Christopher Nolan Says He Was “Nervous” to Include Catwoman in DARK KNIGHT RISES; Christian Bale Talks About the Franchise

     May 29, 2012


Yesterday we shared a bounty of The Dark Knight Rises material from Steve’s visit to the set, including interviews with Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway and producer Emma Thomas, and a round-up of 20 things to know about the film. In case you didn’t quite get your Dark Knight Rises fill, a few more quotes of interest have gone online today from Bale director Christopher Nolan.  Nolan talks about his initial apprehension to including Catwoman in the film and how his brother (and co-writer) Jonathan finally changed his mind, and Bale talks about the franchise beyond The Dark Knight Rises.  Hit the jump to see what they had to say.

Though we don’t know for certain, some of the comments could be considered SPOILERS, so read at your own risk.

christian-bale-the-dark-knight-rises-imageNolan and Co. have been touting The Dark Knight Rises as the third and final film in the director’s Batman trilogy (the film’s tagline is even “The Legend Ends”).  Though this is almost assuredly the case, Bale noted in an interview with Empire that in the unlikely event that Nolan decides he has another story to tell, he’d be more than up for the challenge:

“My understanding is that this is the last one. I think it’s appropriate, I think it’s going out at the right time. But…if Chris came to me with a script and said, ‘You know what? There is another story’ then I would love the challenge of making a fourth one work.”

Again, it’s highly doubtful that Nolan would return for a fourth go-around (in fact wheels are already in motion for a reboot), but it’s nice to know that Bale would be down for reprising Bats once again should the situation arise.

christopher-nolan-the-dark-knight-rises-imageThe Dark Knight Rises was planned from the get-go as the series closer, and Nolan talked about approaching the film as the conclusion to a three-part story:

“What drew me to Batman in the first place was Bruce Wayne’s story, and that he’s a real character whose story begins in childhood. He’s not a fully formed character like James Bond, so what we’re doing is following the journey of this guy from a child who goes through this horrible experience of becoming this extraordinary character. That, for me, became a three-part story. And obviously the third part becomes the ending of the guy’s story.”

dark-knight-rises-movie-image-anne-hathawayWhen it came time to plot the third film out, brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan had differing opinions on the inclusion of Catwoman:

“Catwoman is a very iconic figure in the Batman pantheon. I was nervous about how she would fit into our world. But [Jonathan] was very much convinced that there would be a great way to do it and eventually turned me around. Once I got my head around the idea of looking at that character through the prism of our films, saying, ‘Who could that person be in real life?’ we figured it out. She’s a bit of a con-woman, something of a grifter. A hard-edged kind of criminal.”

the-dark-knight-rises-anne-hathaway-catwoman-imageJonathan explains why the inclusion of Catwoman was integral to their Batman series:

“What we’re endeavoring to do here is tell a complete take on the Batman mythos. And a complete take of the Batman mythos without the character for me was sacrilegious,” Nolan said. “You’ve gotta have her, because she has a delicious greyness to her that helps define who Batman is. She keeps wavering on this line of, ‘Is she a good guy or a bad guy?’ Well, she’s kind of neither. And that’s why, to me, that relationship and that character only enhances the universe — and the Batman character.”

I’m always interested in the development process of how certain films came to be, and these quotes offer a nice behind-the-scenes look at the super secret planning for The Dark Knight Rises that went on while us commonfolk were none-the-wiser.  Here’s hoping the series goes out in grand fashion with a stellar third and final Batman film from Nolan.  The Dark Knight Rises opens on July 20th.

For more from our The Dark Knight Rises set visit:


  • Rob

    You do realize you pretty much just said that Batman isn’t actually going to die in this movie, right? Thanks Collider…

    • Jarrett

      Bale said he would “love the challenge of making a fourth one work.” How does this give anything away? It would definitely be a “challenge” if Batman dies…

      • Still Pissed

        Yeah. Nolan and Bale would totally resurrect a dead guy in this realistic Batman franchise. Totally makes sense.

    • Captain obvious

      Seriously fuck nuggets? The title doesn’t mention death and I do recall reading a spoiler alert… Apparently some of you idiots should blame yourself for continuing to read if it makes you so angry.

