How the alternate reality game The Dark Night changed fandom forever (2023)

CElina Beach had no idea she had fallen for the Joker's trap. But in July 2007, when someone handed her a dollar bill at Comic-Con in San Diego, the former Navy software quality control specialist and self-proclaimed nerd quickly realized it wasn't ordinary money. For one, George Washington's typically stoic face was marred by dark circles around his eyes and bright red lips. The coin had also been removed from a soon-to-be-famous film because of a catchphrase: "WHY SO SERIOUS?"

Beach followed that sentence to a website that provided recruits like her with a set of GPS coordinates for a specific location in the nearby Gaslamp Quarter and instructions to meet there at 10:00 a.m. "Our elite organization is expanding!" Check out the website's invitation-style poster that gave the Uncle Sam graffiti a makeover. It was nearly 90 degrees outside the busy convention center, and she was carrying a backpack full of supplies for a day of waiting in long lines for exhibits, panels, and autographs, but she was still ready to head to the venue. A crowd, scorching in the scorching summer sun, had already gathered near 1st Avenue and J Street, waiting for a message to go through friends monitoring the online site. Finally, they received their instruction: "Look up."

"We're all standing there wondering what's going to happen," Beach recalled over the phone from California more than a decade later. "And then we heard a plane fly overhead and you looked up and a sky writer wrote, 'hahaha.' And a phone number. Of course we all immediately dial the number and that was the input."

The input into what exactly? The dollar bill, the skywriter, the website, the phone number, and the treasure hunt that followed opened a portal to the world of an unprecedented alternate reality game, or "ARG." Designed by the 42 Entertainment company to advertiseThe dark knight, the long-awaited sequel from Christopher NolanBatman beginsStarring Heath Ledger as the insane, brilliant, and unpredictable Joker, the game would attract 11 million players in over 75 countries, inspire countless posts on movie blogs and superhero forums, and even earn a spot on theGuinness Book of Records. The following year, before the release ofThe dark knight, the ARG became as labyrinthine as one of Nolan's meticulously constructed jigsaw puzzle films, stacking narrative upon narrative to entertain players mobilized behind the scenes by the whims of a team of puppeteers.

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But on this 90-degree morning in San Diego, the goal was simple: create chaos. That's what the joker does. For Beach and his minions in this ad hoc army, that meant donning Joker makeup while racing around the puzzles and following their new leader's orders. in a "Gotham City Police Reportstill found online, these acts include forming a "dangerous roving mob" and terrorizing "a female leader" and stealing "her cookies" in a van and "assassinating" it at the hands of the mob.

"We convinced this guy to lie down in the ditch and take some photos," explains Alex Lieu, creative and experience director at 42 Entertainment. "And retired."

Beach, who was writing about alternate reality gaming for website ARGNet at the time and eventually submitted her own account of the events, had a more pressing problem as the day's celebrations wound down: she needed to get her damn makeup off. It was starting to get hot and I had to head back to the convention center. So she walked into a beauty salon with Joker's face melted, approached the staff and asked to use the restroom while customers looked on in confusion. "Everyone was like, 'Oh my God, what's going on?'" she says. "It was pretty funny."

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The advertising ARGforThe dark knightIt started with an email from Trent Reznor. The Nine Inch Nails frontman and industrial music pioneer was looking for a way to tell the story he dreamed of in connection with his record.year zero, a project set in a dystopian version of the year 2020 marked by political unrest and domestic terrorism. as he saidcablingAt the time, I was so familiar with Lost Experience, an ARG based around the popular ABC seriesLostwhich was released in 2006 between the second and third seasons of the series, and The Beast, an innovative piece of digital storytelling created to promote the 2001 Stephen Spielberg film.THERE. Artificial intelligence. Always keen to confuse and confound, Reznor wanted to create an online narrative with a "gimmick feel" like Orson Welles' radio performance.war two worlds.

Of course he approached42 entertainment, the Burbank-based company founded by The Beast creator Jordan Weisman. In the mid-2000s, ARGs and the broader world of transmedia, a collective term for stories that take place across multiple platforms, were in the midst of a big time, particularly in marketing departments, film studios and record labels, and video. Game Companies The low-cost, high-reward viral campaigns of projects like that of 1999The Blair Witch ProjectIt deftly blurred the line between fact and fiction, giving way to much more ambitious and expensive projects like 2004's I Love Bees, a tight, award-winning ARG produced by 42 Entertainment and bridging the gap between the year's best-selling video games closed microsoftWarzenhofand its continuation.

