Notes Of A Storyteller: How I Would Have Re-Told “The Dark Knight Rises” (Part 1)

Welcome to Part One of the big double-header for Notes Of A Storyteller.

I know you’re probably sick and tired of listening to people talk about The Dark Knight Rises. However, I came up with an angle on it that I haven’t seen anyone else use when writing about this movie.

If you’re looking for commentary on Aurora, by the way, I’m not going to write it. There are people better qualified than I am to write about that. All I’m going to write about is the movie.

When I walked out the midnight premiere for TDKR, I had a big grin on my face. It was breathtaking and uplifting. However, I sensed that I would have told the story in a different way. There were certain things that didn’t satisfy me. After writing stories myself, I couldn’t resist dreaming of tinkering with the plot. After a week of discussing the film with the friends, I decided more clearly what I would have changed.

If I had written the screenplay and directed The Dark Knight Rises, this is what I would have done with the Nolan brothers’ story. Part One is today. Part Two releases tomorrow.

(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)

“If you make immature comments about this blogger’s post, it will be extremely painful… for you.”

1. I would have spent more time with Bruce Wayne sulking in his mansion. Our hero has been changed dramatically since we left him fleeing the police in The Dark Knight. To drive that change home, we need to spend more time with Bruce’s new persona.

2. I also would have spent more time in the beginning with Commissioner Gordon. His family has left him, and he is soon to be cast aside by the mayor. The former must be crushing him; he must have some clue of the latter. I would want a closer look at his anguish. Perhaps we see him re-reading a letter from his wife, or flashbacking to when she left (then she could say some things that haunt Gordon because they bring him back to the night of Dent’s death).

3. I would have shown more explicitly the impact of the Dent Act. I want to see some people hauled off to jail, or some people in the streets complaining about it. Maybe have Blake interrogating one of the old mob bosses, trying to find more criminals, only to have them accusing them of tyranny.

4. I would have added a coalition of citizens growing fed up with the Dent Act, and beginning to ask questions about the authorities that brought it into existence. I would have Dr. Crane emerge from the chaos, claiming to be sane, and leading this coalition hunting for answers. There should be an argument between him and Gordon, who most certainly does not trust him.

5. Bane would not have appeared in Gotham until later in the film. A character like him needs some build-up. I would keep the air raid at the beginning, because it sets the mood, and it is a chilling introduction to Bane- and it’s freaking awesome. After that I wouldn’t show him for a while. I would scrap the whole part where Gordon enters the sewers and discovers Bane’s army. Let Gordon begin to pick up the rumors of work in the sewers. Let him begin to hear whispers of a man who fears nothing, a man who even the most hardened criminals don’t dare mess with. Bane himself doesn’t appear until his attack in the stock exchange.

6. You’re probably wondering at this point about Selina Kyle. After we spend some time with apathetic Bruce, and some tense conversations with him and Alfred, then she shows up. Her theft of Bruce’s pearls has more impact when we have spent time with Bruce and realize what he is being shaken out of.

7. I would devote a whole scene to see Bruce shave off his beard. That’s such an important character transition. When he first arrives at the charity ball, he needs to be bewildered. He hasn’t been smothered by cameras for a while.

8. When Bruce loses his fortune, let him spend some more time with Selina. If they’re going to have a relationship, they need to some bonding now. I would have them both hunt for Bane. Instead of Selina fearing Bane, maybe she doesn’t entirely understand who she’s dealing with, and thinks she can double-cross him like she means to double-cross Bruce.

9. As Selina “helps” Bruce/Batman find Bane, she gets the opportunity to show Bruce the poor side of Gotham he’s been ignoring for the last 8 years. This would also give another chance to emphasize the impact of the Dent Act and the poverty problems Batman was never able to solve.

10. I would eliminate the romance with Miranda. I would keep her as Talia, who has infiltrated Wayne Enterprises as a business executive, but I would not have her born in the prison, and I would not have any bond between her and Bane. For Bane’s character to work, he has to be aloof. He has to be heartless. He is the one who is “born in the dark”, who is stronger and more cunning than any other man or woman. Talia is Ra’s adopted child, and a surviving member of the League of Shadows, who is working with Bane. She doesn’t try to kill him because she doesn’t dare.

11. When Selina double-crosses Batman, Bane doesn’t send him to the prison immediately. First, he takes over Gotham. Then he hauls Batman, Gordon and Fox into the middle of the town and exposes the big lie about Dent, and takes off Batman’s mask. The poor people and the prisoners are enraged when they learn about the deception, and they proceed to make Gotham their own. Of course, Dr. Crane leads the charge.

Click here for Part 2. What do you think so far? Is there anything I need to explain more? Is there something you want to argue with me about? I love arguing about movies. Hit me!

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One response to “Notes Of A Storyteller: How I Would Have Re-Told “The Dark Knight Rises” (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Notes Of A Storyteller: How I Would Have Re-Told “The Dark Knight Rises” (Part 2) | Sean McGuire

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