Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: Who is John Blake? No Really...

Proving once again, JGL is cooler than you.

Even though the monstrosity and absolutely terrifying character, Bane, has been grabbing most of the headlines for The Dark Knight Rises, there are a multitude of characters who remain key pieces to the film. Not only do they seem vital, but their characters are new and supposedly not based on any character previously seen in Batman lore.

With the latest trailer released, certain characters are a bit more fleshed out, while others remain in the dark. When Nolan was in the midst of casting for The Dark Knight Rises, a flurry of rumors and people became attached to the finale of Nolan's Bats trilogy. They were ridiculous, over-the-top, and downright sad. Seriously, Cher? Miley Cyrus? Philip Seymour Hofman as the Penguin? Johnny Depp as The Riddler? Catwoman? Oh wait. (For the record, I no longer have a beef with Bane and Catwoman...)

Thankfully, that mayhem and madness is over. However, again, many of the characters who have been cast are suspiciously lacking backstory...

Seriously, WHO ARE YOU???
While we have more than enough news on Bane, Catwoman, and the returning cast (Bats/Bruce, Fox, Alfred, Gordon, etc.), other newcomers such as John Blake, Miranda Tate, Juno Temple's character, and a certain mad scientist. There may even be two returning characters, but again, their place in the film is yet to be determined.

Read on if you care to be a bit spoiled... They won't be major spoilers because, well, there's not a whole lot to spoil about the film, yet. Nolan and crew are keeping their baby under lock and key. Plus, some of the spoiler news have come from forums and other untrustworthy areas.

We'll be covering the likes of Catwoman, this Miranda Tate character, and many others in the coming weeks, but for now, on to the mysterious character that will be played by 500 Days of Summer actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt... be fair... they do look creepily alike...
When rising stud star Joseph Gordon-Levitt was announced to be re-teaming with Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises, fans went CRAZY! Immediately, the rumors of Azrael or Alberto Falcone (aka The Holiday Killer) hit the interwebz before anyone could yell, "FAKE!" Forums blew up with speculation that JGL would take on the role of that the late Heath Ledger, The Joker (BUT GUYS! THEY LOOK EXACTLY ALIKE!!!). Gordon-Levitt's name was also attached to *shiver* Robin (okay... it'd be cool for him to be Nightwing... yet I digress), and to show just how much salt you should take rumors (aka a grain), the Inception actor's name was reportedly seen on the cast list next to "The Riddler." Oh man, those machines that produce airflow got hit by so many feces.

Yeah... No.
Ultimately, JGL ends up playing a character named "John Blake." LAME! Okay, so his character isn't as cool as The Holiday Killer or Azrael or The Black Mask (yet another rumor....) or even Robin (jokes...), but even so, John Blake is really not in the comics or in Batman lore (zip it, ComicBookMovie). That's right. He's a totally new character invented by the mind of Chris Nolan. Cue Inception BRAAAAAAAAAHHHHHMMMM. Or. This Button.

Yes, John Blake is totally new to the series. Alrighty then, who is this "John Blake"? According to various sources (all confirmed by the lazy-man's go-to source: Wikipedia), Blake is a police detective working under Commissioner Gordon. Um. Okay.

However, after the teaser and the release of the third trailer, this John Blake character may be a whole lot more important than initially thought. After it was revealed in the teaser, the police commish sounds like he's in pretty bad shape. As in, going to die.

For sure, John Blake would have a huge role now that Gordon's down. He'll probably, like, step in and be all "DON'T WORRY BATS! I GOT THIS!" This would for sure be in the next trailer!

...and... did you see him? Yeah, that was him. The guy backing into a door. All 2 seconds of glory. Really, Nolan? Is John Blake going to be this lame-o character? What a waste of acting talent! If I wanted to watch JGL be a random cast member, I'd re-watch Inception. Seriously. (Go ahead, write angry comments about how you loved that incredibly overrated bloated piece of cinema that is Inception. Again, I digress...) But c'mon, Chris Nolan, don't waste JGL's talent for another film! I mean, this John Blake guys looks so totally lame!

