The Batman Legend is a 2023 DC live action comic adaptation, and the fourth and final installment of the Darren Anorofsky series. Armie Hammer returns as the title role (giving him his fifth appearance as the character), along with Amanda Seyfried, Jim Sturgess, Bryan Cranston, David Thewlis, and Anthony Mackie all reprising their roles from the previous films. Joining the cast is Jude Law, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Nick Robinson. Like the three films that preceeded it, the film was successful both critically and financially, with a 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (the second highest of the series behind The Batman), and grossing $588,659,331 in the U.S., and $2,128,354,023 in total from around the world.
- Armie Hammer as Bruce Wayne/Batman- The billionaire CEO of Wayne Enterprises, who also spends nights patroling the streets of Gotham as the vigilante known as the Batman.
- Jude Law as Ra's al Ghul- Bruce's former mentor, as well as the leader of the terrorist organization known as the League of Assassins. He arrives in Gotham to rid it of crime and corruption by destroying the entire city.
- Amanda Seyfried as Silver St. Cloud- Bruce's on-again off-again girlfriend, whose relationship is rocky due to Bruce's dual identity.
- Jim Sturgess as Harvey Dent/Two-Face- The former district attorney of Gotham City, who is presumed dead by the public, but actually spends his time killing citizens of Gotham because he feels that it can't be saved.
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Talia al Ghul- The daughter of Ra's, and former love interest of Bruce.
- Nick Robinson as Dick Grayson- A former circus performer whose parents were killed by Two-Face, prompting him to go on a quest for vengeance against Dent.
- Bryan Cranston as Commissioner Jim Gordon- The recently promoted Gotham police commissioner, and Batman's ally within the police force.
- David Thewlis as Alfred Pennyworth- Bruce's butler and confidant.
- Anthony Mackie as Lucius Fox- The director of Applied Sciences at Wayne Enterprises, and Batman's gadget supplier.
- Elizabeth Hurley as Janet Van Dorn- The new D.A. of Gotham, who is determined to prosecute the Batman.
- Dave Batista as Anton Vega- A member of the League of Assassins, and Ra's al Ghul's right hand man.
- Michael Madsen as Lt. Carl Bullock- Gordon's right hand man.
- Bradley Whitford as Dr. Ryan Scherzer- A scientist kidnapped by the League of Assassins to help in their plot.
The film starts in a flashback to 2010 (five years before the first film) in an area surrounding the Himalayas, and a younger Bruce Wayne is shown at a bar, where he spots a beautiful woman from across the bar. He buys her a drink, but she rejects it. He is surprised, and approaches her anyway. He asks for her name, but she tells him that he should stay away from her. Amused, he tells her that many women would kill to be in her position, but she asks him if he has ever met a woman who has killed before. Believing that she is joking, her sarcastically asks her if she has. After a while of playful bantering between the two, she tells him that her name is Talia, and then leaves the bar. He stares at her as she leaves, clearly intrigued by her.
Bruce follows Talia to her apartment, and watches her get undressed. He sees several scars on her back, and wonders what kind of things she has been through. She then tells him he can come out, implying that she knew he was following her. He asks how long she knew, and she tells him for the entire time, but that she wanted him to follow her. She kisses him, and then the two make love. The next morning, he wakes up and she is gone. He goes to find her, and follows her once again. He follows her to some type of chamber, where he sees her watching men train in advanced martial arts, a form that is unfamiliar to Bruce. He is caught by a soldier, who brings him to their leader, Ra's al Ghul. Ra's orders Bruce to be killed, but Bruce fights back using martial arts that he already knows, but he is truly no match for them. Talia begs Ra's (who is revealed to be her father) to spare Bruce's life, and after Bruce hears him referred to by his name, he tells him that he has heard stories about the legend of Ra's al Ghul, and that he has been searching for him for a year. Ra's asks what Bruce wants, and Bruce tells him his story, starting with his parents' murder, and tells him that he needs to know how to rid Gotham of crime once he returns. Ra's tells his men to release Bruce and then agrees to train him.
