Bruce Wayne (The Dark Knight trilogy)

Bruce Wayne, also known by his vigilante persona Batman, is a fictional character who is the main protagonist in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy of superhero films, based off the DC Comics character of the same name, created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Portrayed by Christian Bale, this version of Batman is arguably explored more in-depth compared to that of the previous film series by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, as the Dark Knight film series provides a full arc for the character and was intended by Nolan to be more realistic than previous portrayals.[1]

Batman
Bruce Wayne
The Dark Knight Trilogy character
Bruce Wayne (The Dark Knight Trilogy).jpg
Bruce Wayne, as portrayed by Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008)
First appearanceBatman Begins (2005)
Last appearanceThe Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Created by
Based onBatman
Adapted by
Portrayed by
Voiced byChristian Bale
In-universe information
Full nameBruce Wayne
AliasThe Batman
Mr. Wayne
NicknameThe Dark Knight
GenderMale
TitleCEO of Wayne Enterprises
Occupation
  • Entrepreneur
  • philanthropist
  • investor
  • vigilante
Family
Significant other
NationalityAmerican

In the films, Bruce is the billionaire CEO of Wayne Enterprises, specializing in military defense. After witnessing the murder of his parents at age 8, Bruce travels the world in order to train to fight crime, returning to claim inheritance of his father's company. Subsequently, he begins fighting crime in Gotham City as Batman, utilizing advanced technology in doing so and basing his persona on conquering his fear of bats.

Bale's portrayal of Batman has often been considered the greatest of the character in film, and has also been credited with the success of the Dark Knight film series, with the latter two films both grossing over $1 billion each, and thus, the restoration of public interest in Batman in the 21st Century.[2]

Character concept and developmentEdit

Batman first appeared in DC Comics stories in 1939 as the writers were adding more costumed superhero characters for the company's lineup. He was first portrayed in film in the 1940s with two film serials from Columbia Pictures: Batman in 1943, and Batman and Robin in 1949, with Lewis Wilson and Robert Lowery portraying the caped crusader in each respective series. In 1966, following the success of the television series on ABC, 20th Century Fox released a film for the series, with Adam West reprising his role from the show as Batman.

After years of waning popularity and development hell for the character, Warner Bros. decided to develop a new Batman film in the mid 1980s, having recently adopted fellow DC Comics character Superman for film with a successful movie in 1978 and subsequent series. Tim Burton was hired as director of the film, which was released in 1989 with Michael Keaton taking on the role of Batman. Following the film's success, Burton made a sequel to the film, Batman Returns, with Keaton reprising his role, but both Burton and Keaton left the franchise after the film's release in 1992, being replaced by Joel Schumacher and Val Kilmer, respectively. Schumacher's additions to Burton's film series, Batman Forever in 1995 and Batman & Robin in 1997 (which saw George Clooney replace Kilmer as Batman), saw mixed-to-negative critical reviews. Following the latter's box office failure, the Batman film series was put in jeopardy.

Development of the Dark Knight film seriesEdit

In January 2003, Warner Bros. hired Memento director Christopher Nolan to direct an untitled Batman film,[3] and David S. Goyer signed on to write the script two months later.[4] Nolan stated his intention to reinvent the film franchise of Batman by "doing the origins story of the character, which is a story that's never been told before". Nolan said that humanity and realism would be the basis of the origin film, and that "the world of Batman is that of grounded reality. [It] will be a recognizable, contemporary reality against which an extraordinary heroic figure arises." Goyer said that the goal of the film was to get the audience to care for both Batman and Bruce Wayne.[1] Nolan felt the previous films were exercises in style rather than drama, and described his inspiration as being Richard Donner's 1978 film Superman, in its focus on depicting the character's growth.[5] Also similar to Superman, Nolan wanted an all-star supporting cast for Batman Begins to lend a more epic feel and credibility to the story.[6]

