5 Plot-Points Possibly Included in the Dark Knight Rises From On-Set Extras!

Being born and raised in Pittsburgh, I know firsthand the intensity of the bat-mania that’s struck the Steel City. Being the home of both Micheal Keaton and the late Frank Gorshin, we’re no stranger to the beloved DC title. Nothing short of winning the lottery for the local geek gentry, this August saw bat-pods roaming our streets and Hollywood vigilantism being shot everywhere.  Long gone are the days of being associated with Gotham. These days…we are Gotham!

Have the Dark Knight in my life since infancy, it’s hard to believe that the atop the tumbler speech Bane delivers was shot mere blocks away from my “Holy alcohol-induced projectile vomit, Batman!” college house-party days. There goes the Batwing soaring right by my favorite comic shop haunt! Gary Oldman just touched me…swoon! It’s the nerd norm to predict plot elements, so in honor of all the excitement in both my personal life and with the steadily revealed stills of the latest caped crusader adventure, I thought I’d do just that. Here are your top five the Dark Knight Rises prophecies being delivered from an on-set extra:

5. The Lazarus Pit: “But is Ra’s al Ghul immortal? Are his methods supernatural?” What Christopher Nolan has done is introduce that infamously overused term of realism to the comic book film world. So does that mean the Lazarus pit seems out of that natural realm? It’s not exactly level with the monstrous Man-Bat or the mud man that is Clayface, yet admittedly it does seem a bit too fantastical for this flick.

Let’s get one thing straight. A man dressing up like a flying rodent to fight men with burlap sacks on their heads, homicidal clowns, and multiple mobsters at a time isn’t realism. For as much as I’d love it…I’ve never seen costumed characters jumping off rooftops to return snatched purses and rescue orphans from chemical fires. What Nolan instead did was take this cliched imaginary and instill within it a sense of practicality. Little about this is grounded. There’s still a huge leap. The ideology isn’t so much making it realistic as much as downplaying the all out impossible. If someone actually did go through with Bruce Wayne inspired vigilantism then this is how it likely would happen in the real world. The mindset we’re dealing with here is heightened reality, not the accepted misnomer of realism.

So isn’t everything relative? In what argument-ending ways is fear gas or the fact that Batman somehow hasn’t been killed by numerously outnumbering foes really any more believable than the elixir of life? Can we truly say Ra’s died in Begins to begin with? It’s not like Nolan has never touched fantasy concepts either. So with the obvious emphasis upon the League of Shadows in the teaser, quotes of a baby Bane being medicated, and the striking resemblance seen on the India set, could this be something similar to a venom-filled Lazarus Pit? It’s tributary at the bare minimum.

4. Breaking the Bat: Above and beyond there’s one thing the steroid-juiced junkie is known for. In a frightening chess game, Bane releases all the inmates of Arkham to wear the bat down with a slew of sleeplessly ongoing urban antagonists. Deducing that Bruce Wayne is Batman and proving that he’s not the meat-head he appears to be (Schumacher…facepalm) he waits inside Wayne Manor for his exhausted adversary to return from his endless routine. Bane paralyzes Bruce in a devastatingly one-sided checkmate.

I think it’s pretty safe to assume this Bane will be more comic accurate than the former flick version. Pssh! That’s like assuming Batman will have pointed-ears. Going from slave-like goon who can only grunt “Bomb,” here we’ve already been shown the far more terrifyingly competent version. The outfit even appearing less a luchador and more like he’s wearing some sort of bulletproof vest and gas-mask. In the comics he’s the victim of a venom addiction the beefs him up to approaching superhuman strength in seconds, but my guess is he’s being fed something derived from the blue flowers shown in the first Nolan film. This is a way to tie the character to the League and the larger established world of the trilogy. Outside of vague murmurs that it’ll occur, why do I think Bane will make our hero into a bat-bitch? Because he hijacks tumblers and bombards the Gotham Rogues game (killing tons of players) to take the entire stadium hostage! I can’t see the Bat giving up his toys without a fight…that he’ll seemingly lose. It’s also the perfect justifications for…

3. Catwoman Replacing Batman: Selina Kyle has certainly been the slyest of cats. She’s certainly the biggest character we’ve seen the least from. This means the elusive film version of the femme fatal remains highly speculative. It’s like catnip to us nerdy kittens. Why is she in this film? I’m going to go out on a limb. While I may be stranded like a pet up a tree…I’m predicting “Knightfall” meets “No Man’s Land.”

