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The Dark Knight Trilogy

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The Dark Knight Trilogy

The Dark Knight Trilogy
Cover of The Dark Knight Trilogy box set of the three films
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on Batman publications and storylines published 
by DC Comics
Music by
Cinematography Wally Pfister
Edited by Lee Smith
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
Running time
  • 458 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $585 million
Box office $2.463 billion

The Dark Knight Trilogy is a superhero film trilogy, based on the DC Comics character Batman. The trilogy consisted of Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), directed by Christopher Nolan.

Following the critical failure and Lucius Fox.

Each film in the series was a box-office success, in particular the second and third films, which both earned over $1 billion worldwide. In addition, the films have received near-universal acclaim from critics and audiences, being praised for Nolan's direction and writing, the performances of the cast, the more realistic and darker reinvention of the source material, its major use of practical effects and stunts over computer generated imagery, and Hans Zimmer's score for each film.

The Dark Knight trilogy has gained widespread recognition as not only the crowning achievement of the superhero film genre, but also one of the best film trilogies of all time. Because the trilogy was meant to be a stand-alone series, the character is set to be rebooted once again for the upcoming DC Extended Universe, starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016.


  • Films 1
    • Batman Begins 1.1
    • The Dark Knight 1.2
    • The Dark Knight Rises 1.3
  • Recurring cast and characters 2
  • Reception 3
    • Box office performance 3.1
    • Critical and public response 3.2
    • Academy Awards 3.3
  • Home media 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


Batman Begins

Following a rejected Batman origin story reboot Joss Whedon pitched in December 2002,[1][2] Warner Bros. hired Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer to script Batman Begins.[3] The duo aimed for a darker and more realistic tone, with humanity and realism being the basis of the film.[4] The film relied on traditional stunts and scale models with minimal use of computer-generated imagery. Christian Bale starred as Batman, Liam Neeson starred as Ra's al Ghul, and Cillian Murphy as The Scarecrow. Katie Holmes also starred in the movie as Bruce's love interest, Rachel Dawes, a role created for the film. A new Batmobile (called the Tumbler) and a more mobile Batsuit were both created specifically for the film.[5][6]

Batman Begins opened on June 15, 2005, in the United States and Canada in 3,858 theaters. The film was a box-office success, grossing $48 million in its opening weekend, and eventually grossing over $372 million worldwide. The film received acclaim from critics who noted that fear was a common motif throughout the film, and remarking that it had a darker tone compared with previous Batman films. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography and for three BAFTA awards. It was also listed at No. 81 on Empire's "500 Greatest Movies of All Time".[7]

The Dark Knight

Christian Bale used an improved Batsuit from Batman Begins for The Dark Knight

Christopher Nolan reprised his duties as director, and brought his brother, Jonathan, to co-write the script for the second installment. The Dark Knight featured Christian Bale reprising his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Heath Ledger as The Joker, and Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Principal photography began in April 2007 in Chicago and concluded in November. Other locations included Pinewood Studios, Ministry of Sound in London and Hong Kong. On January 22, 2008, after he had completed filming The Dark Knight, Ledger died from a bad combination of prescription medication. Warner Bros. had created a viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing promotional websites and trailers highlighting screen shots of Ledger as the Joker, but after Ledger's death, the studio refocused its promotional campaign.[8][9] The film made use of IMAX Cameras throughout the film. Most notably during the bank heist, the hospital explosion, and the SWAT Caravan scene, where one of only three IMAX Cameras at the time, was destroyed in a crash.

The film received near-universal acclaim[10][11][12] and set numerous records during its theatrical run.[13] With over $1 billion in revenue worldwide, it is the twenty-third-highest-grossing film of all time, unadjusted for inflation.[14] The film received eight Academy Award nominations; it won the award for Best Sound Editing and Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor.

