The Dark Knight is a 2013 television show loosely based off the superhero character Batman. It was created by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, famous screenwriter David S. Goyer, and newcomer Danny Raymond. It follows the life of Bruce Wayne as he becomes the crimefighter known as The Dark Knight to avenge the death of his wife and child.
The Dark Knight premiered on AMC on July 14, 2013. The show, starting from the first season, has received critical-acclaim. It's character development, acting, and visual effects have all been well-received. Fans of the Batman series have also liked the show, saying that "it's a fantastic new take on the infamous vigilante that gives the whole Batman franchise justice."
A spin-off of the series entitled Red Hood and live talk show Talking Dark both premiered on June 26, 2016.
In addition to the shows, a video game tie-in entitled The Dark Knight Evolution was released in September 2015. After the show's seventh and final season, a film entitled Dark Knight Infinite was released into theaters in July 2020. World's Finest, a film that had The Dark Knight and Superman team up, was released in November 2024.
Main and Recurring
- James Marsden as Bruce Wayne / The Batman (Main Seasons 1-7)
- Bryan Cranston as James Gordon (Main Seasons 1-7)
- Jenna Fischer as Vicki Vale (Main Seasons 1-5)
- Max von Sydow as Alfred Pennyworth (Main Seasons 1-6)
- Danny Glover as Lucius Fox (Main Season 1 and Recurring Seasons 2-7)
- Dylan O'Brien as Tim Drake / Robin (Main Season 1 and Recurring Seasons 3-7)
- Wes Bentley as Richard "Dick" Grayson / Nightwing (Recurring Seasons 2-3 and Main Seasons 4-7)
- Ashley Benson as Stephanie Brown (Main Seasons 6-7)
- David Boreanaz as Jeremiah Arkham (Recurring Seasons 4-6)
- Alyson Hannigan as Kate Kane / Batwoman (Main Seasons 5-7)
- Crystal Reed as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl (Main Seasons 4-7)
- Alex Rocco as Carmine Falcone (Villain Season 1)
- Christopher Meloni as Salvatore "Sal" Maroni (Villain Season 1)
- Kevin Pollak as Tony Zucco (Villain Season 1)
- James Van Der Beek as Warren White (Villain Seasons 1 and 5)
- Nathan Lane as Harvey Bullock (Villain Season 1)
- Greg Kinnear as Harvey Dent / Two-Face (Recurring 1-4 and Villain Season 5)
- John Bernthal as Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow (Villain Season 2)
- Walton Goggins as Victor Zsasz (Villain Season 2)
- Tobin Bell as Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze (Villain Season 3)
- Joe Pantoliano as Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin (Villain Season 3)
- Stanley Tucci as Hugo Strange (Villain Season 4)
- John Leguizamo as André Torres / Mad Hatter (Villain Season 4)
- Crispin Glover as Jack Napier / The Joker (Villain Season 4)
- Richard Armitage as Thomas "Tommy" Elliot / Hush (Villain Season 5)
- Amber Heard as Selina Kyle / Catwoman (Main Seasons 5-7)
- Zachary Quinto as Roman Sionis / Black Mask (Villain Season 5)
- Tom Lister, Jr. as Waylon Jones / Killer Croc (Villain Season 6)
- Mickey Rourke as Basil Karlo / Clayface (Villain Season 6)
- David Tennant as Edward Nigma / The Riddler (Villain Seasons 6-7)
- Skeet Ulrich as Dr. Kirk Langstrom / Man-Bat (Villain Season 7)
Main Article: The Dark Knight (TV Series)/Episodes
Rising (season one)
Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City after going into exile due to the death of his wife and daughter. After learning various forms of martial arts and training himself to the limits, he vows to rid Gotham City of all its crime and corruption using his vigilante-persona: The Dark Knight. At this time, war is brewing between the criminal organizations of Gotham City: the Roman Empire (led by Carmine Falcone), the Maroni Crime Family (led by Sal Maroni), and the Zucco Syndicate (led by Tony Zucco). During the process of defeating rivals and The Dark Knight, Carmine hires assassin Warren White (who later begins to form his own criminal organization after a "betrayal of sorts") while Sal asks his mole in the Gotham City Police Department, Harvey Bullock, to keep watch of GCPD's new cop, James Gordon. In all of this madness, Bruce and his alter-ego make alliances with James, Armored Inc. CEO Lucius Fox, Gotham Gazette reporter Vicki Vale, Bruce's father's lawyer-friend Harvey Dent, and Bruce's godfather, Alfred Pennyworth.