Goyer wanted to reboot the franchise; he and Nolan saw Batman as a romantic character, and Nolan envisioned a large, sweeping film like Lawrence of Arabia. Nolan did not have a problem with the studio's requirement that the film not be R-rated because he wanted to make the film that he wanted to see when 11 years old.[7] His personal "jumping off point" of inspiration was "The Man Who Falls", a short story by Denny O'Neil and Dick Giordano about Bruce's travels throughout the world. The early scene in Batman Begins of young Bruce Wayne falling into a well was adapted from "The Man Who Falls".[8] Batman: The Long Halloween, written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale, influenced Goyer in writing the screenplay, with the villain Carmine Falcone as one of many elements which were drawn from Halloween's "sober, serious approach".[8] The sequel to Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory, also served as a minor influence.[9] Goyer used the vacancy of Bruce Wayne's multi-year absence presented in Batman: Year One to help set up some of the film's events in the transpiring years.[10]

A common idea in the comics is that Bruce saw a Zorro film with his parents before they were murdered. Nolan explained that by ignoring that idea – which he stated is not found in Batman's first appearances – it emphasized the importance of bats to Bruce and that becoming a superhero is a wholly original idea on his part. It is for this reason Nolan believes other DC characters do not exist in the universe of his film; otherwise, Wayne's reasons for taking up costumed vigilantism would have been very different.[11]

CastingEdit

 
According to Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale had "exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for."

Actor Christian Bale was relatively unknown when cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman.[7] Before he was confirmed on September 11, 2003,[12] having expressed interest in the role since Darren Aronofsky was planning his own film adaptation,[5] Eion Bailey, Henry Cavill, Billy Crudup, Hugh Dancy, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joshua Jackson, Heath Ledger, David Boreanaz and Cillian Murphy took interest in it as well.[12][13][14] Amy Adams served as the casting reader for the casting of Bruce Wayne / Batman in a favor to the casting director.[15] Bale felt the previous films underused Batman's character, overplaying the villains instead.[16] To best pose as Batman, Bale studied graphic novels and illustrations of the superhero.[17] Director Nolan said of Bale, "He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for."[18] Goyer stated that while some actors could play a great Bruce Wayne or a great Batman, Bale could portray both radically different personalities.[6]

Bale described the part as playing four characters: the raging Batman persona; the shallow playboy façade Bruce uses to ward off suspicion; the vengeful young man; and the older, angrier Bruce who is discovering his purpose in life.[19] He later reflected on Batman as a "very, very dark, messed-up character."[20] At his audition, Bale wore the bat suit (minus the cape, which has been missing for some time) Val Kilmer donned for 1995's Batman Forever.[21] Bale's dislike of his costume, which heated up regularly, helped him get into a necessarily foul mood. He said, "Batman's meant to be fierce, and you become a beast in that suit, as Batman should be – not a man in a suit, but a different creature."[17] Since he had lost a great deal of weight in preparation for his role in The Machinist, Bale hired a personal trainer to help him gain 100 pounds (45 kg) of muscle in the span of only a couple of months to help him physically prepare for the role. He first went well over the weight required and created concern over whether he would look right for the part. Bale recognized that his large physique was not appropriate for Batman, who relies on speed and strategy. He lost the excess weight by the time filming began.[6] Bale trained in Wing Chun Kung Fu under Eric Oram in preparation for the movie.[22][23][24][25] Child actor Gus Lewis portrays an 8-year-old Bruce at the beginning of the film.[26]

Bale reprised the role of Batman in the sequel The Dark Knight, released on July 18, 2008. He trained in the Keysi Fighting Method, and performed many of his own stunts. He reprised the role again for the sequel The Dark Knight Rises, released on July 20, 2012.[27] Bale became the actor to have portrayed Batman on film for the lengthiest period. Following the shooting at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, he visited survivors of the movie theater in an Aurora, Colorado hospital.[28] Despite the success of the Dark Knight Trilogy, Bale decided not to return for a potential fourth film appearance as Batman out of respect for Christopher Nolan's creative direction and the fact that the trilogy provided a full arc for the character.[29]

