Michael Caine clears up any confusion over TDKR's ending

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Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

Not sure you understood how The Dark Knight Rises ended? Don't worry, Michael Caine is once again here to clear up any misconceptions about the finale of a Christopher Nolan film.

First, a spoiler alert: if you have not seen The Dark Knight Rises yet (and we know there's three or four of you out there), you might want to look away, since we're about to get into one of the film's closing images.

Just as he did with the final scene of Inception, Caine has helpfully removed any ambiguity from a scene at the end of TDKR that fans have been debating ever since the film came out last July.

As you may recall, Caine's Alfred sits down at a cafe in France and spies Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) seated a few tables away, with Wayne looking happy and peaceful at last. The scene is a direct fulfillment of a wish that Alfred expresses earlier in the movie, that he would go to that very cafe and have that very scenario occur.

For some reason, however, there's a segment of fans out there who believe that Alfred only imagines seeing Bruce at the cafe—and that the Dark Knight is truly dead and gone. But Caine is absolutely clear that this is not the case, telling Hero Complex:

"They were there. They were real. There was no imagination. They were real and he was with Anne, the cat lady, and I was happy ever after for him as I told him during the picture."

The truth is that if you do follow the movie, it wouldn't make sense for Bruce to be dead, either on a story level (otherwise, why mention that the autopilot on the Bat was fixed or that Martha Wayne's pearls were still missing?) or a thematic level (Bruce is finally able to move on and leave the legend of Batman in someone else's hands).

By the way, Caine is more than happy to play Alfred again if a new Batman needs his right-hand man back with him in the upcoming Justice League movie, saying, "I said to Chris, 'If they do it again and they ask me to be the Butler, I'm going to do it.' He said, 'I want 10%.'"

Did you ever wonder whether the ending of TDKR was real or not? If you did, has Caine closed the book on it for you once and for all?

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