Just as it did four years ago, Warner Bros has debuted the first official look of the primary Batman villain on the cover of Empire. I won't comment too much on the images, and I couldn't give too craps about what that thing Batman is holding happens to be (we'll know when we know). But the article does contain one huge plot reveal, from Mr. Nolan himself ironically.
"It's really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne's story. We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after The Dark Knight. So he's an older Bruce Wayne; he's not in a great state."
The eight-year time jump does solve a few problems, notably removing the recent menace of The Joker from the picture and being able to ignore the immediate aftermath of the cliffhanger conclusion of The Dark Knight. Also, if last July's teaser trailer does indeed speak to Batman disappearing for a long period of time and then 'returning', well I think we can now guess why the film is called The Dark Knight Rises. Batman Begins was a loose interpretation of Batman: Year One combined with "The Man Who Falls". The Dark Knight took bits and pieces from The Man Who Laughs, "Batman versus the Joker", "Eye of the Beholder", and "Soft Targets" to craft a very loose variation on The Long Halloween. This time around, pardon the uncharacteristic speculation, but it appears that Nolan and company may be playing around with their variation on Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Again, pure speculation, and we'll know when someone officially tells us (or, heaven forbid, we see the movie). But share your thoughts below. Am I barking up the wrong (unsubstantiated) tree, or is Nolan closing out his trilogy with his take on that other Frank Miller story?