(Welcome to The Dark Knight Legacy, a series of articles that explore Christopher Nolan’s superhero masterpiece in celebration of its 10th anniversary.)

A decade ago, Christopher Nolan stepped into an echelon that only a few filmmakers occupy, wherein moviegoers around the world know his name as well as they know any movie star. Only a handful of directors — Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese — can claim entrée into this exclusive club. For Nolan, it’s thanks to his second superhero film, The Dark Knight, celebrating its tenth anniversary this week. There are many reasons why The Dark Knight remains an incredible, exciting, if still very disquieting blockbuster; perhaps the biggest reason of all is the conception, in writing, directing and performing, of Batman’s most feared villain, the Joker.

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Dark Knight Anniversary

(Welcome to The Dark Knight Legacy, a series of articles that explore Christopher Nolan’s superhero masterpiece in celebration of its 10th anniversary.)

This week, The Dark Knight turns 10 years old. Its legacy still looms large, for better and worse. Here is the story of how Christopher Nolan changed the face of superhero movies forever. The story of how one movie proved that comic book adaptations could be a lot more than kids stuff. And the story of how some of it backfired, giving birth to a new era of fandom that just wanted to watch the world burn.

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Red Hood Dark Knight Legacy

Though it was released over a year ago, there’s still some debate as to the ending of Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises. Is Bruce Wayne alive, or a figment of Alfred’s imagination? Is John Blake going to become Robin, Nightwing or a new Batman? While there are certainly arguments to be made over the first question, the answer to the second is much more cut and dry. Don’t forget Bruce Wayne’s quote from Batman Begins: “As a man, I’m flesh and blood; I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. But as a symbol…as a symbol I can be incorruptible. I can be everlasting.” Even though John Blake’s name is inexplicably “Robin,” the film ends with him rising to become the next personification of that symbol, fulfilling the point of the entire series.

Audiences will see a brand new Batman in theaters in 2015, but we’ll likely never get to see Nolan’s version of Blake’s story. So director Brett Register and other fans of Nolan’s series have created a fan film called The Dark Knight Legacy. It’s set one year after the events of The Dark Knight Rises and follows John Blake as Nightwing, who must defend Gotham City from a new villain known as the Red Hood. Check it out below. Read More »