Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

he Dark Knight Rises is an upcoming superhero film under the development of Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, and Jonathan Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film will be the third and final installment in Nolan's Batman film series. The film is scheduled for release in the United States and Canada on July 20, 2012, by Warner Bros.Details on The Dark Knight Rises are pretty scarce. This is perhaps not surprising as the eighth scheduled big screen outing for Batman is not due out for the better part of two years, will not start shooting for another six months and reportedly won't even have a finished script till after Christmas. But that doesn't preclude a delve into some of the latest rumours about this most anticipated of movies.Jonathan Lethem might have reckoned The Dark Knight was “reprehensible, vacuous, self-congratulatory bulls**t” but that stated opinion left the Fortress of Solitude author rather resembling a man minus his trunks after the tide has gone out, so rapturous was the reception of that film in most other quarters. Christopher Nolan's sequel to his own Batman Begins proved to be one of a tiny handful of internet age blockbusters to not only live up to the tsunami of pre-release hype, but to actually surpass it. The geek squad delighted in the treatment afforded to their comic book idol, while the serious cineastes who had been following Nolan since Memento got ample chance to give their chins a serious old scratch as they ruminated on his 21st century vision of the hero archetype.If all of that ensured that Nolan's third Bat-flick, The Dark Knight Rises, would be somewhat eagerly awaited then further fuel was added to the fires of antecedent excitement when the British director even managed to fashion a summer smash out of his ostensibly tricky Inception (tricky at least in terms of tentpole releases). And yet The Dark Knight Rises, as a threequel, would appear to represent perhaps the toughest test to date for the filmmaker. Plenty would suggest that Sam Raimi and Bryan Singer produced Spider-Man and X-Men follow-ups which were superior to their spawning chapters, only for both those franchises to come a cropper in their third outings (not Singer's fault in the X-case, mind). So can Nolan's apparent Midas touch ensure that Batman doesn't falter where Spidey and Wolverine stumbled previously?

*Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman,a billionaire socialite dedicated to protecting Gotham City from the criminal underworld
*Sir Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth,Bruce's trusted butler and adviser
*Gary Oldman as James Gordon, commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department
*Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
*Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle
*Tom Hardy as Bane. Hardy has stated that he intends to portray the character as "more menacing" than in Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin and gained 30 pounds (14 kg) of muscle for the role, increasing his weight to 198 pounds (90 kg).
*Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, "a Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a still-grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father's philanthropic endeavors for Gotham"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, "a Gotham City beat cop" Juno Temple as a "street-smart Gotham girl"
*Josh Pence and Liam Neeson as Ra's al Ghul, with the former playing a young version of the character in scenes to take place thirty years before the events of Batman Begins and the latter reportedly reprising his Batman Begins role in a cameo appearance
*Nestor Carbonell as Mayor Anthony Garcia
*Matthew Modine as Nixon
*Brett Cullen as a judge
*Chris Ellis as a priest
*Alon Abutbul as "a mad scientist"
Aaron Eckhart had expressed enthusiasm to return for a sequel if asked, although he later stated Nolan verified that his character, Harvey Dent, is dead.Variety announced that actors Tom Conti and Joey King also had roles.King confirmed her role on her Twitter. Christopher Judge announced that he had been cast in "a role" in the film, also via Twitter.

