The rumors swirling about the new “Justice League” movie this week has been interesting. The first rumor was that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was going to play Batman, then a second source said that was not true. Now, Film Comment spoke with Christopher Nolan about Batman on Nov. 28 and got some interesting information.
A lot of complaints arose about Batman possibly not being Bruce Wayne in “Justice League.” One argument was that Bruce Wayne retiring at the end of “Dark Knight Rises” should have marked the end of Batman, and if John Blake became anyone it should have been Nightwing.
However, in “Batman Begins” there was a line where Bruce Wayne told Alfred that he wears the mask so that anyone could be Batman. His thought was that if he leaves, someone else could take over the role and carry on the role as protector of Gotham City.
In the interview, Nolan said that was his exact reason for John Blake finding the Bat Cave – you pay off that storyline.
“Batman is a symbol. He can be anybody, and that was very important to us,” Nolan said. “Not every Batman fan will necessarily agree with that interpretation of the philosophy of the character, but for me it all comes back to the scene between Bruce Wayne and Alfred in the private jet in Batman Begins, where the only way that I could find to make a credible characterization of a guy transforming himself into Batman is if it was as a necessary symbol, and he saw himself as a catalyst for change and therefore it was a temporary process, maybe a five-year plan that would be enforced for symbolically encouraging the good of Gotham to take back their city.
“To me, for that mission to succeed, it has to end, so this is the ending for me, and as I say, the open-ended elements are all to do with the thematic idea that Batman was not important as a man, he’s more than that. He’s a symbol, and the symbol lives on.”
This doesn’t answer whether Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play Batman in “Justice League,” but it does prove that if he does it plays into what Nolan had in mind at the end of “Dark Knight Rises.”
For e-mail updates whenever a new article is posted, please click here and then click the subscribe button. Also feel free to follow me on: Twitter @starvingdogs, GooglePlus or join my group on Facebook.
Shawn S. Lealos is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, the professional film critics’ organization of Oklahoma. He is also working on a book about the Stephen King dollar babies called “Dollar Deal.” To read more of his writing, visit shawnlealos.net.