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When Reznor's email hit the company's inbox, Alex Lieu couldn't have been more excited. "I was known as 'the guy in the Nine Inch Nails T-shirt' long before people knew my name," he said in a phone interview with Thrillist. Now his hero at work emailed him. "When that happened, it was a big problem. I thought, 'If we don't do this project, I'm leaving the company.'"

The company took over the project and garnered media attention and fan excitement with a story that linked Philip K. Dickian to paranoia for a post-2000 era. A sprawling fiction involving psychoactive drugs, religious fundamentalism and quantum mechanics, Year Zero caught the attention of Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan's younger brother and frequent creative partner. I was working on the script forThe dark knight, and soon Syncopy, the production company founded by Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas, set up a meeting with 42 Entertainment. They loved "Year Zero". But could something so immersive be turned into a feature film?

"And of course we were like, 'Yeah!'" recalls Susan Bonds, the company's co-founder and CEO. "The other question was, 'Would this work for a movie audience?' There was a lot of anticipation for the Batman reboot and they knew they had to engage an audience that might have seen other Batman films in the past."

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Once 42 Entertainment was on board, the studio presented them with another challenge: Joker's casting was still considered controversial. The clown-faced killer's appearance was teased at the endBatman beginsHe was immediately inspired by the casting fantasy: Robin Williams, Adrien Brody, Steve Carell and Paul Bettany are all set to play the part, but Nolan had his eye on 27-year-old Heath Ledger, who is still best known for his heartthrob - Roles is known in films likea gentleman's storymi10 things I hate about you. Oscar nominated for his stoic and emotionally hurt performance in 2005secret in the mountain, became the target ofHomophobic Witzeon comic forums and in the comment sections of movie blogs. Before filming began, the studio attempted to steer the conversation away from the Ledger casting debate; Instead, they wanted people to talk about how excited they were to see the new Joker.

"What they didn't want was for someone on the streets of Chicago to pick up a photo of Heath Ledger walking from his trailer to the set, or at the end of the day when he'd had his makeup off," says Bonds. . "They didn't want anyone to take a picture. So they gave us a photo they took.”

On a Friday in May 2007, the picture became ARG's first "reward". As opposed to the traditional advertising route of publishing a main character's first look in a magazineweekly entertainment, the image was unlocked by fans who discovered a destroyed version of the Joker on Harvey Dent's campaign website after Joker cards were left in select comic book store locations. Sharing his email address with the website would remove a pixel from what turned out to be the first major closeup of the Joker. probably yesview photo. It's stunning: Ledger glows in the shadows, the scars on her cheeks and the red on her lips stand out against the white makeup and black background. That wasn't Jack Nicholson's sleek and stylish Joker. I was in a mess. intimidating. unwell.

The studio tried to steer the conversation away from the Heath Ledger casting debate.

Given the unrelenting critical adoration and enduring popularity of Nolan's The Bat Trilogy, it's hard to rememberThe dark knightit wasn't exactly the obvious megahit we're thinking of now.Batman begins, the haunting 2005 origin story that attempted to reinvent a character fallen from favor after the cartoon glut ofBatman and Robin, was a commercial and creative success, but its $374 million at the box office didn't make it an unprecedented phenomenon. (For comparison, Tim Burton's 1989 filmBatmangrossed $411 million in 2002 and Sam RaimiSpider Manbroke $800 million.)The dark knight, who deliberately imitated Michael MannWarmHe took a major hit on the fence trying to tell an epic crime story on the gray streets of Gotham. From a marketing perspective, it needed a competitive advantage.

This back-and-forth between Batman and the comic book hero's devoted fanbase is partially integrated into the character's backstory. As the critic Glen Weldon writes in his bookThe Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Geek Culture, there has long been a group of "radical enthusiasts" who only accept "the darkest, darkest, most hyper-masculine version of the character imaginable". Christian Bale's deep, harsh voice as Batman was a product of that mold, and Nolan's aesthetic — a blend of political allegory, sleepy philosophy, and adrenaline-pumping mush — suited the rigorous demands of that audience. At the same time, this was a summer stick that, at least in theory, had to please everyone.