VoiceEdit

Though previous Batman actors Michael Keaton and Kevin Conroy created separate voices for Batman and the unmasked Bruce Wayne,[30] Christian Bale's "Batman voice" is often considered the most memorable live-action rendition and was made famous by the films.[31] Director Christopher Nolan states that "Christian, somehow, figured this out before the screen test, that you could not give a normal performance, that you could not give an ordinary performance. You had to project massive energy through this costume in order to not question the costume. So it’s about feeling and a voice, and I think Christian’s voice was a big part of the impression he made in the test. He decided that Batman needed to have a different voice than Bruce Wayne; he needed to put on a voice that supported the visual appearance of the character."[32]

The vocalization of Bale's Batman (which was partly altered during post-production) was the subject of particular criticism by some commentators, with David Edelstein from NPR describing Bale delivering his performance with "a voice that's deeper and hammier than ever." Alonso Duralde at MSNBC, however, referred to Bale's voice in The Dark Knight as an "eerie rasp," as opposed to the voice used in the Batman Begins, which according to Duralde "sounded absurdly deep, like a 10-year-old putting on an 'adult' voice to make prank phone calls."[33][34]

CharacterizationEdit

Bruce Wayne is very dedicated and determined to his work of crime-fighting, sometimes employing illegal and morally dubious tactics but ultimately for the good of Gotham, gaining the moniker "The Dark Knight" as opposed to Harvey Dent, who fights crime through legal methods as "The White Knight" before his downfall.[35] Despite his dark past and serious work, Bruce has displayed a sense of humor around his butler Alfred and a romantic side around his love-interest Rachel and later Miranda Tate and Selina Kyle. Although possessing great hate and anger towards criminals, he has proven himself a very caring and selfless person, constantly putting his life on the line to save innocent lives and bringing the most dangerous criminals to justice for society's protection.

Bruce's strongest characteristic is his strong moral code to never kill, believing all men deserve a trial and to do so makes him no better than his enemies, because of this he has been noted by the Joker as being "incorruptible". Although he did let Ra's al Ghul die, coldly saying "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you", he has shown compassion for his enemies, such as when he saved his employee Mr. Reese from getting killed, who was just about to sell him out by telling the public he was Batman. Bruce Wayne has also shown himself to have a good deal of faith in people as evidenced in The Dark Knight.

To the public, Bruce Wayne takes on the facade of an irresponsible, fun-seeking playboy in order to avoid suspicion of his alter-ego, while as Batman he reveals his dark, intimidating personality in the form of a bat to frighten the criminals he stands against, believing theatricality to help him seem more than a man, but a symbol. Bruce Wayne's ultimate goal is to bring order and justice to Gotham City, as opposed to his foes, whose ultimate goal is to bring chaos and anarchy.

AbilitiesEdit

Batman is a highly skilled martial artist having been trained by the League of Shadows and Ra's al Ghul personally in ninjutsu and other martial arts, Batman has achieved such feats as single-handedly subduing a swat team and taking out a group of the league of shadows ninjas with minimal injury; even before his training with Ra's al Ghul. Bruce Wayne was able to fight an entire gang of convicts in a prison brawl with the guards locking him in solitary for the other inmates' "protection."

Batman is also highly intelligent, being a brilliant detective (known by some as "the world's greatest detective"), and an expert planner. He has proven himself exceptionally good at stealth being able to disappear in the middle of people's sentences and sneaking up on others unexpectedly. With his vast wealth and company, Batman has access to some of the world's greatest equipment and technology to improve his performance. Relying on intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime, Batman is a force greatly feared by Gotham's underworld.

