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It has been one year since the events of The Dark Knight. As Gordon and Batman discussed at the conclusion of the film, Batman took the blame for Harvey Dent’s murders of five people. During this year, Bruce has been seeing a woman known as Selina Kyle, who he sees as a kindred spirit. Though he has found someone he could love as much as Rachel he keeps himself distanced from her. Gordon is reluctantly leading a manhunt against a man that he knows is innocent. During this year Bruce has finished construction of Wayne manor and his Bat-Cave. Bruce Wayne has been showing up less and less to meetings at Wayne Enterprises and Lucius is getting concerned about his more and more reclusive lifestyle. He continues on crime fighting despite Alfred’s insistence that he lay low until the manhunt has been called off. Bruce is adamant that he continues his war against crime as Roman Sionis; a man calling himself the Black Mask has taken control of the Gotham mafia and is causing more damage than his predecessors. He has been trafficking a new type of drug into Gotham’s crime circles. Batman discovers that this new drug, known on the street as venom, is responsible for bouts of intense roid rage and enhanced strength. Batman is having trouble with some of the thugs using this drug and now going by the name of, the Jokers. Batman is concerned that his nemesis is inspiring more and more people every day while he is hated by the populace of Gotham. To raise his hopes, Alfred insists that he goes out on a date with Selina Kyle, and the two prepare to go to Haly’s Circus, where the Flying Graysons are performing.
Before the show, the youngest of the Graysons, Dick, sees a man that the owner of the circus calls “Fats.” The man informs him that Sionis requires the circus for his drug trafficking. The owner refuses and Zucco promises him that he’ll regret it. As Bruce and Selina watch the circus together, Bruce notices that some of the acrobatic moves shown on stage remind him of the opera that he saw as a child the night his parents were murdered. Before the beginning of their act, Dick goes to his parents and tells him that he saw something strange before with the owner but his father tells him to focus on the performance. As they begin their performance above the act Bruce watches on as the young boy enjoys the act with his parents until his father swings out onto a rope and catches his mother. The rope breaks as the parents both plummet to the ground. Everyone in the crowd goes wild as the people go and help the parents as Bruce watches the young boy who is now orphaned. Eventually Bruce takes the boy in to look after him, feeling a kindred spirit in him.
During this time several crimes have been have been perpetrated by a man who leaves intricate riddles at the scene of his crimes. Wayne attempts to find a connection to these crimes and Black Mask but is interrupted when he hears of a hostage situation involving the Jokers gang at Gotham Bank. Bruce breaks into the bank and takes down several of the Jokers, after he leaves them tied up he finds several of the GCPD on the roof, waiting for him. A chase ensues and Batman is shot several times in the back by police officers and falls off of a rooftop. He barely makes an escape and returns to the Bat-Cave where Alfred stitches him up. As Bruce is spending more nights away from the mansion, Dick feels more and more vengeful against Zucco and decides to confront him. Alfred tells Bruce that Dick went out, and Bruce puts his suit back on to prevent him from acting on his rage, like he almost did. Dick almost kills Zucco but is stopped by the Batman. Batman then interrogattes Zucco as to who he's working for but Zucco has a heart attack in the process and dies. Batman then takes Dick to the cave. Dick gets angry at Batman for denying him his revenge but he stops him. There, Bruce reveals his secret to him, telling him that he can help. The first act ends with Bruce telling Dick, “Welcome to the war.” Act one would end with Batman taking Dick in as his eventual partner.
The cast so far...
Robin: Max Thieriot
This Robin is very similar to the one seen in Dark Victory, except about 17 years old, which is a perfect age for the Boy Wonder in one of these films. Robin's going to act as the one that Bruce sees as his replacement. Bruce never wanted to do this his whole life, and Dick is going to be the one to eventually take his place. He's initially a very angry kid because of his parents' murders, but turns into the bright beacon of hope that helps inspire Bruce to greatness. Max Thieriot is 19 years old and looks young enough to pull off the boy wonder.
Catwoman: Selma Blair
Selina Kyle is never really shown as Catwoman, she's alluded to as being a cat burglar but mostly acts as Bruce's love interest who doesn't take to his constant ambandonment and distance. She could be set up for a future sequel but is mostly Selina in this one. I think Selma Blair has the right look for Selina, but also has the inherent toughness needed for the character.
Black Mask: Adam Baldwin
Black Mask will act in the capacity that Falcone and Maroni did in the first films. The only difference is that he represents the escalation that is apparant in these films. He is always seen in public with his real face showing because he's untouchable, but is given the name Black Mask because of his penchant of wearing a skull mask while committing crimes, which he loves to do in person. He has a legitamite buisness front as well, which makes him a parallel to Bruce Wayne and to Batman. I think Adam Baldwin has qualities that make him very menacing as a villain for Batman. He'd try and get at his rival Wayne by attacking Selina, leading to a brutal attack by Batman.
Tony “Fats” Zucco: Vincent Pastore
Zucco fills the exact same capacity that he did in Dark Victory, he's a slimeball and is working for Black Mask but is important in that he leads to the creation of Robin. Vincent Pastore has that sleazy look to him that Zucco needs, he's not as brash as the other bosses around Gotham but is still dangerous in his acts.