Christopher Nolan Explains ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Ending

Let’s talk about that “The Dark Knight Rises” ending. There has been plenty of speculation about the open-ended nature of the film since it came out in July, but at long last director Christopher Nolan has come forth to set the record straight once and for all. His answer isn’t quite as juicy as we all were hoping for, though.

“For me, ’The Dark Knight Rises’ is specifically and definitely the end of the Batman story as I wanted to tell it, and the open-ended nature of the film is simply a very important thematic idea that we wanted to get into the movie, which is that Batman is a symbol,” Nolan told Film Comment recently. “He can be anybody, and that was very important to us. Not every Batman fan will necessarily agree with that interpretation of the philosophy of the character.”

He continued, “For me it all comes back to the scene between Bruce Wayne and Alfred in the private jet in ’Batman Begins,’ where the only way that I could find to make a credible characterization of a guy transforming himself into Batman is if it was as a necessary symbol, and he saw himself as a catalyst for change and therefore it was a temporary process, maybe a five-year plan that would be enforced for symbolically encouraging the good of Gotham to take back their city. To me, for that mission to succeed, it has to end, so this is the ending for me, and as I say, the open-ended elements are all to do with the thematic idea that Batman was not important as a man, he’s more than that. He’s a symbol, and the symbol lives on.”

Unfortunately, Nolan didn’t go on to say whether that symbol will live on literally as Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “Justice League,” but how could he not with this attitude? That’s the most perfect answer Nolan could have possibly given to have someone else picking up the cape and cowl fit right in his Batman world, which is likely exactly what Warner Bros. wants with an ensemble DC superhero film only a few years away.

What do you think of Nolan’s take on the end of “The Dark Knight Rises”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!