Even with the buzz of the Oscar season overwhelming every second of my life and so many promising films hitting theaters left and right, it is difficult to deny that in my mind, and probably everyone else’s, one movie continues to dominate the sense of anticipation. That film is obviously “The Dark Knight Rises.” Even though I’m still a little bent out of shape over the fact that Pittsburgh was chosen to replace Chicago as the Gotham City backdrop (I mean really, who are they kidding?), the excitement towards the closing chapter of one of the most extraordinary and game-changing franchises in movie history is undeniable.
Therefore, I find it necessary to report some of this extraordinarily exciting news reported in the new issue of Empire Magazine. The periodical contains the first actual stills from the film reel itself as well as some revealing interviews with both Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy. The two of them discuss some interesting facets of the film which could perhaps give an inkling to a few plot details.
Thanks to Hardy, we now have a clearer image of what kind of villain Bane will serve in the film. The answer is a pretty damn harsh one:
“He’s brutal, brutal. He’s expedient delivery of brutality. And you know, he’s a big dude. He’s a big dude who’s incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and orientated fighting style…Everything is thought out way before. He’s hit you, he’s already hit somebody else. It’s not about fighting. It’s just about carnage with Bane. He’s a smashing machine. He’s a wrecking ball. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it’s nasty. Anything from small joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. It’s anything he can get away with. He is a terrorist in his mentality as well as brutal action. So he’s horrible. A really horrible piece of work.”
Wow. Well it will be interesting if Nolan (or the MPAA) actually allows the removal of spinal columns in the next Batman film or if Hardy was just being sarcastic and caught up in the moment. As far as Christopher Nolan is concerned, he had this to say about Bane and what we can expect Batman to be facing in this new episode:
“With Bane, we are looking to give Batman a physical challenge that he hasn’t had before. With our choice of villain and with our choice of story we’re testing Batman both physically as well as mentally. Also, in terms of finishing our story and increasing its scope, we were trying to craft an epic, so the physicality of the film became very important. Bane’s a very different kind of villain than Batman has faced before in our films. He’s a great sort of movie monster, but with an incredible brain, and that was a side of him that hadn’t been tapped before.”
Along with this, the director also offered an interesting tidbit of information concerning the time of the film. Unlike most sequels, this one will not be picking up exactly from where the previous chapter left off:
“It’s really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne’s story. We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after The Dark Knight. So he’s an older Bruce Wayne — he’s not in a great state.”
You put all of this together, and one question bares very strongly in my mind: just how dark is Nolan going to take this film? Everything that we’ve seen and heard points to a possibility that the film’s predecessor, widely acclaimed for its realism and unsentimentality, could seem like a Disney movie compared to this one. There’s one quite cataclysmic event that some journalists and enthusiasts are contemplating. Between Bruce Wayne’s older state, the brutality of Bane and Nolan’s description of Batman being tested both physically and mentally like never before, one has to wonder if Bane will, in fact, break Batman’s back. Those who have read or have a decent knowledge of the comics know that this event does occur in Knightfall. Perhaps this will be Nolan’s way of closing out the Batman series, and to be even more speculative, maybe bringing Catwoman in to take on the mantel. She has already been seen in photos riding the Batpod.
The internet is like a sewing circle of gossip and rumors and all we can do is wait for the next dollop of news. Supposedly, we will not have to wait that long. As Nolan did with “The Dark Knight” a prologue is being planned for theatrical release. The first six minutes of the film are going to be shown as a complete short before IMAX screenings of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” I personally wish they could have attached it to a film that I actually planned on seeing, but I’m sure it will pop up on the internet sooner or later. The prologue featured the Joker’s bank heist. Who knows exactly what this one will feature. Though, it’s been made clear that Bane’s mask and antecedent injury is explained in the early scenes of the film so perhaps we’ll see something along those lines.
Below are the rest of the photos released in Empire, as well as their cover series:
There’s not much to this. I just think that, what with all of the guessing and analysis over the poster and upcoming teaser, that this is just downright hilarious. Enjoy spending a few minutes looking this over.
Check out the actual poster, free of red ink, here: “The Dark Knight Rises” Poster