The Dark Knight Rises - Official Teaser Trailer

The Dark Knight Rises: The facts
Although relatively little has been confirmed about The Dark Knight Rises to date, there are still a few axioms on which any further speculation can be hung. On the most basic level we know that Nolan is returning as director and that Christian Bale will be reprising his joint role as Bruce Wayne and the Caped Crusader. We know Nolan has again written the script with his younger brother Jonah, the same combination as on The Dark Knight, and that said script is based on a story sketched out by the director and David S. Goyer, his collaborator on Batman Begins. Oh, and from the noises both have been making, this sounds like it will be the last Bat-outing for Nolan and Bale alike.
We know that both of Harvey Dent/Two-Face and the Joker won't be back. But Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman will all be reprising their franchise roles as Jim Gordon, loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth and Lucius Fox. That returning cast will be definitely joined by new face Tom Hardy, though who he will play we don't yet know. The film won't be shooting in 3D, it will be shooting in IMAX. It will not, however (and as previously rumoured), be entirely shooting in IMAX, at least not according to Nolan's cinematographer Wally Pfister. We also know that the villain, or either of the villains, won't be the Riddler. Nor – quelle surprise – that cursed-by-Arnold opponent, Mr. Freeze.
We know Jonah Nolan has finished his draft of the screenplay and that Christopher will complete his rewrite by January of next year. The cameras are due to start rolling the following May, with New Orleans one of the locations that the shoot will visit. And we know that audiences get to pass their considered judgement on the results of these endeavours when The Dark Knight Rises finally opens on 20 July 2012.
That above discharge of info now leaves us swimming very much in the waters of hyperbole, speculation and innuendo as we toy with some of the main rumours pertaining to casting and possible plotlines. So, let's dive on in there...
The one story element we know for sure about the new film is that it picks up where The Dark Knight left off, with Batman effectively having gone rogue in the eyes of populace of Gotham City, the formerly respected vigilante now a figure of fear and hatred for the regular citizens. It also doesn't take the deductive powers of Hercule Poirot to figure out that the title of the new movie, The Dark Knight Rises, indicates that this will be a redemptive chapter for Batman, as he 'rises' again as protector of the innocent in Gotham. But at the outset at the flick, he will be at his lowest ebb, at least in terms of public opinion. A bit like a cowled Nick Clegg.
The rumour that Collider relayed is that into this dramatic space Nolan will weave a plot based on the comic book story arc 'Prey', written by Doug Moench, and which first appeared in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight. That series is set in the Caped Crusader's early years, soon after the origin story of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, a graphic novel that heavily influenced Nolan's Batman Begins.
The 'Prey' plotline sees Gotham City psychologist Hugo Strange triggering the creation of a municipal task force charged with capturing Batman. The force includes Max Cort and is overseen by Commissioner Gordon, who finds his loyalties torn between his professional duties and his old ally. The rub is that Strange is not all there himself, turning out to be fixated upon Batman and obsessed with the idea of usurping him – something he thinks he can achieve by killing him.
So, he hatches a scheme to do just that, with his chances of success boosted by the fact he has figured out that Bruce Wayne and Batman are one and the same. Now, whether Nolan does indeed use 'Prey' as basis for his story, that seems one thread he may very well explore; the ripping away of Batman's final safety blanket, in the form of his secret identity. The one thing though that makes you wonder if Strange really will feature is that the bonkers psychologist might be seen as treading too closely to the bonkers psychiatrist territory trodden by the Scarecrow/Jonathan Crane in Batman Begins.
The early blue sky casting sessions conducted by the fans for Nolan's Batman threequel found Philip Seymour Hoffman playing the Penguin and Johnny Depp squeezing into the Riddler's emerald long johns. We now know for certain that the latter won't be appearing, and there's been nothing since to suggest that the Penguin won't be joining him in an unloved and unused filmic oblivion.
Similarly unsubstantiated was the thought that Killer Croc could show up, a notion based almost entirely on the use of New Orleans as a filming location. It's a faint rumour that observers have given very little credence to though, with most noting that Nolan seems to favour antagonists who can challenge the Caped Crusader on an intellectual and ideological level, as Ra's al Ghul and the Joker did, rather than just someone who can give him a physical workout.
