BatSym This article, The Dark Knight Returns (Nanosoldier), was written by Nanosoldier. Please do not make any changes to this fiction without receiving the author's consent.
The Dark Knight Returns
The Dark Knight Returns Teaser

Directed by

Sebastian Holloway
Jonathan Nolan

Produced by

Sebastian Holloway
Emma Thomas
Charles Roven

Screenplay by

Jonathan Nolan
James Vanderbilt

Story by

Sebastian Holloway
Frank Miller


Christian Bale
Anne Hathaway
Emma Watson
Sebastian Holloway
David Tennant
Michael Caine
Gary Oldman
Morgan Freeman

Music by

Hans Zimmer


Wally Pfister

Edited by

Lee Smith


Legendary Pictures
DC Comics

Distributed by

Warner Bros. Pictures

Release date(s)

May 1, 2014

Running time

172 minutes


United States
United Kingdom




$320 million


The Dark Knight Returns is an upcoming 2014 superhero film directed by Sebastian Holloway (and partially by Jonathan Nolan), who developed the story of the film with a screenplay written by James Vanderbilt and Nolan. The film is a sequel to the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises. Despite creating critical anticipation since its announcement, negative reaction to the continuation to Christopher Nolan's Batman film series followed almost immediately. Featuring the DC Comics hero Batman, the film will be the first of a planned trilogy by Sebastian Holloway. The film's title is the same of the famous comic series but is very loosely based on the comics itself. The film stars the majority of actors from Christopher Nolan's series, who were satisfied with the screenplay and the participation of Jonathan Nolan with exception of Heath Ledger, who was identically replaced by Sebastian voluntarily. Christian Bale reprises the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, with a returning cast of Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as James Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle. The film introduces Barbara Gordon, played by Emma Watson, the long-time missed neice of James Gordon who is trained formally by Selina and becomes the Batman's sidekick, Sebastian Holloway as The Joker, whose return and killing of John Blake prompts both Batman and Catwoman's return to Gotham City and David Tennent as The Riddler, a mysterious mastermind who has enigmatic connections with the Joker's affairs.


A masked vigilante who protects Gotham City from the criminal underworld at night. Despite claims that he would no longer play Batman in a future film after The Dark Knight Rises, Bale enthusiastically returned to the role after hearing of Jonathan Nolan's participation and watching Sebastian's previous film set in the Alien universe, Theseus. Due to story changes and a slight shift in the previous director's vision, Bale had to train regularly in the Keysi Fighting Method while focusing more on several variants of Kickboxing due to a scene where Bruce is brought back into shape by his partner Selina Kyle. Director Sebastian Holloway stated that Kickboxing is used hand-in-hand with Keysi for Batman's fighting style was to be more reminiscent of the comics.
Selina Kyle is a professional burglar who has a strange likeness towards felines. According to Anne Hathaway, Selina is going through a state of paranoia and during the film due to their return to Gotham City, which she described as heavily disgruntled. Hathaway stated when she was approached she was very reluctant due to the relatively new director but accepted upon hearing of Christian Bale's involvement. Anne Hathaway trained intensely with whips, due to Selina's introduction to the Matryoshka doll-like whip by Lucius Fox, which can extend or contract at will tipped with a sharp blade. Hathaway continued her routines that she trained for during The Dark Knight Rises with Emma Watson.
The niece of Police Commissioner James Gordon, who is remarkably enthusiastic to fight crime as a vigilante. Emma Watson was Sebastian's first choice for the role, stating she fit 'the whole rebellious girl philosophy'. When approached for the role, Watson stated she never knew of Batgirl but was an avid fan of comic book movies. In preparation for the role, Watson organized training sessions alongside Anne Hathaway and Christian Bale. Watson also stated that she extensively watched and studied Hathaway's movements and physique when she trained.
Bruce Wayne's trusted confidant and devoted butler. Caine, like other members of the cast, was too reluctant but decided to take to role again for a personal undisclosed reason. Director Sebastian Holloway has stated that Alfred, like Selina Kyle, is disgruntled of Bruce Wayne's return to the Gotham. Michael Caine has stated that it's unlikely for him to star in the next film of a planned trilogy due to his age.
A former FBI agent and current Lieutenant in the Gotham Police Department, Edward Nigma becomes increasingly mad with William Shakespeare. Sebastian cast David Tennant as the Riddler almost immediately when the project began after viewing convicing fan art. Both David and Sebastian saw the Riddler as the old classic, comic book Riddler. David was eager to play the Riddler as far more serious than Jim Carrey's version, also stating that the Schumacher films were 'plain homosexual dung'. This statement caused critical backlash from Schumacher but held a very supportive fan base. Tennant later apologized for his statement but still disliked Schumacher's films.

