First things first. I spent quite a bit of time this morning piecing together the ending of the Dark Knight Rises. This post will contain that ending. So please unless you want to know the ending stop reading now
Warner Bros approved the release of DKR reviews yesterday. I spent about an hour and a half this morning culling thru them to come up with the ending of the movie. I went to a ton of sites and read both reviews and comment threads. Inevitably you would find a post that spoiled the end and people in the comment thread would say that it was a hoax because they saw it and thats not how it ends.
What I kept coming back to was referred to by a lot of reviewers as "the cafe scene" Finally tracked down a description of the scene. Didn't seem too important until I found out where it is in the movie.
At the end of the film Bane is killed and Batman uses the Bat to fly Bane's doomsday device into the river.
Batman is assumed dead and time passes with no Batman or Bruce Wayne.
Earlier in the film Alfred tells Bruce that durring the time everyone thought Bruce was dead in Batman Begins, that Alfred had traveled the world looking for him.
After settling affairs in Gotham, Alfred travels. He is in Paris when he sees a man that looks like Bruce at a cafe (the Cafe Scene). The man is out of focus so the audience cant really tell for sure if it is Bruce. Alfred starts to approach when he sees that the man is with Selina Kyle (Catwoman and Bruce's love intrest in this film). Alfred decides to leave them alone. Perhaps Bruce has finally found peace.
Now the very last scene to my understanding is this.
Donald Blake, friend of Bruce Wayne is investigating Bruce's disapearance and stumbles upon the Batcave.
He comes accross the Bat suit. Takes his badge off tosses it down and stares at the Batsuit.
Now is where I'd like to discuss why I believe this to be an accurate ending.
There are several endings out there that were either ridiculous or were possible. The ending i shared with you seems the most plausible for several reasons.
Number one reason is the amount of times you see the Cafe Scene referred to. Makes it feel like that definitely happens.
Number two is the fact that the ending as described or pretty close is in a lot of weird places. Can't imagine those sites working with each other to coordinate the hoax.
Third is an interview with Gary Oldman I read a long time ago when production was just starting.
Gary says that he could easily see the franchise continuing in the current Nolan-verse after TDKR. For that to happen either Bruce has to be alive or someone has to take his place.
Then there is the fact that the Donald Blake (Joseph Gordon Levit) hero clix figurine has "Donald Blake code name Azrael" on it. Azreal is the name of the character that took over as Batman after Bane broke his spine in the comics.
Donald Blake could easily take over as Batman or as a different hero in that particular Gotham city for future Nolan-verse films.
I can't see Warner Bros ending the franchise with a definite death of Bruce Wayne. He is a flagship character. An illusion of death like in the cafe scene ending maybe but a solid death doesn't feel feasible.
Ok so there it is my rant on the Dark Knight Rises. I want to say I could be wrong but I am confident that it will be pretty close to the ending above.