Cast member Joseph Gordon-Levitt attends the world premiere of the movie "The Dark Knight Rises" in New York July 16, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)
"What will happen at the end of the 'Dark Knight Rises'? is the question dominating discussions that will eventually lead up to the film's release this week.
Many are anticipating the death of the Dark Knight, but the real question is whether Warner Brothers, in the wake of no more Harry Potter films coming, is willing to sacrifice its biggest franchise and money maker.
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Director Christopher Nolan has adamantly stated that this is his last Batman film, but it does not mean that the studio must kill off the series once Nolan moves on. Killing Batman at the end of the film would effectively end their lucrative business...unless there is a backup plan set in place.
Speculation has increased over the last few days about Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake, an idealist cop who Nolan has quipped as the guy who maintains the integrity that Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon once had but lost at the end of the second film "The Dark Knight." There have been speculations that he is Nolan's interpretation of Robin without actually bringing in the sidekick into the film while others have thought that he may don the mask of the Dark Knight at some point in the film.
Early reviews have stated that his role has the most complete character arc as he becomes the man who eventually becomes a major hero in the film. Alonso Duralde states in his review of the film that "Gordon-Levitt takes what could have been a flatly earnest flatfoot and imbues him with a real sense of purpose and passion; the film's final frames imply that we haven't seen the last of this character, and that's a good thing."
The Wall Street Journal Review mentions, "Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake, a young cop with extraordinary instincts-beyond extraordinary, at one plot point-whose likable presence is a breath of fresh air, and who does some serious sleuthing on his own when Batman isn't available to take charge of a desperate situation."
In addition, Telegraph Gordon-Levitt adds, "The Dark Knight Rises is Blake's story as much as it is Bruce Wayne's, and while to say more would spoil the fun, Gordon-Levitt's character arc is perhaps the juiciest and most compellingly-plotted of the entire trilogy."
Based on these reviews, particularly Duralde's, and Warner Brother's financial needs, there is certainly reason to believe that Gordon-Levitt's character may help tie the entire trilogy together and still leave room for more with him as the Caped Crusader. It still does not resolve what happens to Bale's Batman at the end of the trilogy, but it is ultimately beside the point if Blake is set to take over.
"The Dark Knight Rises" opens on July 20 and stars Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne, with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman in supporting roles. Joining the cast are Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane, Marion Cottillard as Miranda Tate and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Gotham cop John Blake.
READ THE FULL REVIEW FOR THE DARK KNIGHT RISES HERE.