt Robin was too childish, and too much in the shadow of Batman. 

But as we discussed in our Playlist Podcast about “The Dark Knight Rises”, some fans seemed to miss the point of the ending, which was not to set up a sequel and/or hint at something more, but rather to simply echo the message of the film, that anyone can be a symbol and a symbol is more important than the individual and can be everlasting. The point is not who Robin John Blake possibly becomes, the point is, he is simply another figure that can take on the symbol which can always stand as an icon against injustice, etc. 

Anywhoo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was recently on Jimmy Kimmel (and if you haven’t seen the film yet, let us tell you, Jimmy didn’t bother with a spoiler warning) and the talk show host asked JGL what he thought about a potential sequel and where this franchise could possibly go. Thankfully, Gordon-Levitt gave the only answer there really should be. It doesn’t really need to go anywhere else because it wrapped up perfectly on message. 

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a set-up [for another film],” Gordon-Levitt said. “I think it is a great ending for that trilogy. Even if you go back to ‘Batman Begins,’ [Bruce Wayne] is talking about how Batman is more than a man, it’s a symbol. And a hero can be anybody and we all have heroes inside of us and that’s a theme that runs throughout the entire trilogy.”

Frankly, again as discussed in our podcast this is really the only intended ending of the film. Hell, ask Christopher Nolan (he’s pretty much said as much), but the debate will likely rage on and that’s possibly part of the genius of the film. Nolan does like to keep things open-ended. Our guess, “The Dark Knight Rises” arrives on Blu-ray/DVD for Christmas? Maybe by then it’ll finally be out of theaters. Anyhow, maybe your thoughts are different and you can weigh in with a yay or nay on the ending, but you know where we stand. Maybe we should have just linked to this?

[/Film via Comicbook Movie]

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My feelings about this is there could possibly be another movie based on the ending to the Dark Knight Rises. The ending was too odvious. Even I think there will be another movie just like everybody else. And if there will be another movie, it won't be just Robin, it might be called Knightwing; just the comic. I'm pretty sure something is in the works.

Christopher post

I think the Dark Knight Rises could have been better!!! Dont get me wrong,Christopher Nolan didnt do that bad with his take of Batman,i just felt like there could have been more… The way Bane died was crap!!! The ending was also crap!!! And if your gonna end your story of Batman Dont leave so many people in the dark on what is happining with the blake character?? Whats actually happining with bruce wayne?? The ending sucked!! I think with an ending like that you have to make a fourth Batman!!!


I actually thought that he would take over from bruce wayne before the end of the dark knight rises.


Avengers was better by far


I liked the movie. I did not like the ending, as much. I felt cheated. For the whole movie, everyone was trying to kill the villain,. At the end of the movie, Catwoman comes along and blows the villain away with a missile.


Please no more. I would much rather see a new director take on Batman. Nolan's vision was ……different……I know people love it and think he's a genius but I was underwhelmed by the series


Have you seen The Bourne Legacy?!?… why cant people leave films where they are instead of knocking out a sequel that isnt called, isnt up to scratch and that actually takes something away from the three films that went before.
Batman isnt set up for ANOTHER sequel. A story/film can end without the title "The End – and everyone lived happily ever after."


it may not have necessarily been a set up for a sequel, but who cares. i WANT a sequel. i want to see the development of Robin and Nightwing.


I loved the film and thought it was just as good as the dark knight Tom hardy was awesome as bane but not quite on heath's level every one else was absolutely top. This was an awesome film and anyone else who says the film was "missing something" needs to watch it again

Formerly From Tokyo

"…There Doesn't Need To Be A Spin-Off Movie From 'The Dark Knight Rises'" is my comment in itself. In addition, The Dark Knight Rises was a disappointing film for me which did not entertain me as I would have expected save the parts with Alfred, which I found touching. But if I pay $20 to see a film, I want to be entertained emotionally/intellectually/however throughout the film. I also found Tom Hardy's voice as Bane to be too distracting. Even so, the film had an air of finality about it that made me satisfied with the ending, even if I didn't exactly like the movie in itself. There doesn't always NEED to be a sequel.


