Pictured: Christopher Nolan ponders the big question:
Seriously, what is the big fucking deal with The Dark Knight Rises?
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold your horses, I’m not saying it doesn’t deserve to be a big fucking deal (here on out known as BFD), which it totally does! I just want to know WHY?
Why does the story about Joesph Gordon-Levitt in talks about joining the film deserve not one article, but an article announcing his talks, another about his official acceptance and character role, and then a third about how, haha jk you guys, that isn’t his character after all? Why?
Why is there endless speculation about who the villain is? Endless speculation about whether Aaron Eckhart will appear in it or not? Article after article about every little detail leading up to the film, it never seems to end! Why?
Because this isn’t the film we want. It’s the film we need
The Dark Knight Rises is in an unusual situation when it comes to its anticipation. Since anticipation is completely arbitrary and subjective, I’ll just go ahead and say that it’s on par with Return of the Jedi. Of course, Nolan’s Batman films haven’t had nearly the cultural impact of Star Wars, but I believe the level of anticipation is comparable. People are already EXCITED for this film and it hasn’t even begun filming. But why? What makes us so sure this is going to be a great movie and why THIS movie?
Most of this, in my opinion, is due to Christopher Nolan. No one creates such positive buzz for his movies beforehand. Hell, nothing creates that much buzz, period. I think only M. Night Shyamalan could challenge him, but for all the wrong reasons. Nolan just doesn’t make bad movies. Sure you can find faults in all of his films, but that just means you’re a dick and hate life. His films are engaging, smart, and dynamic, they’re what all big blockbuster movies should strive to be.
And then, to hand a guy like that a franchise like Batman? It’s the perfect combination. Batman is a dark, moody character. Nolan writes best for dark and moody characters. Batman is grounded in real life, the level of disbelief required for it is remarkably low. Nolan shies away from CGI, preferring to film as much of in-camera as possible. That remarkable combination creates some awesome cinema (good enough that the Oscar reconfigured their Best Picture nominations after The Dark Knight was snubbed. Too little, too late Oscar. Nice try though).
Okay, so that explains why the movies are good, but why the buzz?
Well the fact that it will more than likely be awesome certainly helps. But there are other great movies being made that we know will be awesome, but you don’t hear rumors and reports about them every other day. Why The Dark Knight Rises?
I think its part of the enigma of Nolan. No one ever knows what he is going to do. Take for instance The Dark Knight. When he cast Heath Ledger everyone was like “Say what now?” Then it came out and we were blown away by the performance. When we heard the plot of Inception everyone was like “Say what now?” Then it came out and we were still confused, but slightly less so. It’s smart marketing too. He knows we want to know, so he teases us with little bits of info that wet our appetite but leave us wanting more.
So you take all of that - the questions that Nolan leaves us with, combine that with the cultural significance of The Dark Knight and Inception and you get closer to why everyone is freaking out about TDKR. We all knew that the sequel to TDK would be a huge movie because it had to be. But then Inception came out and it blew everyone's minds away. It showed that Nolan could do that big of a movie without relying on the brand of Batman to carry the flick. THEN he started taking all of the best actors from Inception and putting them in TDKR. He’s basically combining the two gigantic movies into super-gigantic movie.
And that’s the key to why there is so much buzz around TDKR and why it’s a BFD. Nolan doesn’t make bad choices. Every choice he has made leading up to TDKR has been a good choice so we’re excited to learn what little choices he decides to release. So when we learn that Anne Hathaway is going to be Catwoman, that’s a huge fucking part of the movie so we’re excited. When we learn Tom Hardy is going to put on even more muscle to be in the film, that’s really fucking sweet. And when we learn that Joesph Gordon-Levitt is going to be in the film, and then we learn he will or won’t be a certain minor league character, and it’s still awesome.
Not knowing is half the fun
There is a second reason why there is so much anticipation for TDKR, though it has more to do with speculation on the film than anything to do with Nolan. This film will complete Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies. The first dealt with how Bruce Wayne became Batman, or his birth. The second was how he dealt with being Batman, or his life. And the third? Well, all signs are pointing to it being his death. First, Nolan isn’t afraid to make a move like that. Second, he brought in Bane, the only character in the comic that was able to “break the bat.” Third this would insure that no one would ever be able to make another Batman movie in “his” universe. With that knowledge lingering on the unconscious of the nerd culture, no wonder we’re excited about it.
So that’s why The Dark Knight Rises is such a BFD - it deserves to be. And it’ll continue to be a BFD until it comes out and then, well it’ll just be another fantastic movie for Christopher Nolan. Which is a Big Fucking Deal.