'Dark Knight Rises' Opening Image: Christopher Nolan Explains

The bat symbol gets us off to an icy start in the finale of Nolan's trilogy.

With "The Dark Knight Rises," director Christopher Nolan completes a set of recurrent images that you may have never noticed in his Batman movies. Each film in the series opens with some take on the bat symbol.

"Batman Begins" starts with a storm cloud of flying bats that eventually form into the recognizable insignia. Similarly,"The Dark Knight" kicks off with a blast of heat, the symbol engulfed with the flames of chaos that would take on a much more significant meaning later in the film.

For "The Dark Knight Rises," Nolan chose a thematic image that fit the message of the film. "It's really about ice," he told MTV News' Josh Horowitz.

If you haven't already seen the conclusion of Nolan's trilogy, it's not a spoiler to say that, like the other entries in the series, "Rises" begins with an elemental image, in this case a sheet of ice. The pane quickly cracks, taking on the shape of Nolan's angular interpretation of the bat symbol.

"It's about interpreting the Batman symbol to do with ice, which comes into play later in the film, not in any massively meaningful way," Nolan said.

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After just one viewing of the actual film, it's not difficult to see where Nolan is coming from. A large portion of the film takes place during the winter months in Gotham, with snow powdering one of the movie's biggest action sequences. There's also a plot point involving Commissioner Gordon, which we won't describe here to avoid spoilers.

For Nolan, the ice was just another part of bringing his trilogy to a close. "I just like to try to open in the film with some sense of where the thing's going to go," he said. " 'The Dark Knight' was the fire. 'Begins' was the bats. This was ice."

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