To be honest , I was disappointed in TDKR; while I enjoyed watching it, it just didn't live up to it's hype.
The plot was the main culprit: it was pretty lame and it was obvious that it was a low priority,
which unfortunately, is the trend with 'franchise' movies.
The SX were great, as would be expected with that amount of financial clout, and the acting was at the top of the scale for that genre, but there was 'something' missing.
That's why, for me, it was merely a good movie and not one that comes anywhere near being a classic.


It seemed clear to me that John Blake was to take up the mantel as Batman. Bruce essentially leaves him the keys to the cave, while at the same time restoring the bat signal at the top of MCU. During a conversation between Bruce and Blake he plants the seed of this idea of Batman being a symbol that can be embodied by someone else, not just him. I guess taking the extra step and revealing John Blake as Robin is what's throwing film goers off.

EP Sato

Nolan had a great run with Batman. We can end his vision here and I'm happy. DC comics has been able to retell/reinvent this story several times over. In comics, graphic novels, radio, newspaper comic strips, a tv show, multiple cartoons, the late 80s/90s movies and now Nolan's series.

I say we as fans should enjoy these movies for a few years, then DC/Warner should find a new Batman and a new visionary director and start again from scratch. There've been several catwomen, several jokers, Penguins, Scarecrows, etc. Why stop now? Marvel just remade Spider Man, which had been a success not even 10 years ago!

So long as the movies are worthy of the character, I say keep them coming. The 2020s vision of batman will be very different than the current vision. There's no harm in that.


What is it about this film that stops people being able to not like it without severe hatred? You liked it? Great. You didn't? That's a shame. But hell, can't we debate it's merits & faults without childish name-calling?
Ps – great post.


Of course there doesn't need to be one and of course there won't be one. Warner Bros would be morons to step on Nolan's toes like that if they want him to ever make anymore movies for them.

Great Scott!

Ok…so the message was that anybody can become the symbol. Great. Big fhuggin whoop. And we see a specific character who we are invested in stumble upon the Batcave, heavily suggesting he will be the next, and, what, we're just supposed to sit here and not want to see that story rightthehellnow? Sorry…no can do. Do want.


…so the premise is "anyone can be a hero", just not anyone wearing "hockey pads"…awkward.


He grows…at the stomach.


"Nothing comes close, frankly."

That doesn't mean anything, it was still a bad film. I'm happy you all are easily satisfied and settle for mediocity. Thankfully, many others aren't and are rightfully calling the film out for the cluttered, tedious, poorly written piece of crap it was.


Henry Knowles is an idiot fanboy that does not grow. He should never be taken seriously!


Also I really think they should go ahead witha JGL Nightwing movie cause honestly thats perfect casting which is one thing out of the way so why not just do it?


I feel like everything people say is wrong with the movie happens in the last 20-30 minutes and though I agree there were some significant missteps there it's no reason to lose perspective on the films merits. Honestly I think a lot of the criticism (including Cronenberg) is coming from people who are going to say they don't like the genre no matter what, which is totally fair. I think a lot of what I like about the movie comes from seeing how characters that I already care about from a different medium are translated to film, which is where the Dark Knight movies really succeed, and become kind of magical IMO, but also where the division In the fan ranks comes from. Either way I feel like its almost two separate issues and that even fans who hated it at least are passionate enough to ask themselves why. Maybe it was a bad idea to start thinking of these movies in terms of great cinema in the first place, though I think over time once the hype machine and back lash has all died down the appreciation will still be there and will continue to grow


Did you write this from the future? Rises has only been in theaters 26 days and is close but yet to cross the $400 mil mark. Impressive tho. More news from the future would be much appreciated.



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