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If 'Dark Knight Rises' Was 10 Times Shorter and More Honest

FADE IN:

EXT. AIRPLANE

After DC COMICS reminds everyone of their shitty new logo, HANS ZIMMER plucks a couple strings until HOODED TOM HARDY and nuclear scientist ALON ABOUTBOUL are taken on board CIA AGENT AIDAN GILLEN'S PLANE.

AIDAN GILLEN

We were only expecting the scientist, who the fuck are you?

TOM HARDY
(in 5.1 surround)

Remember how the lasht villain was introduced in a full-head mashk, only revealing hish true face ash he pulled off an overly elaborate plan that involved shacrifiching hish own underlingsh?

(removes hood)

WE'RE DOING IT AGAIN, WITH NO SHURVIVORSH!

Some of TOM'S GOONS enter the plane from another plane and start killing EVERYONE.

ALON ABOUTBOUL

Are you trying to make this look like a plane crash? Do you really expect people to believe this plane's wings broke off and then it flew for about 100 more miles before crashing?

TOM HARDY

(Mickey Mouse voice)

OF COURSH!

TOM turns the plane into a puddle of MEAT AND ALUMINUM, absconds with ALON and dangles from a ROPE for a few hundred miles.

INT. BALE MANOR

GOTHAM'S ELITE are gathered listening to SPEECHES.

GARY OLDMAN

I had a speech prepared to talk about Aaron Eckhart, but then I realized it would be the film's third podium speech in less than nine minutes.

(tucking speech into pocket)

I refuse to read this speech right now. Christopher Nolan is just going to have to figure out some other way of delivering eight years of exposition.

ANNE HATHAWAY walks around, handing out hors d'oeuvres purrrfectly.

MICHAEL CAINE

Anne, I need you to deliva a meal to Master Bale. Though I could just do it myself, I'm goin' to give you strict instructions instead. Here's a key that I almost certainly shouldn't be givin' a stranger in a house wit' a secret superhero lair underneath it.

ANNE HATHAWAY

Thanks, I'll do what I can to appease Mr. Bale, who I understand has been a reclusive cripple for the last eight years. You like how I worked that in? That's how you do exposition, bitches!

ANNE instantly doesn't follow her instructions and instead steals PEARLS from a SAFE.

CHRISTIAN BALE

(limping with a cane)

I can't let you take those tracking devices, er, pearls.

ANNE HATHAWAY

Oh? Let me guess, the whole hobbling around on a cane thing is just part of your act and you're about to show everyone you're still a badass?

ANNE knocks the cane out of BALE'S hand and he falls over, wheezing and groaning pathetically.

ANNE HATHAWAY

Oh. Wow, this is going to be a long three hours.

Meanwhile ...

INT. SEWERS

COMMISSIONER GARY OLDMAN follows some criminals into the sewers. He is then ATTACKED and brought before TOM HARDY.

HENCHMAN

Tom, we caught Commissioner Oldman! All he was carrying was a speech about Aaron Eckhart that he almost read in the last scene, but didn't.

GARY OLDMAN

I carry that everywhere! Who knows when you'll be invited to speak and you want to bring your own web of lies crashing down around you?

TOM HARDY

Commisshioner Oldman! I know you're in a shewer and I take fashion adviche from the Shredder, but resht assured no turtlesh will reshcue you.

GARY OLDMAN

What are you doing down here? What insidious design do you have for Gotham? And why are you wearing a goatse mask?

TOM HARDY

Goatshe? What? My mashk doesn't look ... oh my God, you're right, and now I can't shee anything elshe.

While TOM is distracted, GARY goes completely limp, which SAVES HIM.

TOM HARDY

Find out where the shewer water ish carrying him!

HENCHMAN

Though I have detailed schematics of the city and the sewer, I am unable to do that! In fact, nobody possibly could!

In the very next shot, JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT finds GARY OLDMAN effortlessly and takes him to the hospital.

GARY OLDMAN

Thank you, Joseph. You're a good cop, in fact I'm going to promote you to, oh let's see, what's less than Commissioner? Detective? You're that now.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

It's an honor. I'll go research who Tom Hardy is, since you learned his name despite nobody using it around you.

JOSEPH heads to BALE MANOR, walking by MATTHEW MODINE, who SUCKS.

INT. BALE MANOR

JOSEPH meets CHRISTIAN BALE, still hobbling around.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Look, I know it's been eight years, but Batman needs to return.