Reckoning (season two)
After last season's events, Bruce continues to be The Dark Knight. His old friend, Richard "Dick" Grayson, returns to Gotham City. James has become much more trustful of the hero, Lucius has made more armor and weapons for him, and Vicki has become his informant. Then there's Alfred, the confidant of Bruce and The Dark Knight. Dent has also become a supporter of the vigilante. Soon enough however, new villains arise. One of them is Dr. Jonathan Crane, a former college professor who uses "fear gas" to commit crimes throughout Gotham City. After escaping the police and hiding in a costume store, he decides to go under a new alias: the Scarecrow. Meanwhile, Victor Zsasz gets fired from his job as a businessman. He then discovers his wife cheating on him with his former boss. After killing them both, he vows to kill of Gotham City's wealthy socialites, along with anyone who gets in his way. With two pyschos to deal with, Bruce must fight for Gotham City's safety.
Gotham Uprising (season three)
Bruce's adventures as The Dark Knight don't stop, especially when a new duo of villains begin to freeze Gotham City over. One of the two villains, Dr. Victor Fries, was a scientist whose dedication to curing his wife results in an accident that makes him a pale man who can only survive in sub-zero temperatures. He uses custom-built weapons and a cryogenic suit, along with the alias "Mr. Freeze" to become a criminal in order to pay for his research. The other evildoer is Oswald Cobblepot, an 1890's criminal who after being frozen in one of the first cryogenic machines for more than one hundred and twenty years is discovered by a construction crew. He escapes and begins to adapt to his new world, eventually continuing his life of crime with a new alias: the Penguin. The Penguin discovers Mr. Freeze and brainwashes him into making Gotham City their frozen wonderland. Meanwhile, Bruce begins to discover Dick's true intentions of returning to Gotham City; Vicki is promoted to editor of Gotham Gazette; Lucius creates some of the most advanced weaponry yet for The Dark Knight; James makes his way up in the GCPD; Harvey faces a public scandal; and Alfred reveals some secrets about Bruce's past.
Redemption (season four)
Four years after Gotham City's vigilante The Dark Knight was born, the reputation of the hero has crumbled. The cause of this is shown in flashbacks that reveal the campaign created by Hugo Strange; a campaign that vilified The Dark Knight. Bruce then sees a chance for his alter-ego to redeem himself when two new villains, the Mad Hatter and the Joker, arrive in Gotham. However, forgiveness doesn't come easy since The Dark Knight soon realizes that these are the hardest villains he's faced yet. Aside from the The Dark Knight's reconstruction, conflicts begin to rise when Dick's vigilante-persona, Nightwing, starts to enter the spotlight as Bruce's secret identity falls into darkness; Vicki begins to develop feelings for Bruce; James is torn between keeping his alliance with The Dark Knight and following the orders of the GCPD; Harvey continues his support of The Dark Knight; as a gift to Bruce, Alfred gives him a hide-out for his alter-ego, calling it "the Batcave"; Lucius becomes the target of the Mad Hatter and the Joker; and The Dark Knight receives a powerful new ally in the form of Jeremiah Arkham.
Revelations (season five)
Summary coming soon...
First Strike (season six)
Summary coming soon...
The Final Chapter (season seven)
Summary coming soon...
The series has received critical acclaim, with MetaCritic scores of 81/100 for season one, 84/100 for season two, 78/100 for season three, 94/100 for season four, 95/100 for season five, 87/100 for season six, and 98/100 for season seven. James Marsden's performance as the title character has received constant praise, along with the show's screenplay, grittiness, and acting of the other cast members. Frank Miller and Kevin Smith have both stated that this is their favorite adaptation of Batman.
In addition to Red Hood, AMC created the live talk show Talking Dark. Its format is very similar to Talking Dead, with the topics being about the episodes of The Dark Knight and Red Hood that had just aired. It premiered on the same night as Red Hood at 11:00 PM.
Connection to the Justice League film
Main Article: Justice League (2016 film)
During development of the film adaptation of the Justice League comic series, producers Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan, and even Goyer were unsure if they wanted Marsden to portray Bruce Wayne / Batman in the film due to the "differences from the comic Batman and the television series Batman." Goyer and Snyder soon had a change of heart, followed by Nolan about one day later.
After pre-production, filming, and post-production, Justice League was released to select theaters on September 22, 2016, followed by a wide release the next day. It stars Marsden as Bruce Wayne / The Dark Knight, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman, Dennis Haysbert as J'onn J'onzz / Martian Manhunter, Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow, Mila Kunis as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, Josh Hartnett as Barry Allen / The Flash, Ben Foster as Arthur Curry / Aquaman, plus a variety of other cast members. It received critical acclaim, which motivated the directors to start a new series of Justice League films, similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bruce Wayne, who is referred to as The Dark Knight in the film, is only called Batman once in the beginning of the film by Flash.
- The Dark Knight Evolution
- Red Hood (TV Series)
- Dark Knight Infinite (2020 film)
- World's Finest (2024 film)