A rumor earlier this week stating that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in talks to play Batman in Warner Bros. upcoming superhero blockbuster Justice League, had many fans naturally going back to Christopher Nolan's most recent Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
Without giving too much away, the film concludes with JGL's John Blake being set as a successor to Bruce Wayne, so it made sense to assume that Gordon-Levitt would be involved in Justice League in some manner.
Nolan however says that was never really his intention, stating that he left the ending open for thematic reasons and not studio franchise purposes.
In an interview with Film Comment, Nolan says, "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. He can be anybody, and that was very important to us."
Nolan continues, "Not every Batman fan will necessarily agree with that interpretation of the philosophy of the character, but 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 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 that 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."
With The Dark Knight Rises arriving on home video next Tuesday, fans will certainly be able to dissect the film much more thoroughly. Nolan won't have any say as to whether JGL is in Justice League. The director has, in fact, insisted on distancing himself from the movie, so if Warner Bros. decides to continue the John Blake storyline from TDKR, it will be from the view-point of another writer and director.
Do you still want Gordon-Levitt to return anyway or should WB leave Nolan's Gotham trilogy alone? What do you make of the open-ending – are there more than just "thematic elements" there?