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The ending of The Dark Knight Rises has been debated since the film opened in July, and so far no one has come forward to set the record straight about what it means. Now the film’s co-writer, and Person of Interest showrunner, Jonathan Nolan has offered his take on the somewhat-subjective ending, and he seems to say it’s vague for a reason.
“I’ve long maintained that if you get to that place where people are passionate about it and arguing about what the end of your film means, then that’s great, and who am I to put my opinion in the mix,” he told IGN.
He used his brother Christopher Nolan’s film Memento as an example to explain what he meant. That movie, based on Jonathan Nolan’s short story, has a more intentionally open ending, and it has elicited a similar response from fans.
“This goes back to a conversation that I had with my brother many, many years ago when he first took his film Memento to the Venice Film Festival and we were having dinner afterwards with the cast and crew and realized at that moment, reposed, relaxed, having dinner, everybody sort of letting their hair down a little bit, and we’d had a great response from the audience, someone realized after a few drinks that everyone there — the stars, the producers, my brother, myself — everyone had a different interpretation of what that film meant,” Nolan recalled.
He continued, “Chris and I still disagree about the end of Memento, by the way, so I feel like that’s as it should be.”
IGN also asked about the inclusion of Robin in the storyline, as he was a character that Christopher Nolan had long said he didn’t want to use. Jonathan Nolan explained that having Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character amed Robin was their way of acknowledging his role in the Batman universe.
“It’s a wink at the audience. There’s such a huge kind of incredible universe that writers from Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, onwards, artists and writers who created this massive universe filled with jewels, frankly. So many characters that you can never do all of them justice,” he explained. “But I think we endeavored to do was not the complete story of Batman but our complete story of this character. It’s one of the reasons why I really wanted to see the Catwoman character there, a favorite of mine, and I think the wink towards Robin was an acknowledgement to, you like the character or not like the character, he’s a huge part of that universe for 70 years.”