The Dark Knight Rises

Nolan wanted the story for the third and final installment to keep him emotionally invested. "On a more superficial level, I have to ask the question," he reasoned, "how many good third movies in a franchise can people name?"[15] He returned out of finding a necessary way to continue the story, but feared midway through filming he would find a sequel redundant.[16] The Dark Knight Rises is intended to complete Nolan's Batman trilogy.[17] By December 2008, Nolan completed a rough story outline, before he committed himself to Inception.[18] In February 2010, work on the screenplay was commencing with David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan.[19] When Goyer left to work on the Superman reboot, Jonathan was writing the script based on the story by his brother and Goyer.[20] Tom Hardy was cast as Bane and Anne Hathaway plays Selina Kyle.[21] Joseph Gordon-Levitt was cast as John Blake,[22][23] and Marion Cotillard was cast as Miranda Tate. Filming began in May 2011 and concluded in November.[24] Nolan chose not to film in 3-D but, by focusing on improving image quality and scale using the IMAX format, hoped to push technological boundaries while nevertheless making the style of the film consistent with the previous two.[25] Nolan had several meetings with IMAX Vice-President David Keighley to work on the logistics of projecting films in digital IMAX venues.[26] The Dark Knight Rises featured more scenes shot in IMAX than The Dark Knight.[26] Cinematographer Wally Pfister expressed interest in shooting the film entirely in IMAX.[27][28]

Like its predecessors, The Dark Knight Rises received both critical acclaim and commercial success, going on to outgross its predecessor and become the fifteenth-highest-grossing film of all time grossing over $1.08 billion. However, unlike its predecessors, the film was not nominated for any awards during its year of eligibility at the 85th Academy Awards.[29]

Recurring cast and characters


Box office performance

The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are two of only 23 movies to gross over $1 billion worldwide.

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Ref(s)
North America Outside
North America
Worldwide All time
North America
All time
Batman Begins June 15, 2005 $206,852,432 $167,366,241 $374,218,673 #120 #182 $150 million [30]
The Dark Knight July 18, 2008 $534,858,444 $469,700,000 $1,005,159,764 #4
#14 $185 million [31]
The Dark Knight Rises July 20, 2012 $448,139,099 $636,300,000 $1,084,439,099 #7
#8 $250 million [32]
Total $1,189,849,975 $1,273,366,241 $2,463,216,216 $585 million [33]
List indicator(s)
  • A light grey cell indicates information is not available.
  • (A) indicates the adjusted totals based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).
  • Batman Begins and The Dark Knight gross includes 2012 re-releases.

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Batman Begins 85% (266 reviews)[34] 70 (41 reviews)[35] A[36]
The Dark Knight 94% (314 reviews)[37] 82 (39 reviews)[38] A[36]
The Dark Knight Rises 87% (326 reviews)[39] 78 (45 reviews)[40] A[36]

Academy Awards

Award Batman Begins The Dark Knight The Dark Knight Rises
Actor in a Supporting Role Won (Heath Ledger)
Editing Nomination
Art Direction Nomination
Cinematography Nomination Nomination
Makeup Nomination
Sound Editing Won
Sound Mixing Nomination
Visual Effects Nomination

Home media

The DVD of Batman Begins was released on October 18, 2005, in both single-disc and two-disc deluxe editions and also released on VHS and UMD Video formats.[41] In addition to the film, the deluxe edition contained featurettes and other bonus materials. The edition contained a small paperback booklet, the first Batman story, featured in Detective Comics No. 27, as well as Batman: The Man Who Falls and an excerpt from Batman: The Long Halloween.[42] Batman Begins achieved first place in national sales and rental charts in October 2005, becoming the top-selling DVD of the fourth quarter of 2005. The DVD grossed $11.36 million in rental revenue.[43] The DVD held its position at the top of the sales chart for a second week, but fell to second place behind Bewitched on video rental charts.[44] The film had brought in $167 million in DVD sales by August 2006.[45] Batman Begins was released on HD DVD on October 10, 2006.[46]

