'The Dark Knight Rises': Will there be a director's cut?

Rumors have swirled that a director's cut of 'The Dark Knight Rises' will be released. Will it happen?

Ron Phillips/Warner Bros. Pictures/AP
'The Dark Knight Rises' starred Christian Bale as the caped hero.

Fans of Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy have been listening intently to talk about extra material that was cut from the The Dark Knight Rises – for example, an extended sequence of Bane’s origin story – and naturally there sprung a small hope that the DVD/Blu-ray home video release of TDKR would feature all the extra bits audiences didn’t get with the theatrical release.

Last week, in answer to fans’ hopes, a rumor surfaced that Dark Knight Rises was going to get a Blu-ray extended director’s cut. Today, we get contrarian confirmation that this is NOT in fact the case.

The Playlist spoke with the Nolan camp, who (in no uncertain terms) crushed the initial report from Nuke The Fridge that the extended director’s cut of TDKR was coming next summer ahead of the Nolan-produced Superman reboot, Man of Steel.

This really should come as little surprise, since anyone who’s spent time reading Christopher Nolan interviews (we admit, we’ve stalked him a bit ourselves) will know that the director believes in meticulous planning, efficiency and cost-saving when it comes to his films (despite their now-standard $150 million+ price tags). That’s all to say: Nolan usually plans what to cut and what to save at the pre-production stage – i.e., revising things in the script and storyboarding phases – and what he leaves on the cutting room floor in terms of footage (presumably less than a lot of directors), he wholeheartedly wants to leave on the floor.

On the other hand, Oscar-winning TDKR costume designer Lindy Hemming spoke at length about the Bane origin sequence in the context of them filming it – including mention of the early-version costume and mask Bane wore in that sequence. So we know that there are definitely “deleted scenes” from the film that exist – we’re just not going to get to see them.

Chris Nolan, as stated, is very meticulous (controlling?) about the craftsmanship of his films. While his singular driving vision has often resulted in some great films, this is a case where I’m genuinely wondering if he isn’t adhering a bit too strictly to his own rules. Throughout the run of The Dark Knight Trilogy Nolan has amassed legions of fans who have translated their adoration into (literally) billions of dollars for Warner Bros. – and a nice paycheck for the filmmaker himself. Not to mention, the same fans and their dollars fosters new career opportunities for Nolan to make his own original films like Inception.

Even if the Bane origin sequence or other cut scenes like it aren’t perfect, Nolan and his team of collaborators could almost certainly put together something that would let fans further enjoy his Batman movie universe. If not just deleted scenes from one film – which Nolan has pointed out are too scant to really excite – then a featurette of deleted scenes from all three films. The point is: it’s possible to do this, it’s just not being done.

Kofi Outlaw blogs at Screen Rant.

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