I recently had the pleasure of seeing The Dark Knight Rises again and I was surprised to realize how much crossover there is between The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception. Now, the obvious explanation to this is that Christopher Nolan has favorite actors that he likes to use. This is not uncommon, many directors do this. But the obvious explanation is boring so I’m going with something much better. There will be MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for all the movies.
As you read this, you should hang some plastic in the room around you Dexter-style because I am about to BLOW YOUR MIND.
So let’s start by listing the overlapping actors between The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception.
Joseph Gordon Levitt (JGL)- He was Arthur in Inception and John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises OR WAS HE???
Ken Watanabe- In Inception he was the one inexperienced guy on the crew. In Batman Begins he was the fake Ra’s Al Ghul who acted as a decoy for the real one (Liam Neeson).
Cillian Murphy- He played the target in Inception and he appeared as Scarecrow all three Dark Knight films. But perhaps there’s more to him than it seems…
Marion Cotillard- She was Leo DiCaprio’s crazy dead wife in Inception and (SPOILERS) Talia Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises, where she played as only slightly less crazy.
Tom Hardy- He played the muscle in Inception and in The Dark Knight Rises he plays….the muscle. But don’t take that to be a bad thing!
Michael Caine- In both Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy he plays the kindly, concerned father figure.
Why does all this matter you ask? I just want you to have a clear idea of the overlap between the two franchises, because here comes the kicker (pun intended):
The entire Dark Knight Trilogy is another “Inception” job.
That’s right, let it sink in.
In order to really grasp this revelation, you have to understand some facts about Inception that I am in no way making up right now. First off, the entirety of Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy was masterminded by Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Inception character. And he was working with Marion Cotillard’s Inception character, except that they’ve learned how to control her crazy by the time they get to The Dark Knight Rises. Now obviously, JGL and MarCot don’t show up until the last Dark Knight movie, but that was the plan all along. Much of the same Inception crew is in the Dark Knight Trilogy, except that Leo’s character appears as Commissioner Gordon. Ellen Page’s character appeared as Rachel Dawes, but then she got killed, which means she’s in limbo. Sucks to be her.
After the events of Inception was when the whole “Dark Knight Job” took place. “But Inception came out in between the second and third Dark Knight films, what gives?” Time has no meaning in this situation and stop asking challenging questions!!! The question you should be asking is this: why? Why go to all of this trouble? Why the elaborate Gotham City construct?
The end of The Dark Knight Rises reveals everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. The job was Bruce Wayne. You see, Bruce Wayne is real and he’s actually super wealthy. Wayne Enterprises is a thriving mega-corporation. However, Bruce Wayne is NOT actually Batman, he just thinks he is in his dreams. Bruce Wayne’s Batman alter-ego (including the Batcave and the Applied Weapons division) are all constructs that he uses to safeguard the delicate information that protects his wealth. JGL uses Bruce Wayne’s mental Batman identity to play the long con and access what he needs to take sensitive information from Bruce Wayne.
The entirety of The Dark Knight Trilogy is JGL’s quest to gain access to the Batcave so that he can inherit the cowl and take control of Wayne Enterprises. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. And the best part is that Bruce Wayne voluntarily gives it up after faking his own heroic death, so he won’t even put up a fight outside of the dream. Tom Hardy, MarCot, and the rest all play small or large roles to lead Bruce Wayne to the point where he gives up his Bat-wealth in this elaborate dream. And who was the most influential on Bat-Bruce choosing to give up the cape? Michael Caine, who was also in Inception. He was working from the inside all along!!
Are these casting decisions coincidences??? I THINK NOT!!!