Film appearancesEdit

Batman BeginsEdit

 
The Batsuit, worn by Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)

Bruce Wayne first appears in the film Batman Begins. As a child, he falls into a well on his parents' estate and is rescued by his father Thomas, but develops a crippling fear of bats after being swarmed by them during the incident. Bruce tours a new monorail funded by his father, who explains that he nearly bankrupted his company Wayne Enterprises to build it in order to help out the city of Gotham, which was experiencing an economic downturn. Bruce then accompanies his parents to see the opera Mefistofele, but is frightened by a bat-like character in the production. As his parents take him home, they are confronted by a mugger named Joe Chill who shoots them both dead, leaving a traumatized Bruce alone with his parents' bodies. Bruce is comforted by police detective James Gordon as Chill is arrested, then raised at home by his parents' butler Alfred Pennyworth.

After growing up and attending Princeton University, Bruce is dissatisfied with his inheritance as it reminds him of his deceased parents and plans to kill the recently-paroled Joe Chill, but Chill is assassinated by mobster Carmine Falcone, denying Bruce his chance for revenge. When he confides in his childhood friend Rachel Dawes about this, she expresses disgust and lectures him about the difference between justice and revenge, which motivates him to confront Falcone himself. The mobster and his cronies laugh Bruce off, stating that he does not understand the criminal world, so Bruce leaves Gotham, exploring the world and working for criminal organizations to try and understand them. After being arrested in China for a heist and engaging in a prison fight, Bruce is approached by a man named Henri Ducard, who invites Bruce to join the League of Shadows, an elite vigilante group. Bruce trains with Ducard and the League at their secret headquarters in Bhutan and purges his fears, but later learns that the League intends to destroy Gotham, believing it to be beyond saving. Bruce rejects the League's ideology and escapes, burning down the temple and killing their leader Ra's al Ghul in the process, but saving an unconscious Ducard.

Returning to Gotham with an intent to fight crime and finally overcoming his fear of bats, Bruce takes an interest in Wayne Enterprises, which is being taken public by the unscrupulous William Earle. Company archivist Lucius Fox, a friend of Bruce's father, allows Bruce access to prototype defense technologies, including a protective bodysuit and a heavily armored vehicle, the Tumbler. Bruce poses publicly as a shallow playboy, while setting up a base in the caves beneath Wayne Manor and taking up the vigilante identity of "Batman", inspired by his childhood fear. He reaches out to Rachel, now the city's assistant district attorney, and Gordon, one of the city's few honest cops, to aid him in his fight against crime.

While patrolling as Batman one night, Bruce intercepts a drug shipment by Falcone, tying up the mobster and creating the first "Bat Signal". He provides evidence against Falcone to Rachel and has Gordon arrest him. In prison, Falcone meets Dr. Jonathan Crane, a corrupt psychologist whom he has helped smuggle drugs into Gotham. Donning a scarecrow mask, Crane sprays Falcone with a fear-inducing hallucinogen and has him transferred to Arkham Asylum. While investigating "the Scarecrow", Batman is incapacitated by the hallucinogen, but is saved by Alfred and given an antidote developed by Fox. When Rachel accuses Crane of corruption, he reveals he has introduced his drug into Gotham's water supply. He drugs Rachel, but Batman subdues and interrogates Crane, who claims to work for Ra's al Ghul. Batman evades the police to get Rachel to safety, administering her the antidote and giving her a vial of it for Gordon and another for mass production.

At Bruce's birthday party, Ducard reappears and reveals himself to be the true Ra's al Ghul, with the other one being a decoy. Having stolen a powerful microwave emitter from Wayne Enterprises, he plans to vaporize Gotham's water supply, rendering Crane's drug airborne and causing mass hysteria that will destroy the city. He sets Wayne Manor aflame and leaves Bruce to die, but Alfred rescues him. Ra's loads the microwave emitter onto Gotham's monorail system to release the drug at the city's central water source. Batman rescues Rachel from a drugged mob and indirectly reveals his identity to her. Confronting Ra's on the monorail, as Gordon uses the Tumbler's cannons to destroy a section of the track, Batman refuses to kill Ra's but chooses not to save him, gliding from the train as it crashes, killing Ra's.

