The first official trailer for The Dark Knight Rises has finally debuted officially, giving us all our first big glimpse of just what is in store for us from the most anticipated film of next summer. With all of this certainty now coming to us, it’s hard to imagine how little we knew about this movie a year ago. Plenty of false stories popped up all over the Internet on a regular basis and it was often hard to differentiate where the facts started and the rumours ended.
To celebrate (or chuckle at, I guess) some of the craziness we have heard in the past year, here’s a look at some of the most ridiculous ones that people had to offer. If you came across anything more ludicrous than these ten, do let us know in the comments below…
10. Superman Logo in First The Dark Knight Rises Poster
The Rumour: Back in July, some supposedly eagle-eyed fan apparently noticed that the Superman logo was featured in the first official poster for The Dark Knight Rises. This led many to predict that The Dark Knight Rises would have a connection to the Christopher Nolan produced, Zack Snyder directed Superman: The Man of Steel that is coming in 2013.
The Reality: Some blurry lines and a lot of wishful thinking. (Or maybe just wishing for website visits, of which I’m sure this empty rumor inspired plenty). The moral of the story… if you look at any image close enough you can come up with your own conspiracy.
9. Unused Heath Ledger Footage
The Rumour: Christopher Nolan was going to get over ‘The Joker Problem’ in The Dark Knight sequel (briefly the problem: they built up such an incredible villain that we might have difficulty to believe he wouldn’t be able to escape from any kind of confinement in Arkham Asylum, forcing Nolan to either re-cast The Joker or at least mention him in the new film) by including what was left of the late Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker on the cutting room floor, and manipulating alternative takes to include a post-humorous cameo sequence.
The Reality: Unfortunately we have seen the last of Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker and we won’t be seeing or hearing anything from the character this time around. This new movie takes place eight years after the last and Nolan has officially stated that the Joker will not be in Dark Knight Rises and nor would he re-cast Heath Ledger as the character.
8. Filming During ‘Occupy Wall St.’
The Rumour: Just a couple of months ago, while Nolan and Co. were shooting scenes in New York, stories rolled in that the crew would take advantage of the Occupy Wall St. protests, which were in full force at the time to play a part in the storyline. This idea was heightened when The Dark Knight Rises star Anne Hathaway was spotted taking part in the protests.
The Reality: It might have been nice to see them use something so urgent and culturally significant in the movie, but it also would have dated the film horribly, possibly being remembered in the future more for its interaction with the protest than its own merits. Nolan was wise to avoid dealing with that hornet’s nest as no reports of actually footage being filmed around the protests ever came and thought by taking advantage and using the protest of the people for such a huge movie, it would devalue their cause.
7. Robin Will Be in the Film
The Rumour: It seems people really want a repeat of Batman Forever or they just see Robin as such a big part of the popular culture of the character that they feel like he must be included. The notion that Robin would be included in Nolan’s universe has been around for so long and perpetuated by so many that it can hardly be traced back to an original source.
The Reality: Nolan has expressed appreciation for the concept of Robin as a character, but also pointed out that he just wouldn’t fit the tone of his story. Besides, Christian Bale went on record saying that he would drop out of the project if Robin was ever seriously considered. Maybe the next trilogy, guys. It will happen sooner or later for sure.
6. Ellen Page as Batgirl
The Rumour: Just last month, a cell phone camera picture apparently showed a sign for Ellen Page on a dressing room. The sign included the character name, “B. Gordon,” whom aficionados know is the civilian identity of Batgirl. As Ellen Page is one of the few thesps in Inception that Nolan hadn’t either used in the Batman series before (Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine) or was quickly cast in The Dark Knight Rises (Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard), the rumour got some big play across the web.
The Reality: Not only is Ellen Page not in the film (she’s has been working on ‘The East’, a film due out next year), but neither is Batgirl. Figuring how easy it is to just write a name on a sign and take a picture of it, it’s interesting this rumour gained so much steam. Nobody wants to have the one site that doesn’t mention a juicy rumor if it turns out to actually be true.