CHRISTIAN BALE

Wait, what? How do you know I'm Batman?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

I met you a long time ago, and I could tell by the look in your eyes that you missed your dead parents. So I deduced that you dress like a bat and beat up criminals.

CHRISTIAN BALE

Damn, I knew I should have worn a pair of glasses. I'll do it, but you're missing the point of Batman. He could be ... anyone.

(looks directly at Joseph)

ANYONE.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

I'm glad you're coming back. I know everyone blames you for Eckhart's death, but I know better, because Batman never kills!

CHRISTIAN BALE

Actually, I did kill Aaron Eckhart. People keep acting like I falsely took the blame for that, but it was the murder of cops that I took the blame for. I straight-up shoved Eckhart off a building and he fell to his death.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Yeah well, when he got half of his face blown off by he-who-must-not-be-named, that's when he TRULY died. Inside.

CHRISTIAN BALE

Yeah, I'm sure that would hold up in court. "Your honor, he was sad first."

CHRISTIAN BALE learns how to be BAT-BALE again, with the aid of a BAT-LEGBRACE for his leg and a BAT-LEGBRACE for his shoulder.

CHRISTIAN BALE

This legbrace gives me a super-powerful kick that I will never use at all, I'm not sure why we're even showing any of this!

MORGAN FREEMAN

I also have a flying vehicle if you want, but it's NOT A BATWING, OK? Have I been in the movie long enough to justify giving you new toys? Yeah? Great.

(vanishes)

MICHAEL CAINE

Master Bale, I burned Maggie Holmes' letter to you because I thought it would stop you from bein' Batman, but now I truly see that tellin' you about da note is what will stop you from bein' Batman.

CHRISTIAN BALE

The knowledge of this note only makes me want to be Batman even more!

MICHAEL CAINE

Sir, when you were gone, I took a trip to Florence every year, and I went to a cafe and looked around, hopin' to see you retired from dis franchise. There's not many people who know dat!

CHRISTIAN BALE

Michael, I must- wait, you took a vacation to Italy every single year? Exactly how much of my inheritance did you blow doing this?

MICHAEL CAINE

Would it help if I told you a long-winded moralistic story from my time doing God-knows-what before I became a butler? Spoiler alert, I get to say the word "tangerine."

CHRISTIAN BALE

You're fired. But if the doorbell rings, I still expect you to answer it.

INT. WALL ST.

TOM HARDY and his GOONS break into WALL ST., which apparently GOTHAM has.

TOM HARDY

Transhfer all of thish money to a thing. It will take eight minutesh, which I mention only to create a continuity problem when we transhition from day to night in that shpan of time.

Some MONEY is transferred, but that doesn't matter, what matters is that they escape on MOTORCYCLES! And CHRISTIAN BALE has one of those! Forty-five minutes in, CHRISTIAN BALE in his RUBBER SUIT emerges!

BAT-BALE

Look everyone, it's everyone's favorite masked crimefighter who broods about his dead parents and refuses to use guns!

BAT-BALE immediately uses a GUN made of LIGHT BULBS. This stops the SECONDARY CRIMINALS, but not TOM HARDY, professional BADASS.

HENCHMAN

You're too late! The progress bar is already full, so whatever that means happened! Maybe we'll find out later, long after the tension of this scene has disappeared!

MATTHEW MODINE

(sucks)

The entire GOTHAM POLICE FORCE chases BAT-BALE, who hops back onto his BALE-POD and speeds away.

POLICE CARS converge on BAT-BALE, but luckily they do so on the exact street where he parked his BRAND NEW FLYING REJECT FROM TRANSFORMERS, so he flies away. Also GOTHAM has no police helicopters.

EXT. ROOFTOP

ANNE HATHAWAY confronts a guy who looks suspiciously similar to FRANK GORSHIN, but is NOT THE RIDDLER. She is then cornered by a bunch of THUGS.

ANNE HATHAWAY

Uh oh, I'm trapped. I sure hope Batman comes out of retirement exactly tonight and decides to come exactly here.

BAT-BALE

Grrgrll farggle raar!

ANNE HATHAWAY

Holy shit, you kept the fucking voice? Does Christopher Nolan just not have Internet access or something? Has nobody EVER done the "Bale-voice" in front of him?

BAT-BALE

I'm here to help you, remorseless criminal! I smashed a guy's face in for being a vigilante superhero in the last movie, but I'm going to go easy on you for some reason. A boob-related reason.

