So, if you have not seen The Dark Knight Rises by now I advise you to not read any further because spoilers do lie ahead.
- Christopher Nolan loves Year One. Juno Temple played a version of Holly Robinson.
If you didn’t know by now, Christopher Nolan loves Frank Miller’s work. He even once gave his brother Jonathan an issue of Year One as a birthday present. So, right off the bat, I could tell who this character was from her first introduction. If you somehow have not read nor seen (there is an animated version which is great) Batman: Year One, here is a little info on the character:
Holly first appeared in Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One as a juvenile prostitute who lives with Selina Kyle. Holly plays a small but significant role in the story when she encounters a disguised Bruce Wayne during one of his early attempts at crimefighting and stabs him in the leg. Wounded by this attack and a subsequent battle, Wayne escapes back to his home, brooding on the fact that his enemies do not fear him. This encounter is an impetus for his creation of the Batman persona. As such, Holly plays an indirect role in the Dark Knight’s origin.
Now obviously the character is different in the movie, as many of them are in the Nolan-verse, and she only had a very minor role, but it is definitely a cool little nod to the fans of Year One.
- Roland Daggett from Batman: The Animated Series
Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn portrays John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises. In the animated series, Roland Daggett runs a rival corporation called Daggett Industries. In the movie, Daggett runs a rival company and uses Bane to take Wayne Enterprises down (which doesn’t necessarily work out well for him in the end).
- Killer Croc in the sewers
Remember when Foley makes the comment about Gordon seeing “giant alligators” down in the sewer? Now, some of you are going to say that this is far fetched but hear me out.
It’s not. Because Killer Croc already did appear in the Nolan-verse. I take it that many of you have already forgotten about Batman: Gotham Knight, the animated DVD that was released which took place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight? THE SHAME!
If you didn’t, you’d realize that Batman and Gordon have already gone into the sewer where they ended up fighting Killer Croc. Yup. This was the same animated short that also saw Jonathan Crane putting someone on trial and sentencing them to death. Sound familiar now?
- Yet ANOTHER Frank Miller reference during the chase scene
Remember during the chase scene when a veteran cop tells a rookie to “sit back, you’re in for a show?” As pointed out in our recent TDKR analysis podcast, that’s a wink-and-a-nod to an almost identical scene from The Dark Knight Returns, a story which features a similarly resurgent Batman after years of retirement, once again showing that Nolan does know his source material.
- All of the numerous Robin Easter eggs. Yup. Robin Eggs. Both intentional and unintentional.
If you’ve seen the film than by now you know the ending. And you’ve probably figured out that John Blake is somewhat of a mixture of Dick Grayson and Tim Drake. Grayson was an orphan in the comics while Tim Drake figured out that Bruce Wayne was Batman, thus leading to him becoming the third Robin after Grayson’s first.
Did you also notice the name of the one football player to survive the field caving in?
Now, Hines Ward was obviously playing himself but they definitely could have changed the name. But maybe Nolan and company left it as kind of a nod to Burt Ward who played Robin in the television series? Intentional? Unintentional? What do you think?
And I know quite a few people that missed this one. That R is the one that Tim Drake used on his Robin suit. Now, it’s a truly “blink and you miss it” moment, but Nolan could have taken it out and instead chose to leave it.
So, while none of these are really big deals, they are cool nods to the fans. Bravo Nolan.
Now, can you think of any that we might have missed?