Who is Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing in The Dark Knight Rises?

Illustration for article titled Who is Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing in The Dark Knight Rises?

We've heard this rumor bandied about for a while now, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt's likely role in the next Bat-flick was leaked this weekend. Spoilers ahead!

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According to Variety, Gordon-Levitt will play Alberto Falcone (a.k.a. "the Holiday Killer") in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. Who is Falcone? In Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's 1996 miniseries Batman: The Long Halloween, Alberto is the son of Carmine Falcone, a top-ranking Gotham boss who's targeted by an underworld assassin known as the Holiday Killer.

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We later discover that one of the Holiday Killer's aliases is Alberto, who's grown tired of his father's gangland antics and considers Gotham's new wave of costumed villains (like the Joker) to be the future of crime. Nolan's drawn plot lines from The Long Halloween before. For example, Carmine appeared in Batman Begins and Harvey Dent's arc in The Long Halloween is reminiscent of his story in The Dark Knight.

Alberto's desire to join up with Gotham's coterie of crime-committing weirdos also lends itself to the theme of supervillain escalation laid out by Jim Gordon in Batman Begins — with Gotham's gangsters dismantled post-Dark Knight, there's room for a supervillain-sympathizing mafioso with a bone to pick with Batman. In any case, there goes my theory of Gordon-Levitt playing Kite Man.

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DISCUSSION

SPOILERS ahead, possibly...

I thought the conclusion was that Falcone *wasn't* the Holiday Killer, but that everyone assumed that. We found out the true identity at the end of "The Long Halloween" and the whole point of the "Dark Vengeance" storyline was that Batman thought he had captured Holiday, but the reader knew better.

One of the things I've always liked about Loeb's storytelling is that we as the reader know more about what's going on than the characters do. Also, rather than doing a big reveal, all the characters don't eventually know all that the reader knows.