      • lol

        He changed the name of the article and added the spoiler alert after and as a result of these comments. But thanks for the info, Captain Obvious.

    • Lizard King

      I can recall a handful of times that actors have said they would love to continue making a franchise (hell, Clark Gregg said he would love to create a spin-off for a certain Marvel character) only for it to be revealed later that they die in the movie. I’d say the chances Batman will die are still hanging around 50/50.

  • Conor

    ^ Exactly. In the title, Chitwood? Do you have any journalistic dignity?

  • prosky

    It’s a quote from Bale, you idiots. Blame him, not the man reporting. Also, sac up, it’s not that big a fucking deal.

  • prosky

    He didn’t say it, Bale did, so blame him. Fucking internet bitches.


    I would LOVE to see a 4th film! One main reason, to include RIDDLER and PENGUIN and FREEZE!

    That would pretty much complete the famous Rogues gallery of main Bat-villains that we all know. (I know there are more, ie Harley Quin, Croc etc.. but I mean the classic popular ones). Also, possible an introduction to Robin?

    So simple to incorporate them into the “realistic” world of Nolan that it would be a shame to leave the series with those holes unfilled, always wondering what they would look like etc..

    Crispin Glover would make a great Riddler,

    Bob Hoskins/Timothy Spall/Phillip seymore Hoffman/Dustin Hoffman? PENGUIN.

    Ben Kingsley would be a great (toned down) Mr Freeze.

    And with Riddlers plotting mixed with Penguins shady dealings and Freezes weaponry a great cereberal team up could be had. Right up Nolans street all that plotting and twisty turns of storyline.

    • Poonman

      Agreed! Crispin glover almost played Joker, but riddler would be better, he was great as the stickman in Charlies angels. Very riddleresque.

      Timothy spall is a great idea for Penguin, if they make him a shrude businessman as opposed to quacking mutant.

      A great oportunity to bring on the Bat-boat/Bat-sub etc..

    • nom79

      I always thought Crispin Glover would be the Riddler for this generation and for Nolan’s Universe. Great castings for the 3. Too bad it may never come to existence.

    • Some JERK

      WIN! love it! Batboat for part 4. Make it happen Nolan, please!?

  • Pissed

    Thanks for the gigantic spoiler.

  • Kyle

    Knowing how smart Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan are, this idea of a 4th film could be a way to throw fans off the scent. Batman could still very well die, don’t consider this a spoiler.

    • Dexvrusp

      My thoughts exactly.

      • Griz

        Agreed . . . . this is just like when Kevin Smith was writing widening gyre and some people started to suspect who baphomet really was, he started talking about giving him his own miniseries beyond Widening gyre, and everyone just kinda backed off.

  • David

    You guys do realize that Bale said he would return for a 4th film if Nolan did, in an interview that came out like a year ago, right?

  • Ridiculously Pissed

    Anne Hathaway says “Batman dies at the end.” Should be the next article title.

    • EV M

      A more likely headline? “Michael Caine Says: ‘Batman Dies at the End’ “

  • Seriously Guys, I’m Pissed

    Anybody else read the last chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before they read the book. Adam Chitwood did.

  • If Today Was Opposite Day, I Wouldn’t Be Pissed Right Now

    “Christopher Nolan reveals that Bane almost kills Batman, but doesn’t.”

    Another good article title idea.

  • Michael

    I love coming hear to watch you spastics holler at your own shadows.

  • If I Weren’t Pissed Right Now, That Would Mean I Was Dead

    Maybe instead of releasing the first scene from the movie in select IMAX theaters, they should’ve just released that last one.

  • GundarkHunter

    What’s painfully clear is that NOBODY here has read The Dark Knight Returns.

  • Zelda

    Spoiler alert? Wow.

  • Adam Chitwood

    Apologies if anyone feels spoiled. I’ve added a spoiler warning before the jump, just in case. Bale has made comments to this effect before and these recent comments ran in a major magazine, so I really didn’t think this would be considered a spoiler.

    That said, it was uncool to put the lead on the front page, just to be safe, and I apologize.