At the start of November, Tom Hardy was confirmed as having joined the production, a development that many had been predicting and that left most very pleased, given that the Brit actor was perhaps the one unqualified hit of Inception, exhibiting genuine star quality while his fellow cast members mooched around with all the charisma of attendees at a vacuum cleaner sales conference. We don't know as yet who Hardy will be playing, although early suggestions were that he might be one of two unruly Gotham cops: Harvey Bullock, a detective with a specific distaste for Batman, or Max Cort, a more psychotic lawman who abhors all vigilantes in general.
More recently Hardy has been tipped to take the role of the more typically villainous Hugo Strange, originally introduced by Batman creator Bob Kane as a nefarious scientist in his comic book incarnation in 1940, before being recast as a psychologist. And a rumour reported by Collider at the start of this week advised how a Hardy-embodied Strange might slot into the story of The Dark Knight Rises.
However whether Hardy is playing Strange or not, it seems certain The Dark Knight Rises will find Bale's Batman facing off against his first female foe. Roughly a week after Hardy's casting had been confirmed, Deadline New York reported that Nolan had begun meeting actresses in regard to two female parts he was looking cast – a new love interest to replace the deceased Rachel Dawes, and a villainness. The half-dozen actresses named were Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Keira Knightley, and Blake Lively (who Batman backers Warners and Legendary are thought to be slightly ga-ga over after her showing in The Town).
A comic book blockbuster would not represent completely fresh territory for several of those names, with Portman and Lively appearing next summer as the female leads in Thor and Green Lantern respectively, while Anne Hathaway was hotly-tipped to feature in the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man 4 that never was. Rachel Weisz, meanwhile, appeared in 2005's Constantine, sired by the DC Comics series, Hellblazer, and Watts showed up in dimly-recalled flop Tank Girl, based on the strip co-created by Jamie Hewlett. No character names have been thus far forthcoming in regard to the two roles reputedly on offer, though the disparity in the ages of those named – Weisz and Watts have both hit 40, the other four are all in their 20s – suggests the two older actresses might be up for one part, while the younger quartet compete for another.
One nagging Dark Knight Rises rumour has been that Talia al Ghul could feature, she being the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, the cat's whiskered bad dude played by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins. That character has been both lover and antagonist of Bruce Wayne in her comic book incarnation, indicating that if she is used she will be a similarly ambiguously volatile presence to Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman from Batman Returns.
Talia al Ghul almost made it to the silver screen a few years previously, in the Justice League of America movie that Mad Max director George Miller was attached to, before budgetary and script concerns prompted the abortion of that particular project. On that occasion Talia would have been played by Australian actress Teresa Palmer (while the role of Batman would have been filled by Armie Hammer, aka the Winklevoss twins from The Social Network), and Movieweb recently grabbed a word with the star of The Sorcerer's Apprentice and DreamWorks' upcoming I Am Number Four, and asked her if she had tried contacting Nolan to see if there was any possibility of her finally getting to play Talia al Ghul. Here is what she said:
“I've definitely put the feelers out there with my agents and that would be something I would be really glad to have happen. I doubt I would be one of the actresses high up on Nolan's list. I think they are definitely going after a woman with a much bigger profile than I.”
Interpret that how you will. Is Palmer just putting her name in the hat in case that specific role does come up? Quite possibly. Apparently, none even of Bale, Hardy or Caine have yet seen any kind of script, and studios are supposedly going to extraordinary lengths to keep plot details of their big films under wraps these days (when Sony were casting the female lead in theirSpider-Man reboot, the actresses reading for the part – of which Palmer was reportedly one – didn't even know which character they were trying out for). But it could always be possible that Palmer has heard something on the casting grapevine. And if Talia al Ghul does indeed feature in The Dark Knight Rises, it will come as a surprise to very few.
In May 2011, the film's official website was launched, introducing a viral marketing campaign similar to the one used to promote The Dark Knight; however, 42 Entertainment, the company behind the viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, will not be returning for The Dark Knight Rises. When the website was opened, an encrypted audio file played the noise of what has been described as chanting. When the audio file was decrypted, it gave a link to the film's official Twitter account. For every person who commented on the Twitter account, a pixel was removed from the webpage, eventually revealing the first official image of Bane.

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