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Old 12-14-2012, 09:01 AM   #1
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Default Jonathan Nolan's original draft

Many of you might remember that Chris Nolan had mentioned that the original draft that Jonah gave him was around 400 pages or something, and that it had some "really crazy stuff" in it.

Now, if you look at page ix of The Dark Knight Trilogy screenplay book, where the Nolans and Goyer are all being interviewed, Chris Nolan also mentions that his initial challenge was scaling back Jonah's draft. Nolan says that Jonah initially took the audience to a "very, very extreme place", and that he had to pull it back a little bit.

I don't think that we'll see that original draft any time soon, but I think it would be fun to speculate. What do you guys think was so extreme about it, and why was it so damn long?

I personally think that the nuke originally went off in Jonah's draft, and that it was probably a lot darker than the finished product. I also have a hunch that maybe that there might have been some credence to those early rumors about Hugo Strange being in the film, with direct influences from the Prey storyline.

Speculate away!

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Old 12-14-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

I would agree that based on Nolan's comments, it probably was a lot darker. I can't imagine that he actually let Gotham get nuked, but I do imagine more of a detailed look at Bane's occupation. More rich people getting dragged out of their homes by angry mobs, more executions, that kind of stuff.

I'd be shocked if there were entire villains like Hugo Strange that were cut from the film, but you never know. This version of the script is probably like the Holy Grail for Bat-fans now

Shame we'll probably never see it though

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Old 12-14-2012, 10:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

I think drafts are exactly that....drafts. Throwing a lot of ideas , until someone else (or through revisions ) comes along and tries to form a more cohesive work.

But yeah , i would love to read it.

If it was more extreme and dark , i think that would definitely be related to Bane. He's a character you can push to the limit.

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Old 12-14-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

Probably killed off Alfred.

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Old 12-14-2012, 11:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

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Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises View Post
I would agree that based on Nolan's comments, it probably was a lot darker. I can't imagine that he actually let Gotham get nuked, but I do imagine more of a detailed look at Bane's occupation. More rich people getting dragged out of their homes by angry mobs, more executions, that kind of stuff.
This. The "extreme place" could have very well been a more detailed look of Bane's revolution.

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

Maybe he turned Gotham into Lud. Just without Blaine and the God-Drums.

edit: Your best bet is to just go read A Tale of Two Cities and try to impose the characters from TDKR over similar characters from the novel, since it inspired Jonathan's script for the film.

edit 2: In the scene where Selina is looking around that hallway while everyone is partying (during Bane's Speech/montage), is that a pair of shoes hanging at shoulder length?

I'd imagine there were probably dead cops/rich people hanging from street lamps and stuff. Maybe implied beheadings and general craziness like at King's Landing in the previous season of AGOT when Joff got hit with the dung.

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

I'd say there was a lot of emphasis on "Banes Gotham" showing just how far the city plunged into the depths of its new found ideology. Lots of violent, grotesque imagery. Violence, rape, "uncontrollable thirst."

There are very few moral decisions (both for the characters and the audience) in TDKR compared to TDK. A lot of the moral decisions missing were likely derived from the dark, extreme places the original draft highlighted.

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

A lack of feeling that Bane's Gotham was actually in a bad way, is one of my negatives with the film so if that was what the focus was than its kinda upsetting if it was taken out. Seeing Bruce around Bane's gotham would have ben cool as well.

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Old 12-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

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Originally Posted by Deserana View Post
A lack of feeling that Bane's Gotham was actually in a bad way, is one of my negatives with the film so if that was what the focus was than its kinda upsetting if it was taken out. Seeing Bruce around Bane's gotham would have ben cool as well.
Completely agree

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Old 12-14-2012, 04:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

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A lack of feeling that Bane's Gotham was actually in a bad way, is one of my negatives with the film so if that was what the focus was than its kinda upsetting if it was taken out. Seeing Bruce around Bane's gotham would have ben cool as well.
As much as I like the movie and how it concludes the trilogy, I have to agree with this. Seeing more of Selina during Bane's occupation would've been nice as well.

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Old 12-14-2012, 05:32 PM   #11
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As much as I like the movie and how it concludes the trilogy, I have to agree with this. Seeing more of Selina during Bane's occupation would've been nice as well.
Sadly, TDKR fails to include what made TDK so great in the first place. TDK was so revolutionary because it showed the effect of the existence of a superhero type figure on REAL People. I don't think there has ever been a movie that so thoroughly eviscerated and examined how a superhero would affect us in real life, show that there would be consequences even with the benefits. No city, or society, has ever felt as real in a comic book movie as Gotham did in TDK, and thats why there was so much tension when the Joker's plans were about to come to fruition. Bane's plans were one hundred times more horrific than the Joker's, this guy literally took an American city full of millions of civilians and laid siege to it for five months. But there is no tension there because Gotham doesn't feel like a real city anymore, rather it is a summation of the main characters.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

Yeah, I'd hope that it was a more in-depth look at Bane's dystopia because that was the part that needed the most fleshing out.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