Tangible rewards like the Joker photo were key to the audience's relationship with the ARG: "You can't just exploit them to create content," Bonds explains, and the game's larger "pulsed" structure played within these intricate and malleable dynamics with. How do you keep an ever-growing global team of players engaged in a campaign and attract new thrill-seekers with each interactive hack? It's a balancing act.

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Inspired bythe long halloween, an acclaimed 13-issue Batman comic published in 1996 and 1997, Lieu and his team intentionally doled out puzzles, missions, and challenges to emulate the way the series' mysterious killer only killed on vacation. The artists, designers, and writers working on the project focused on comics like Alan Moore's.the killer jokeand Grant MorrisonAsilo Arkham. Ideally, the ARG would spread these inked pages to the streets. They drew up plans, typed scripts and scribbled drawings. Lieu did all of Joker's writing himself, erasing the bloody letters with brushes and inkpens.

“The filmmakers were concerned that fans would be so eager. They didn't want people going up on the roofs to take pictures."

When I ask Lieu if they had any conflicts with the studio over the seriousness of the issue, particularly Joker's violence, he admits there were some ideas that never made it past the brainstorming stage. Onehalloween bigThe ingenious concept involved Santas dressing up as Jokers for Christmas, basically a children's nightmare and a potential PR disaster waiting to happen. The studio vetoed it. "I think it was a good decision," Lieu laughs.

There were other security concerns. Both Lieu and Bonds have been reluctant to speak openly about certain aspects of the lawsuit (nondisclosure agreements still stand), but Lieu did mention that at one point there were discussions about Batman sightings around the world with the Caped Crusader appearing on the windowsills could and blankets. , or hung from gargoyles. "The filmmakers were very concerned that the fans at the time were so greedy that they didn't want people going up on rooftops and trying to take pictures with them or steal them," he says. You can't let people climb walls to steal merchandise. "I think it was a really valid concern."

When designing ARGs like these, security is a top priority for all events that take place in the physical world. Bonds, a former Disney tinkerer, had experience attracting thousands of people to do his bidding. "Make it safe first, then protect the fiction," he says of 42 Entertainment's philosophy. The company takes its core principles very seriously: It's like a heightened mix of espionage and theatrics. "You don't want people to see behind the curtain or see you on the phone putting things into action."

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However, putting together an event as complex as the Comic-Con scavenger hunt required a lot of logistical work in addition to a crazy idea. A currency attorney was consulted to ensure the dollar bills were legally defaced. (They used stickers.) Meetings were arranged with top Comic-Con bosses to figure out how to distribute the bills through their internal banking system. (Originally, 42 Entertainment wanted to play with the dollars on the third floor of the convention center, à la Joker at Burton'sBatman, but it was considered a security risk.) Security guards had to be hired. (They wore suits and acted like gangsters.) The coordination required is breathtaking.

Then there is the online experience to worry about. In addition to running to confirm the actors were at the appropriate checkpoints at Comic-Con, Bonds and the team, which ran the operation from a command center at a nearby hotel, had to add servers regularly to keep a prevent site collapse. . They knew that if the website took too long to load or their makeup ran out, players would quit the game. You are fickle. The promise of free stuff only keeps the crowd going for so long.

"Most people at an event like this don't know what an alternate reality game is," says Geoff May, a programmer who has played ARG and also maintains the game.Volumen-Wiki. "They showed up because something really cool is going on with Batman and all of his friends have been telling their friends about it, and they're all doing what they can to be a part of it."

This desire to involve everyone to create a powerful piece of pop entertainment was at the core of the studio and Christopher Nolan's vision ofThe dark knight. According to Bonds and Lieu, the filmmakers were closely involved with the ARG and there wasn't any content in the campaign that they hadn't seen. Even as the film's 2008 release date approached and Joker's missions became more baroque - in December 2007, players bought cakes from local bakeries, called a number and discovered a Nokia "Joker phone" ringing in the middle of the desert - all the necessities Details, to get to the point, nothing was insignificant. Each item had to be tailored to fit the suits Nolan wore on set.

"This team in particular is extremely competent," said Lieu when asked about working with the Nolan brothers and the Syncopy team. “They know how to get things done. You know how to get things done. It's almost an insult to say that they are extremely smart and insightful. It is obvious."

