Seen The Dark Knight Rises trailers? Of course you have...No? You havent? Despite being the only person between here and the the ancient ruins of Babylon not to see them, you may also miss the point of this article if you havent watched the most recent one. So I advise you to do so right now, see this conveniently placed youtube video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=g8evyE9TuYk Now your face has regained its previous shape whether you watched that for the 1st or 17th time, youre ready to hear why I think Joseph Gordon-Levitts role in this film, which has previously been ignored by journalists (ok, me) and seen as just a way of Christopher Nolan to keep tabs on his small band of character players by other journalists (..nope, still me) could be both a huge one, and also the future of the franchise. With The Dark Knight Rises acting as the last entry into Christopher Nolans series of Batman films, Warner Bros is having a bit of a crisis. They cant immediately reboot the character like Sony did with Spider-Man because Nolans trilogy is too definitive a series. They either have to let an incredibly profitable franchise die for a couple of decades to avoid upsetting the majority of cinemagoers and harming the films potential due to Nolan fanboys boycotting it, or find a continuation from this series of films... Enter Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Though his character does not appear in the comic books, his quite large role in the final trailer, leads me to believe there is something a little more than meets the eyes with his casting. My original theory surrounding him was that John Blake is a sacrificial lamb, someone who is killed by Bane and whose death mobilises Batman into returning and defeating Bane to much glory and hysterics by everyone involved, however on second thought that seemed too simple. Throughout the trailer he looks dramatically off into the distance, which can only mean serious things are happening to his character, whilst he also sits with Selina Kyle and small children on the street and discusses the Batman with much adoration and despair. At this point I refer you back to the first film, where Bruce Wayne in a conversation with Alfred, says that as a symbol he is incorruptible and can inspire people to do better. Could it be possible that Batman does die at the end of this film, however his mantle is adopted by John Blake (his name being a false lead to take us away from idea of Dick Grayson, the person who took over from Bruce Wayne in the comics) to take on the Gotham underworld? Although it would be a bit of a slap in the face to the comic book source material, it will hold true to the idea that there is more than just Bruce Wayne as Batman. John Blake could have the same back story as Dick Grayson and his shock induction as The Dark Knight would be quite a twist for a film which is already as secretive as the nuclear material testing facility I have in my garage...oh. (If the CIA are looking at this, this is a joke). There are more reasons to justify this than just his startlingly large role in the trailer; for example the name of the film Rises, which gives the idea that this film is more an ascension to a title than the ending of something. It could be a reference to Batman fulfilling his purpose in Gothams history and achieving his goal of uniting the people of Gotham against evil. OR (and I hope it is this way, as it will make me look less stupid) it means a truer version of The Dark Knight ideal adopts his place as a masked vigilante, someone who was inspired and moved by the Batman to the extent that he doesnt give in to loss, he saves the idea of Batman after Bruce Waynes destruction and defeats Bane himself. A scenario that would be both awesome, a true display of Batmans success in Gotham and extremely gratifying for me, as I do love being right. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well would be a perfect candidate for the anchoring of a movie franchise, well known enough to get peoples attention, but not prolific enough to have any real blemishes on his record to put people off seeing him in a movie. His star is on the rise and the steady build up of his career could epitomise with him throwing on the cape and mask and moving the Batman movie franchise up another stage. From a business sense, this idea does agree, Warner Bros and DC cant afford to let Batman, their most successful comic book franchise, die. Not if they want to push on and generate more success, however rather than rebooting probably the best known superhero origins story they could just add a continuation, with a talented director and Nolan on as producer they could continue this Batman story arch without ticking anybody off. Though outlandish, this idea could indeed be a true representation of the path The Dark Knight Rises will take. The business of Hollywood will win out and Batman will be around again, either in a reboot or sequel, however there would be a greater sense of accomplishment for both Nolan and for us if he finishes the story of Bruce Wayne, but leaves the door open for someone else to carry on the story of the man DC Comics and Batman have immortalised: The Dark Knight. What do you think of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's role in this film? Would you think it be best for the series to continue rather than be rebooted? Leave your comments below... The Dark Knight Rises opens on July 20th 2012 and will star Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Read the rest of our The Dark Knight Rises coverage here.