Comic Book Movies Dont Use Codenames / The Dark Knight Trilogy

With the series angling for a less outlandish and more "grounded" depiction of the Batman mythos, the films naturally use this trope extensively:

  • The Scarecrow is almost exclusively referred to by his last name Crane. The only times you ever hear the word "scarecrow" are 1) when one of Crane's victims, a delirious Carmine Falcone, utters the word over and over again, and 2) when Crane briefly calls himself "Scarecrow" while under the influence of his own gas.
  • In Harvey Dent's case, the name Two-Face is used exactly once, in reference to an old, derisive nickname given to him by the corrupt cops he used to investigate.
  • Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Selina Kyle is never once even referred to as Catwoman, and out-of-universe, even early press releases only referred to her as "Selina Kyle," fueling speculation that she would not be using a costumed identity at all in the film. The only time "Catwoman" is ever close to being mentioned is a newspaper headline reading "The Cat Burglar Strikes Again" when Bruce is showing Alfred the background information he's pulled up on her. This may have become the best-known and most prominent example of the trope, to the point that various bloggers and reviews go out of their way to refer to the character as "Selina Kyle" and not "Catwoman". This makes sense when you consider the last time the character was referred to as "Catwoman" on screen, and how hard it flopped.
  • Batman's vehicle, the Tumbler, is never referred to as the Batmobile, either the black version shown in the first two films or the unpainted Tumblers driven by Bane's mercenaries in the third. (This was also true in the 1989 film, when Batman tersely refers to the Batmobile as simply "the car"; the more famous title wasn't used until Batman Returns three years later.) However, his motorcycle and flying craft both receive bat monikers: the Batpod and the Bat (as opposed to the usual comics names of Batplane or Batwing), respectively. If "sounding less silly" was the objective here, names like "Batpod" and "Tumbler" are a lateral move at best.

The aversions in the series, meanwhile, are as follows:

  • Batman and Ra's al Ghul are commonly referred to as such. Same goes for Talia, at least when her identity is revealed.
    • In Batman's case, the film uses a mix of "Batman" and "the bat-man" to refer to him. The latter is generally less used in popular culture these days, but it sounds a tad bit less outlandish and treats the word "Batman" as less of a guy's nickname and more of a thing or a creature like "the snowman" or "the boogeyman," which fits in line with the whole angle of being a scary monster that terrorizes criminals.
  • "The Joker" has no known identity other than his codename.
    Gordon: Nothing. No matches on prints, DNA, dental. Clothing is custom, no labels. Nothing in his pockets but knives and lint. No name, no other alias.
  • Like the Joker, Bane never has his true name revealed in The Dark Knight Rises, and he goes by "Bane" exclusively, an element which is also true to the comics. It helps that, compared to names like "Mr. Freeze" or "the Mad Hatter", it's probably one of the easier names to use without raising too many eyebrows.