The BATMAN Nolanverse Timeline

************** THE NOLANVERSE ***************


1953 - Ra's Al Ghul (we don’t know his true name) is born.
1959 - James Gordon is born.
1972 - "Bane" is born.
1976, 19th February - Bruce Wayne is born.
1978 - "Talia" (unnamed at the time) is born in the Pit (Joey King is 12 years old in TDKR).
1980 - Ra's Al Ghul becomes the definitive leader of the League of Shadows.
1981 - Ra's Al Ghul sparks the economical depression of Gotham City, setting in motion the tragic events which will eventually create the Batman.
1984 - Joe Chill murders the Waynes. Bruce is just 8 years old. Gordon is 25 years old and just a cop in the line of the duty.
1985, 17th September - Selina Kyle is born. In the future to come, she will become known as THE CAT.
1990 - Bane saves Talia from certain death. Talia escapes from the Pit.
1991 - Ra's Al Ghul finds Talia and then comes to rescue Bane from the Pit.
1992 - Bane and Talia start their training as LOS young recruits.
1993 - Robin John Blake is born.
1998 - 14 years since his parents' brutal death, Bruce Wayne quits the Priceton University and comes back to Gotham City for his silly "revenge" against Joe Chill. At the end, he fakes his death for the very first time.
1999 - Bane is "excommunicated" by the LOS. He becomes a mercenary.
2001 - Bruce enters in the League of Shadows and is taught by "Henri Ducard"/Ra's Al Ghul.
2005 - BATMAN BEGINS. Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City again and starts as "Vigilante". Within months, he gradually develops the brand-new persona known as THE BATMAN (date confirmed by a newspapers seen in the movie).
2006, February - Bruce turns 30. After one month since the "Arkham Asylum incident", The Joker starts his career as a criminal, gradually climbing the charts and leaving his "mark" everywhere.
Robin John Blake meets Bruce Wayne for the first time, realizing he's The Batman.
2008, August/December - THE DARK KNIGHT. The Joker finally reveals himself as a supreme genius of chaos. Dent is "killed". The Batman takes the blame (date confirmed by a video recording seen in the movie).

NOTE: at least a two year timeline between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight makes more sense. First off, because the actors look older since there was a two year gap between these films, in turn the characters look older. Also, six months to a year is just far too short of a period for all the things to happen such as the rise of Harvey Dent, Harvey and Rachel's courtship, the falling of the mob, the rebuilding of a 42,000 square foot mansion that would be fulled restored brick by brick.
Joker's "A year ago..." comment can easily be dismissed as the mob still had alot of pull in the city's politics. However, with Mayor Garcia and Harvey Dent recently elected, the formation of M.C.U., and the weight of The Batman all baring down on them, that could have been the breaking point for the crime families causing them to have to pull together in desperation.
Finally, the spirit of Ra's al Ghul tells Wayne that he fought the decadence of Gotham for "years."

2010, March/December - 'The Dent Act' finally goes into effect. The Batman quietly retires after a long strings of "unconfirmed" (by Police standards) deeds since 2008. Bruce now solely focuses his energy on the Reactor Project (date confirmed by a plaque on the wall of the Blackgate prison).
2013 - The Reactor Project turns off as a total failure. Bruce Wayne retires from public life and becomes a hermit. Miranda Tate starts working for Wayne Enterprises around this time too.
2016 - THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Bruce is 40 years old. Gordon is 57 years old.
2023 - John Blake, now 30, becomes The BATMAN II.

NOTE: there is no concrete proof in the actual films (not some extras that weren't made by Nolan, like Gotham Tonight) that this timeline is incorrect. Conversely, there is good reason to think that it's actually true, such as Gordon's kids being a few years older in The Dark Knight than they were in Batman Begins, and the actual dates shown on screen in BB and TDK.
Joker made his presence known at the end of BB, but I don't necessarily think it was his first move. During the time between BB and TDK, however long that was, he was laying the groundwork for his ultimate attack on the city, which we see play out in TDK. But since his plan was so intricate and precise, I don't think it's unreasonable that it would have taken maybe 1+ years to get everything just right. Only 6-9 months is a pretty short amount of time to work out such a successful attack on the city. It took Bane and Talia years to get theirs ready. Timing is everything.

Even though Gotham Tonight (again, not required viewing -- just an extra feature that Nolan didn't even make) states TDK as taking place 9 months after BB, I have yet to see a single shred of evidence presented ON SCREEN that verifies this timeline. Joker's "A year ago..." statement has more to do with when the mob started losing their power than it does with when Bruce Wayne started being Batman.

Taking all this into consideration, I've come to the conclusion that BB takes place in 2005, while TDK takes place in 2008. The Dark Knight Rises takes place in 2016.

As far as Bruce's actual timeline as The Batman, I think there is plenty of room for interpretation here. My opinion is as follows. His main stint as The Batman was from '05-'08. Then he operated in secret until roughly '09-'10, when the Dent Act went into effect. With Gotham no longer needing The Batman, Bruce tried his hand at making a difference with Wayne Enterprises. The fusion reactor was built, and then subsequently shut down after Dr. Pavel's article on how it could be turned into a bomb. With nothing left to offer, Bruce Wayne goes into seclusion until the events of TDKR begin to unfold...

When Bruce is checking out Selina on his computer, I think we see something like a prior arrest date in 2012. Which would mean that either she was arrested and released immediately before TDKR (if it takes place in 2012), or that her arrest took place a few years earlier (in 2012). I agree that TDKR takes place in 2016.

Another thing to add is that Bruce continued to monitor the city (to prevent new threats from rising) until he became a recluse. This is confirmed when Alfred says that he continued to use the Batcave after they moved back into Wayne Manor. Plus, he tells Selina/The Cat that he acquired the Clean Slate in order to "keep it out of the wrong hands." The only time he would have had for that is in the 5 years between TDK and him becoming a recluse (3 years before TDKR).


Fan work conceived and written by Tiziano Caliendo. "BATMAN" is a Warner Bros. property, all rights reserved. "BATMAN" - created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.
Picture photoshopping by Giaffy. 

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