Bruce gains Rachel's respect and love, but she decides she cannot be with him now, telling him if Gotham should no longer need Batman, they can be together. Batman becomes a public hero and Bruce reveals he has purchased a controlling stake in Wayne Enterprises, firing Earle and replacing him with Fox. Sergeant Gordon is promoted to Lieutenant and shows Batman the Bat-Signal, mentioning a criminal who leaves behind Joker playing cards.

The Dark KnightEdit

After the Joker and his thugs rob a mob-owned bank, multiple Batman impersonators interrupt a meeting between mobsters and the Scarecrow. The real Batman shows up and subdues everyone, but injuries suffered during the confrontation leads him to design a new, more versatile suit of armor. Batman and Lieutenant Gordon contemplate bringing new district attorney Harvey Dent in on their plan to eradicate the mob, and the possibility that Dent will become the hero to the people that Batman could not be. The next day, Bruce Wayne, presumably due to his late night, ends up sleeping during a business proposal from a Chinese mobster account named Lau. He later reveals that he deliberately allowed for Lau to come so he could get a closer look at his numbers, having already suspected that his business methods were dirty. At the same time, Bruce and Harvey are both competing for the love of Rachel, despite the fact that she is dating Harvey. Lau informs gang leaders that he had taken their money to Hong Kong to prevent the police and the district attorney from seizing it in an imminent bank raid. In order to ensure there is nothing suspicious about his absence from Gotham when trying to retrieve Lau, Bruce proceeds to have the entire Gotham Ballet group accompany him to a yacht vacation near Hong Kong. He then fakes not being able to arrive while Lucius Fox scouts Lau's office under the pretense of a business meeting with Lau, with Fox also proceeding to supply him with a blueprint of the layout of the building. Later that night, Batman then proceeds to infiltrate the building and, despite the arrival of several cops under Lau's payroll, succeeds in nabbing the corrupt businessman, and also ensuring his escape with a Fulton surface-to-air recovery system and a cargo plane.

After Batman successfully abducts Lau in Hong Kong and delivers him to the Gotham City police, the mobsters agree to pay the Joker half of their money in return for killing Batman. When the Joker began killing off public officials, including Commissioner Loeb and apparently Gordon, despite the best efforts of the police and Batman to stop him, Wayne decides to turn himself in to the police. Before he could do so, Dent publicly admits to being the Batman to draw the Joker out of hiding for the real Batman to capture. The Joker attempts to kill Dent during transport, but Gordon (who faked his death) and Batman intervene in time to stop and arrest him and deliver him to the Major Crimes Unit as Gordon is promoted to Commissioner by Mayor Anthony Garcia.

With the Joker in custody, Batman and Gordon at first believe that his madness is over, but become alarmed when informed that Dent has gone missing. Desperate to find him, Batman interrogates the Joker until he reveals that Rachel and Dent have been taken to opposite sides of the city, far enough apart that Batman would not have time to save both of them. Batman speeds off to save Rachel, while Gordon and the police head after Dent. Unknown to them, the Joker had switched the locations, sending Batman after Dent and Gordon after Rachel. Batman arrived and rescued Dent just as both buildings explode, although the left side of Dent's face is burned during the explosion. Gordon does not reach Rachel in time and she perishes in the explosion. In the hospital, Dent is driven to madness over the loss of Rachel, which he blames on Batman, Gordon and the Joker. The Joker frees Harvey from the hospital and convinces him to exact revenge on the cops, mobsters, Gordon and Batman.

While "Harvey Two-Face" confronts the corrupt cops and the mobsters one by one, flipping a coin to decide their fates, the Joker burns Lau along with the mob's money. The Joker plants explosives on two ferries of evacuees and gave the passengers on board the chance to destroy the opposing vessel, one full of prison convicts and another with civilians, in order to save their own lives. Batman tracks the Joker to an uncompleted skyscraper, preventing him from blowing up the ferries when both vessels' occupants decide they would rather not sacrifice the lives of the passengers in the other vessel for their own.

