What lies beyond The Dark Knight?

Published: September 3, 2012
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Nolan left it open for other directors by introducing the character of John Blake, who is unmistakably a reference to the famous, Robin. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

“Guess what they are going to call the sequel to The Dark Knight Rises?” I asked a friend of mine, as we made our way out of the cinema.

“What?”

“The Boy Wonder!”

Many people might know what I am talking about here, but just to clear any confusion, I am referring to Batman’s sidekick, Robin – the Boy Wonder. Most of you must have already seen The Dark Knight Rises (for those of you who have not-warning: Spoilers ahead) and after careful consideration, I think everyone has convinced themselves by now that ‘yes, it was an epic end to the trilogy’.

Now, I don’t disagree with this, but Nolan could have made it a lot better. There was however, one aspect of the movie which I think really stood out; the fact that Nolan left it open for other directors to make future sequels by introducing the character of John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who is unmistakably a reference to the famous, Robin. In the movie, he is shown as a rookie cop who finds out Batman’s identity, and in the end, kind of, inherits the Batcave.

Now there is a range of sequels that can spring out from here.

John Blake, whose real name is revealed to be Robin John Blake, can continue Batman’s legacy and protect the city of Gotham. This can be a direct reference to the famous animated series called Batman Beyond, in which Bruce Wayne retires as Batman, and a youngster, Terry McGinnis, takes the responsibility of the famous vigilante.

If you ask me, a movie based on this series will not be a very challenging task for whoever takes over the franchise; the background story more or less is in line with that of the television series. What is exciting is that the viewer will get to see a bunch of new villains, as well as a few old ones such as The Joker. Furthermore, if the film-makers remain true to the series, we might even see Batman in a whole new costume, which, believe me, looks more daunting than the last one.

Moving on, as John Blake’s real name has been revealed as Robin John Blake, the chances of him making an appearance as Robin the Boy Wonder, seem unlikely but, nonetheless, possible. This explains my earlier joke of the next sequel being called ‘The Boy Wonder’, which you have to admit sounds pretty cheesy, compared to Batman’s, The Dark Knight. Now we have to realise that the position of Robin has been held by three characters: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake. Nolan has combined these three to create John Blake; Blake is an orphan like Grayson and Todd, and similar to Tim Drake, he manages to deduce who Batman really is. So it is up to the film-makers which version of Robin they would want to develop on.

Out of these three characters, Jason Todd ends up becoming an anti-hero called the Red Hood, while Dick Grayson and Tim Drake, become independent vigilantes, under the name of Night Wing and Red Robin, respectively. The idea of a Batman sequel, in which the protagonist is portrayed as an anti-hero (especially one who goes against Batman’s ironclad rule: never point a gun at an enemy), seems thrilling but I doubt if this will be considered at such an early stage of Robin’s story, as the story would probably focus on Robin’s introduction.

Therefore, this leaves us with Night Wing and Red Robin, both of them continuing their mentor’s legacy and trying to protect the city of Gotham. So if John Blake becomes Night Wing or Red Robin in a hopeful sequel, then there might be a few loopholes the film makers will have to cover up such as his training, his former association with Batman and so on. Also in the comics, Dick Grayson for some time, becomes the new Batman after Bruce Wayne is apparently killed, only to return a few issues later. This fits in nicely with the story line of The Dark Knight Rises and could be an effective way of continuing the series.

A future Batman sequel starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt does sound very exciting, but the possibility of that happening is pretty slim. Nolan probably isn’t coming back, and any other director would have to do hell of a job to make the next part as realistic, gothic and dark as The Dark Knight trilogy. Nolan has already given a helping hand to those who will try to reboot the franchise, by already drawing similarities between John Blake and Bruce Wayne; an orphan whose past life experiences, have hardened him and made him a firm believer in justice.

His almost childish, unwavering faith in Batman separates him from the other characters and convinces us that he is the next caped crusader. So, fingers are crossed, and I for one, will absolutely love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as the new Batman and the silent guardian of the people of Gotham.

Ahmed Hasan

Ahmed Hasan

Passionate about writing, Ahmed loves to read political and fantasy novels and considers it his favourite pastime.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • R1987

    I hope so as well! JGL should be the next Batman!Recommend

  • frank

    lol nobody gives a hoot about robinRecommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    I certainly hope they make another Batman movie. THIS was not a finale. It was an overlong, tedious, cliched production, packed with more plot-holes and corny dialogue than an average Bollywood flick.

