As the ominous date that heralds the release of Christopher Nolan’s last installment in his Batman trilogy approaches, speculation runs rampant as to exactly what part Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be fulfilling in his role as John Blake. Rumors currently range from him being Batman’s successor to Blake being Nolan’s version of Robin to him acting as a Batman stand-in while Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) deals with his own problems.
Speculation is heating up even more due to the release of The Dark Knight Manual, a book detailing some aspects of Nolan’s version of the Batman universe. The book is set up like a collection of props, from sketches and diagrams (including the Batsuit and the Batcave) to case files and top-secret documents. Each of the materials offers a bit of insight into Batman and other characters from the movies.
The most relevant of these materials regarding the John Blake mystery is the collection of files on the Joker, specifically those relating to his speculated identity. One excerpt reads:
“The Joker does not appear to have any connections to Gotham’s crime syndicates, though he knocked over a mob bank. One possible motive for this, which could also explain the clown motif, is the Haley Brothers Circus. The circus was recently in town for a two-month engagement and it was rumored their boss had connections to Sal Maroni. The Joker could be a former Haley Brothers employee with some kind of grudge against the mob.”
Haley Brothers Circus, for those in the know, hosts the acrobatic team of the Flying Graysons, who just happen to be Dick Grayson’s parents (he’s the original Robin, btw).
In addition, there is the fact that Blake is an orphan, just like both Batman and Robin. This puts him in a classic position to fill either role with the same level of motivation that the originals would have.
So, while a little more information is out in the open, there is still no definitive answer to the Blake question. I guess we’ll all have to wait until July 20th to find out for sure. In the meanwhile, have fun guessing and be secure in the knowledge that you’ll probably be dead wrong about the truth of the matter.