Following a brief hand-to-hand fight which ends when the Joker pinned Batman in a scaffold, Batman throws the Joker off of the scaffold but saves him by grappling him. The Joker acknowledges that Batman really was incorruptible, but that Dent was not, and that he has unleashed Harvey's madness upon the city. Batman finds Gordon and his family with Dent at the building where Rachel died. Two-Face proceeds to judge Batman, himself, and Gordon's son through the chance of a coin flip, which he saw as the only fairness left in the world. Two-Face shoots Batman in the stomach and judges himself innocent, but before he can determine the boy's fate, Batman tackles him over the side of the building, saving Gordon's son, but injuring his leg in the process.

With Dent dead, Batman and Gordon decide that the Joker would win if anyone discovers Dent's corruption and madness. Batman convinces Gordon to let him take all the blame for Dent's murders in order to preserve the former district attorney's image as Gotham's hero and give the city hope. As Gordon destroys the Bat-Signal, a manhunt is issued for Batman, now branded an enemy by the rest of Gotham.

The Dark Knight RisesEdit

8 years later, Dent is publicly hailed as a hero with his crimes covered up, and crime is down after the Dent Act was passed, leading to the arrests of 1,000 individuals connected to organized crime. Bruce has not been in action as Batman since; he has become a social recluse after completing the rebuild of Wayne Manor, has developed medical issues since retiring as Batman, and continues to mourn Rachel, who he believes would have chosen him over Harvey. In addition, Wayne Enterprises is losing money after Bruce discontinued his fusion reactor project when he learned that it could be weaponized.

During the anniversary of the Dent Act, the celebrations are held at Wayne Manor but Bruce only watches from a distance. As this is happening, a maid, later revealed as cat burglar Selina Kyle, is stealing Bruce's mother's pearl necklace from his private quarters. Bruce sneaks up behind her and confronts her, but she overpowers him and escapes with the necklace. During an investigation of the safe, Bruce discovers that the real target was his fingerprints and not the necklace. Opting to retrieve his mother's pearls, Bruce tracks the thief via a GPS locator that was planted onto the pearls. After he finds her at a gala, Selina wonders why Bruce didn't call the police, to which he hints he has a "powerful friend." Selina tells Bruce she only became a thief out of necessity and wants her record expunged. After she hints of "a storm coming", he takes the pearls back, but Selina is able to steal his car by claiming to be his wife.

Shortly afterward, Wayne is visited by police officer John Blake who tells him about an attack on James Gordon and the police force by Bane and his followers. Blake also tells Bruce that he has deduced his secret identity as Batman and can also relate to him; Blake had also lost his parents at a young age, and has learned to hide his anger, similar to putting on a mask, and asks Bruce to return as Batman. Bruce then meets with Lucius Fox regarding the future of Wayne Enterprises, and the two examine his equipment while fighting as Batman.

Returning to the cave, Bruce puts on a sophisticated leg brace which returns his ability to walk without a cane. Against Alfred's advice, he dons his cape and cowl again and goes out to Gotham. Simultaneously, Bane uses Bruce's stolen fingerprints to attack the Gotham Stock Exchange in a series of transactions that leaves Wayne bankrupt. As a result, Batman resurfaces for the first time in eight years while intercepting Bane and his subordinates, but the police opt to pursue him rather than the criminals as Batman was still the accused murderer of Harvey Dent. Batman escapes in the Bat, a giant aerial craft made by Lucius Fox. He finds Selina Kyle holding John Daggett, Wayne's business rival, hostage and sees a group of Bane's thugs making their way towards her to kill her. She and Batman fight off the thugs until Bane himself appears, causing them to flee. Surprised that Batman is the "powerful friend," Selina informs him that she sold Wayne's fingerprints to Daggett.

