Gun debate figures into storyline of 'The Dark Knight Rises'
updated 1:23 PM EDT, Tue July 24, 2012
- A gun debate figures into the storyline of "The Dark Knight Rises" itelf
- Friday's shooting rampage took place while the movie was showing at a Colorado theater
- Warner Brothers studios says it will not cancel any screenings of the film
(CNN) -- Editor's note: This story may contain spoilers
Warner Brothers studios confirmed Friday that it will not cancel any screenings of "The Dark Knight Rises," squashing any rumors that it might dial back the release following the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, theater.
The shooting rampage that left at least 12 movie patrons dead and dozens more injured reignited the gun debate in the United States -- a debate that actually figures into the movie itself.
The film kicks off in a violence-free Gotham. But soon the bad guys emerge and so, too, does a retired Batman, to deal with them.
Shooting casts pall over 'Dark Knight Rises' blockbuster weekend
The public gets its first glimpse of James Holmes, 24, the suspect in the Colorado theater shooting during his initial court appearance Monday, July 23. With his hair dyed reddish-orange, Holmes, here with public defender Tamara Brady, showed little emotion. He is accused of opening fire in a movie theater Friday, July 20, in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others. More photos: Mourning the victims of the Colorado theater massacre
Colorado movie theater massacre
Improving movie theater security
Police: 71 people shot in movie theater
Listen to theater shooting 911 calls
Tragedy during 'Dark Knight Rises'
In one scene the hero (once again played by Christian Bale) jumps into a fight already in progress between Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and about half a dozen villains. When the two masked characters seize the upper hand, Catwoman grabs a gun to finish the job. But Batman stops her, telling her he doesn't use guns. She grudgingly concedes and the two make their escape. The good guys win this battle without killing anyone and without the use of guns.
But this singular anti-gun moment is soon turned on its head.
Theater shooting unfolds in real time on social media
About an hour and countless acts of violence later, Batman is about to be killed by the film's antagonist, Bane. During what is arguably the film's most pivotal scene, Catwoman repays Batman's earlier life-saving favor. However, she does it her way, by blasting Bane away, killing him with a piece of artillery attached to the "Batpod" -- the film's motorcycle-like vehicle.
Then Catwoman, in a made-for-the-big-screen moment, reminds Batman that she doesn't agree with that whole "no guns" thing. The cinematographic message is clear: small battles are one thing, but to win the war, the use of guns is not only acceptable, it's probably required.
Theater offers 'perfect killing' zone
As the film continues to play on 4,400 screens around the country, audiences may be struck by the mixed message in "The Dark Knight Rises." Batman neutralizes his opponents with fisticuffs and other means, but he never applies deadly force. And his plea against using guns may ring hollow when, presumably for the sake of entertainment, filmmakers pack the movie with plenty of violence from guns, bombs and other heavy weaponry.
In light of the shooting, how do you feel about gun control and public safety? Let us know on CNN iReport.
Part of complete coverage on
Meet the victims involved in the Colorado theater massacre through shared photos and read the memories kept alive by their loved ones.
updated 9:59 AM EDT, Thu March 28, 2013
Colorado shooting suspect has offered to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life behind bars in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
updated 10:36 AM EDT, Fri March 22, 2013
Back in the 1950s, Hollywood fell in love with the idea of truth serum. But it doesn't work the way the movies have made it seem.
updated 9:59 PM EST, Fri March 1, 2013
Lawyers for James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado, mass shooting suspect, took aim against the state's insanity defense laws in court documents made public Friday.
updated 7:18 AM EST, Tue January 8, 2013
So much blood the theater floor had become slippery. Bodies with horrific injuries. The eerie sound of cell phones ringing, over and over again.
updated 11:34 AM EST, Thu January 3, 2013
Relatives of nine people killed said an invitation to attend an event on the eve of the remodeled complex's reopening is "disgusting."
updated 11:30 AM EDT, Tue July 31, 2012
Colorado movie shooting suspect James Holmes was charged Monday with 24 counts of first-degree murder -- two counts for each of the 12 people killed in the shooting.
updated 6:06 PM EDT, Wed July 25, 2012
From the silver lining of welcoming a newborn into the world on Tuesday to promising to live life to the fullest, survivors are looking forward.
updated 10:46 AM EDT, Sun July 22, 2012
James E. Holmes is described by those who know him as a quiet, clean-cut doctoral student.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Fri July 20, 2012
A heavily armed gunman opened fire at a movie theater on July 20, killing at least 12 and wounding 38. Here are some of the worst U.S. mass shootings since World War II.
updated 2:59 PM EDT, Wed July 25, 2012
Photos of the scene in Aurora after the shooting took place.
updated 9:59 PM EDT, Fri July 20, 2012
A heavily armed gunman sprayed the audience with gunfire during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, killing 12 and wounding 38 others, authorities said.
Are you a friend or family member of one of the victims? Share your tributes here.