    • EV M

      Setting aside the outrage about you ruining the ending by telling these people that a superhero won’t die at the end of their own movie, I want to say that this is the best sort of coverage to get on a movie like this one. Like you, I live for hearing all about the creative back-and-forth involved on these movies.When drawing from an existing world with established characters and relationships, how and why the choices are made to expand or adapt the framework built in one medium to accommodate another, as a fan I can’t get enough of this. If they publish a book about the making of this movie, I can’t wait to read it.

  • Slightly Less Pissed, But Still Upset

    Might wanna change the name of the article.

  • Rob

    Chitty chitty bang bang (Chitwood),

    The title itself could be considered a spoiler, that’s what got me. I bet this “pissed” guy agrees with me.

    • The Only Person I’m Not Pissed At Right Now Is Rob, And Jason Segel (just because he seems nice)

      Yeah, Rob. Yeah.

  • dave

    batman isnt going to die you morons….warners would never allow that to happen….use your damn brains, or what’s left of them

    • I’m Especially Pissed At You

      Simply for the stupidity of this comment.

    • Mike

      Good call…why close the door completely on such a successful franchise? Not just commercially but critically. Maybe the reboot won’t come together like WB wants so they don’t kill off Bale’s Batman.

  • Dannyboy3030

    I think the inclusion of Joseph Gordon Levitt is a red herring.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Hey Dave,

    Anyone could take over the idea of Batman, just put on the costume. (John Blake – Joseph Gordon Levitt).

  • james

    “Memento” renders moot all speculation of Bale’s comment in relation to Nolan’s Batman trilogy. They could either play with the timeline if Batman dies and/or continue with the story if he doesn’t. My guess is that after Mavel’s success with “The Avengers,”for better or for worse DC and WB want to reboot the character to more easily shoehorn Batman into a JLA picture.

  • Christopher Nolan

    I hope everyone checks out my upcoming book entitled “Why I Didn’t Kill Bruce Wayne, Even Though There Was a Strong Possibility That I Would.” It’s being released a week before the movie comes out, but you can pre-order it and read the last chapter on Amazon right now!

  • EV M

    Spoiler? PLEASE. Lay off on Adam. Come on, guys; did any one of you truly believe that Warner Brothers was going to assent to letting anybody show Batman die onscreen? With at least a quarter of a billion dollars in production, plus up to a billion in potential grosses on the line, licensing, merchandise, home video sales, all of the cross-media, cross-platform synergy revenue at stake? You’re unbelievably gullible if you did.

  • I’m Not Pissed Anymore

    Thanks for changing the title.

  • MicoY

    Adam, Adam… Almost every time I read one of your article I’m wondering “how old is he”? Please tell me because according to me you are really very young, and my last desire is to hurt a teen. But if you aren’t a teen anymore…

  • Eric Nixon

    You guys are nuts if you ever thought Batman was going to die in this movie. Some people will find any reason to complain.

    • Ethan

      Which is exactly why Christopher Nolan would do it.

      • EV M

        Christopher Nolan might…but Time Warner never would. It’s not going to happen.

      • Ethan

        Seeing as they’re ending this installment of the franchise and planning a reboot, and also that they’ve let Nolan do whatever he wants so far (including letting him make another movie and giving him a 200 million dollar budget to do so, just so that he would return for the third Batman), and that it would be a much needed bold, noticeable move in light of being surrounded by Marvel success, and with the success of The Dark Knight, I think they would let Nolan do whatever he wants to do.

      • nkutzler

        Ethan, I concur with both statements. Comic book stories change all the time, and Wayne has died before. Moreover, the studio could’ve said something like “replace Heath, bring back the Joker” but they wouldn’t dare. Only Nolan and confidants (aka the actors involved in the ending) even knew the conclusion, although I’m sure Universal knows by now. Regardless, they wouldn’t change it. Not after Dark Knight, and not after Inception.

      • EV M

        Of course I’m aware that heroes have died on the comic book page, but that’s a false equivalence here. If I have to take up my time and this site’s space explaining the whys and wherefores of that to you, then the conversation’s moot anyway.