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This level of control has proven itselfon January 22, 2008, when Heath Ledger was found dead of an accidental prescription drug overdose at his Manhattan apartment. I was 28 years old. It came as a shock to audiences, filmmakers and the folks at 42 Entertainment, who already had an idea of ​​how exciting Ledger's portrayal of the Joker would be. He had completed his work on the film, but following reports of his death, speculation about the film intensified. The ARG was quickly suspended for 30 days after the terrible news. Added a small black ribbon to

"It was so unexpected," says Bonds. "By that point, everyone had seen how incredible he was in the role. So there was a lot of anticipation to see the film and especially anticipation of seeing him in the film as the Joker at the end of December.”

Would the ARG change after the tragedy? An article in the May 2008 issue ofad agerevealed the "intense marketing headaches" Warner Brothers faced and drew a comparison to James Dean's death prior to the release ofGigantein 1955. There were still commercials, toys, and advertising ties to consider. The Nokia phone in the pie? It was an extension of an endorsement deal the brand had with the studio. During the game, players used the phones to receive secret messages and images that led to new clues. Was it weird having a "joker phone" when the actor who played the character had just died? Wasn't that all a bit silly?

The version of the game that returned in March 2008 had a slightly different tone than the crazier, fiendish days of The Joker, but Bonds says the change was already planned before Ledger's death. The marketing campaign turned into a political campaign: Harvey Dent, the edgy lawyer played by Aaron Eckhart in the film, was now the focus of the game and he wanted your vote. With the Democratic primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama inconsistent, the electorate was ready to pretend to defend a fictional politician. (Even if everyone knew he became Two-Face, he could still help reduce crime in the city.) In-game, he received no messages fromThe New York Times newspaperand CNN; no, her favorite role wasDie Gotham Timesand you never missed an episode ofGotham tonightand GCN.

At the time, the ARG spoke to the usual marketing materials circulating around the world. Trailers, posters and even a clip of the inaugural bank heist released in IMAX theaters gave audiences a tasteThe dark knight- and they wanted more. Immediately. In addition to the websites built by 42 Entertainment, the anticipation is onThe dark knightand the breakdown of the ARG shown on message boards such as Something Awful, Unfiction, and Superhero Hype. There was an active and content-hungry media ecosystem covering the ARG, from mainstream outlets like theDie Los Angeles TimesmiNew York Magazine, to enthusiastic movie blogs likeFirst presentationminot good news.

"It was something that [ARG] moved into both the comic book fandom and the mainstream alternate reality gaming space, so a lot of different communities came together," says Michael Andersen, owner of ARGNet, who has since written about the ARGs reported in the early 2000s.” But also the building of relationships between these groups.”

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what did they build Quitting an advertising ARG can be tricky - it can lead to nothing or close hard. (We'll admit you're unlikely to get anything truly cathartic like the final twist in Michael Douglas' proto-ARG 1997 thriller.The game,or the latest twist on this year's hit comedygame night.) The studio's goal for the Why It's So Serious campaign was to generate excitement, acquire new fans, and monetize theater seats. Lieu recalls checking message boards at the end of the campaign and seeing fans discussing not only pre-sales, but also talking about buying tickets to a midnight show and showing up immediately after at 3am. "It was the first time," he says.

When the film hit theaters on July 18, it grossed $203.8 million in the domestic market in the first five days of its release and broke multiple en route to $1 billion in worldwide sales Entry records, the first for a Super Hero film. Given the hype surrounding the film, particularly the anticipation of Ledger's performance and the positive word of mouth, it's difficult to quantify the role the ARG played in the film's success. The 42 Entertainment staff I spoke to were careful not to exaggerate their own importance in the film's biggest financial success. “If you look at the traditional marketing material out thereThe dark knight"It was incredible," says Bonds. "But it all boils down to believing that Chris has really moved forward in the imagination of this world."

Of course, playing ARG was not a requirement to enjoy the film. When the truck rolls over during the movie chase or you see the Joker sticking his head out of a police car, that's great. No transmedia experience is required. But for fans who played the game, there were small details, missed references, and moments brought to life through months spent in the fictional Gotham City. The ARG was conceived as a "bridging story" between themBatman beginsmiThe dark knight, so if you played the game, you started walking when the movie started.

"When you see the film, you already feel part of this story."