Batman's chaotic archenemy, bent on turning Gotham onto itself. Due to Heath Ledger's death in 2008 and Sebastian's desire to have the Joker return, Sebastian voluntarily took the role with the approval of his own casting crew. Sebastian intends to play the role exactly like Heath Ledger's portrayal. Upon taking the role, Sebastian stated he was extremely frightened and pushed due to the previous actor's death. Unlike Ledger's preparation, Sebastian instead adapted Heath Ledger's acting and expanded the role to fit the requirements the film has on the Joker. Jonathan Nolan took over directing when Sebastian played his scenes.
Bruce Wayne's supplier and armorer. Like Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman worried that his age would barrier between him and the role. Freeman has described that Lucius has begun to "degenerate from his former self due to his unemployment and has become a more street-wise and paranoid mastermind at technology".

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a brief appearance as the former Batman after the events of The Dark Knight Rises. Cillian Murphy plays Jonathan Crane, who plays a small but pivotal role in the Riddler's plot involving his fear gas.



After the release of Sebastian's previous film, the acclaimed Theseus, Sebastian hired screenwriter James Vanderbilt to rewrite a script Sebastian wrote late 2012 under the codename A Deterrent Gallant. After a considerable amount of time, Sebastian confirmed to an undisclosed audience on the production of a Batman film which was ultimately revealed to the public but was addressed as rumors.

After seven weeks of lengthy writing, which Vanderbilt described as "7 weeks in hell", Sebastian then pitched the script to Jonathan Nolan, who claims to have added more philosophy to the screenplay. When approached to the rumors, Jonathan officially confirmed the production of a Batman film but dismissed any questions on it being a sequel or reboot. At Comic Con 2013, Sebastian hosted a panel initially named "Sebastian Holloway's soon-to-be-disclosed film" where he announced the production of The Dark Knight Returns. The panel name immediately followed suite after the announcement. During the panel, Sebastian stated that the film has very reminiscent scenes from the comic line but is otherwise unrelated. At the end of the panel, a trailer was screened which was said to have been a mix of the themes of the last two films in the Christopher Nolan series. At the end of the trailer featured a dark scene where The Joker says maliciously "It's all about that sense of unpredictability...". After the trailer finished, the audience cheered intensely which resulted in complaints from the other panel. The same issue was raised when Sebastian Holloway confirmed himself as the Joker. Later, Holloway stated that the footage seen is a collection of moments from the one fifth of filming done.

Upon the introduction of the Riddler within the film, Holloway took several ques from fan productions, citing the fan film Batman: Puppetmaster as a major influence and avoided viewing Jim Carrey's Riddler. According to multiple sources and the majority of the production crew, The Dark Knight Returns has an extremely heavy mood that is highly reminiscent of the theme of The Dark Knight.


Costume Design

Riddle me Riddler

Both Holloway and Hemming stated that they wanted the Riddler to have a simple look but one that has an 'awful amount of malicious intent'.

Lindy Hemming from the previous trilogy returned due to her commitment to the Batman series. Hemming stated that she liked the whole idea of Edward Nigma actually being an obsessed detective attempting to prove himself better than the Batman, physical prowess aside. Hemming took cues from James Bond due the Riddler's governmental history and his fighting ability. The Riddler's suit was designed to be the simple G-man style. According to Hemming, it took 2 months to find the perfect Riddler hat in Los Angeles.

The Joker costume was almost exactly the same from the production of The Dark Knight, however the costume was designed to look like as if it was 'just bought from a local tailor'. The physique of the Joker's costume was designed to look more stronger and elegant, intentionally taking inspiration from the Joker's posture in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.