In “Knighfall,” once Bruce is taken out of commission by the barbaric Bane, there’s a bizarre turn of events that occurs. Wayne elects the obscure character of Azrael to take over the Batman role instead of his protégé, Dick Grayson – Robin. While retraining with the mysterious Lady Shiva, Azrael-Batman grows increasingly drunk on power and goes from allied to enemy. If Tom Hardy’s Bane does break Bale, doesn’t someone have to protect Gotham from crime and corruption while he’s out? Enter the always ethically ambiguous Catwoman in a sort of flip-flopping Azbats role!

While she may not be wearing the pointy-eared cowl and the flowing cape, she’s sure got a pair of ears herself. Well actually, she doesnt! But don’t worry, nay-Sayers. I highly doubt those goofy goggles in the officially revealed photo are actually predominant part of the picture outside of her motocycle scenes. Maybe that’s just me hoping? In the panic of the now lawlessly desperate city, Gordon and GCPD struggling against the abundance of crime, Selina goes from cat-burglar to rising role-model as she (temporarily) fulfills that missing piece until the titles re-rising of Batman. Supporting this theory is her seeming hijacking of the batpod, seen in the live footage I snapped here:

2. Ra’s al Ghul: One word – Lazarus aka restoration! If there’s anyone that would return from the grave (even in the established pseudo-realism of the Nolan bat-universe) then it’s the always enduring Demon’s Head. Liam Neeson is said to revisit, but whether or not this is only in flashback sequences is still undetermined. With Batman now outlawed at the end of Dark Knight, this does leave Gotham vulnerable to another attack by none-other than the prior defeated League of Shadows. We know Bane seems to encourage the civilians at the Gotham Rogues game to “take control of their city,” inciting possible revolts in his potential attempt to cleanse the city by sitting back and watching it destroy itself. That’s got Ghul written all over it. Why can’t Bruce ever remember? Always mind your surroundings!

As mentioned above, the eerily similar-looking (Lazarus) pit is certainly one plot-point pointing to his possible revival. Bane would perhaps fulfill the role of Ubu, Ra’s right hand assassin in the comics. In fact this isn’t altogether out of comic continuity as Bane eventually is chosen to becoming his heir, then together they attempt to literally plague Gotham in “Legacy.” Regardless of whether or not he’s literally returned…his spirit will certainly be present and the Lazarus imagery is a strong metaphor for the rebirth of it within the Bane character. Also pointing in the direction of his resurfacing is the possible inclusion of…

1. Talia al Ghul: The exotically exquisite Marion Cotillard (of Inception fame) is being set to play the role of Miranda Tate – supposedly nothing more than some throwaway role of a Wayne Corporation businesswoman. That always struck many as wasting an opportunity, but Pittsburgh shoots put the predictions of her dual role as the daughter of the Demon into increasing confirmation. There’s more than meets the eye going on here and our peepers did catch some hints. Just what kind of entrepreneur is coming in and out of the tankmobile? One who’s up to some Enron level business!

With the theatricality and deception ideology they practice, you don’t need to be a detective to suspect it. “You are defending a city so corrupt, we have infiltrated every level of its infrastructure.” Henry Ducard – Ra’s al Ghul. Miranda Tate – Talia al Ghul? Like father, like daughter! Combine this with the known information that Bane and company are the driver of the camo tumblers and there you possibly have it.

What are your theories for the plot of the Dark Knight Rises? So have my gumshoe comic abilities lead me to the warm path or am I as cold as Mr. Freeze’s blue-balls? Tell us what you think and hypothesize and stay tuned for on-set  coverage of the Dark Knight Rises Pittsburgh shoot soon. Same bat-fan, same bat-website!

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