Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt took time from his press tour for his upcoming biopic Snowden, to defend the controversial ending to Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy.
If you recall, the trilogy ends with Batman defeating the League of Shadows and saving Gotham city from a nuclear bomb. With his greatest foes vanquished, Bruce Wayne absconds to Europe with Catwoman, and leaves behind Gotham City for good. Gordon-Levitt, whose character ended up being named Robin, takes up the mantle of the Dark Knight to protect Gotham City as the new Batman.
Was it a cheesy ending? Hell yes. But as Gordon-Levitt argues:
I know were all used to the sort of Marvel movies, which are just kind of endless series. They don’t really have a beginning, middle, and end. But I think Nolan very much thought of that movie as a conclusion, and there’s a theme that runs through all three of those movies that begins in the first movie, runs through the second movie and it concludes in that moment where he says that Batman is more than a man, Batman is a symbol.
To that end, Gordon-Levitt is right. The Dark Knight trilogy was never meant for the extended universe treatment both Marvel and DC are pursuing with their current superhero franchises. As a set of movies that told a story about specific themes about the nature of good and evil through the lens of Batman, the films ultimately succeeded. It’s only fitting that the chapter closed on Nolan’s unique take on the superhero genre.