Questions are being raised over any connection between the deadly shooting inside a packed Colorado movie theatre showing The Dark Knight Rises and the movie’s plot and the Batman character. In The Dark Knight Rises, a masked villain leads a murderous crew into a football stadium and wages an attack involving guns and explosives. It’s one of the more haunting scenes in what was one of the most anticipated movies of the summer.
It’s unclear whether the shooter’s motives had any specific link to the film. The shooting happened early into the midnight screening that marked the opening day. Violent attacks by villains are key parts of most superhero movies, including The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-man, both in theatres now. By Hollywood standards, the Batman movies are more grim than bloody.
But there are general parallels among the Colorado shooting, The Dark Knight and the comic book character. Bruce Wayne’s drive to become Batman arose from witnessing the deaths of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, at the hands of a small-time criminal who shot and killed them after they left a movie theatre.
The Batman video game called “Arkham City” takes place in an abandoned movie theatre (The Monarch, outside which Wayne’s parents were killed). In the third issue of DC Comics’ “Batman - The Dark Knight,” a gritty retooling of the Batman character that was written by Frank Miller in the 1980s, the Joker kills an entire late-night TV audience with gas. In the same book, a man starts shooting up a porn theatre after getting fired from his job.
The Dark Knight Rises features at least two scenes where unsuspecting people are attacked in a public venue — the stock exchange and a football stadium.