What lies beyond The Dark Knight?
“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.
“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.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.