In The Dark Knight Rises it is made clear that it is eight years on from the fallout of The Dark Knight, and Batman Begins was at least a year before The Dark Knight, so what year was each movie based in?

Batman Begins was released in 2005. So does that mean The Dark Knight was based in 2006 and The Dark Knight Rises was based in 2014? What is the time frame for these movies?

  • Just to throw everyone in batman begins, Alfred tells Bruce that his father tried to save Gotham during the depression. This would make him a pensioner when he died in front of young Bruce, which is clearly not the case!
    – user17354
    Sep 16, 2013 at 2:15

5 Answers 5


The film ["Batman Begins" ] takes place in 2007. In the Gotham Tonight news segments released to promote The Dark Knight it reports on Election '08 and states that the attack on the Narrows (which happens at the end of this film) took place nine months previously. (Source: IMDB "Batman Begins" FAQ)

Batman Begins: 2007.

The Dark Knight: 2008.

The Dark Knight Rises: 2016.

  • So does that make it that The Dark Knight Rises was based in 2016?
    – Popeye
    Dec 4, 2012 at 16:55
  • 2
    I was hoping for more detailed answer but I don't think there is much more to add, so I don't think I will get it. +1 and accepted.
    – Popeye
    Dec 4, 2012 at 17:29
  • @Popeye - you're very welcome to postpone acceptance for a while in case you get a better one. I wouldn't mind seeing a more detailed info myself Dec 4, 2012 at 20:07
  • Oh, so The Dark Knight Rises in not out yet?
    – Secko
    Jun 1, 2013 at 0:41
  • 2
    @Secko - he hasn't risen yet, to be more specific. Jun 1, 2013 at 1:37

I'm broadly in agreement with the two existing answers, I just have a few details to add.

In The Dark Knight, we see a snap of a security camera with a timestamp of July 17, 2008, from the Joker’s bank robbery (about ten minutes in):

enter image description here

This was also the date of the American film release. We also see court documents dated July 2008, which is consistent with the above. This agrees with the two existing answers, and we can work backwards and forwards from here.

The Joker reminds the Mob in The Dark Knight of a time before Batman, approximately one year previously. This gives us an upper bound on the time elapsed between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight of about a year. Most people estimate this to be about six to nine months.

At the end of Batman Begins, we see Bruce's birthday party, which canon puts around February. So Batman Begins ends in February 2008, which means the film probably begun in mid-to-late 2007 (this is of course excluding the short scene at the beginning of the film where we see the death of Bruce's parents).

Finally, we're told that The Dark Knight Rises marks the eighth anniversary since the last known sighting of the Batman (which occurs at the end of The Dark Knight), so we can assume this film begins in summer 2016. The film seems to run for several months, so we can assume it probably finishes sometime around winter 2016. (I hesitate to put a more precise date on this — although we don't see any celebrations such as Christmas or New Year, it's questionable whether those would have gone ahead in Gotham that year.) This would also be consistent with the weather, which is icy, cold and winter-like.

It's been a while since I watched the films, but I think these details are broadly correct.

(One other, minor point: at the end of Batman Begins, when Gordon shows Batman the Joker's card, the "Date/time recovered" field on the evidence label is left empty. I don't know why.)

  • I think the date/time recovered is left empty because that is Batman's job. It intends to give suspense. Think about it. The Joker is so elusive that no one can really catch him OR he was trying to intimidate Batman by saying "I'm ready for your challenge. Come and try and see if you can catch me." Jan 23, 2015 at 16:16
  • How sure are we that the end of Dark Knight is the last sighting of the Batman ? He could have kept vigilante-ing for a bit, although while being chased by the police, so there could be more than 8 years between 2 and 3... Otherwise there probably isn't much of a chase after him at the end of Dark Knight.
    – gdelab
    May 6, 2022 at 10:06
  • Batman Begins: 2007
  • The Dark Knight: 2008
  • The Dark Knight Rises: 2016

In Begins he is 8 years old when his parents are murdered. 14 years later he is 22 when he returns for Joe Chill’s trial, then disappears for 7 years, putting him at 29 going on 30 when he puts on the cape and cowl.

In The Dark Knight the Joker says “Let’s wind the clocks back a year. These cops and lawyers wouldn’t dare cross any of you. I mean, what happened? Did, did your balls drop off?”

In 2008 he’d be 31 years old, then 8 years later would be 2016 which puts him at 39 (possibly) 40 when he fights Bane in Rises. And with the ending we got, this would all makes sense about the time frames.

Also, if you go back to the scene in Dark Knight where Judge Cerillo is reading out the charges, you will see that after she turns over the Joker card. If you freeze/pause it, and you will see a date. The month part is covered, but it does state the rest as 25, 2008.

  • 2
    Do you have anything to back this up with or is this just your theory of the time frame?
    – Popeye
    Apr 25, 2013 at 7:54

When Bruce is looking at Selina Kyle's file in the beginning of Rises it says she was born in 1995, which would make her 21 in the movie. 2016 seems about right.

enter image description here

  • Good thing there was no way to pause it on the big screen. Anne Hathway looked NO WHERE near 21. Jan 23, 2015 at 16:18

Looking back now at the trilogy, there is an obvious answer to the timeline in the movies... David S Goyer talks in interviews about how he had to teach Christopher Nolan the Comics canon. If you look at the comic source material each film pays homage to, the timeline makes sense...

Batman Begins is the origin story and details his first year as Batman, just like its main source of comic inspiration Batman: Year One.

The Dark Knight details the second year of Bruce as Batman. In the comics Batman encounters the Joker in 'The Man Who Laughs', taking place after the events of Year One and also features elements from the other Year One sequel Batman: The Long Halloween. Both stories taking place in the second year of Batman's existence.

The Dark Knight Rises 8 year gap after the events of The Dark Knight, puts you in the tenth year of Batman's career. In the comics this the year of the massive saga Batman: No Man's Land, which was a major comic influence on The Dark Knight Rises plot.

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