Spoiler: This article includes spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises. You’ve probably seen it, but we’re just being courteous.
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is beloved for taking the Caped Crusader in darker directions than ever before. But they could have been even darker. None of them broke past a PG-13, but there was one bit in The Dark Knight Rises that, had it been included in the finished version, may have pushed farther than an R.
As caught by IGN, Matthew Modine, who played Peter Foley, Commissioner Gordon’s second-in-command, appeared on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast. He wound up discussing his death scene, in which Foley is gunned down by Marion Cotillard’s Talia al Ghul. But originally the scene was far more graphic.
“[Nolan] cut my death scene out of Dark Knight Rises,” Modine explained. “Because he said it was so violent that it would have gotten an NC-17 rating.” So what happened?
“After Bane dies and Batman, Chris [Bale] gets stabbed, [Talia] 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.”
Perhaps Nolan was exaggerating, but it would be hard to justify making even an R-rated Dark Knight Rises just for one scene. Hell, he didn’t even include it as a Blu-ray deleted scene. Perhaps The Batman will be the one to go even darker.