Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon, even Alfred Pennyworth — all of these men have seen better days, thanks to the trials and tribulations each of them went through in "The Dark Knight." Many years have passed since the events of that film when "The Dark Knight Rises" picks up, but the wounds inflicted upon these men remain.
That's exactly why it was crucial to have new characters like John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) join the Gotham City crew, director Christopher Nolan told MTV News during a recent interview. According to the filmmaker, Blake in particular represents a "breath of fresh air" when contrasted with tortured souls like Wayne and Gordon.
"I think Gordon looks at [Blake] and sees himself from 20 years before," Nolan explained. "There's something very moving about that. It lets you contrast these wise old souls, these guys who are burdened and jaded with the events of the past film, with this youthful idealism, these breaths of fresh air."
Nolan said he developed the Blake character "very early on," largely due to how the literal and metaphorical fall of Harvey Dent still affects Wayne, Gordon and the rest of the "Dark Knight" old guard at the outset of "Rises."
"You're dealing with a story that very specifically picks up eight years after the events of the last film," the director said. "Time has moved on, but our protagonists haven't. Bruce Wayne has shut himself away in self-imposed exile. He's hung up the cape and cowl, but he hasn't moved on. The characters around him are trying to support him in whatever he's doing, but they're somewhat frozen.
"I think certainly Commissioner Gordon is very much imprisoned by the events of the last film," he continued. "So we really wanted to contrast that with new characters."
What do you think of Nolan's thoughts on the "Dark Knight" newcomers? Tell us in the comments section below!
Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."