The Dark Knight was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in North America on December 9, 2008. Releases include a one-disc edition DVD; a two-disc Special Edition DVD; a two-disc edition BD; and a Special Edition BD package featuring a statuette of the Bat-pod.[47] The BD/iTunes version presents the film in a variable aspect ratio, with the IMAX sequences framed in 1.78:1, while scenes filmed in 35 mm are framed in 2.40:1.[48] The DVD versions feature the entire film framed in a uniform 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Disc 2 of the two-disc Special Edition DVD features the six main IMAX sequences in the original 1.44:1 aspect ratio. Additional IMAX shots throughout the film that are presented in 1.78:1 on the Blu-ray release are not, however, included in the DVD's special features. In addition to the standard DVD releases, some stores released their own exclusive editions of the film. The DVD and Blu-ray Disc editions were released in Australia on December 10, 2008. Releases were in the form of a one-disc edition on DVD; a two-disc edition on DVD; a two-disc edition including a Batmask on DVD and BD; a two-disc Batpod statuette Limited BD Edition; a two-disc BD edition; and a four-disc Batman Begins/The Dark Knight pack on DVD and BD. As of December 19, 2008, the DVD release is the top selling film in the Australian DVD Charts[49] In March 2011, Warner Bros. offered The Dark Knight for rent on Facebook, becoming the first film ever to be released via digital distribution on a social networking site.[50]

The Dark Knight Rises was released on November 28, 2012 in Hong Kong and New Zealand. On December 3, it was released in the United Kingdom, and on December 4, it was released in the United States. It is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital download [51]

Coinciding with the release of The Dark Knight Rises, a box set of The Dark Knight Trilogy was released: "Designed by world-renowned graphic designer Chip Kidd, The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy tells the complete behind-the-scenes story of these influential films. Based on in-depth interviews with Nolan and all of the films' key cast and crew--including co-writers David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan, cinematographer Wally Pfister, and more--this slimmed down version of the original reveals the creative process behind the epic Dark Knight Trilogy, accented by beautiful artwork and never-before-seen set photography".