The film then changes to present day, in Gotham. At the police headquarters, the police men and women are celebrating that Jim Gordon has been promoted to police commissioner. However, Gordon is soon alerted that there is a hostage situation across town, and he and a few police squads rush over to the area. The police arrive, but the thugs do not let up with the hostages. One of the thugs is about to shoot one of the hostages, but the lights soon go out. After a brief period of confusion and paranoia, Batman appears and beats all of the thugs, except for one who escapes with a hostage in tow. Batman goes after him, following him to the roof. Before he can do anything, however, both the thug and the hostage are shot by someone behind Batman. Batman quickly turns to see who the shooter is, but can't get a good look at him. He tries to go after him, but the shooter evades him and escapes. Gordon arrives and asks Batman who shot them, and Batman is clearly disturbed by what he saw.
Later that night, in the Batcave, Bruce is shown looking over files on Harvey Dent's death, implying that he believes the shooter to be Harvey. Alfred arrives, and asks Bruce why he is still looking into Dent's death, when it has been nearly two years since the day he died. Bruce tells Alfred about the shooter, and how he could have sworn that it was Harvey. Bruce then points out to Alfred that Harvey's body was never found in the wreckage of the building, and that he could still be alive.
That night, a man is walking in a dark alley. After a little while, the man is shown to be Harvey Dent. Dent walks up to a large, heavily built man, and tells him that he needs to speak with his boss. A woman's voice is heard telling the big man that he is okay, and the man walks away. The woman walks out of the shadows, and is shown to be Talia. She tells Harvey that her name is Talia al Ghul, and that she admires his work. He asks her how she found him, and she tells him that she has many resources. She then asks him when he gave up on Gotham City, and he angrily replies that he didn't give up on Gotham, but rather Gotham gave up on him. Harvey asks Talia what she wants with him, and she tells him that she can give him a chance to get revenge on Gotham for taking away his soul, and asks is he is interested. After a brief silence, he flips his coin and then he tells her yes.
Later, Gotham D.A. Janet Van Dorn is shown giving a speech about how the Batman must be tried for the crimes he has committed, as she blames him for the death of the hostage from the other night. Many spectators jeer at her and throw things, but she continues her speech anyway. From afar, a young man named Dick Grayson is watching the speech, when he sees three thugs assaulting a woman. Dick gets the thugs off of the woman and beats all three of them up. One of them begins mocking Dick for his past days as a circus performer, so Dick beats him up even more severely, before finally backing off. Dick then goes back to his tiny apartment, and is shown looking at a picture of his late parents. He then takes out a drawing of Two-Face, supposedly drawn by him, and swears to avenge his parents' death (revealing to the audience that his parents were killed by Two-Face).
At Wayne Enterprises, Bruce approaches Lucius and asks him if he would be able to find any evidence of Harvey surviving the explosion by running any sort of tests on the area. Lucius tells Bruce that it would be next to impossible, and asks him why he thinks Harvey is alive. Bruce tells him about the shooter from the other night, and how he could have sworn it was Harvey. Lucius brings up the idea that maybe Bruce just feels guilty for Harvey's death. Bruce puts his head down and simply walks away.
Later, Bruce and Silver attend a fundraiser together. Silver can clearly see that Bruce's mind is elsewhere, and asks him what is wrong. He tells her that everything is alright, but she knows he is lying. Commissioner Gordon soon arrives and is approached by Janet Van Dorn, who asks him about the police's pursuit of the Batman, which Gordon disregards by pretending not to hear her. After a little while, gunshots are fired and masked thugs bombard the party. The thugs grab Dr. Ryan Scherzer, a scientist who was attending the party, and leave with him. Bruce subtly sneaks out to go after the thugs.
As the thugs drive away, Bruce gets into his Batman suit from his limousine, and then goes after the thugs. After an intense car chase, the batmobile is hit by a large van. Two-Face walks out of the van and fires at the batmobile, but it soon becomes evident that Batman isn't in it, and he sneaks up on Two-Face and begins fighting him. After fighting for a while, he confirms that Two-Face is indeed Harvey Dent. Batman gets the upper hand in the fight, but is obviously hesitant about hurting his old friend, and is soon bombarded by some more thugs. After a while, Batman realizes that the thugs are not just simple street thugs, but rather highly trained professionals. Batman is able to be equally matched with them for a while, but their strength in numbers prove to be a big advantage.
