While Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was perhaps one of the most grounded, realistic, and thus darker takes on the Batman mythology – each installment continued to have a PG-13 rating. This includes The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. However, in an interesting new podcast discussion, actor Matthew Modine revealed that his character in the film had a death so horrific that Christopher Nolan decided to cut it so that The Dark Knight Rises wouldn’t receive a NC-17 rating.
Matthew Modine revealed the surprising NC-17 possibility for The Dark Knight Rises while speaking on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast. Here’s what he said:
“He cut my death scene out of Dark Knight Rises. Because he said it was so violent that it would have gotten an NC-17 rating. … Marion Cotillard — after Bane dies and Batman, Chris [Bale] gets stabbed, she gets in one of those vehicles. She starts to drive away, and I’m shooting at her. And I got run over. All it does is, it just cuts, and I’m on the ground, dead. But it was so violent. The guy that was doubling me got hit by the car. They put a plexiglass thing on the front of [the car] and he got hit. They had ropes to pull him into the air, but he went up and they dropped him from about 15 feet, and the sound of his body hitting the cobblestone street in front of the New York Stock Exchange, it was sickening. And I remember I looked at Christopher Nolan when we shot it and his face was white. He was like, ‘OK, let’s move on. We got that.’ But it was like, ‘Oh my God, is that guy going to get up? Is he okay?’ But [Nolan] said that if he would have put it in the movie, it would’ve got an NC-17 rating because it was so violent.”
In the final cut of the film, actor Matthew Modine’s character was simply shot and killed. While it’s still an upsetting moment, it is nowhere near as horrific as how it was originally planned. Especially considering it would have earned The Dark Knight Rises a NC-17 rating – which would’ve been a pretty massive “accomplishment” for a Batman film, especially for the time.
Nevertheless, everything worked out in the end – while The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t exactly the critical success of its predecessors – it still received high reviews, and an even higher box office success. So it certainly sounds like everything worked out for the best.
Now let’s just hope that there won’t be any issues with The Batman and its level of violence, especially considering it will no doubt be one of the darkest cinematic takes on the mythology.