ANNE HATHAWAY

No thanks, I can take care of myself. I'm obviously a master thief, which you can tell because I paste other people's fingertips over my own to avoid leaving a trace but don't even so much as pull my long brown hair into a ponytail.

BAT-BALE

Plus your skintight outfit is made from the same basketball as the new Spider-Man's, so I know you're legit!

The two of them fight side-by-side just long enough for COMIC NERDS to cream their pants but not long enough for REGULAR PEOPLE to realize how stupid what they're watching is.

BAT-BALE

You stole Christian Bale's fingerprints. I'm really, really concerned about him, which should not arouse any suspicion at all.

ANNE HATHAWAY

Christian Bale? The guy who went into seclusion the day you disappeared? And who made an appearance the morning you came out of retirement?

BAT-BALE

Uh ... yeah. You're not piecing things together, are you?

ANNE HATHAWAY

Miraculously, I am not. I wanted the fingerprints because a guy on Bale's board of directors said if I got them, he'd clear my criminal record.

BAT-BALE

Again, completely out of character for me, I will clear your criminal record if you help me locate Tom Hardy.

ANNE HATHAWAY

Not going to use some kind of technology? Bat-sonar? Heatmap? Nothing? We're just going to force this relationship because we had a thing in the comics? Fine, I'll lead you to him. Meet me tomorrow night.

INT. BALE MANOR

CHRISTIAN BALE returns to BALE MANOR only to discover that his FINGERPRINTS were used to take all of his MONEY during the STOCK MARKET HEIST, and apparently trading wasn't frozen in light of armed criminals sacking the place.

CHRISTIAN BALE

Poverty, Batman's one true weakness! Just when you thought the stakes couldn't get any higher!

MARION COTILLARD

Christian, I know you and I are in some kind of awkwardly established business relationship, but I think you and I should sleep together.

CHRISTIAN BALE

Well, I'm still not over Maggie Holmes. But on the other hand, sex.

They do the BATDANCE. Suddenly the ELECTRICITY is turned off.

CHRISTIAN BALE

Oh come on, I went broke like two hours ago! I couldn't have even gotten a bill yet!

INT. SEWER

CHRISTIAN BALE sneaks out of his mansion and meets ANNE HATHAWAY in the sewer.

BAT-BALE

Alright, I just finished having sex, but all I could do was think about Tom Hardy the whole time. Wait, that came out wrong.

ANNE HATHAWAY

OK, I'll take you to him. But be aware, I'm a female in a Christopher Nolan movie, which means I represent either innocent naivete or selfish betrayal.

They PUNCH their way through the SEWER and eventually find TOM HARDY. But it was a TRAP, TOM HARDY expected it!

BAT-BALE

Selfish betrayal, damn!

TOM HARDY

That'sh right, Batman! Or should I shay ... CHRISHTIAN BALE!

ANNE HATHAWAY

Whaaaaaaaaaaatttt?!?! OK, mind fucking blown right now, guys.

TOM HARDY

At lasht, Liam Neeshon's plan will come to fruition! Even though Gotham ish basically fixed now, I will complete the plan to deshtroy it!

ANNE HATHAWAY

So the plot of the first movie, but less coherent this time?

TOM HARDY

OF COURSH! But firsht, I musht break the Bale!

BAT-BALE

So it comes to this, the epic match between two graduates of the world's most lethal ninja organization. Truly this battle will be a showcase of precision fighting techniques and tactical skills.

(swings wildly and grunts)

Grrggllrrr frrrraar!

TOM HARDY

Why are you shtill doing the voice? Literally everyone in thish room knowsh who you are now.

BAT-BALE

Earlier, I did it while alone. I don't see why I should stop just because it annoys a guy wearing an athletic cup on his face.

TOM punches, strikes, pokes, smashes, hits, kicks, slams, pounds, uppercuts, assaults, throws, drills, smacks and eventually BREAKS BALE.

EXT. GOTHAM CITY

TOM HARDY proceeds to destroy all of GOTHAM'S BRIDGES and traps the entire police force underground, providing them only with FOOD, WATER and RAZORS APPARENTLY.

TOM HARDY

People of Gotham, it ish time to rishe up againsht the 1 percent! Redishtribute the wealth! Occupy Kane Shtreet! Anarchy, muwa-ha-ha!

(pause)

Alsho there may or may not be a nuclear bomb that I will ushe to murder you all, thanksh to Alon Aboutboul. The guy from the plane, remember? He'sh dead now, by the way.

