Recently Entertainment Weekly caught up and interviewed both Nolan and Bale in regards to their upcoming conclusion to their Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises. In the article Nolan and Bale discuss the “thematic lynchpin” of their series, which can easily be found in their first installment Batman Begins:
“People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I’m flesh and blood. I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. But as a symbol — as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.” Bruce Wayne to Alfred Pennyworth in Batman Begins.
“. . . in each film, we talk about the symbol of the character being the key thing. It’s not about what he can achieve beating up criminals one by one. We address this again at the beginning of The Dark Knight, where you have these copycat Batmen popping up. The idea was to ask: Is that the meaning of the symbolism? To raise an army of these guys? No. Bruce sees himself as a catalyst for change in Gotham, and to me, in that conversation with Alfred, what is very clear to me is that Bruce only ever thinks of this as, like, a five-year plan, a short-term thing. I talked to Christian about this idea a lot during the making of all the films. It was the only way we knew to understand the reality of the story of Batman. “Now, Bruce Wayne is a billionaire. He has all these resources, and there’s all kinds of ways he could use them to help Gotham. But he’s fixed on this extremely militaristic vigilante-ism. Whatever we may think of that, in Bruce’s mind, it’s all about pushing Gotham to a tipping point back to good, back to the days of his mother and father, who were trying to help the city economically. So I always saw it as a short-term thing. Something he could give up once he accomplished his mission. … And in my view, Alfred’s support for this has always been qualified support. He’s always been a great indicator about where Batman sits on the greatness to madness scale.”“What I see in the film that relates to the real world is the idea of dishonesty. The film is all about that coming to a head. The truth will come out. The idea that Gotham is literally crumbling from underneath. It looks like a better place than it was in Batman Begins – but is it? I see that in the world. I worry about that in the world.”
“Superheroes should tell the truth, right? That’s exactly what they’re meant to do. (The Batman/Gordon conspiracy) was a decision… that the truth was too damaging or too much for people to handle. It’s not a philosophy that [we] want to hear. It’s elitist. It’s a belief in the inability of the public to handle complexity — and it’s probably, really, sadly true, as well. It was very interesting because it’s not what I wanted. I don’t mean playing it — I mean as an audience. You want this guy to tell the truth regardless of how harsh and regardless of how cruel that is. And it’s a great problem for him as well. And as you see, at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises, it’s one that almost destroyed him, because he’s looked back on what his original plans were and seen how far he’s drifted from that by not believing in the people.”
“He knows that it’s coming. Everything seems great, but you know the s— is about to hit the fan, and nobody else seems to realize that. And it’s his fault that it does.”