        With repeat ticket sales responsible for such a significant amount of the box office sums for THE DARK KNIGHT (and AVATAR, and THE AVENGERS since), a movie’s satisfying emotional impact on the audience is the key to having a hit that can reach those numbers. Regardless of the rating, families and young children are a fundamental part of the built-in audience for these movies, and one that’s counted on for multiplying the movie’s gross with repeat business. Valuable licensing partnerships are also riding on this movie, to a degree that’s probably only eclipsed by Disney or Lucas. All of that profit is jeopardized if you alienate audiences by killing Batman.

      • Ethan

        Oh yeah! I forgot that main characters never die in blockbuster movies! My bad dude.

      • EV M

        Sorry you couldn’t deal in the face of some facts, logic, and conventional wisdom. Any example you’re going to throw at me would only be the exception that proves the rule. If you’re going to get threatened and try to puff yourself up with sarcasm, come up with something to say that isn’t desperate and ridiculous — it’s the internet, you’ve got time.

      • Ethan

        I’m officially calling this conversation “moot”.

  • oaktreeradar

    When Bale say’s their is a possibility of a fourth movie I feel like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber when he’s asking Lauren Holley about them getting together and she’s like it’s a one in a million chance. And he starts grinning and is like “So you’re saying there’s a chance!”

    • Scotty

      Haha exactly what im thinkin, a big huge smile on my face right now! Fingers crossed!!

  • Spock Jenkins

    “What we’re endeavoring to do here is tell a complete take on the Batman mythos. And a complete take of the Batman mythos without the character for me was sacrilegious,” Nolan said. “You’ve gotta have her, ”

    Okay, so why no Robin? He’s been with Batman bar one year of the Batman character’s existence. You could make him work in a believable way…

  • Jimmy Dean

    They’ve said this takes place around 8 years after the last film. Batman can die in DKR and they can simply think of some type of story arc they wish to tell during a period of time previous to Dark Knight Rises… you guys do realize that, right? It doesn’t have to be chronological… Cowboy Beebop anyone?

    • Captain obvious

      Uh dude… This is the dark knight RISES. It’s the story of how he returns after 8 years (ran and hid from authorities) at the end of dark knight… There’s no in between batman story to be told…

      • Jimmy Dean

        Well, you directed it it seems so you would know best. Rises could also refer to the fact that other people take on the responsibility of the symbol which Batman stands for. This whole series has been grounded in reality and the reality is, as Ra’s al Ghul said in Begins, that one man can die, but a symbol lives forever. Joseph Gordon Levitt? But that’d be too obvious for you.

    • Captain obvious

      Did any of you dipsh1ts read the spoiler alert? Blame your own damn selves

    • Jamesy

      Watch the recent tv spots, or even just the most recent, titled “Retired”. It clearly shows you that Batman has been in “retirement” doesn’t mean he dies. Could just mean he’s lay off Bats for a period if time. For whatever reason, or he was injured at the end of TDK so took a breather, went back to retrain…from what we’ve seen in the trailers etc, with Bruce doing push ups and in those scenes with the cages it feels like he’s possibly went back to train. And this would make sense with Nolan and co commenting on how they would be revisiting the ideas explored in Begins.

  • ozzie

    anyone who reads a movie news site then gripes about spoilers needs to be punched in the head … or maybe was already punched in the head too hard.

  • @IrishMitchy

    While doing press for TDK Maggie Gyllenhaal was asked if she would like to return for a third film as Rachel, she obviously already knew her character dies, but said yes of course I’d love to come back if Nolan asked me too. Aaron Eckhart was asked the same question and answered the same way…

    Adam did not by any means spoil anything, neither did Bale. People bitching are being ridiculous. Do you think if Batman does indeed die at the end or at all for that matter that Bale would say “No sorry we could never do another one, the legend ends, this is it, because Batman dies, fuck you.”

  • lulzatron

    1. A fourth film doesn’t necessarily mean it takes place after TDKR.
    2. Clark Gregg was talking about making a whole movie about Agent Coulson. Turns out he died in the Avengers.
    3. You’re on a bloody movie news website. If the ending of a movie is revealed, you sure as hell can expect it to be on this website.

    In other words: All of you guys are going to feel like dumbasses when Batman dies.

    Just saying.

    • AlexHeyNa

      Batman’s not gonna die.

      Just saying.

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