Let’s get this out of the way: there are going to be a ton of Dark Knight Rises spoilers in this article.
In my view, there was no questioning the skill with which Christopher Nolan ended his Batman trilogy, the only questions surrounded John Blake and whether his discovery of the Batcave signified a true ending or a new beginning.
Following the film, speculation swelled — were we headed for a straight-up reboot or a continuation of the Nolan films and would Joseph Gordon-Levitt return, and if so, would he play Robin, Nightwing, or the Bat-Man?
Well, according to HitFix Film Editor Drew McWeeny’s sources, Warner Bros. has made their decision: they want JGL back, they want him in the cowl, and they want him in The Justice League movie. More than that though, they also — potentially — want him in something else alongside another cast member from the Nolan films. A Man of Steel cameo perhaps? McWeeny was careful to tamp down speculation on a Batman/Superman appearance in Zack Snyder’s upcoming film, but I suppose anything is possible, especially since Nolan is serving as a producer on that project.
As for JGL’s previous statements about fully becoming Batman, he did tell HitFix during the press tour for Lincoln that the right script and a director that he connected with would force him to consider… well, in his words “anything”, but the insinuation was that he was not ready to close the book on playing Batman just yet.
So what about we delicate fanboys and fangirls? The question has to be asked: can we live with someone other than Bruce Wayne serving as Batman? Sure, Dick Grayson wore the cowl just before the switch to the New 52, but Blake’s origin story seems nothing like Grayson’s. If anything, it seems more like Jean Paul Valley’s, though Blake doesn’t seem to be psychotic.
No, what we have with Blake is a character that is independent of the comics with some loose similarities to some characters that are not, and while the purist in me hates the idea of a non-Bruce Wayne Batman leading the Justice League, I am intrigued to see how a Batman without Wayne’s resources and experience would fair on moral compass and street smarts alone. Frankly, I really wanted to see that as a stand-alone Batman film, but I’ll take what I can get and this beats the hell out of yet another reboot in my opinion. Here’s hoping McWeeny is right.