When we first saw the second trailer for The Dark Knight Rises that included scenes appearing to show an uprising of the poor against the rich, we wondered if one of the plot elements of the movie could be something similar to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Rumors had even swirled that Christopher Nolan had considered including some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters in the movie when he was filming in New York.
In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, Christopher Nolan makes some comments that definitely draw some parallels between the movie and Occupy Wall Street. However, Nolan also makes it very clear that the movie is not based on Occupy Wall Street and that rumors that he was thinking about including the protestors in the movie were completely false. Nolan points out that he and his fellow collaborators came up with the idea behind The Dark Knight Rises over three years ago. Nolan even points out that he applied for shooting permits for New York “nine months before Occupy Wall Street even existed.” Nolan said that he wanted to film at Wall Street because it is a symbol of American wealth and capitalism.
Instead of Occupy Wall Street, Christopher Nolan cites A Tale Of Two Cities as his source of inspiration for The Dark Knight Rises. Of course, A Tale Of Two Cities deals with the uprising of the French peasantry against the French aristocracy. Even though The Dark Knight Rises might seem relevant to current events such as Occupy Wall Street, Nolan seems to be making it clear it was not inspired by current events, but rather by a book that is more than 150 years old.
If the second trailer is any indication, there might be a great deal of correlation between the Dark Knight Rises and A Tale Of Two Cities. Gotham City clearly appears to be a city where “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Scenes from the second trailer that show Bruce Wayne in some type of prison also could be seen as a parallel to Charles Darnay’s imprisonment in A Tale Of Two Cities. Like Darnay, Wayne has a virtuous nature, but his wealth makes him a target to the wrath of revolution.
In the Dark Knight Rises Prologue, Bane even says, “the fire rises,” which is the title of one of the chapters from A Tale Of Two Cities. Even the image below of the uprising taking place in Gotham City is reminiscent of “The Sea rises” illustration from A Tale Of Two Cities.
Also, think about how Selina Kyle tells Bruce Wayne, “You really think this is going to last? There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits you’re all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”
Now compare it to this quote from A Tale Of Two Cities, “But, there were other echoes, from a distance, that rumbled menacingly in the corner all through this space of time. And it was now, about little Lucie’s sixth birthday, that they began to have an awful sound, as of a great storm in France with a dreadful sea rising.” Storms, rising, it certainly seems like The Dark Knight Rises will owe a lot of inspiration to A Tale Of Two Cities, as Nolan suggests.