Ever since the announcement of Bane as the chief antagonist of Chris Nolan’s final (so he says) Batman film, fans and critics have united in speculation regarding a particular storyline from the super-villain’s association with the Bat. That iconic moment when he broke Gotham’s greatest superhero is arguably the strongest string to Nolan’s Bane bow, because it is a big enough draw in itself to have fuelled rampant speculation concerning The Dark Knight Rises plot without the marketing team having to do much.
Will Nolan break the Bat? Will the director add finality to his trilogy with the ultimate conclusion? Those posters featuring the smashed bat-cowl above certainly look pretty damning for the caped crusader, and it certainly appears that we are being led towards the assumption. And there’s something extremely insistent about that title, even if the resurrection imagery conjured by the final word is a little too blatant for what we would expect from Nolan.
Now, I am not for one minute suggesting that I think that Batman will definitely die at the end of The Dark Knight Rises (or even at any other point during the story) – and indeed there will no doubt be some lucky devils out there who have already seen the film who will now sneer haughtily at my morbid fantasies, but these are five reasons that he SHOULD die, for the good of this arc of the franchise.
If there are spoilers below, you have my apologies, because trust me, they weren’t informed ones…
1. A Fitting Conclusion To The Arc
Nolan’s trilogy must be considered as a complete story-arc: Batman Begins was the origin story, The Dark Knight was a battle, and The Dark Knight Rises will be all out war. We have seen the birth, genesis and struggles of the protagonist so far, and this film should come full circle, especially with Nolan’s affirmations that he will definitely not come back for a fourth film. While some might suggest that Nolan’s trilogy is more about the evolution of the character – portraying exactly what made the Batman – it would be a far more interesting development to see the entire lifespan of the character in this one trilogy.
But will Chris Nolan really be bold enough to kill his own protagonist? It would be the ultimate statement from a film-maker who has completely reinvented the Batman franchise, and the sort of narrative decision that would fit with Nolan’s attraction to bold artistic decisions like casting Heath Ledger as the Joker, or the initial conception of Bane (and that infamously difficult voice).
And thanks to Hollywood’s healthy obsession with reboots, and the traditional disregard comic book writers and publishers have for linear progression and continuity, it wouldn’t be a monumental problem to get over for whoever takes up the mantle to direct the next Batman film or series.