Before the term "cinematic universe" was born, Christopher Nolan delivered the Batman movie fans had been waiting years for with 2005's Batman Begins. When the sequel The Dark Knight broke box office records in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was just getting started, and the finale The Dark Knight Rises hit theaters just a few months after The Avengers shattered box office records left and right. The Dark Knight Rises was still a hit, taking in $448.1 million domestically and $636.8 million internationally for a worldwide tally of $1.08 billion, but many fans were disappointed with the ending. According to one of the film's stars, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this franchise finale had the "perfect ending."
When Joseph Gordon-Levitt first signed on as John Blake, many fans thought he would eventually be revealed as The Dark Knight's sidekick, Robin, which was proven to be true, since his full name was revealed to be Robin John Blake. The movie ended with Christian Bale's Batman presumed to be dead, with John Blake coming into possession of the Batcave and all of Batman's belongings. CinemaBlend caught up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt while promoting Snowden, who was asked if he had hoped to take up the Batman mantle and continue this story in a new movie, or set of movies. Here's what the actor had to say, calling Christopher Nolan's ending "perfect."
"I know we're all used to the sort of Marvel movies, which are just kind of endless series. They don't really have a beginning, middle, and end. But I think Nolan very much thought of that movie as a conclusion, and there's a theme that runs through all three of those movies that begins in the first movie, runs through the second movie and it concludes in that moment where he says that Batman is more than a man, Batman is a symbol. And so to have another man other than Bruce Wayne kind of becoming Batman at the end of that trilogy, I think that's the perfect ending to that story."
A few years ago, Batman himself, Christian Bale, revealed that he doesn't think the ending, where Bruce Wayne is seen in a Parisian cafe with Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is a dream, as many other fans had interpreted. Regardless of how it ended, fans have a new Batman to watch on the big screen, with Ben Affleck making his DCEU debut in this spring's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and in this month's Suicide Squad. The actor is currently filming Justice League, which will hit theaters on November 17, 2017.
After The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan served as a producer on Man of Steel and an executive producer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he is currently working on his new World War II film Dunkirk, which hits theaters next summer. The filmmaker has said on multiple occasions that he isn't directly involved in the DCEU, although many fans may be clamoring for his return, after the lackluster responses to both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Ben Affleck will be starring in and directing his own solo Batman reboot, which will hopefully get this superhero franchise back on the right track, but it's also possible that too much damage has already been done, even if Christopher Nolan is somehow lured back into the fold, which seems incredibly unlikely.