The Internet is abuzz with rumors this morning that Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. are planning to release an extended director’s cut of The Dark Knight Rises when the film hits DVD and Blu-ray at some point in the future. However, given Nolan’s steadfast refusal to do extended or director's cuts in previous home video releases, how much credence can we give to this gossip? Let’s look at the facts and do a little speculating.
Website NuketheFridge.com (maybe the best website name ever) is reporting that they’ve got the inside skinny and it says Nolan will finally release his first director’s cut for one of his features when The Dark Knight Rises comes home (presumably sometime next year). The site has a fairly decent track record for getting the early scoop on things (they knew about Thanos and The Avengers for example), so we’re willing to consider the rumor at this point.
The more we think about it, the more sense it makes. Nolan may have been uninterested in releasing extended versions earlier in his career because he felt the finished print was definitive. The filmmaker is a meticulous editor and it’s not a stretch to imagine him poring over frames of films like Inception, hacking and splicing until he was completely pleased with the end result.
Unfortunately, circumstances were slightly different for TDKR. Nolan’s film runs roughly two-and-three-quarters hours, which is the longest it could be to fit on IMAX projector platters. This real-world consideration had to have influenced his editing – and that he wound up turning in a film that was as large as it physically could be seems to indicate that he had to make compromises he might not have made otherwise.
We also know that Nolan shot a fair bit of footage that didn’t make it into the film – including a scene involving Bane’s origin. What we don’t know is if that scene was “good,” or if Nolan excised it because he was unhappy with it or how it affected the pacing of his narrative. That being said, the sequence sounded pretty important when a costume designer described it for GQ awhile back.
Nuke the Fridge’s sources indicate that a director’s cut of TDKR will feature not only that scene, but more with Ra’s Al Ghul – and that all of the extra footage will make the film about 30 minutes longer than it already is.
While we won’t know anything until there’s an official announcement, a director’s cut of The Dark Knight Rises makes some sense based on what we know. It seems obvious that Nolan was forced into making some editing decisions based on the limitations of theater technology – and if that’s the case, it’s safe to say that his vision was at least somewhat compromised in the theatrical print of the film. The question then becomes “is it so compromised that Nolan feels the need to ‘fix’ it for the home video release?” Only Nolan himself can answer that question (and so far, he hasn’t responded to this rumor), but there’s a first time for everything – and we wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if this was the first time the world was treated to Christopher Nolan director’s cut.
What do you guys think? Will we see an extended version of The Dark Knight Rises or will Nolan stand pat with the theatrical cut? Let us know below.