From afar, Dick sees the brawl, and soon notices Two-Face. He gets a gun from his apartment and goes for him. He tries shooting him, but misses, so Two-Face shoots at him. Dick is able to evade the bullets, and then continues to chase him. The mercenaries hold off Batman, who sees Dick trying to kill Two-Face. Batman goes after him and stops him from going after him, while Two-Face and the mercenaries escape. Dick gets angry at Batman for stopping him, telling him that Two-Face killed his parents. Batman tells the young man that Two-Face is working with professionals, and they would have killed him.
Silver goes to Wayne Manor later that night and asks Alfred if Bruce is alright, as he didn't return to the party. Alfred tells her that he is in the cave, so Silver goes down to see him. When she gets down there, he is going through web files on his computer about areas in the Himalayas and different attacks. She asks what this is about, and Bruce tells her that the thugs from the party were no ordinary street thugs, but rather trained professionals. She asks him what he thinks they want with Dr. Scherzer, but he has no idea. She can see that there is something else that he is not telling her, but he denies it. She gets impatient with him and reminds him that she told him she'd never leave him, but lately it has seemed as though Bruce is pushing her away. She once again asks Bruce what is going on, but he tells her that this isn't the time.
Dr. Scherzer is then shown being dragged by the thugs into a dark hideout. They tie him to a chair, and Talia walks out from the shadows. She tells him that she was very impressed by his work for Kord Industries, where he designed a device that could harness radiation from the sun and emit it onto land, thus immediately killing anyone in its path. Talia then asks him to duplicate the device for them. He refuses, and then Talia nods at Anton Vega, one of the mercenaries, and he begins savagely beating Scherzer. Talia tells Vega to continue torturing him until he agrees to meet their demands, and then leaves the room.
Bruce is then shown sleeping, where he has nightmares about his days of training with Ra's al Ghul and the League. Alfred, who hears him screaming, rushes into the room and tries to wake him up, but Bruce accidentally nearly takes Alfred's head off due to the immensity of his dream. Bruce apologizes, and then stares out his window with a worried expression on his face, showing that he all but knows that the League is in Gotham.
Later, Gordon waits on the roof of police headquarters by the bat-signal, where he is eventually met by Batman. Batman tells Gordon that Harvey Dent is alive, and is working with the people who kidnapped Dr. Scherzer. Gordon asks Batman what kind of people they are dealing with here, and Batman tells him that they are a group of highly trained and dangerous mercenaries known as the League of Assassins. Gordon asks how he knows about them, and Batman tells Gordon that he killed their former leader, Ra's al Ghul.
The film shifts to the League's hideout, where Two-Face voices his displeasure to Talia, saying that Scherzer will never give in. Talia tells him to be patient, and that everyone has a breaking point. Vega walks in and tells Talia that no progress is being made, and that it doesn't look like Scherzer will be giving in any time soon. Talia goes up to Scherzer and seductively asks him why he hasn't agreed to their demands. Scherzer, clearly aroused by Talia's beauty, continues to stand his ground and refuses to build the device. Talia begins taking off his pants, and then holds a knife to his groin, and tells him to build the device or she will remove his body parts one by one. After he cries out in pain, he finally agrees to build them the device.
The next day, Bruce goes to Silver's home, and apologizes for shutting her out. She asks him what is going on, and he tells her about the night he met Talia, and how the next morning he followed her and found Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins. He tells her that he trained with the League for four and a half years because he needed to know how to defeat Gotham's criminal underworld and avenge his parents. She then asks how he left the League, and he tells her that they didn't take kindly to it. He explains to her that one day, Ra's told Bruce that he was his greatest student and was going to help him save Gotham. Bruce was at first happy, but then he learned that Ra's's plan was to completely obliterate Gotham so that it could start from scratch, but Bruce would have no part of it, as he still believed Gotham could be saved. Ra's told Bruce to either follow them or die, so Bruce turned against his mentor and eventually killed him in a duel. Talia and the League turned against Bruce, so he ran away, and had to sneak into a neighboring country in order to hide from them, but was caught by authorities (explaining why he was in a prison at the beginning of the first film). Silver then asks if the League is in Gotham now, and Bruce tells her yes.