Cue Trailer #3.

Oh yeah. John Blake. This guy's legit. No longer can we really just think that he'll be a wallflower. John Blake will have a pretty big role in The Dark Knight Rises. What exactly... well... that's another matter.

While it was interesting to see Commissioner Gordon up on his feet, I wonder how long in the film he'll be like that. As we saw in the teaser, Gordon looked just about dead. In the third trailer, he was taking part in what looked like a losing battle. We see him backing away slowly from something, as bodies of Gotham's finest litter the snowy streets. The same snowy streets that a couple of Tumblers were rolling down. Yikes. I can only assume Gordon gets pretty banged up after that altercation.

Well, that's a bummer for Gordon, but a pretty nice break for John Blake. With Gordon down, Blake would become the main police connection to Batman, as Gordon was. While we don't see Bats talking to Blake, we do see Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) and Blake in a heartfelt conversation. Either way, Blake is getting inside information on Bane's crew, as Catwoman seems to be somewhat of a double agent in the film.

We do know that Blake will be featured pretty heavily, or at least, that can be strongly assumed. He seems to be connected with Catwoman somehow and perhaps will be in cahoots with Bats. We know that Blake will most likely take the place of Gordon, at least film-wise. While he may not take over the title of "commissioner", I wouldn't doubt that the film turns its attention from Gordon to Blake.

Even though we know these details, there are still those pesky rumors that just won't stop swirling. Many bloggers suspect that Blake is Nolan's version of Robin. While this may seem silly, Blake may certainly be assisting Batman in the film, especially when Bats gets broken by Bane. Ah, alliteration.

Still other rumors say that John Blake will eventually take up the mantle of the Bat. Again, this may seem like a silly notion, but there may be something to it. Could Blake be Nolan's version of Azrael? Perhaps. Could he don the black cowl in the absence of Batman? He could in hopes of sparking some hope within Gotham... After all, at one point in the film (according to the trailer), neither he nor Catwoman know the whereabouts Bats, if he's coming back, or if he's even alive.  

Personally, I highly doubt he's some high-brow Robin or the successor of Batman. I really think he's, wait for it... just....... wait for it...

...a very STUDLY police officer, I might add.
A police officer.

Yeah. I really don't think that John Blake's character would be given such responsibility after one film... After all, it takes Bats pretty much the whole Batman Begins to embrace his Batman-ness, and he struggles with it in The Dark Knight. I would highly doubt that Blake would just step into the role of Bats mid-way through or even in the first fifteen minutes of the film. I mean, we saw something like that with all those poser Batmen at the beginning of The Dark Knight. All ten minutes of them. Batman frowned upon people that did that, and I doubt Blake would get Bruce's blessing to be Batman. Ah, again, alliteration.

Yes, I really think that Blake will be what he's been described as. A police dude. Sure, he'll have some big responsibilities, like talking to Catwoman, cavorting with Bats, and oh yeah, taking on Bane, but I wouldn't read too much into the speculation swirling around.

While this may be a bummer to many, don't be too disappointed. This is a Nolan film, after all. I mean, I doubt he'd just throw in a character and not explain his backstory or why he is the way he is.

Oh, wait.
Inception jokes aside, I have my doubts that Blake will have some grand role, or that he'll end up being the next Dark Knight, after Bruce presumably hangs it up. The big reason against it is, well, Nolan kinda wants his trilogy to be just that - a trilogy. While he certainly understands Warner Bros.'s hunger for money, and he realizes that the Batman brand is the epitome of a cash cow, I don't think he'd willingly write in an open ending to the franchise. Granted, it may be unresolved and we'll be asking more questions than we have answers to, but Nolan doesn't want someone to swoop in after him and mess with the universe he has created. Ergo, the next Batman film will be a separate production to Nolan's trilogy, and probably starting in the next three years. Think I'm wrong? Ha. One (hyphenated) word: Spider-Man.

Stay tuned when we analyze other The Dark Knight Rises characters, like Miranda Tate, Catwoman, Juno Temple's character, and other rumors surrounding the sighting of two previously thought written-off characters...


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