See also


  1. ^ Pappademas, Alex (May 2012). "The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth".  
  2. ^ Seijas, Casey (August 11, 2008). "Joss Whedon Talks About His 'Batman' Movie That Never Was".  
  3. ^ Fleming, Michael (January 27, 2003). captures director Nolan"Batman". Variety. Archived from the original on July 6, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ Graser, Marc; Dunkley, Cathy (February 8, 2004). "The Bat and the Beautiful". Variety. Archived from the original on July 26, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2006. 
  5. ^ Brain, Marshall. "How the Batmobile Works".  
  6. ^ Production Notes – The Batsuit & Gadgetry"Batman Begins".  
  7. ^ "Empire's 500 Greatest Movies of All Time". Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  8. ^ Crook, Marshall; Sanders, Peter (January 24, 2008). "Advertising: Will Marketing Change After Star's Death?". The Wall Street Journal. pp. B1. Archived from the original on May 4, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Ledger's Death Puts Last Films in a Bind". CNN. January 24, 2008. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2008. 
  10. ^ "The 50 Best Movies of the Decade (2000–2009)".  
  11. ^ "Film Critics Pick the Best Movies of the Decade".  
  12. ^ "Review of the Decade – Year-By-Year: Empire's Films Of The Decade".  
  13. ^ "Movie Records". Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  14. ^ "All Time Worldwide Box Office Grosses".  
  15. ^ Boucher, Geoff (October 27, 2008). "'"Christopher Nolan on 'Dark Knight' and its box-office billion: 'It's mystifying to me. Los Angeles Times. . WebCitation archive.
  16. ^ "Merrick" (pseudonym) (December 5, 2008). "Nolan Talks DARK KNIGHT Blu-Ray, a 100,000 Person Screening of the Film (Featuring Live Q & A w/ Nolan), TDK Sequel, and More!!".  . WebCitation archive.
  17. ^ Jensen, Jeff (November 30, 2010). "Christopher Nolan on his 'last' Batman movie, an 'Inception' videogame, and that spinning top". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2010. 
  18. ^ Bowles, Scott (December 7, 2008). "For now, Nolan and Batman will rest in 'Dark' glory". USA Today. . WebCitation archive.
  19. ^ Finke, Nikki; Fleming, Mike (February 9, 2010). "It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Chris Nolan! He'll Mentor Superman 3.0 And Prep 3rd Batman".  . WebCitation archive.
  20. ^ Boucher, Geoff (March 10, 2010). "Christopher Nolan takes flight with Superman: 'We have a fantastic story' [UPDATED]". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 4, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  21. ^ Jensen, Jeff (January 19, 2011). The Dark Knight Rises' scoop: Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy join cast"'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  22. ^ Sneider, Jeff (March 18, 2011). "Gordon-Levitt's 'Dark Knight' role revealed". Variety. Retrieved March 18, 2011. .
  23. ^ Labrecque, Jeff (March 21, 2011). "Joseph Gordon Levitt joins 'Dark Knight Rises'... but not as Falcone". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  24. ^ de Semlyen, Phil (November 19, 2010). "Exclusive: The Dark Knight Rises In May".  
  25. ^ Boucher, Geoff (October 27, 2010). "Nolan: 'Dark Knight Rises' finds the future in IMAX, not 3-D". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b Weintraub, Steve (December 22, 2010). "Exclusive: Exclusive: David Keighley (Head of Re-Mastering IMAX) Talks 'The Dark Knight', 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Tron: Legacy', New Cameras, More". Collider. Retrieved November 1, 2011. . WebCitation archive.
  27. ^ Gilchrist, Todd (April 20, 2010). "Cinematographer Wally Pfister Talks About Shooting 'Batman 3' in 3-D".  
  28. ^ "'"Batman teaser poster: Gotham city topples as 'The Dark Knight Rises. Daily Bhaskar. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  29. ^ Feinberg, Scott (January 10, 2013). "Nolan: The Oscar Nomination Snubs That Have Fans and Industry Insiders Baffled (Analysis)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Batman Begins (2005)".  
  31. ^ "The Dark Knight (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  32. ^ "The Dark Knight Rises (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Batman Moviesat the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Batman Begins". Rotten Tomatoes ( 
  35. ^ "Batman Begins (2005): Reviews". Metacritic ( 
  36. ^ a b c "CinemaScore". Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  37. ^ "The Dark Knight". Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster). Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  38. ^ "The Dark Knight (2008): Reviews". Metacritic (CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 18, 2008. 
  39. ^ "The Dark Knight Rises". Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster). Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  40. ^ "The Dark Knight Rises (2012): Reviews". Metacritic (CBS Interactive). Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  41. ^ Chaney, Jen (October 18, 2005). Batman': A Decent, If Not Heroic, DVD"'".  
  42. ^ "About the DVD".  
  43. ^ "Top renters: week ended October 30, 2005.". Video Business. November 7, 2005. 
  44. ^ "'Begins' has 2nd a win under its utility belt".  
  45. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 13, 2006). "WB mulls 'Superman' redux". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  46. ^ Ault, Susanne. "Batman flies to HD DVD.". Video Business. Archived from the original on October 14, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2008. 
  47. ^ McCutcheon, David (September 29, 2008). "Dark Knight Swoops In".  
  48. ^ Tribbey, Chris (December 3, 2008). Dark Knight' Ready to Turn Blu"'". Home Media Magazine. Archived from the original on December 24, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  49. ^ "Top 20 DVD – Daily Charts – – More Movies – More Music". December 19, 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2008. 
  50. ^ Helft, Miguel; Barnes, Brooks (March 8, 2011). "Warner Tests Renting Film on Facebook for Web Cash". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  51. ^ The Dark Knight Rises' out on Blu-ray, DVD on Dec. 4 – EXCLUSIVE"'". Entertainment Weekly. September 27, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
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