Batman 3 (stylized onscreen as Batman Three) is a 2013 superhero film featuring the DC Comics character Batman, produced by DC Studios and distributed by Warner Bros. It is the sequel to 2008's Batman and 2010's Batman 2 , as well DC'S Justice League and the seventh installment in the DC Cinematic Universe. Christopher Nolan directed a screenplay he co-wrote with Drew Pearce, which uses concepts from the "Killing Joke" and Bane Venom's story arc. The film stars Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Liam Neeson, Diane Keaton, Marion Cottilard, Igor Jijikine, John Cleese, and Brad Dourif. In Batman 3, Bruce Wayne tries to recover from posttraumatic stress disorder caused by the events of Justice League, while investigating again the terrorist organization League of Assassins, now led by the mysterious Joker.
After the release of Batman 2 in May 2010, Smith decided not to return as director, and in February 2011 Nolan was hired to write and direct the film. Nolan and Pearce opted to make the script more character-centric and focused on thriller elements. Throughout April and May 2012, the film's supporting cast was filled out, with Dourif, Neeson and Cottilard brought in to portray key roles. Filming began on May 23, and lasted through December 17, 2012, primarily at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. Additional shooting took place at various locations around North Carolina, as well as Florida, China and Los Angeles. The visual effects were handled by 17 companies, including Scanline VFX, Digital Domain, and Weta Digital. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) recalls a New Years Eve party in 1999 where he meets scientist Miranda Tate (Marion Cottilard), the inventor of Venom, an experimental regenerative treatment intended to allow recovery from crippling injuries. Disabled scientist Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) offers them a place in his company A.C.R.O.S.T.I.C, but Wayne rejects the offer, humiliating Ducard.
Years later, Wayne's experiences during the alien invasion of New York are giving him panic attacks. Restless, he has built several dozen Batman armors in The Batcave, creating friction with his fianceé Rachel Downes (Katie Holmes). Meanwhile, a string of bombings by a terrorist known only as the Joker (Brad Dourif) has left intelligence agencies bewildered by a lack of forensic evidence. Wayne's security butler Alfred Pennyworth (John Cleese) is badly injured in one of the Joker's attack, forcing Wayne to issue a televised threat to the Joker, revealing he will aid Batman to take him down, The Joker responds this by destroying Wayne's Mansion with helicopter gunships, his armors, Batmobile and The Batcave are also destroyed. Tate, who came to warn Wayne, survives the attack along with Downes. Wayne escapes in his classic Batman armor, which his artificial intelligence ORACLE pilots The Batwing to rural Lakeshore, following a flight plan from Wayne's investigation into the Joker. Wayne's experimental Batwing lacks sufficient power to return to Gotham, New Jersey and the world believes him dead.
Teaming with Jason Todd (Max Charles), who is seen taking some cars wheels, a precocious 10-year-old boy, Wayne secretly investigates the remains of a local explosion bearing the hallmarks of one of the Joker's attacks. He discovers the "bombings" were triggered by soldiers subjected to Venom, (the drug used by Bane prior to the events of the second film) which at this stage of development can cause certain subjects to explosively reject it. After veterans started exploding, these explosions were falsely attributed to a terrorist plot in order to cover up Venom' flaws. Wayne witnesses Venom firsthand when Joker's agents Knyazev and Hu attack him.
With Jason's help, Wayne traces the Joker to New Jersey and infiltrates his headquarters using improvised weapons. Inside he discovers the Joker is actually a Brooklyn actor named Basil Karlo, who claims he is oblivious to the actions carried out in his name. Ducard, who appropriated Tate's Venom research as a cure for his own disability and expanded the program to include injured war veterans, reveals he is the real leader of The League of Assassins, Ras Al Ghul, using Karlo as a cover. After capturing Wayne, Ras kidnaps Downes and subjects her to Venom to gain Wayne's aid in fixing Venom's flaws and thereby saving Downey. Rhas kills Miranda when she has a change of heart about the plan.
Ras has also manipulated American intelligence agencies regarding the Joker's location, luring Blake (Joseph-Gordon Levitt)—the former Robin, now re-branded as Nightwing—into a trap to steal the his identity. Wayne escapes and reunites with Blake, discovering that Ras intends to attack President Kane aboard Air Force One. As Batman, Wayne saves some surviving passengers and crew but cannot stop Ras from abducting Kane and destroying Air Force One. They trace Ras to an impounded damaged oil tanker where Ras intends to kill Kane on live television. The vice president will become a puppet leader, following Ra's orders in exchange for Venom to cure his daughter disability.
On the platform, Batman goes to save Downes, as Nightwing saves the president. Batman summons his Batwing, controlled remotely by ORACLE, to provide air support. Nightwing secures the president and takes him to safety, while Wayne discovers Downes has survived the Venom procedure. However, before he can save her, a rig collapses around them and she falls to her assumed death. Wayne confronts Ras and traps him in the Batwing that self-destructs, but fails to kill him. Downes, whose Venom powers allowed her to survive her fall, intervenes and kills Ras.
After the battle, Wayne orders ORACLE to remotely destroy all of WayneTech as a sign of his devotion to Downes. The vice president and Karlo are arrested. With Wayne's help, Downes' Venom effects are stabilized nad giving Jason's an superior bunker where he would build more of his new ideas.
In a present day post-credits scene, Wayne wakes up Barry Allen, who fell asleep listening to Wayne's story.
- Brad Dourif as The Joker/Basil Karlo
A American actor with substance-abuse problems whom Ras Al Ghul hired to portray the Joker, a terrorist persona in jammed television broadcasts, in which he is depicted as a leader of the international terrorist organization The League of Assassins. Dourif was filmingCurse of Chucky when he was cast, and said that, "Quite soon I'll be with everybody and we'll be discussing the look and the feel and the direction of the character. It's very early days yet, but I'm so thrilled to be on board." On his performance, Dourif stated: "I wanted a voice that would disconcert a fun audience. I wanted a voice that would sound far more homegrown and familiar—a familiarity like a teacher's voice or a preacher's voice. The rhythms and tones of an earnest, almost benign, teacher—trying to educate people for their own good." The Joker was initially set to appear in the first Batman film, but he was put off for a sequel as the filmmakers felt that he was "too ambitious for a first [film]." On the character, Gough stated, "The Joker is [Batman's] most famous foe in the comics mainly because he's been around the longest. If you look, there's not necessarily a definitive Jok erstoryline in the comics. So it was really about having an idea." Chris Nolan explains that Brad Dourif's Joker is not Red Hood in the film. The filmmakers also cited Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now as an influence for the character. The videos where the Joker give historical background to the attacks expressed how it emerged as the product of "a think tank of people trying to create a modern terrorist." Thus the Joker "represents every terrorist in a way," from South American insurgency tactics, to psycho killings to the videos of Osama bin Laden.
An tie-in short film, entitled All Hail the Clown was released alongside Wonder Woman: World at War blu-ray on November, 2014.