Instantly GOTHAM'S CITIZENS turn into brutal rioting malcontents, attacking the rich and looting homes. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT takes GARY OLDMAN from the HOSPITAL and keeps him in hiding.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Wow, look at how this city has turned. I guess Occupy Wall Street is just a bunch of idiots who are paving the way for terrorists to destroy the country.

GARY OLDMAN

Damn, I thought the pro-fascism sentiment in the last movie was overt, this one may as well just have someone read from Frank Miller's blog.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Wait, that might happen, Tom is on TV about to read something. Just to be clear, we're about to watch a guy whose lips don't move read from a piece of paper.

TOM HARDY (O.S.)

Gotham! I have here a shpeech that Gary Oldman bothered writing down for shome reashon! It saysh Aaron Eckhart wash actually a bad guy, and Gary covered it up!

GOTHAM'S CITIZENS

We have no reason not to believe you! Death to Oldman!

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Gary, is this true? Because if it is, it means that pretty much every decision a protagonist made in the last film was the wrong one. For shame.

GARY OLDMAN

(annoyed)

Hold on, is the best actor in this fucking movie really spending 80 percent of it in a hospital bed and then getting reamed by the kid from 3rd Rock?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Oh my God, look at the TV! Hardy has released all of Gotham's prisoners except for you-know-who! I dare not speak his name, but he's a smoker and a midnight toker getting his lovin' on the run, if you catch my drift.

MATTHEW MODINE

(fucking sucks)

GOTHAM completely falls apart, so much so that it starts to look almost exactly like NEW YORK from a distance and PITTSBURGH up close.

INT. PRISON - PAKISTAN

CHRISTIAN BALE wakes up in a PRISON.

CHRISTIAN BALE

Where am I? Please don't tell me this is another Terminator movie.

PRISONER

You're in Tom Hardy's prison. He left you here with a television, a doctor and a completely unguarded escape route.

CHRISTIAN BALE

That bastard! Would you mind punching my spine back into place? Because that's how spines work.

PRISONER

Sure, I'll just dangle you from a rope and when your feet touch the floor, you can walk again. At least that's what I learned pre-med at Ohio University.

CHRISTIAN BALE

Thanks! I'll forgo using my comic book counterpart's genius intellect and advanced technology to recover and instead just do some sit-ups and push-ups for a few weeks.

PRISONER

Yes, you must learn to be Batman once again! Just like in the first movie. And the first half of this movie.

CHRISTIAN BALE climbs out of the prison as soon as he learns the other prisoners keep chanting the FILM TITLE at him.

EXT. GOTHAM

GARY OLDMAN is being put on TRIAL by CILLIAN MURPHY, relieved to not be wearing a BURLAP SACK on his head for once.

CILLIAN MURPHY

For the crime of me sitting through Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, I sentence you to exile!

GARY OLDMAN and a bunch of OTHER PEOPLE are forced to leave GOTHAM by walking over thin ice. Just as OLDMAN is about to fall through and die, BAT-BALE shows up!

GARY OLDMAN

It's alright, everyone! Batman is here now, so the ice isn't dangerous anymore!

BAT-BALE

Gary, I need you to find the truck carrying the nuclear bomb and put this thingamagig on it.

GARY OLDMAN

Got it, nobody better for this job than the oldest guy here!

BAT-BALE

Anne, I need you to ignore your nagging questions about how I got back into the city from Pakistan without any money and blow open a path out of Gotham.

ANNE HATHAWAY

Alright, but the fact that you keep trusting me for absolutely no reason indicates you might have some serious brain damage.

BAT-BALE

Joseph, I need you to free all of the police from the sewers so they can use their years of tactical training to pack themselves into an alleyway and run straight at Tom Hardy's military-equipped army.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Will do, make sure you blow up exactly one of the weapons on exactly one of Hardy's tanks to help them.

BAT-BALE

Matthew, you suck. Seriously.

MATTHEW MODINE

(dies)

BAT-BALE

Alright everyone, we have to move quickly because I kind of wasted three hours drawing a bat made out of fire on the bridge.

ALL-OUT WAR breaks out, with COPS and HENCHMEN and EXTRAS having a HUGE FIREFIGHT with PG-13 BULLETS that just make everyone REALLY SLEEPY. During this, BAT-BALE fights TOM HARDY.

TOM HARDY

Ah, you're back! Come to shee Gotham be deshtroyed?

BAT-BALE

(actual line)

No, I came back to stop you!

TOM HARDY

That'sh the witty retort that precheeds our epic rematch? How about throwing in an "Oh I don't think sho" or a "Not thish time, Tom"?