    Dark Knight Rises was good enough to be a middle-movie, the Two Towers of Batman, but certainly not a finale.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    The most likely parallel is Tim Drake (sounds a bit like John Blake too); he does not have a circus background unlike Dick Grayson and Jason Todd – neither does JB; he deduces Batman’s and Robin’s identities – this guy does as well; and after Knightfall, when Batman retires, Tim Drake manages Gotham solo as Robin – which is pretty much where this story with John Blake is leading up to as well. Of course, Tim Drake was supposed to have received extensive training before he became Robin – so that is a loose end that I guess they will need to cover if such a franchise is deemed commercially viable.Recommend

  • Desperate Girl

    He is cute wink winkRecommend

  • iSayed

    @Faraz Talat:
    I agree. The amount of plotholes in DKR was baffling, to say the least. Very surprised, considering it was a Nolan movie, who is somewhat of a perfectionist. Pains me to say this, but Rises was ultimately a below-par movie which had its moments, but was nothing more than being an overage, overrated and overhyped POS. Very, very disappointed. Just my $0.02.
    Would like to see a Boy Wonder move though. Just keep C.Nolan away from it.Recommend

  • MAK

    Can anyone pls jot down a few plotholes or mistakes that the nolans made in their script/direction, ‘coz i was too busy enjoying the movie and couldn’t notice themRecommend

  • Jake

    Yes we do.. Nightwing is epic, but Robin is great! @frank: Recommend

  • Jean-Paul Valley

    What made this trilogy conclusion SO brilliant was that Nolan et al allowed possibiliities to continue a SAGA…consider:

    a. JGL can bring about the Nightwing/Tim Drake (sounds like “John Blake”) angle
    b. There are literally now “Sons of Batman” with the Wayne Home, one of which could be:
    c. An orphan from the boys’ home in Richard Grayson
    d. We still don’t know where/how Joker is being held/treated–think Dr. Harleen Quinzel or..
    e. Any of the unexplored villians that might bring about a continuity and/or Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham….

    fwiwRecommend

  • Waiting

    @Faraz Talat:
    I hear you. Frankly I think Batman Begins was the best of the three. This was just choppyRecommend

  • Mohammad Ali Gaad

    Yeah! this story is certainly going to towards it`s achievement.Robin is somehow good but batman was speechless. Recommend

  • Syeda Zunaira Zubair

    I just don’t want any sequel. Sometimes it is better to end a series with suspense and let the viewers ponder over possibilities, like it was in ‘The Godzilla’. And I simply loved ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.
    However, it was good to see Robbin.
    P.S. You mentioned about the spoiler a bit later, since the existence of Robbin in the movie was itself a surprise for many.Recommend

  • Besssssss

    I wouldn’t mind the ‘Batman Beyond’ adaptation based on Terry McGuinness, but it’d be difficult to pull off in terms of not making it cheesey as it would have to be a few years ahead and futuristic.

    However, I yearn for Nightwing! They could use a Batman universe villain so those who are just movie-goers and not comic readers get the link.
    I think JGL as Nightwing and a villain like The Riddler or Harley Quinn would be pretty cool.

    I think any ‘Robin’ as a lead character wouldn’t work, for to be strong enough on his own he might as well be Nightwing. NW just sounds a stronger character.

    Finally- NO REBOOT! They should continue Nolan-themed work or wait years before they do another Batman adaptation. It’s too soon to move on from Nolan’s work. It was okay with Spider-Man and now Superman (2013) because both of their predecessor were a bit average.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    While everyone is banking on a Nightwing or Robin spin-off, I am amazed why people cannot see a smaller, yet popular, Batman spin-off in making: The Batman Beyond. We all know there is a younger Spiderman (who can thankfully act).Recommend

  • Random

    Can the Dark Knight Buzz end now, please? A forecast on ‘ The Hobbit’ would be much appreciated. Thank you very much! Recommend

  • f.e.m

    Batman beyond would be perfect for another sequel. THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS perfect title. I mean Nolan set it up with the new character john Blake. Forget Robin focus on Batman beyond in the TV show there was a kid named Terry mcginiss taking over as Batman scratch him out and input john Blake in that position. Since TDKR was set eight years after the second sequel they could set the next sequel six years later after TDKR with a very much older Bruce Wayne coming back to Gotham and ends up training Blake into becoming the next Batman and also new enemies would emerge such as Mr. Edward nigma the riddler the best choice of a villain for the new Batman. We would also see a new bat suit and some new toys for him as well I really hope it happens I doubt it but anything is possible Recommend

  • Jason

    If a Robin movie was done just at well as Batman begins then perhaps it’s worth seeing. In the DKR movie he was smart and had much better qualitys than the previous Robin. One point I never ever want to see in any hero movie is the hero getting knocked down and out of action so much, when Bane broke Batmans back I started disliking the movie. Also the last fight with Batman vs Bane was just boring to me. I really hope if a Robin film is made that they go back to the batman begins style of story telling mixed up with the Dark Knight brilliance when batman saved all the Inocent masked people in the high rise building. Also I would like to see Robin with more than just a face mask, during Batman Begins the bat mask was tested to the point of breaking, for our heros safety perhaps a face mask seems a little out if date. To achieve the Mennacing look that batman has is going to be a challenge. I would watch it if it was made, but I would prefer to see him take over the roll of batman with a more youthful punch! And now finally batman is not a bad guy according to Gothams police! So no more of these let’s get Batman instead of the other bad guy chase scenes are needed. Recommend