Next, Two-Face is shown with a bunch of members of the League as they break into Kord Industries to get equipment for Scherzer to duplicate his machine. They kill several guards on their way, and Gordon is shown being told by Bullock about the robbery. The police rush over to building, and surround the building with SWAT. Gordon orders that they surrender immediately. On the inside, Vega is able to retrieve the microchip that is critical in building the device, and Two-Face sets off explosives that they had previously put beneath the ground to get the police out of their way. The explosives render many officers critically injured, some even killed, and pretty much destroy all of their vehicles, so the League is able to get away successfully. Dick watches the news coverage of the incident, and leaves on his motorcycle to go after Two-Face.
Batman tracks down the League's vehicle and chases them down. Two-Face drops more explosives onto the road, and activate them as the batmobile drives over them, destroying the batmobile and injuring Batman. Dick arrives on his motorcycle and sees that Batman is in trouble, so he decides to help him instead of going after Two-Face. After getting him out of the batmobile just before it completely explodes, Dick takes him to his apartment, where he stitches him up, and also sees that he is Bruce Wayne.
At the League's hideout, Two-Face and Vega bring the microchip to Talia, who then gives it to Dr. Scherzer. Talia then goes into a dark room and tells someone that in no time, the device will be ready. The person who she is talking to is shown to be Ra's al Ghul, who is revealed to still be alive. He tells Talia that he is proud of her leadership and her ability to carry out their plan. He also tells her that he recognizes that she is still in love with Bruce, and points out that he was indeed his best student ever, next to Talia. Talia then says that Bruce will join them once he sees what has become of his friend, Dent (revealing that they are only using Harvey to get to Bruce). Talia and her father embrace and he tells her that she and Bruce will be spectacular watching over his empire when he is gone.
Bruce wakes up and asks Dick what happened. Dick tells him that he will never tell anyone his identity, and offers his services to help stop Two-Face. Bruce grudgingly thanks Dick for saving his life, but tells him that he can't handle what he is about to be up against. Dick, trying to prove his skill level, kicks Bruce to the ground and challenges him to fight him. After what seems to be an equal fight at first, Bruce soon knocks Dick down and surely defeats him. Bruce once again thanks him, and tells him to stay clear of Two-Face. As Bruce is about to leave, Dick says that he can tell that something is about to happen that is a lot bigger than both of them and Two-Face, and asks what it is. Bruce once again tells him to stay clear, and leaves.
Bruce meets with Lucius to determine what Two-Face and the League stole from Kord Industries. Lucius is able to hack into the company's records and finds that it was a microchip that was previously used by Dr. Scherzer to create his radiation device. Bruce soon realizes that the League is indeed carrying out Ra's's plan to completely destroy Gotham, and is using Dr. Scherzer and his device to do so. Bruce also asks Lucius for a new vehicle due to the batmobile being destroyed.
Bruce goes to see Silver to tell her to get out of Gotham before the League is able to carry out their plan, but sees that her house has been broken in to. After searching, he sees that Vega has Silver in his grasp. Bruce tells him to let her go, and then Talia reveals her presence to Bruce. Bruce is stunned to see her again, and tells her to leave Gotham alone. She responds by saying that injustice cannot be ignored, and thus she will not leave Gotham alone. She then tells him that she forgives him for betraying the League and leaving, but that he still must make up for it by helping them get rid of the crime and corruption in Gotham by destroying it. Bruce tells her that destroying the entire city is not the answer, but she tells him that it is the only answer. Bruce argues that Gotham can still be saved, and there are many good people in it. She responds by sarcastically using Harvey Dent as an example of the good people that Bruce talks about. She tells Bruce that he cannot simply continue using his guise of the Batman to save Gotham, and that it cannot be saved. More members of the League suddenly appear, and Bruce is able to fight them and then save Silver. Talia and Vega leave, but not before telling Bruce that in less than twelve hours, Gotham will be nothing more than a memory. Bruce tells Silver to get out of Gotham right away, but she tells him that she won't leave him, and that she'll help stop the League. He is hesitant at first, but then tells her to find Lucius Fox and tell him to find the device immediately so that they can stop it from going off.
