Chris Nolan on Open-Ended Nature of “TDKR”: It Wasn’t for Commercial Purposes

Director says ending of last Batman film doesn’t mean a sequel will be made

Sometime this summer, when asked about the open-ended nature of “The Dark Knight Rises,” actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt said it wasn’t at all indicative of a sequel. Chris Nolan is saying the same now, in what is his first interview on the topic since the film came out in theaters.

The director shares writing credits with his brother Jonathan on “TDKR,” so there’s really no better person to tell us what exactly he meant by the way the film ended.

Speaking with Film Comment, Nolan says the open ending wasn’t chosen for commercial purposes (i.e. to pave the room for another sequel, as is the case with most Hollywood releases) but rather because that was the only one that would have suited the character as he had envisioned it.

“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,” Nolan says.

He could only make sense of Batman as Gotham’s protector only by having Bruce Wayne realize this was what the city needed for him to do. In doing that, Nolan understands some fans might not agree, but that’s the direction he chose for Batman.

“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,” Nolan says.

The full interview is here: it’s definitely a must-read.

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