I may be going against the previous established theme of this blog by discussing a Christian Bale project that is actually happening, but it seems necessary to comment on the flurry of rumors regarding Joseph Gordon-Levitt potentially playing Alberto Falcone in The Dark Knight Rises.
For anyone who has either not read any Batman graphic novels penned by Jeph Loeb, or who has not paid attention to what the internet has been saying about Batman recently, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the guy from 10 Things I Hate about You, Third Rock from the Sun, 500 Days of Summer, and some other things that don’t have numbers in the name) may or may not be playing “the good son” of Carmine Falcone, the mob boss driven insane by Scarecrow’s poison gas in Batman Begins. As “the good son” of a mob boss, that naturally means that Falcone, as penned by Loeb, went to Harvard, is a mixture of Fredo and Michael Corleone, is a Rhodes scholar, and is also a serial killer.
This is him after he reveals that he’s a bad guy. He also always wears sunglasses inside and at night. It was written in the 90s, so maybe they’re those old transition lenses that don’t transition back to normal very well.
The peculiar aspect of this is that, if he is Alberto Falcone, JGL (as the fan boys are inevitably calling him) would be playing a character in the Gotham universe whose entire existence is limited to the graphic novels The Long Halloween and Dark Victory. This is in stark contrast to villains such as The Joker, The Scarecrow, Rhas Al Ghul, and Two-Face, all of whom have careers in the comics spanning decades (most, since the 1940s), but whose antics are each reduced to one or two feature films. This means that a) there is no precedent that he is following, as Albert Falcone has never been on screen before, b) there is very little material to draw on to inspire Falcone, so that his character is open to interpretation for the Nolan brothers and Joey GL, and c) Batman will still be fighting gangsters in this third film.
Further good news is that Nolan has said that The Dark Knight Rises is the conclusion to a trilogy, and that the story will come full circle, bringing things back around to Batman Begins.
Here is what Nolan and Bale should do:
In The Long Halloween, it is revealed that Thomas Wayne (Bruce’s father) saved the life of Carmine Falcone when Falcone was brought by Vincent Falcone (his father) to Wayne Manor in the middle of the night. Mr. Wayne got murdered several months later in an unrelated incident, and the whole thing was swept under the rug until Harvey Dent brought Bruce Wayne to trial and suggested Wayne and the Falcones were doing dirty business together. This was during the good old days of Harvey Dent, before his disfigurement, killing sprees, villainry, etc. If you’re having trouble remembering who Falcone and Dent are, Falcone is the mob boss who is driven to insanity by Scarecrow’s toxic gas in Batman Begins, and Harvey Dent is the District Attorney who gets his face burned and kills a bunch of people in The Dark Knight.
What I hope Nolan means when he says that they are returning to Batman Begins is that we will see both a) more of Bruce Wayne, and b) more of Wayne’s past and issues. What makes Wayne compelling is that he has issues that are so serious that he thinks the best way to handle them is not through hobbies, therapy, getting a job, or any meaningful relationships with other people: he thinks the best way to deal with his anger is by convincing his butler to help him perform citizen’s arrests while wearing a bat suit.
In the films, we can learn that Thomas Wayne did once save a member of the Falcone family. He saved Alberto Falcone. Alberto has just returned from some time in Europe (similar to how ol’ Brucey spent some time fighting guys in Chinese prisons and getting trained by Qui Gon Jinn), and he’s upset about the fact that crazy guys in costumes are ruining his city, and that his father is imprisoned in Arkham Asylum, rather than the couple years he would’ve gotten in Gotham Penitentiary before getting to walk. Alberto calls on Bruce, hoping Bruce can understand. They both come from old Gotham families. They both care about this city. They both want true justice. Whether or not Alberto is a criminal is yet to be seen, but it is slowly revealed that he wants to fight both the villains and Batman in his own way: by taking them out using mob hit men. As The Dark Knight has risen, so have the villains . We can see characters such as Solomon Grundy, The Mad Hatter, and other various villains in minor roles, with Selina Kyle as a temptress and anti-heroine who may offer him a chance to get over the loss of Rachel, for whom he still grieves. Bruce gradually realizes that he has contributed to the downfall of his city, rather than its salvation.
There is no way that Alberto can be the Holiday Killer, as the Holiday Killer is a) way too complicated of a character and storyline, and b) a surprise, twist ending in The Long Halloween, and there would be no surprise as it’s revealed all over the internet (which is why I’m okay with ruining it here as well.)
And as a sour note regarding whatever Nolan and Bale do decide to do with The Dark Knight Rises, it’s worth noting that it will be ruined by the fact that Zach Snyder (the man who defecated on The Watchmen and thinks the best part of Harry Potter is the owls, but it would be better if they could talk) is in the process of ruining Batman, Superman, and whoever else he can get his hands on with a Justice League movie.
Also, I apologize for the more serious tone of this post. I assure you that the next one will be more hypothetical and hyperbolic.