Bruce goes back to Wayne Manor and explains the situation to Alfred. However, Bruce soon realizes they are not alone when he hears a haunting voice from behind him. He turns around and sees Ra's al Ghul alive and well, who asks Bruce if he believes in ghosts. Bruce tells Alfred to get away from Gotham, and Alfred leaves. Bruce then tells Ra's that he saw him die all those years ago, and Ra's tells him that no one could ever defeat the legendary Ra's al Ghul, and reminds Bruce that that was the reason he came to him in the first place. Ra's tells Bruce of his Lazarus Pit, which allows him to heal any injuries, and even bring him back from the dead. Ra's tells Bruce that he has lived for hundreds of years, and that Bruce was the only one who ever even came close to defeating him, which is why he wants him to marry his daughter and replace him as the head of the League of Assassins. Bruce refuses, and tells Ra's that he and the League are nothing but a bunch of monsters. Ra's reminds Bruce that he is the one who dresses as a bat, and tells him that his Batman plan was a nice idea, but the only way to truly save Gotham and all of humanity is to completely start from scratch. Bruce realizes that destroying Gotham is only the beginning of Ra's's plan, and Ra's tells him that soon enough, the entire human race will be obliterated, and it will restart with the bloodlines of Bruce and Talia. Bruce again refuses to marry Talia and replace Ra's, and Ra's says that he may change his mind once he sees his city fall before his eyes. Ra's then knocks Bruce unconcious after a brief duel, and then leaves to carry out his plan.
A little while later, Lucius and Silver both arrive at Wayne Manor and find Bruce unconcious. They wake him up, and Lucius tells Bruce that the only way the device can be shut down is by removing the chip from the device manually, and that he may be able to find a way to track the device's location, but he will need time. Bruce calls Gordon and tells him about the situation, and Gordon then proceeds to send squads out to find the League.
Bruce, Lucius, and Silver arrive at Wayne Enterprises, where Lucius shows Bruce a new, modified version of the batmobile that he had been working on for wuite some time. Bruce then changes into his Batman suit and drives off, while Silver and Lucius stay behind to track down the device.
Two-Face, Vega, and Talia are then shown with Dr. Scherzer while he finishes operating on the device. He tells them that it is done, and Talia commands him to turn it on. He hesitates, but then Vega shoves a dagger up to his throat, and he turns it on. Vega and Talia leave, while Two-Face flips his coin, and then shoots Scherzer dead. Talia goes to see her father and tells him that the device is on, and that in less than ten hours, Gotham will be gone.
Batman arrives at Dick's apartment, startling Dick in the process. Batman tells him that Two-Face is working with the League of Assassins and that in nine hours, they are going to use a radiation device to completely destroy Gotham. Dick readily offers his services to help stop them, but Batman says that he needs to get as many people out of the city as possible, just in case they don't stop the device from going off. Dick agrees, and asks Batman why he all of a sudden trusts him, and Batman tells him it's because he reminds him of someone he knows.
Due to the big radiation buildup over the next few hours, Lucius is able to track the location of the device, and alerts Batman. Batman heads toward the area immediately, but once he gets there, he is met by over twenty mercenaries from the League. Batman fights them all off and beats them before going to the device. Once he reaches it, Talia and Ra's approach him and tell him that he is too late, but Batman points out that he still has several hours before the device emits the sun's radiation. Ra's tells Batman that in just ten minutes, the device will have taken in so much radiation from the sun that anyone near the device would die immediately. Batman then turns around to try and shut the device off, but is stopped by Talia. Batman tries to reach out to her affectionate side and begs her not to do this, but Ra's comes over and challenges Batman to fight him. Batman braces himself and attacks Ra's.
While Dick is getting people out of their homes and telling them to flee the city, he hears screaming and runs over to see what it is. He sees a large car driving through the streets, and running over people in the process. He gets on his motorcycle and goes after it, eventually being able to shoot one of the tires and stop it. He goes to see who is driving it, and sees that it is Two-Face, who is joined by two members of the League. Dick tackles Two-Face to the ground and begins punching him, but is grabbed by the men from the League. Two-Face chuckles and tells Dick that he remembers him from the night he killed his parents. Dick tells him that he shouldn't have listened to his coin before determining whether or not he'd kill Dick, because now Dick was going to kill him. Two-Face says that he won't make that same mistake twice, and points his gun at him. Dick then uses his own gun to shoot one of the mercenaries in the foot, then pulling him in front of himself, thus getting shot by Two-Face. He then knocks the other one out with his gun, leaving just him and Two-Face.