When I ask Geoff May, the keeper of WikiBruce, if he liked the film, he immediately replies, "I loved it, oh boy." He was impressed with the combination of ARG and the film. "Depending on how much the makers of an alternate reality game know about the story, there are parts of the film that you feel more connected to based on the experience you had prior to the film. Therefore, you may be introduced to characters that may have a cameo appearance in the film, or lines or certain scenes that are connected, and then when you watch the film you already feel like you are part of that story.

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This quest for total immersion has propelled the world of ARGs in the years following the release ofThe dark knight, but the broader media landscape has also evolved. It was no longer news. Pros and fans of the genre cite several reasons for the end of the ARG era: studio marketing budgets began to shrink; Companies have become more risk-averse; the rise of social media has changed the way fans interact with these objects; and the market was saturated with games that didn't live up to expectations. 42 Entertainment continued to create projects for Hollywood such asTron: Legacy,Transformers: Age of Extinction,Girl with dragon tattoo, miamazing spider man— plus a variety of video game campaigns — but they have yet to replicate the global frenzy ofThe dark knightARG. Nobody else either.

"I think most of the legacy ofThe dark knightAlternate reality gaming was the introduction of that kind of storytelling and that kind of engagement that people haven't necessarily seen before," says Michael Andersen, who still writes about new ARGs like the recent oneDungeons and Dragons"Not a stone unturnedInteractive experience. “We're used to seeing brands dependent on this fashion. We're used to stories unfolding this way."

He cites more recent examples, such as the "in the world" sites for the latestJurassic ParkMovies, the Hooli campaigns launched for the HBO channelSilicon Valley, the lavish Blade Runner 2049 Experience at Comic-Con 2017, and an HBO stunt to promoteWestern worldat SXSW earlier this year, which recreated the town of Sweetwater, complete with beard trimming, knife throwing and real booze.

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Maintain a healthy skepticismvia ARG is probably a good idea. Do these narrative experiences stand out as art, or are they just shiny pieces of branded content? A bold new narrative genre or a flashy trend? Are they challenging the curious denizens of the internet or catering to the empowered fans? Part dual, part theme park ride, and part choose-your-own-adventure romance, they exist to attract and keep you engaged, which can lead to toxic results.

In the decade sinceThe dark knightReleased in theaters in 2008, fans of the genre have only grown eager to live and claim ownership in these fictional worlds. IfThe dark knight risesIn 2012 came the first critic who dared to give the film a negative reviewvarious death threats. That anger morphed into the bizarre and alienating subset of angry DC Expanded Universe fans defending the power of Zack Snyder.Batman gegen Superman: Dawn of Justiceand the latestJustice Leagueas if they were persecuted religious fanatics. Individual fans have always been mean and stupid online – the message boards of the 2000s were full of mean trolls, mean jokes and malicious arguments – but more and more digital mobs are ready to lash out at the slightest provocation. How Harvey Dent made a famous jokethe dark knight,You either die a hero or you live long enough to become a villain.

With the ARG, that moral choice was yours. Accept a dollar bill, look to the sky for a phone number, put on clown makeup, go shopping for a cake, look for a bat signal, wear a Harvey Dent campaign button, read a police report, or just type in a URL, you will Part of the Story 42 Entertainment can get you to do almost anything, but it can't get you to respect your fellow fans.

emThe dark knight, one of the Joker's main motivations is to prove that humanity is just as depraved, selfish, and cruel as he is. In the raft sequence, Joker detonates two ships: one with prisoners and one with civilians. He will let one boat survive if they decide to blow up the other boat. "When the chips run out, these civilized people are going to eat each other," he tells Batman in the film's interrogation room confrontation.

If that was ARG Joker's plan (much, much safer), it showed that the likes of Celina Beach and her fellow Jokers, who took to the streets of San Diego during Comic-Con, were primarily looking for fun and a sense of community. She remembers the experience as a happy morning where she "met new people" and talked about "how exciting it was." The players were cooperative, friendly and cheerful. "And it's a lot of fun," she says. He still has his joker dollar and he even kept his joker phone in a box somewhere; you never know when it will start.

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Jacksonis a writer for Thrillist Entertainment. he is on twitter@danielvjackson.


What is The Dark Knight message? ›

The Dark Knight, and the bulk of Christopher Nolan's filmography, is about lies. It's about the lies we tell ourselves in order to live and to interact with other people. For Nolan, he sees deception not as an inherently malevolent destructive force, but as a tool.

