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Five questions “The Dark Knight Rises” didn’t answer about Batman’s future

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This weekend’s premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” has already answered a lot of questions regarding the box-office reception to Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, with screenings selling out across the country over the last few days.

While the tragic events of Thursday evening’s shooting at the screening in Colorado loom large over the film’s debut, it’s evident that “The Dark Knight Rises” has transcended standard movie fare and become a bona fide cultural event, bringing the record-breaking trilogy to a close in dramatic fashion. But that doesn’t mean we get all our questions answered in the concluding chapter of Nolan’s franchise.

Here are five big questions about Batman’s future that “The Dark Knight Rises” left us asking — but be warned: there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead!

1. What happens to Wayne Enterprises and the city of Gotham?

By the time the credits roll in “The Dark Knight Rises,” most of Wayne Enterprises’ board of directors are dead, various pieces of “secret” tech developed by the company for Batman have been abandoned throughout the streets, and Bruce Wayne is both bankrupt and no longer running the company. This seems like a lot of problems to overcome before the company can ever — if at all — get back into business. Even so, we see Lucius Fox examining one of the remaining Batwing planes late in the film, with the help of some technicians who don’t seem to be very secretive about what they’re doing. So… what happened?

On top of everything that happened to Wayne Enterprises, the bridges into Gotham have been destroyed, the chief financial center is a smoldering ruin, and most of the city’s businessmen and executives are either riddled with bullets, beaten senseless, or frozen underneath the river. Oh, and the city’s worst criminals are roaming the streets, hoping to avoid the small number of policemen still breathing after a winter spent underground and a valiant charge into a spray of bullets in downtown Gotham. I’m pretty sure this is a situation calling for federal disaster-response aid, but is that even enough?

2. So is John Blake the new Batman… or the new Robin?

Christopher Nolan made sure everyone caught the “Robin” reference at the end of “The Dark Knight Rises” (so much so that it was one of the more unintentionally funny moments of the film), but given everything else that occurred during the film, the future hinted at for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character remains a little uncertain. Sure, his real name is Robin and he now has access to the Bruce Wayne’s secret hideout, but Bale’s character spent most of the film indicating that John Blake could be the heir to Batman’s cape and cowl. Bruce Wayne’s recurring tutelage of John Blake in the ways of being Batman, plus his comment about how the face under the mask doesn’t matter, plus the final scene in which John Blake “rises” in the cave would all seem to point toward him becoming Gotham’s new Dark Knight. So where does that leave Robin?

3. Who doesn’t know Batman’s identity at this point?

I might be missing a few people here, but at last count the list of people who know that Bruce Wayne is Batman includes: Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox, Selina “Catwoman” Kyle, Bane, all of Bane’s henchmen who watched his fight with Batman, all of the inmates in the prison where Bruce Wayne recovered from his injuries, the technicians who worked on the Batwing (not certain, but since they noticed that Bruce Wayne was the last person to work on the vehicle, it’s likely), Talia al Ghul (who’s probably dead), whatever members of the League of Assassins are still around (since Talia, Bane, and Ra’s al Ghul all targeted Bruce at one point or another), the various thugs who apprehended Bruce Wayne during Bane’s reign in Gotham and were later pummeled by him just before Batman returned, and anyone else who connects the dots between Wayne Enterprises’ collection of secret tech and the timing of Bruce Wayne’s disappearance/return and that of Batman.

Not much of a secret identity at this point, is it?

4. Will the next Batman movie be a reboot or a sequel?

Warner Brothers execs seem to be keeping their cards close to their collective vests on this question, with news hitting the wire a while back that the studio planned to reboot the franchise after Nolan concluded his trilogy, but the end of “The Dark Knight Rises” clearly leaves the door open for another sequel. Whether the next film will relaunch the franchise, continue on with a new Batman, return with the old Batman and a new Robin, or simply create an ongoing franchise set apart from its plans for Superman and the rest of the Justice League remains to be heard — and with all the flak “The Amazing Spider-Man” received for rebooting that franchise, one can’t help wondering if the studio would risk a similar response.

