Michael Caine Chimes in on The Dark Knight Rises’ Ending


The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Movie PosterSPOILERS FOR THE DARK KNIGHT RISES BELOW

Hard to believe, but Michael Caine at one point was going to turn down Christopher Nolan’s offer to co-star as Alfred in 2005’s “Batman Begins”. Turns out he didn’t, and as they say, the rest is history.

Speaking to the LATimes about his experience working on Nolan’s three Batman films, Caine was asked about the final installment’s ending, which found Alfred going back to his favorite European cafe and spotting, across the room, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) having an afternoon lunch with a lady companion who happened to be Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). This, after Batman was supposedly killed in a nuclear blast, having risked his life to save his beloved Gotham City.

There have been a lot of speculation about that scene — was it all in Aflred’s head? The wishful thinking of an old man who has just lost, in essence, a son? Or was it real?

For Caine, there is no ambiguity to the scene:

They were there. They were real. There was no imagination. They were real and he was with Anne, the cat lady, and I was happy ever after for him as I told him during the picture.

Haha, he calls Hathaway’s character “the cat lady”. That’s such an old guy thing of Caine to say.

In any case, there you have it, what Caine thought of the ending. I get the feeling Nolan isn’t so certain, and as with his ending for “Inception”, would rather leave it up to you. That is, until Warner Bros. reboots or continues the franchise a few years from now. I guess we’d have to know for sure one way or another then, right?


Christian Bale and Michael Caine in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Movie Image

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    THERE! Now that’s too up in the air Nolan endings that Caine has set the record straight for!

  • Dbl R Superstar

    There is no ambiguity. It’s very clear that Bruce lived. 1-The money Wayne enterprises supposedly lost is referenced 2-The autopilot system on the Wing was fixed. 3-And the Bat signal was replaced.

  • Aegon the Conqueror

    I still think Bruce died, simple as that.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      Fair Enough. Though after return viewings you may change your mind. There are deifnitely good arguments for both. I am of a mind he did live. And I know if he did Batman wouldn’t leave Gotham to someone else, but he has in the past, and with his body being basically broken, twice, he wouldn’t be much help for long anyway. Either way, dead or alive iot was a good ending to me.

    • KIdris90

      JGL and Caine have confirmed he didn’t die. The script and official novel by Greg Cox make it very clear that he didn’t die. The movie itself makes it very clear he didn’t die- Autopilot being fixed, missing pearls seen on Selina, etc.

      There is NOTHING to suggest that he actually died. Bruce is not suicidal. He won’t ignore the AP and kill himself for no reason.

  • punishment

    if bruce died i would think they would have him with Rachel Dawes not cat women

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      VER VERY GOOD POINT!!! However the sting of finding out she chose Harvey may have affected that if he was dead. Selina was someone he actually had more in common with.

    • Juggernaut

      First of all Bruce is alive. Secondly, The only reason that Catwoman was included at all is that she is Bruce’s soul mate. While Hathaway’s performance was very good and her look was cool she was totally unessesary to the plot.

  • Predator_dos

    I didn’t recall Alfred knowing anything about Bruce’s relationship with Selena, or even knowing who Selena was at all for that matter, so if it was just his imagination then Catwoman would not be in it. I think its pretty obvious that the ending is real and Bruce survived.

    As for continuing the franchise, I think it could easily be done. Just imagine John Blake going too far in his role as Batman, and actually starts using lethal force, similar to the way Jean Paul Valley did in the whole Knightfall storyline when he took over for Bruce after Bane broke his back.

    Bruce could then be compelled to return and restore the image of Batman and decide to re-assume the manlte. Question is, we know Nolan sure as hell wouldn’t do it, but could Warners convince Bale to return.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      The question isnt whether it can be done, it’s whether it should be or not. Of course it CAN be but doing it would diminish the the point and emotional impact of the ending.

      • Juggernaut

        Agreed. That ending sewed up so much that another film would unravel the entire series.

  • Lexavi80

    I honestly don’t understand the confusion. Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle were THERE on the cafe while Alfred drank his coffee. What’s not to understand? It was a closed ending.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      I don’t see how you can say that. Even Nolan himself has declared repeatedly that the ending is “open-ended” — that is, the audience can take it however they like. He was always more interested in the symbol of Batman than the fate of Batman.

      • Juggernaut

        I’m sure this will continue to be debated but in my opinion it was a perfect ending. Bruce is alive. He fixed the auto pilot, restored the Bat-Symbol, left the mantle to Blake and showed up at the cafe to ease Alfred’s concsience. Bruce gets to live the rest of his life happily with a kindred spirit. Blake takes the place of Batman and fights for the city, Gordon has someone that he can rely on and believe in and Alfred has solace in the fact that Bruce has not been destroyed by the pain and turmoil in his life. Roll credits!

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

          HERE HERE!!! Again it was a balsy move on the writers part but in my opinion it paid off!

      • Lexavi80

        In Inception there were clues through the whole movie that, combined with the end, is certain that Cobb was still sleeping. For example: Check the scene when he’s talking on the phone with his son and daughter. That’s not the voice of a 5 year old girl and a 3 year old kid (like they appear in the images). It was more like a 10 year old girl and an 8 year old boy or so. And still, at the end he see his kids, the same age as they were before he leaves, and even wearing the same clothes!

        In DKR, Alfred see Bruce in the cafe, but why he sees Selina too? Why didn’t he imagine him with Thalia? He was trying to set him up with her anyway. Did someone told him Thalia was the dab one all along? Maybe. But even so, he had no reason to imagine Bruce with Selina. He just saw her once in a computer and that’s it.

        I would understand if Alfred saw Bruce alone at the cafe, but please! It was a close ending for Bruce. The only open ending is for John Blake/Batman.

      • KIdris90

        Where has Nolan said that? Chris Nolan didn’t say it. Jonah said it because he likes people debating about his movies. The script and novel make it clear he’s alive. Greg Cox confirmed it. JGL confirmed it on Letterman, and now Caine has confirmed it.

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

          Still a Nolan. Didn’t say which Nolan.

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix


          At the bottom. He’s repeated this numerous times in numerous interviews.

          • Urizen

            Is there a quote where Chris Nolan explicitly says that both theories about Bruce survivng are equally valid? In that interview he’s reponding to a question about possible sequels and it seems to me like the “open ended elements” he’s referring to are are the possibilites for the adventures of “Batman” to be ongoing in the form of JGL’s Robin character. That’s more consistent with his comments about the themes.

            “the open-ended elements are all to do with the thematic idea that Batman was … a symbol, and the symbol lives on. “

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

            Honestly, though, at this point people are so invested in either explanation that aside from Nolan himself showing up at their doorsteps to confirm their suspicions, they will refuse to give in. Which is fine. I think that is Nolan’s intention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003259405838 Mark Dannenberg

    obviously Bruce Wayne dies! An he will return in “The Dark Knight Rises again” as a Zombie and will Rape Jokers Corps…