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Did Trump, Known 'Dark Knight Rises' Fanboy, Channel Bane in His Inauguration Speech?

The president professed his love for the film in 2012 and came close to quoting the lead villain on Friday.
Image by Adam Mignanelli

On Friday, President Donald Trump painted a characteristically apocalyptic vision of his country during his inauguration speech, touching on visions of "American carnage" featuring crime, gangs, and "rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones." But to really drive home the scariness, he appears to have even channeled a Batman villain.

"We are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the American People," Trump said in his speech. That line is strikingly similar to Bane's line, "We give it back to you, you people," which Deadspin editor Tim Burke was quick to point out on Friday.


Bane's line is from a speech in the 2012 Christopher Nolan movie  The Dark Knight Rises. Bane, having just seized Gotham and plunged it into anarchy, tells the citizens of Gotham that the elites have been vanquished, and the city is theirs. Bane's siege quickly follows the French Revolution path, from storming the Bastille and freeing prisoners to a reign of terror in which vengeance is meted out disguised as justice in newly formed kangaroo courts.

Despite what this photo might suggest, Trump's speech was written by 31-year-old incoming policy adviser Stephen Miller. But Trump's movie-watching history suggests he probably knew about the line to begin with.

In a Trump Organization YouTube vlog from 2012, Trump—who didn't generally use his YouTube channel to review movies—praised the movie, which he said was "commonly known as 'The Batman Movie.'"

"I'll tell you, it was really terrific," he says. He reserves special praise for the film's cinematographers, saying, "What they did was incredible. You couldn't have done it three years ago. You couldn't have done it two years ago." Finally, he gives a nod to his own contribution: "Most importantly Trump Tower—my building—plays a role."

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