What was The Dark Knight's why so serious viral marketing campaign? ›

"Why So Serious?" was designed as a 360° alternate reality experience that played out over 15 months leading up to the release of The Dark Knight. Spilling out over a multitude of different platforms, this deep immersive campaign recruited the audience to become real citizens of Gotham City.

Why was The Dark Knight video game Cancelled? ›

Publisher Electronic Arts (EA) chose to cancel the game when it could not reach its intended December 2008 deadline. EA reportedly missed US$100 million in potential revenue for not releasing a Dark Knight video game. The publisher did not renew its license for the Batman intellectual property afterwards.

Why was The Dark Knight a success? ›

It is considered the "blueprint" for modern superhero films, particularly for its rejection of a typical comic-book film style in favor of a crime film that features comic-book characters. Many filmmakers sought to repeat its success by emulating its gritty, realistic tone to varying degrees of success.

What lesson does Batman teach us? ›

In order to achieve anything in life, you must be willing to make sacrifices. Bruce Wayne sacrificed his wealth and trained for several years to fight injustice. He sacrificed love to prevent putting his loved ones at risk. He wore a Mask not to keep his identity concealed but to keep his loved ones safe.

Why do people love Dark Knight? ›

One of the reasons why The Dark Knight holds up today as the best superhero movie ever made, even in the face of Marvel behemoths like Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, is because it is the most grounded and brilliant take on a real-life interpretation of, not just Batman, but a superhero.

Why is The Dark Knight Returns so influential? ›

The Dark Knight Returns reinvigorated Batman as a much darker hero than before. It also inspired decades of comics that came after it, as well as an animated film adaptation. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice also seized upon the confrontation between DC's top superheroes.

What does the Dark Knight trilogy teach us? ›

He Learned To Trust Others

Bruce Wayne is finally about to give in and show the world his face when Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) steps forward in his place, claiming to be Batman. He does this so that when Joker attacks him, the real Batman can step in and finally stop The Clown Prince of Crime.

Was Dark Knight Rises a success? ›

Upon its release, The Dark Knight Rises was a bonafide hit, with positive reception from both audiences and critics, and it made a mint to boot, earning over a billion dollars at the global box office.

What is the darkest Batman game? ›

Arkham Knight is the darkest Batman game ever, says developer.

Will There Be Dark Knight 4? ›

Speaking to Toronto Sun in 2019 while promoting Ford v Ferrari, Christian Bale explained why there was no fourth Batman movie from Christopher Nolan. Bale shared that Nolan had a “one movie at a time” mentality and they never assumed they had “an opportunity beyond one film at a time”.

Will there be a Dark Knight 3? ›

After perhaps the biggest ending tease in modern superhero films that doesn't involve Captain America's shield, Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight story concludes, with no intentions for a revival or a continuation.

Who is the best Batman? ›

1. Michael Keaton (1989-1992, 2023) To the original Batman of the big screen goes the crown. Unflinching, un-phased, unyielding, understated, unpretentious, and numerous other un- words, Michael Keaton's Batman really is the silent warrior at the gates.

Why is The Dark Knight such a masterpiece? ›

There is no doubt that the highlight of The Dark Knight is the performance of Heath Ledger. It is one of the greatest performances in cinematic history, and it could be argued that it changed the genre forever.

What impact did The Dark Knight have? ›

It showed that comic book movies can live within other genres and subgenres too, while never sacrificing the essence of the characters. More importantly, it was recognised by the industry, receiving eight Oscar nominations and ultimately winning two.

What was the hidden message in the Batman? ›

If you visit Rataalada again after viewing the video, the Riddler asks: “Do you think Thomas Wayne is a great man?” Selecting “N” will earn you another reward and a message of: "You're right to be untrusting of the rich and powerful.

What is Batman's moral code? ›

Batman has a famous moral code that keeps him from killing people, even ones as maliciously homicidal as The Joker. It's presented as an integral part of his character, and a vow he will never break under any circumstance*.

Who taught Batman to fight? ›

Bruce embedded himself in a great variety of clandestine martial arts organizations to learn their secrets, including the demon-hunting Ten-Eyed Men. 2012's Detective Comics #0 shows us Bruce's training with martial arts master Shihan Matsuda, from whom Bruce learns true mastery over his own body.