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Gotham doesn't feel like a real city anymore, rather it is a summation of the main characters.
You've said it here better than I ever could. I love the film it is a solid high end 9/10 and is far better IMO than anything else I have see this year (funnily enough possibly since Inception) but this is the main and possibly only biggish issue I have. Right on the money.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

I remember reading a rumour that Bane drapes Alfred's body over a searchlight (like Bruce does with Falcone in BB) to draw Bruce out. That's the kind of thing I can imagine being cut from a draft

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

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I remember reading a rumour that Bane drapes Alfred's body over a searchlight (like Bruce does with Falcone in BB) to draw Bruce out. That's the kind of thing I can imagine being cut from a draft
I also remember (a very valid rumour if I recall) that there were far more people being trialled than what we see in the film, apparently according to people who were there a lot more was filmed in the courts as well anyway the rumour was that one of the people being judged was stamped to death by Bane after being ruled "death" by Crane.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

I wish the Alfred thing happened, as long as he was still alive.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

While I like to think that the draft has everything we ever wanted and wished TDKR has, my guess is that it's just a more bloated version of what we got. For all we know, it's just 2 hours more of Foley, Daggett, and Blake. And still no Selina at the 2nd act, still less Batman/Gordon/Alfred, and still very little of the Gotham citizens during the occupation. Or maybe it's the other way around. Sadly, we'll never know.


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I remember reading a rumour that Bane drapes Alfred's body over a searchlight (like Bruce does with Falcone in BB) to draw Bruce out. That's the kind of thing I can imagine being cut from a draft
That wasn't even a rumor. Just a speculation/idea/dream scene by a poster here IIRC. Same with the idea that the reason Bruce was screaming in prison was because someone was getting killed in front of him every time he fails to escape. Lots of ideas/speculations were thrown around back then just going by the set pics and reports. Funny how close some were and how way off the others turned out to be.


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Old 12-14-2012, 06:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

Yeah, I have a feeling that the cuts were justified. The film was bleak as all hell as it is, I don't really know how another half hour of people getting dragged from their homes, killed and sentenced to exile would have made it a better film. It would have made it a more brutal film, but for a PG-13 blockbuster tentpole it's still about as brutal as they come.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get my hands on that draft, it'd be a fun artifact to have. But I think a super bloated draft was just Jonah's way of getting all his ideas out there for Chris to digest and condense. He obviously knew a lot was going to get cut.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

The biggest flaw of the film for me is the lack of Gothamites and Bane's rule over Gotham. It almost seems like they limited the amount of Bane's rule because for comic fans the obvious thing would be for for him to break open Arkham at some point which would lead to obvious questions about where the Joker is. Thee are just so many missed opportunities with the what could have been going on in those 5 months that made it the hell hole Bane described to Bruce.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:58 PM   #20
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

My guesses:

A more detailed and depressing look at what an occupied Gotham would be. Which is too bad it was cut. If they could do it without avoiding the R, showing how Gotham has turned into basically a third world war with mass murder and chaos would have made it a lot more poignant for Batman coming back to save these people and bring in more stark relief when the cops show up at the end.

I also imagine there was a lot more character development, but probably more of the secondary characters and not the primaries. Think Foley, Dagget and Jen. I actually bet Jen died in the film and it was cut for time and tone because Selina is alone and a lot more miserable when Bruce comes back with no mention of her.

Those are my guesses.

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Old 12-14-2012, 09:12 PM   #21
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

Interesting. That is the major gripe the majority of us have with the film. That's beyond disheartening that we never got to see such an important and vital plot point. Well we got it, but it was clearly glossed over.

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Old 12-14-2012, 09:19 PM   #22
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

^Couldn't they imply some of that stuff; like showing a random thug dragging someone off into a dark alley/building or shadows cast by corpses of the rich hanging. You don't see anything but you know what's up.

IDK about Prey, but those Deacon Blackfire rumors were probably based on Bane's recruitment/sewer army and charismatic speech. Like the Nolans read those stories and felt some of it would work well with Bane.

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Old 12-14-2012, 09:38 PM   #23
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

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^Couldn't they imply some of that stuff; like showing a random thug dragging someone off into a dark alley/building or shadows cast by corpses of the rich hanging. You don't see anything but you know what's up.

IDK about Prey, but those Deacon Blackfire rumors were probably based on Bane's recruitment/sewer army and charismatic speech. Like the Nolans read those stories and felt some of it would work well with Bane.
You'd think. I love Bane's speech at blackgate, and the montage showing his tyrannically reign over Gotham. But we needed more insight into it, to make us feel for Gotham wanting Batman back. Which is funny, because the only people that wanted Batman back were the main cast and the orphans, lol.

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Old 12-14-2012, 09:47 PM   #24
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

We also needed some insight into how Gotham felt about the Dent cover up revelation.

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Old 12-14-2012, 09:47 PM   #25
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Default Re: Jonathan Nolan's original draft

As much as Nolan likes to say he doesn't cut stuff from his films, I think this one is probably missing quite a bit that was filmed(not just stuff from the first draft). There's probably a lot more footage of Bane's revolution and Bruce's imprisonment on the cutting room floor.

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