Dick once again attacks Two-Face, leading to a fist fight between the two of them. Two-Face tells Dick that life isn't fair, and that's why his parents died. Dick gets angry and tells him that his parents died because Two-Face is a monster. Two-Face's rage gets the better of him, and he inadverntently lets his guard down, allowing Dick to get the upper hand in the fight. Dick grabs Two-Face's gun and points it to his head. Two-Face tells him to do it, but Dick struggles.
Batman and Ra's are then shown fighting again, and Ra's tells him that this is a fight that he will never win, and says that crime will never be stopped and that humanity cannot be saved. Batman gets angry and begins severely beating him. Talia, while watching, is clearly struggling, as she cares for both men. After both men fight each other for a longer period of time, Ra's pulls out a sword and pins Batman up to the wall. The device shows that there is only 30 seconds left before its radiation becomes too much, and Ra's laughs as he tells Batman that it is over. Talia, however, realizes where her heart truly lies and knocks her father off of Batman. Batman then shoves Ra's into the device, destroying the device and killing Ra's due to the radiation exposure. Batman tries to get Talia to get out with him because the machine is about to blow from the radiation it already took in, but she kisses him and tells him to leave. He once again tries to get her to come with him, but she whispers something in his ear (which is unrevealed to the audience), which prompts him to leave without her. He gets out of the building and watches as it falls apart.
Later, Batman and Gordon meet atop of police headquarters. Gordon asks what will become of the League, and Batman says that both of their leaders are gone, but he is still cautious of their re-emergence under a new leader. Gordon also brings up the topic of prosecuting Dent, which confuses Batman, as he did not know Dent was in police custody. Gordon says that he thought that it was Batman who delivered him to the police, and Batman figures out that Dick delivered him, thus chose against killing him. As Batman is about to leave, Gordon brings up that there have been reports about some psycho clown killing people, and that he seems to be a credible threat.
The next day, Silver meets with Bruce to discuss their future, pointing out that she is not sure how to handle his double life. He tells her that he loves her, and that maybe someday they can be together, but that isn't right now. She kisses him and leaves in peace, as they both know that they will end up together some day.
Dick arrives at Wayne Manor with a letter from Bruce. Alfred greets him at the front door and tells him that Bruce is expecting him, and Dick asks what this is about, but Alfred just tells him to follow him. Alfred leads him to the study, and then opens the passage to the batcave and leads Dick down. Bruce is shown looking up the name 'Damian' in databases for Himalayan areas, but closes it down once Dick arrives. Bruce tells Dick that he knows that he decided against killing Two-Face, and instead brought him to the police. Dick tells him that he doesn't know what happened, and Bruce tells him that he knows the feeling. Bruce also tells him that when he asked to be trained by him, it reminded Bruce of a time when he also tried to convince someone (Ra's al Ghul) to train him, and that didn't end well, but he now recognizes that history doesn't repeat itself. Dick asks what comes next, and Bruce replies, "You need to pick a name".
During the end credits, the remaining members of the League are shown in their old headquarters in the Himalayas, discussing who their next leader should be. They soon agree that Vega should take control of the League. After being asked if he agrees to do so, he says yes, but that he wishes to be called by his birth name from now on: Bane.
The film was met with critical acclaim, with many critics calling it the best film of the Batman series behind The Batman. It also became the highest grossing movie of the franchise, and the highest grossing solo movie of the DC Cinematic Universe.
Before the film was released, Armie Hammer and Darren Anorofsky both confirmed that it would be the final individual Batman film, but that Hammer would reprise the role in Justice League II, and possibly the third. However, at the 2024 San Diego Comic Con, Armie Hammer and Scott Porter surprised fans when they arrived at the DC Cinematic Universe Panel and announced that they would both reprise their respective roles in a Batman-Superman team up movie titled "World's Finest", to be released in 2026. It is unknown who from the Batman movie franchise would appear from the movie as of right now, as who the director would be, though Anorofsky has confirmed that he is finished with the Batman movies, so it is unlikely he will return to direct. Dave Batista and Warner Bros. both confirmed that he would reprise his role as Anton "Bane" Vega in Justice League II, and would have a much larger role than in The Batman Legend.