BAT-BALE

Don't try to intimidate me. I'm ready for you this time, having learned from my earlier defeat and returned more determined, ruthless and Batmanny than ever! To dramatize my growth, I will fight you in exactly the same way I did before!

BAT-BALE launches a flurry of hugely telegraphed haymakers. He eventually hits TOM'S MASK, knocking just one of the eight tubes free and immediately turning TOM into a sniveling WIMP.

TOM HARDY

Fuck, thish is bashically how I wash defeated in Schumacher's shitty movie, too!

BAT-BALE

WHEREESSTHETRIGGGAA!? WHEREISSITT!?

TOM HARDY

Alright, Nolan ish jusht fucking with ush now, I'm shure of it.

Suddenly, MARION COTILLARD stabs BALE from behind.

BAT-BALE

Selfish betrayal again, damn!

MARION COTILLARD

That's right! I am actually Liam Neeson's daughter, a surprise to nobody familiar with the character!

BAT-BALE

I'm sure your father would be very proud of you for banging me to avenge him.

MARION COTILLARD

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go personally drive the truck carrying the bomb to destroy Gotham! Nothing matters to the League of Shadows more than some dumbass American city, except maybe that it be destroyed via a giant bomb in a moving vehicle!

(leaves)

TOM HARDY

Time to die, Bale. If you have any lasht wordsh, all I ashk is that you closhe your mouth all the way when you're not shaying them.

Suddenly, ANNE HATHAWAY shows up on the BALE-POD and shoots HARDY, killing him probably!

BAT-BALE

Man, I sure am glad I attached guns to that thing despite hating guns!

Meanwhile ...

EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM

MARION drives the nuclear bomb around while GARY OLDMAN fumbles around incompetently trying to disarm it. Suddenly, BAT-BALE shows up and crashes the car.

MARION COTILLARD

Ack! This truck crash has left me mortally wounded, but this somehow doesn't count as Batman killing someone! Batman never kills, sometimes!

GARY OLDMAN

And even though I was just standing in back of the same truck with unsecured 20-ton equipment, I don't even have a bloody nose!

ANNE HATHAWAY

Oh no, the bomb will explode in just a few minutes! And since it's nuclear, even if you were to fly it out of the city, the radiation would kill all of Gotham anyway, so there's-

BAT-BALE

Fly it out of the city, of course!

BAT-BALE attaches the bomb to his NOT A BATWING, OK.

GARY OLDMAN

Wait, I never found out who you really are.

BAT-BALE

Dude. Christian Bale. Seriously, you're like the last person in the city to know.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Yep.

ANNE HATHAWAY

Yep.

MARION COTILLARD

Yep.

(dies)

BAT-BALE flies away, heroically sacrificing himself, and you know he DIES because the film has painstakingly established that there were absolutely NO OTHER OPTIONS.

GARY OLDMAN

Wait, don't leave! All of the prisoners are still free! And we need your money to rebuild the city! And what about the Jok-

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

DUDE!

Various LOOSE ENDS are tied up neatly using WILLS. JOSEPH attempts to collect his bequeathments.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Uh, is there anything for me? Check under my legal name.

SECRETARY

Oh my God, big reveal time! What's your legal name? Jean-Paul Valley? Terry McGinnis? Dick Grayson? Jason Todd? Tim Drake?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Robin.

SECRETARY

What? No.

MICHAEL CAINE uses THE BALE FAMILY'S diminishing wealth to travel the world, taking yet another trip to FLORENCE and going to the same cafe for the eighth time. CHRISTIAN BALE is there, so there were OTHER OPTIONS after all!

CHRISTIAN BALE

I hid inside of a fridge when the nuke went off, so I'm alive! And I'm with Anne Hathaway now, because why not?

MICHAEL CAINE

But who's goin' to be Batman now, Gordon-Levitt? He wears a bicycle helmet in his next movie.

CHRISTIAN BALE

Maybe the next Batman could, and I know this is a crazy thought, actually draw more than character names and politics from the comic books that define him? You know, the ones that everyone loves and completely reinvented the industry?

MICHAEL CAINE

I'm sure we'll get at least one of those in da parade of reboots that will be required to duct tape togetha enough successful films to excrete a Justice League movie out of Warner Bros.' collective anus.

WARNER BROS. EXECUTIVES stare daggers at JOSS WHEDON while trying to figure out what the hell to do with AQUAMAN.

END

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