Alfred is convinced that Wayne is not strong enough to fight Bane, and in a final attempt to dissuade him from returning to action as Batman, resigns as Bruce's butler and reveals Rachel's intent to marry Dent instead of him, to which Bruce dismisses him. The next morning, Fox meets Bruce at Wayne Manor to tell him that not only is Bruce bankrupt, but Wayne Enterprises is losing money fast due to Bane's use of Wayne's fingerprints and that he needs to rely on Wayne Enterprises CEO Miranda Tate to prevent Daggett from gaining control of the company. After examining the fusion reactor project, Tate agrees to accept guardianship of the Reactor and Wayne Enterprises as Bruce is forced to step down from the Board. He then gets a lift by John Blake who he tells that anyone could be a hero, and the two discuss Bane's whereabouts. Bruce tells Blake to drop him at midtown, in which he goes to visit Selina Kyle.

After a brief meeting with Selina regarding Bane's whereabouts, he returns to the Manor to find Tate there waiting. The two have sex before Wayne leaves to find Bane. Kyle agrees to take Batman to Bane but instead leads him into Bane's trap. Bane reveals that he intends to fulfill Ra's al Ghul's mission to destroy Gotham. Batman fights Bane, but Bane breaks his back and takes him abroad to an underground prison. The inmates tell Wayne the story of Ra's al Ghul's child, who was born and raised in the prison before escaping — the only prisoner to have done so.

Months later, Wayne escapes from the prison and returns to Gotham after Bane has taken over the city and caused chaos, turning Bruce's Reactor into a bomb. Batman frees the police and they clash with Bane's army in the streets; during the battle, Batman overpowers Bane. Tate intervenes and stabs Batman, revealing herself as Talia al Ghul, Ra's al Ghul's daughter. She activates the bomb's detonator, but Gordon blocks her signal. Talia leaves to find the bomb while Bane prepares to kill Batman, but Kyle arrives and kills Bane. Batman and Kyle pursue Talia, hoping to bring the bomb back to the reactor chamber where it can be stabilized. Talia's truck crashes, but she remotely floods and destroys the reactor chamber before dying. With no way to stop the detonation, Batman uses his aerial craft, the Bat, to haul the bomb far over the bay, where it safely explodes. Before takeoff, Batman indirectly reveals his identity to Gordon.

In the aftermath, Batman and Bruce are both presumed dead, with the former honored as a hero. Wayne Manor becomes an orphanage and Wayne's estate is left to Alfred. Gordon finds the Bat Signal repaired, while Lucius Fox discovers that Wayne fixed the malfunctioning auto-pilot on the Bat. While vacationing in Florence, Alfred discovers that Bruce is alive and in a relationship with Kyle. Blake resigns from the GCPD and receives a parcel from Wayne leaving him the Batcave, his legal name is also revealed to be Robin.

Appearances in other mediaEdit

Bruce Wayne/Batman is the subject of Batman: Gotham Knight, an animated anthology film that takes place in the universe of the Dark Knight Trilogy and contains six stories, animated by different anime studios. The film is intended to be set between the events of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, though the producers have acknowledged that it is not necessarily meant to be canon to the trilogy and could easily fall into almost any Batman continuity. In the film, Batman is portrayed fighting against the mobs of Gotham City in addition to other villains such as Deadshot and Scarecrow. Batman is voiced by Kevin Conroy.

Reception and legacyEdit

Despite claiming he could have portrayed the character better,[20] Christian Bale's performance as Batman has received acclaim, and is generally ranked the finest among Batman actors. Before the premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which saw Ben Affleck take on the role), The Guardian surveyed the previous Batman actors, including Bale, and judged him to be the best Batman due to his balanced and realistic portrayal of the character, especially in Batman Begins, stating that "Bale gave us a Batman we could believe in, in more ways than one."[36]

To this day, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are Bale's most financially successful films, and all three films in the trilogy are often regarded as some of the greatest superhero films of all time.[37] A relatively unknown actor before his casting, Bale gained more international exposure due to his role as Batman.[38] He received numerous award nominations for the role spanning across the three films in the trilogy, including winning Best Actor at the Empire Awards.

ReferencesEdit

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  The plot description and characterization were adapted from Bruce Wayne at The Dark Knight Trilogy Wiki and Batman (Christian Bale) at Batman Wiki, which are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.