Who is Batman's love interest in The Dark Knight? ›

Rachel Dawes
First appearanceBatman Begins (2005)
Last appearanceThe Dark Knight (2008)
Created byChristopher Nolan David S. Goyer
Portrayed byBatman Begins Katie Holmes (Present-day) Emma Lockhart (Young) The Dark Knight Maggie Gyllenhaal
5 more rows

Who did Batman love The Dark Knight? ›

- Selina Kyle

Their history on the Earth-Two continuity developed to the point where Catwoman reformed and Batman admitted his love for her, formally marrying shortly after and having a daughter, Helena Wayne, who later became the Huntress.

Is Dark Knight a hero? ›

Type of Hero

Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne, is the titular main protagonist of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy. He is a billionaire socialite who dedicates himself as the protector Gotham City, as its the highly trained costumed vigilante under the alias of Batman.

Why is Bruce so old in The Dark Knight Returns? ›

-It's stated that the series is set 40 Years after Bruce's Parents were murdered. -Bruce has been retired from Batman for 10 Years. - James Gordon is retiring from GCPD at Age 70. This reveals that during the events of the series that Bruce Wayne was 48 and he retired at age 38 because of the death of Jason Todd.

Who is the main villain in Dark Knight Returns? ›

The Joker is one of the two main antagonists (alongside the Mutant Leader) of Frank Miller's 1986 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns comic book miniseries, a posthumous antagonist on its 2002 sequel miniseries The Dark Knight Strikes Again, a mentioned antagonist on the 1988 story arc Batman: Year One and the main ...

What is the moral of The Dark Knight Returns? ›

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts” (Aristotle). As a child, we don't know the difference between right and wrong.

Who is Batman's girlfriend Dark Knight Rises? ›

Talia (The Dark Knight Rises)

Why is Batman broke in Dark Knight Rises? ›

Like many tycoons, however, Wayne has lost fortunes over the years. In 2012's “The Dark Knight Rises,” a Gotham Stock Exchange heist by terrorist supervillain Bane leaves Wayne totally cash poor.

Would the Joker have been in Dark Knight Rises? ›

Owing to such a performance and as initially planned, Christopher Nolan was supposed to feature Joker in The Dark Knight Rises too but unfortunately, it wasn't possible due to Heath Ledger's tragic death.

Who was the last Batman? ›

In Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, this iteration of the character is portrayed by Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). In 2016, a new iteration of the character was introduced in the DC Extended Universe portrayed by Ben Affleck.

What is the coolest version of Batman? ›

The 10 Best Animated Versions of Batman, Ranked
  1. Batman: The Animated Series. Image via Warner Bros.
  2. The Lego Batman Movie (2017) Warner Bros. ...
  3. Batman: The Brave and the Bold. VFHvideo. ...
  4. Harley Quinn. HBO Max. ...
  5. DC Animated Movie Universe. ...
  6. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) ...
  7. Batman Beyond. ...
  8. Young Justice. ...
Nov 1, 2022

Which Batman game has the biggest map? ›

Gotham Knights has a map larger than any other Arkham Game.

What is the next Batman after Dark Knight Rises? ›

The Batman (2022 - now in cinemas)

Set for release on 4 March 2022, this latest reboot of the character will take place separately from the ongoing DCEU. It will star Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne and see Matt Reeves direct.

Is Bane Tom Hardy? ›

One of the most noteworthy is Tom Hardy's Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Known for his collaborations with director Christopher Nolan on Inception and portraying the anti-hero Marvel villain Eddie Brock (also known as Venom), Hardy has had his fair share of bodily transformations when preparing for a role.

Is The Dark Knight Rises 8 years after The Dark Knight? ›

According to Christopher Nolan himself, The Dark Knight Rises doesn't pick up where The Dark Knight left off, with Batman on the run and Commissioner Gordon rebuilding Gotham; it takes place eight years later. Here's what Nolan told them: "It's really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne's story.

Is The Dark Knight a 12? ›

Nevertheless, the BBFC judged the clear fantasy action context and audience familiarity with the superhero genre as sufficient mitigation against the film's sometimes dark tone, hence it was rated 12A.

How old is Bruce Wayne in Dark Knight Rises? ›

However, there's an about eight-year time gap between Dark Knight and 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, making Bruce 39 going on 40.

