I’ll keep this brief, as it’s a topic that’s been pretty well wrung out over the last, I dunno, year or two. It comes down to this: Christopher Nolan is very decidedly not known for releasing deleted scenes, director’s cuts or commentaries for his films, but according to NukeTheFridge, the Blu-ray of The Dark Knight Rises may feature an extended cut of the film that includes footage we know exists cut back into the film.

“…according to our reliable spies, we will be able to see how Bane learns to fight plus more scenes involving Ra’s Al Ghul. The new Director’s Cut is said to make the film about thirty minutes longer.”

First things first: NTF isn’t a frequent story-breaker that I know of, but they’ve scooped things accurately before, including Thanos being at the end of The Avengers, and that G.I. Joe 2 is effectively a reboot. So this is definitely a rumor, but it’s not from a completely unknown site, and they’re backing it confidently. So take all that with whatever amount of salt you feel is appropriate.

Secondly, it’s important to note again that we know this footage exists. It’s been well-established that additional scenes of Tom Hardy’s origins as Bane were shot, included in a cut at some point, and that there also a ton of little moments and lines trimmed out of scenes to move them along quicker. For example, Tom Lennon has mentioned that his doctor walk-on had an additional joke about Bruce Wayne picking up alchololism instead of heli-skiing, because his liver is the only unfucked part of his body. This is also entirely evident by, you know, watching the film, which is the most breathless film of Nolan’s career and features more ruthless editing than anything he’s ever been involved with.

This is in contrast to most of Nolan’s other films, which are usually constructed and shot very specifically around their scripts and include few, if any deleted scenes. For The Dark Knight Rises though, Nolan pretty much maxed out the length of his film, as the platters which hold the IMAX prints of the film could not physically hold more film (this is why 70mm IMAX audiences missed out on the IMAX Skyfall preview and Man Of Steel trailer- there was no room!). This is definitely an unprecedented constraint on the director, who saw his film limited by the purely physical, logistical concerns of distribution, any studio frustrations or creative decisions notwithstanding. This means Nolan probably had to make more compromises in the edit than he ever has before and thus may have some unprecedented interest in making his full vision accessible.

“Just release the fucking cut, Nolan.”

So in summation, his traditionalism may ultimately hold sway, but he’s definitely got a good reason to release a Director’s Cut that he’s never had before in his career.

Keep an ear open for confirmation or debunking of this sometime soon. I have a feeling Nolan himself or someone at WB will comment on it before the Blu-ray specs are officially announced.

 Thanks to Dan Marcus