5. Does the rest of the DC universe exist yet?

At this point, it’s a little surprising that Nolan didn’t include even the slightest mention of some of DC’s other superheroes in his trilogy, given that the first trailers for “Man of Steel” debuted in front of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Sure, “Green Lantern” didn’t exactly solidify that character’s place on a potential “Justice League” movie’s roster, but with Superman’s impending return to the big screen, as well as upcoming movies based on The Flash and other DC heroes, it feels like the time is right to start bringing these universes together. Marvel has already proven it can work, so with Nolan’s trilogy coming to a close and the potential for a fresh start with a new franchise — or simply a new Batman — I can’t help wondering when the Warner Brothers movie-verse is going to get a little bigger.

Where do you think Batman is headed after “The Dark Knight Rises”? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Jackie That 70s Show

Jackie Oh!

15 That ’70s Show Quotes to Help You Unleash Your Inner Jackie

Catch That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-10P on IFC.

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When life gets you down, just ask yourself: what would Jackie do? (But don’t ask her, because she doesn’t care about your stupid problems.) Before you catch That ’70s Show on IFC, take a look at some quotes that will help you be the best Jackie you can be.


15. She knows her strengths.

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14. She doesn’t let a little thing like emotions get in the way.

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13. She’s her own best friend.

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12. She has big plans for her future.

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11. She keeps her ego in check.

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10. She can really put things in perspective.

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9. She’s a lover…

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8. But she knows not to just throw her love around.

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7. She’s proud of her accomplishments.

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6. She knows her place in the world.

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5. She asks herself the hard questions.

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4. She takes care of herself.

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3. She’s deep.

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2. She’s a problem solver.

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1. And she’s always modest.

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Christopher Nolan responds to “The Dark Knight Rises” tragedy

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It’s been a hard day for anyone involved in the film industry. As of this afternoon, many important individuals from President Barack Obama to the MPAA chief had responded to today’s “The Dark Knight Rises” massacre, though no one directly involved in the movie had issued a reaction for a large part of the day. Even though Warner Bros. has issued their own response, we’ve waited to hear what director Christopher Nolan has to say about the matter.

More than 18 hours after the event occurred, Nolan has released his official statement to Entertainment Weekly.

“Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community,” Nolan wrote. “I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting, but that they were there last night to watch a movie.”

He continued, “I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.”

Twelve audience members were shot and killed during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” with over 49 more being injured during the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. James Holmes, 24, has since been arrested by police. Warner Bros. issued their statement about the tragedy earlier today.

“Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time,” the studio wrote.

Share your thoughts about this incident in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

President Obama, Warner Bros and more react to “The Dark Knight Rises” shooting

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While we are still coping with the tragic “The Dark Knight Rises” midnight screening massacre that occurred in the wee hours of the morning in Aurora, Colorado, those in positions of high power have released their official statements relating to the event. Everyone from President Barack Obama to Warner Bros execs to the MPAA has released their thoughts on the shooting that left at least 14 people dead and many more wounded.

Obama was among the first to respond, releasing a lengthy statement from himself and wife Michelle.

“Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time,” he says. “We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded.”

The statement continues, “As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.”

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his own official statement on behalf of himself and his wife Ann.

“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more,” he writes. “We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”

Though Christopher Nolan and the actors in “The Dark Knight Rises” have not released their own statements about the incident yet, Warner Bros has released an official statement on their behalfs.

“Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident,” the studio writes. “We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”

The Aurora police department has released its own official police report about the incident, and Cinemark has released a statement saying that the exhibition company will do whatever it can to help them with their investigation.

“Cinemark is deeply saddened about this tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones, our employees, and the Aurora community,” the company says. “We are grateful for the quick and professional reaction of all local law enforcement and emergency responders. Cinemark is working closely with the Aurora Police Department and local law enforcement.”

The MPAA has also released its own official statement on the massacre. Chief Chris Dodd writes, “We share the shock and sadness of everyone in the motion picture community at the news of this terrible event. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy.”

Share your thoughts and best wishes for the families and victims affected by this terrible tragedy in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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