Who is Batman's #1 enemy? ›

No matter the media, the Joker remains Batman's greatest nemesis. On film, Jack Nicholson's Joker set the bar for villainy in Batman. Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning turn as the Joker saw the character orchestrate the shocking murder of Bruce Wayne's love, Rachel Dawes.

Who is Batman's number 1 villain? ›

The ultimate Batman villain is a deranged psychopath who acts as more of an agent of chaos than an organised criminal. Also known as the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker is the arch-enemy of the Dark Knight — one capable of such unthinkable evil that can make even Batman shudder.

Where does The Dark Knight rank all time? ›

The Dark Knight 97th greatest film

When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Why is the Joker so good in Dark Knight? ›

Among them are his facial makeup, his brightly-colored (and often clownish) clothing, and his maniacal laugh. Heath Ledger's Joker was not only fresh and completely original in its interpretation, even these classic Joker characteristics were present. He completely nailed each mannerism, right down to the iconic laugh.

What is the legacy of The Dark Knight? ›

Dark Knight Legacy is a fan film set one year after the Dark Knight Rises, following "Robin" John Blake's heroic journey to protect the symbol of Batman from the lethal, relentless attacks of a masked vigilante known only as the Red Hood.

What is the conclusion of The Dark Knight movie? ›

Batman gets shot, Dent survives, and then the barrel is pointed at Gordon's son. Two-Face wants the Commissioner to understand the pain of talking to a loved one in their final moments, just as he did with Rachel. Instead, Batman tackles Dent to his death.

Why The Dark Knight is the greatest movie of all time? ›

A grand action spectacle with the hero triumphing over the villain in a badass and satisfactory way. Most comic-book films end on the same cliché, with the hero(es) triumphing over the villain (with consequences, sure).

What does the Black Knight symbolize? ›

Dedicated to the service of his country, the Black Knight represented the ideal warrior, who was both strong in battle and courtly in fellowship.

What does the Dark Knight trilogy represent? ›

The Dark Knight is dominated by chaos and escalating conflict, while The Dark Knight Rises develops themes of pain and consequences, among others. Nevertheless, the trilogy is linked by a unifying theme defining the conflict between Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne / Batman and the villains who oppose him.

What is the meaning of dark night? ›

When it is dark, there is not enough light to see properly, for example because it is night.

Is Black Knight a God? ›

The Black Knight was originally a normal athletic human being with no superhuman powers. While sharing the gann josin with Sersi, his strength, speed, and other physical abilities were mildly enhanced. After the gann josin link was broken, Whitman returned to being a normal human being.

Is Black Knight good or evil? ›

This Black Knight became a villain, battling the Avengers before repenting and passing the sword on to his nephew, Dane Whitman. And though several other characters have taken up the Black Knight mantle since, Dane has remained the most popular and enduring version.

What is Black Knight weakness? ›

Weak to Dark Damage, Poison/Toxic and Frostbite.

What does the Joker symbolize in The Dark Knight? ›

The Joker embodies themes of chaos, anarchy and obsession: throughout the film, he expresses a desire to upset the social order in Gotham through crime, and defines himself by his conflict with Batman.

How does The Dark Knight relate to 9 11? ›

Christopher Nolan's film Batman: The Dark Knight is an allegory that utilizes the spectacle of 9/11 images and subsequent government policies - the War on Terror - to critique the black and white morality posited in the rhetoric of the Bush administration.

Who is the main villain of the Dark Knight trilogy? ›

The Dark Knight featured Heath Ledger's Joker as not just the best villain of Nolan's Batman trilogy, but also the best superhero movie villain for years to come. Ledger's interpretation of Joker was so horrifyingly authentic that the actor earned a posthumous Academy Award for his performance.

What does dark mean in the Bible? ›

God did not abolish darkness at creation. God added light. But for many, darkness symbolizes all that is negative, harmful, evil and fearful. God gave equal importance and prominence to darkness and light, and all life, including human life, begins and develops in the dark.

Do I have a dark soul? ›

Signs or symptoms of a dark night of the soul include spiritual depression, feeling hopeless, feeling isolated, questioning everything about yourself and your life, and searching for a sense of purpose, meaning, and/or belonging.

What causes dark night of the soul? ›

The phrase, “dark night of the soul” is often used informally to describe an extremely difficult and painful period in one's life, for example, after the death of a loved one; the break-up of a marriage; or the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness.


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