5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt Will Play The Riddler
The Rumour: When it was announced that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be joining the cast of DKR (right after working with Nolan on Inception), a lot of people took shots in the dark as to who he would be playing. As Nolan had yet revealed who the villain would be for his threequel, the idea that Levitt was playing the puzzle obsessed Edward Nygma (aka The Riddler) was one of the more popular ideas. (Another involved JGL playing Robin or Alberto Falcone, both of which still exist in some circles… see below). It flared up again this past August when pictures of Gordon-Levitt filming a scene near an orphanage wound up online.
The Reality: It certainly would have been nice to see Nolan’s interpretation of the Riddler, but the character is somewhat similar to the Joker and not a good choice for the follow-up. JGL will be playing Gotham City Police Officer John Blake, an entirely original creation. Though we can’t say for sure John Blake isn’t a disguise for another character which will be revealed.
4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play Alberto Falcone a.k.a. Holiday
The Rumour: Nolan has spoken about his affection for Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s classic Batman comic, The Long Halloween, many elements of which ended up in The Dark Knight, so when it was “leaked” that Holiday would be the villain in DKR, it wasn’t entirely unreasonable that JGL would be playing him, since Alberto Falcone is the main antagonist of that book. This story popped up back in February, while people were frantically trying to figure out who JGL would be playing.
The Reality: It’s actually kind of a shame they didn’t do more of a straight adaptation of The Long Halloween, since it’s so brilliant a story, but there’s no way Warner Bros. would allow the main villain of the last Nolan Batman film to be a no-name like Holiday and there’s already enough of Batman’s past coming back to haunt him in the new movie.
3. Robin Williams as Hugo Strange
The Rumour: Robin Williams is no stranger to Batman rumors (no pun intended). During the ‘80s, he was supposedly second choice to play The Joker if Jack Nicholson turned down the part and in the ’90s he was reportedly offered the role of the Riddler in the then untitled third Batman film that at that point would be helmed by Tim Burton. Surely that would have been awful, but a more restrained, severe Williams (as seen in films like One Hour Photo and Insomnia – which was another Nolan film) could have worked very well.
The Reality: Williams’ relationship to the Batman franchise remains as it was. Hugo Strange is a great villain, as Arkham City showed earlier this year, and with the direction Nolan wants to take the series, he would have fit well. But Robin Williams? Let’s just say we’re definitely glad he’s nowhere near this movie.
2. Leaked Script
The Reality: This was proven false by anyone who actually read the script as it read so un-Nolan like. Apparently, it prominently featured Black Mask, a mob boss character from the comics, but generally unknown to mainstream audiences. On top of that, neither Bane or Catwoman is mentioned at all. Considering that Nolan was so protective of the film’s ending that he only related it to the cast verbally, this rumor was D.O.A. from the very beginning.
1. Batman Will Die
The Rumour: Nolan’s statements on his plans for Batman include giving the character a definite ending. That, along with the image of a broken mask on the poster, the general feeling of dread and the tagline: “The Legend Ends” has some people thinking that Batman will in fact die at the end of the film. This would ensure for Nolan that nobody messes with his Batman universe, forcing the reboot Warner Bros. think is the best idea for the future.
The Reality: Well, obviously we don’t know yet, but would the Powers that Be really let Nolan kill off the character? Sure, he was thought dead in the comics for a while, but he’s back now and Warner Bros. usually wants the comics to be more like what people see in cinemas, not less. Yes, it’s been established that this series is Nolan’s alone and when he’s done there won’t be any more movies in this continuity, but Hollywood is all about happy endings (or at least bittersweet ones). Would they really saddle what could potentially be the biggest movie of 2012 with such a downer ending? We don’t think so. Retired? Probably. Injured so badly he’s forced to quite? Perhaps. But dead? Odds are low. If the movie comes out and I’m wrong about this, I will personally apologize to anyone who requests it.
So as you play the current and upcoming trailers on loop, dissecting every frame for tidbits of information, try to imagine the Batman movies that could have been if all of these rumors turned out to be true. From the looks of things, they would have all sucked.
This article was first posted on December 21, 2011