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TDK: What We Know So Far?
Part 1: The Batman

Author: Jett
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 7:32 PM CENTRAL


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Over the last week or so, Warner Bros. has provides us with our best look at The Joker and THE DARK KNIGHT overall via the showing of a 5 minute “Prologue” and the release of the film’s first full trailer.

So what do we know? Frankly, not much when it comes to plot details, but a lot more than we’ve known since filming ended in November. Let’s take a look at what we do know and try to piece together a bit of what we might see come July 18, 2008.

First up, the star of film, The Dark Knight himself.

BRUCE WAYNE'S CRIBS

Playboy Billionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has pulled up stakes and set up house in a downtown Gotham penthouse. Bruce and Alfred (Sir Michael Caine) have also constructed a temporary Batcave underneath the building as well.

Actually, he really didn’t have a choice since Ra’s Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and his League of Shadows burned Wayne Manor down to the ground at the end of BATMAN BEGINS.


Does The Joker crash that party here? - © BOF

Bruce Wayne living in a penthouse and operating out of a urban Batcave is actually very loyal to the Batman mythos. In the comics back in the 1970s, Bruce did exactly the same thing, so it seems that director Chris Nolan is tipping his hat to that era’s Batman stories.

Of course, Wayne Manor and the Batcave are being rebuilt. At the end of BEGINS, Bruce tells his friend Rachel Dawes that he intends to rebuild his family’s ancestral home “brick by brick,” while Alfred suggests that they could also makes some modifications to the “southeastern corner” of the property.

It’s unknown whether or not we’ll see the new Wayne Manor and Batcave at any point in TDK. I do know that the Batcave sets were not dismantled after filming ended on BEGINS three years ago -- and that’s according to Alfred himself, Sir Michael Caine, at the BEGINS press junket in 2005. And while most of TDK‘s filming took place on location in Chicago, the production did spend a good amount of time in the UK.

So, I guess there’s a possibility that Bruce goes suburban during the course of TDK -- most likely at the end of the movie if it happens.

And of course, Bruce can always hire movers in the next Bat-film.

“I GOTTA GET ME ONE OF THOSE...AND THOSE TOO!”

If you like “The Tumber” as much as Jim Gordon, then you’ll be happy to know that the Nolan version of The Batmobile returns in TDK. But it isn’t Batman’s only mode of transportation this time around.

As I’m sure most Bat-Fans already know, TDK will feature the Nolan version of a very Tumbler-ish Batcycle. Known officially as The Batpod, this crotch rocket-like cycle will transport The Batman through the streets of Gotham as he tries to save the city from The Joker (Heath Ledger).

The question is exactly what is the origin of The Dark Knight‘s new ride? Is it something built specifically for Bruce -- or actually, Batman -- by Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman)? On the other hand, does it emerge directly from The Tumbler as rumored?


Batman on his new ride in THE DARK KNIGHT
© Warner Bros.

At any rate, we know we’re going to see Batman operating two Bat-vehicles this summer in TDK -- any others? Given the fact that they filmed so much on location and no other Bat-rides were spotted, I’m going to say no.

(But I do expect we’ll see a new Batmobile in the next film. ;) )

“WHO’S YOUR TAILOR?”

In the Nolan Bat-universe, it certainly isn’t Alfred.

Regardless, someone is providing Bruce Wayne with a new Bat-Suit in TDK. If I had to guess, that person is Lucius Fox -- the person who provided Bruce that last one for, uh, spelunking.

So let’s assume that it is Fox that creates the new suit, OK? "Why?" first comes to mind. What would make Bruce need another -- and probably more technologically advanced -- suit? Also, one must wonder if it is revealed that Fox knows that Bruce is Batman and that Bruce knows he knows. Hey, we know it's unsaid that Fox knows, but it is going to become "said" in TDK? You know what I’m saying?


Batman (Christian Bale) models his new threads in THE DARK KNIGHT
© Warner Bros.

Regardless, I bet the new suit does a lot of cool stuff. Rumor already has it that night vision lenses will flip down as needed and that Batman will be able to shoot mini-Batarangs from his gloves. What else it can do remains to be seen.

Ice skates in the boots? Nah.

BRUCE WAYNE IS A PLAYA!

According to THE GOTHAM TIMES, Bruce “Can’t Stop Partying.” From that headline, we can presuppose that Nolan has kicked up the "obnoxious, spoiled, playboy Bruce” angle in TDK. If that's the case, then Bale should be happy -- he's said previously that that persona of Bruce may be his favorite to play.

What’s going to be interesting here is seeing how this plays out when he’s around Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal) in public. Since Bruce will be viewed as a total ass by just about everyone in Gotham, how does Ms. Dawes behave in his presence when she knows it’s a total ruse?


"He parties. He womanizes. He drinks."
© Warner Bros.

Also, could there be some sort of “love triangle” subplot involving Bruce, Rachel, and Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in TDK? Maybe not, since Rachel made it clear to Bruce that they couldn’t hook up as long as Gotham needs Batman. But still, I figure that Assistant D.A. Harvey Dent probably thinks that Wayne is a real horse’s you-know-what -- despite the fact that Bruce is funding his campaign for Gotham D.A. Think about it; Dent dislikes and looks down on a “morality-challenged” Wayne, but allies himself with the heroic Batman!

Whatever. Let’s talk about what’s important here: What kind of hot arm-candy will Bruce have on his arm this time?

ETC.

Other TDK Batman questions to ponder include…

* Did Batman have something to do with the “creation” of The Joker like in the comics books? Or, will Nolan leave that question unanswered? While he may have, I think it’s going to be a case of the latter myself.

* What does Batman do -- if anything -- to make Jim Gordon take an ax to the Batsignal?

* Exactly how dark does things get for The Dark Knight -- and Gotham for that matter -- in this movie?

* And finally, what the hell does The Joker intend for Batman to do when he says, “Tonight, you’re going to break your one rule?” Kill him perhaps? To The Joker, that would be the greatest punchline of all, don’t you think?

NEXT:

"Jett" is the founder and Editor in Chief of BATMAN ON FILM."

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