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Bat Signal Up : Here’s what we know so far about The Dark Knight Rises

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One of 2012’s hottest movie is undoubtedly ”The Dark Knight Rises”, Director Christopher Nolan’s final instalment of the chain-smoking Caped Crusader trilogy that Warner signed off on after Joel Schumacher worked the Batman series into a ground – with 1997’s ”Batman & Robin” – like a cheap solar-powered garden light.

Most know that the film, besides being traditionally dark and brimming with context you don’t usually find in a superhero movie (unless it’s named Condorman), sees Batman (Christian Bale, swearing he’ll never wear the Cowl again after this instalment) going head-to-head with leather-clad goggle-adorned feline, Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and back-breaking human bulldozer Bane (Tom Hardy).  Most also know that, in addition to returning cast members Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and, there’s a few new additions; Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Matthew Modine and Daniel Sunjata, to name but a few. You might also be aware that the plan was for The Joker, the villain of The Dark Knight, to cameo in the film (sort of in a ‘Hannibal Lecter’-esque role, that is, he’d be advising Batman from his prison cell) but with the late, great Heath Ledger now stuck in an eternal sleep, the malicious jester has been benched.

So what else do we know about ”The Dark Knight Rises”? Bullet-time, Keanu!

*** BEWARE : POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW ***

  • The filmmakers say three Batman stories in particular serve as the inspiration for ”The Dark Knight Rises”, they are : The Dark Knight Returns, Knightfall and No Man’s Land.  In The Dark Knight Returns, an ageing Batman comes out of retirement many years after hanging up the cape (Nolan has confirmed that the film is set eight years after the last film, suggesting Batman did indeed give up the gig after the Joker was caught); in Knightfall, the villainous Bane tests Batman’s strength, ultimately getting the better of him physically (and we know that Bane is the villain who will give Batman a run for his money in this movie); while in No Man’s Land, Gotham City becomes overrun by gangs (we’ve seen the pics from the set which are of riots taking place in Gotham City). I think it’s safe to say if you know the key moments from those three books, you might be able to stitch together the story of the movie.

  • It’s 8 years later.
  • The film is set in the Winter; like in “Batman Returns” (1992) snow covers much of Gotham.

  • Bruce Wayne’s newly rebuilt Wayne Mansion is fully furnished (complete with Batcave, featuring numerous Bat-gadgets) and occupied.
  • Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), picking up where the late Harvey Dent left off, cleans up Gotham City.  The Mayor (Nestor Carbonell) is still around. When Bane turns up (someone who may know the truth about the not so moral Dent), and starts messing up the town, Bruce Wayne is forced to pull the Batsuit out of mothballs.

  • Bane will be depicted much like he was in the comics – as an impenetrable one-man army. In ”Batman & Robin”, he was merely a hulkish henchman.
  • Bane blows up a football field – midway through game, with the players being blown to smithereens!
  • Does Bane do something with the subway system? On our latest Hole Cast, an actress tells us the film had been using her local subway station to film a sequence for the movie.
  • Bane also, say the rumour mongers, breaks every super villain out of the Arkham Asylum (hello cameos!? Nah, doubtful) giving Batman some taxing work to do.

  • Bane and Batman’s first meeting in the comics ended rather badly for Batman – and maybe here too. (*potential spoiler* Batman’s hero days come to an end when Bane breaks the Caped Crusader’s back; it’s possible – and that new teaser poster of Bane almost hints at it – this storyline may carry over into the film. A video from the set shows Wayne, arriving in hot car at a nightspot, hobbling along with a cane. *end spoiler*)
  • Nolan decided to use Bane as the main antagonist in the film because he wanted Batman’s body to get the heavy workout his mind usually does when competing against these villains. Bane will likely be the villain that’ll make Batman mutter, as smoke drowns his exit from frame, ‘You can’t win ‘em all’. See, another message movie kids!

  • In the film, Bane carries around an anesthetic, not an apparatus containing a steroid, to numb his pain. Again, this suggests more of a real-world approach to the character but Nolan also probably wants the audience to sympathize, somewhat, with Bane’s plight.
  • Rumour : One of the more touching moments in the film is a sequence where Batman reveals his identity to friend and ally Jim Gordon.
  • *potential spoiler * Talia Al Ghul, daughter of ”Batman Begins” villain Ra’s Al Ghul, is said to be the secret villain of the movie.  The character of Miranda Tate, played by Marion Cotillard, is believed to be Al Ghul, in town to make Batman suffer for taking down her daddy (speaking of, Liam Neeson is rumoured to have filmed a cameo; Ra’s is rumoured to be resurrected via the Lazarus Pit). *end spoiler*

  • Josh Pence is playing a younger version of Ra’s Al Ghul (this doesn’t confirm the Neeson rumour, it could just suggest a flashback scene for the character. Still, it is confirmation that the character does have something to do in the movie).
  • Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman isn’t going to be an -out-and-out villain. Unable to no longer deny her feelings for Bruce Wayne/Batman, the sexy superhero becomes somewhat of an ally to the caped crusader in his plight to take down Bane and Talia Al Ghul and her league of shadows.

  • Though Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale both swore they’d never have Robin in one of their Batman movies (Bale’s not a fan and Nolan says the character would undermine his movies), internet scuttlebutt suggests that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s  John Blake character is actually the future ‘Robin'(or , as was also rumoured, The Riddler). One other possible scenario is that Blake is really Albert Falcone, the son of gangster Carmine Falcone, the chap (Tom Wilkinson played) Batman helped put down in Batman Begins. Whatever the case, Gordon-Levitt’s character does seem to be hiding… something.

  • Nolan says the movie connects to “Batman Begins”, thus, his series comes full circle.
  • *Potential Spoiler* Speculation runs rife that Batman may either die or fake his death,  as he does in the comics, at the end of this movie *End Spoiler*

Any other rumours you guys heard?

 

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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